I have many heroes in the faith. Most are in repose. God has decreed that their days on earth ended. They now join the saints in heaven crying out: “When will you bring justice, O Lord” (Rev. 6). They await the consummation of all things. Until then, we who remain benefit from their words of wisdom and encouragement. They too loved this present world and so committed themselves to giving all of themselves to God’s people.
Among the great cloud of witness, Rousas J. Rushdoony stands as a significant figure in my life and thinking. My eclectic nature has allowed me to benefit from the gracious ( Fr. Alexander Schmemann) to the pugilist (Dr. Greg Bahnsen); from the irenic (Professor John Frame) to the insane (Martin Luther). All in all, and many more have shaped me to be the man I am today. To them, I am most grateful. But allow me to speak just briefly about Rushdoony. My commitment to the Scriptures took a new turn when I came across the writings of Rousas Rushdoony. I had never read anything like it before. Suddenly life and theology made sense within a web of articulate reasoning. The once opaque law of God became a life-giving fountain. My thinking was revolutionized by a man I never knew.
He is the only man that I have ever heard to have read one book a day for over 30 years. Even if it is 90% true, I venture to say, no one has ever been like him. He loved books and he consumed them vociferously. He once wrote: I love books. They are not only my tools but a source of delight to me. I have maybe forty thousand or more and always want more! (My problem is space for them: I need an addition to house them!) Dorothy’s problem with me is getting me to spend money for clothes because I want to buy books instead. I have been stalling her for some time, because, I tell her, at 76, how do I know that I can use new clothes very long? Well, I have been feeling so healthy of late that my excuse is now wearing thin!
He loved life and life gave him more than he ever expected. He was born in Armenia and came to the US where he laid the foundations for a movement that by God’s grace will never end. All of life is affected and ought to be reflected by the Word of God. This is what Rousas Rushdoony believed and innumerable amounts are beginning to grasp this verity.