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Biographer: Conservative Christianity Indebted to R.J. Rushdoony

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 08:22 PM

A 20th century theologian whose name and work are not widely known, Rousas John "R.J." Rushdoony was, in fact, a major influence on contemporary American conservative Christianity — and not the secretive, scheming zealot of some portrayals, says the author of a new scholarly Rushdoony biography.

Rushdoony spearheaded the Christian Reconstructionist movement beginning in the 1960s that paved the way for the modern-day practice of home schooling, Michael Joseph McVicar, a Florida State University assistant professor of religious history, told "The Steve Malzberg Show"on Newsmax TV Wednesday.

Rushdoony was "really a sort of education activist who pushed conservative Calvinists into the political realm," said McVicar, author of "Christian Reconstruction: R.J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism."

A Calvinist philosopher, writer, and missionary who trained as a teacher and educator, he made an impact beyond education, and helped to shape conservative Christianity as a political force in other areas of public policy, said McVicar.

McVicar described the Rushdoony doctrine as "a sort of highly influential conservative Christian movement that influenced mostly education, but also some political activism during the '80s and the '90s."

He also said that Christian Reconstruction has been unnecessarily portrayed in a negative and conspiratorial light.

"I actually see it as a kind of interesting and engaging reform movement that was important and needs serious study even maybe beyond what I've offered," said McVicar.

"One of the interesting things and maybe instructive things about Christian Reconstruction, and especially Rushdoony's ministry … is that he has often been attacked as a character who's been engaged in a sort of hyper-aggressive, and maybe even secretive, attempt to influence politics in the United States, especially with his Christian Reconstruction idea.

"And part of the work that I'm trying to do in the text is to elaborate the sort of … conspiracy theories that have been associated with Christian Reconstruction and offer some nuance there," said McVicar. "And also to use that to generate an interesting way to talk about concerns about religion and its place in politics in the United States."

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A 20th century theologian whose name and work are not widely known, Rousas John "R.J." Rushdoony was, in fact, a major influence on contemporary American conservative Christianity — and not the secretive, scheming zealot of some portrayals, says the author of a new...
Michael Joseph McVicar, Christian Reconstruction, RJ Rushdoony
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2015-22-29
Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 08:22 PM
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