Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Reconstruction of Society and the State

Rushdoony makes some pretty important points in this short video. Society is much larger than the state. The reformation of society comes as people are regenerated and begin to be responsible, govern themselves, and live as freemen. Notice and carefully consider his closing comment: "And only so will we take back government from the state and put it in the hands of Christians." The current state is increasingly totalitarian, taking over many aspects of government that are properly distributed throughout society. By living as responsible freemen, regenerated by grace, we can voluntarily take back these functions (e.g. education, welfare) and administer them to the glory of God. The reconstruction of society will include the state, but it will not view its transformation as the key to transforming society in a totalitarian manner. In a free and self-governing society, the state will be reduced to its proper role as one distinct form of government among many.


Patrick said...

I came across your blog, which is great by the way, and this post. It reminded me of another blog post. Are you familiar with The Heidelblog?

Do you agree with theonomists like Rushdoony? Do you believe it lines up with Reformed teachings?

Here's another post you might find of interest on the subject.

Peter Bringe said...

Hi Patrick,

Welcome to the blog! I am familiar with the Heidelblog and would disagree with Dr. Clark on several issues (though I do remember appreciating an article he wrote there once). I do consider myself to be a Theonomist, though with some nuances, and think Rushdoony is often unfairly critiqued, though I don't always agree with him myself. He was quite insightful on a number of issues. I do think Theonomy, properly understood, lines up very well with Reformed teachings. For example, Johannes Piscator, a Reformed scholar whose writings on the subject of the judicial laws were also used favorably by the Westminster divines (such as Gillespie, Cheynell, and Rutherford), argued that

“the magistrate is obliged to those judicial laws which teach concerning matters which are immutable and universally applicable to all nations, but not to those which teach concerning matters which are mutable and peculiar to the Jewish or Israelite nations for the times when those governments remained in existence.” (Johannes Piscator, Disputations on the Judicial Laws of Moses, trans. Adam Jonathan Brink, ed. Joel McDurmon (Braselton, GA: American Vision, 2015 [1605]), 4-5).