Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rousas J Rushdoony

In my view, the most important theologian of the twentieth century was Rousas J Rushdoony (1916-2001). In his Institutes of Biblical Law (Craig Press 1973), he clearly demonstrated that God’s law provides the best standard for an orderly society. He single-handedly set about restoring God’s law to his rightful place. He wrote,

Authority can come from God or the people. If God is the source of authority, his word should prevail. If the latter is true, the will of the people should be done.
Despite his wisdom, Rushdoony missed out on one key point. He did not understand the role of judges in implementing the law. The reason for this blind spot was that he believed that the US constitution was an inspired document. He believed that restoring the principles of the constitution would lead to the implementation of biblical law. His son-in-law Gary North proved in Political Polytheism that the constitution was actually the work of men who were opposed to God, so Rushdoony’s faith in the constitution was unfounded. This error prevented him from seeing that honouring God’s law was not enough. We also need a system of godly judges to apply that law.

Despite this blind spot, his knowledge of God’s law was colossal. Anyone who wants to understand God’s purpose for law and government should read his writings.

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