Dr. Gary North and I have been going back over some history of what has been labeled "Christian Reconstruction." We're are trying to retrieve all the documentation we can for an archive for future generations to understand what took place and the ongoing impact of the principles outlined in books, newsletters, and video.
We're working on a larger
project that's in its conception stage. If we can pull it off, you will be the
first to know about it.
If someone would like to
donate $10,000. We could get on it very soon.
In the past few weeks, I have
been gathering some material for Dr. North to fill in some of our memory gaps
as well as locating original material pertinent to the history of Christian
Dr. North has written a unique
review of Michael J. McVicar's book Christian Reconstruction: R.J.
Rushdoony and American Religious Conservativism .
In our attempt to "reconstruct"
this history, a long-lost debate that Dr. North and I had in 1988 with Thomas
Ice and the late Dave Hunt came to light through the efforts of missionary and
film-maker Nathan Anderson who is working on Part Two of a documentary series
on postmillennialism titled "Teach All Nations."
The Reduction of Christianity
Reduction of Chrsitianity was a direct response to Dave Hunt's theology of cultural
surrender and his end-time prophecy views that have led many Christians to
conclude that being involved in the culture was useless since Jesus was about
to return and rapture His church. He made this claim more than 30 years ago.
Here we are fighting battles that Hunt and others said Christians would escape
via a rapture. Reduction is a study in history, theology, and
biblical thinking on a host of theological and practical issues.
Here's the link to the debate:
The Debate over Christian Reconstruction
nearly line-by-line response to the comments made by Dave Hunt and Thomas Ice
in the debate that Gary North and I had with them. every question they raised
is answered in detail.
The following is from Gary
North's extended review of McVicar's book:
McVicar on Rushdoony: A Review Article
By Dr. Gary North
Remnant Review, Vol. 47
A review of Michael J.
McVicar, Christian Reconstruction: R. J. Rushdoony and American
Religious Conservatism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
This essay is more than a book
review. A book review summarizes a book. It ought to identify the book’s
contribution to a field, whether academic, religious, political, or whatever.
It applies an evaluative standard to the book: reliability of evidence, and
cogency of arguments. It may discuss the literary quality of the book: clarity
My review goes beyond this. In
part, this is because the book discusses me. But, more important, it deals with
things not seen. Every book must leave out lots of things. As long as that
which is left out is tangential to the book’s thesis, there is no major loss
for the reader. But this is not the case when the things left out throw light
on a major aspect of the book’s central ideas.1. MCVICAR'S HAT TRICK
McVicar is a historian. He
achieved what every doctoral candidate dreams of. He selected a dissertation
topic that was narrow enough to have been neglected for decades by other
historians, yet also of such general interest that a major university press
decided to publish it. This is an academic hat trick. It rarely happens.
There is a third component of
his hat trick. The book is both seminal and definitive. This is almost
impossible to achieve. This means that the author is the first person to deal
with an important topic in such a way that all further discussions in print of
the topic must begin with a consideration of his book. The book is sufficiently
comprehensive so that someone writing on the same topic will find it difficult
to make a contribution that is equally seminal. The author of the second book
must position himself as follows: “Me, too, but. . . .” The seminal book covers
the crucial bases adequately, so that any future author will either have to
come up with a unique thesis that can be supported by the evidence, or else he
must discover a treasure trove of primary source documents that were unknown to
the original author. I don’t think either of these is a possibility in this
Frankly, I don’t see why any
other historian would go to the trouble of doing a comparable amount of
research on this topic without an academic angle so powerful that a major
university press would be willing to publish his book.
So, McVicar has gained an
operational monopoly with his book. He was able to convert that monopoly into
monopolistic returns. He secured an assistant professorship at Florida State University.
He got an appointment to teach religion. That is also something of an academic
hat trick. His academic success is based on a detailed study of the Christian
scholar who, more than any other Christian scholar in American history, was
opposed to tax-funded education.
You might guess that he got
his appointment because the book is a hatchet job on that scholar. That would
be incorrect. The book is judicious in its use of negative rhetoric. It is
comprehensively researched. It is based on access to the letters and diaries of
I found the book to be highly
informative. Because of his access to Rushdoony’s papers, he was able to
include information that I had never heard of. Also, because he sometimes
quotes from letters that I wrote to Rushdoony, they refreshed my memory. I had
completely forgotten about some of them.
He first contacted me in 2007
for background on the William Volker Fund/Center For American Studies.
Rushdoony was on the payroll for a little under two years, 1962–63, and he was
paid a two-year severance in late 1963 for two more years. I was a summer
intern in 1963.
I filled in some historical
gaps. He replied: “You've given me more info in a short note than anyone else
has in reams of correspondence.”
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