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The Foundations of Social Order By RJ Rushdoony

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Every social order rests on a creed, on a concept of life and law, and represents a religion in action. Wherever there is an attack on the organization of society, there is an attack on its religion. The basic faith of a society means growth in terms of that faith, but any tampering with its basic structure is revolutionary activity. The life of a society is its creed; a dying creed faces desertion or subversion readily. Every creed, however healthy, is also under continual attack; the culture which neglects to defend and further its creedal base is exposing its heart to the enemy's knife. Because of its indifference to its creedal basis in Biblical Christianity, western civilization is today facing death and is in a life and death struggle with humanism.

Today humanism is the creedal basis of the various democratic and socialistic movements. The clearer the humanism, as in Marxism, the more direct its use of power, because it operates in terms of a consistency of principle. The conservatives attempt to retain the political forms of the Christian West with no belief in Biblical Christianity. Apart from vague affirmations of liberty, they cannot defend their position philosophically. They therefore become fact finders: they try to oppose the humanists by documenting their cruelty, corruption, and abuse of office. If the facts carry any conviction to the people, they lead them only to exchange one set of radical humanists for reforming radical humanists. It is never their faith in the system which is shaken, but only in a form or representative of that system. The success of the subversives rests on their attack on the creed of the establishment, and its replacement by a new creed.

When the foundations are provided, the general form of the building is determined. When the creed is accepted, the social order is determined. There can therefore be no reconstruction of the Christian civilization of the west except on Christian creedal foundations.


Selected Quotes

“The Council of Chalcedon met in 451 to deal with the issue [of how divinity is incarnated] as it came to focus at the critical point, in Christology. If the two natures of Christ were confused, it meant that the door was opened to the divinizing of human nature; man and the state were then potentially divine. If the human nature of Christ were reduced or denied, His role as man’s incarnate savior was reduced or denied, and man’s savior again became the state. If Christ’s deity were reduced, then His saving power was nullified. If His humanity and deity were not in true union, the incarnation was then not real, and the distance between God and man remained as great as ever.” (pages 54-55)

“The Arian and generally heretical depreciation and subordination of Jesus Christ was the depreciation of revelation. To the degree that revelation was slighted, to that degree nature was asserted as the primary and basically self-sufficient order. God then became at best the first cause of nature, and Greek humanism was again triumphant. If nature is the basic and ultimate order, and Jesus is at best a product of nature, then the state is the true order of the world, and the saving order. The determination of history, moreover, passes from the Trinity to the state, from eternity to time, from the supernatural to the natural. Subordinationist Christology, and the imperial, and later caesaropapal doctrines of God saw God essentially as the author of a primary nature and a governing agency, the state. The sure voice of God was therefore the natural voice, the state. The work of grace and revelation then became a kind of addition to nature.” (page 102)

“[T]o transfer final judgment, heaven, and hell from the eternal order to time is to absolutize history and to enthrone man as god. It means the destruction of liberty, because history ceases to be the realm of liberty and testing but becomes the place of final trial. Having made the final judgment temporal, the humanist cannot permit liberty, because liberty is hostile to finality; liberty presupposes trial and error and the possibility of serious waywardness when and where man is sinful and imperfect. History cannot tolerate both trial and error and insist on finality and the end of trial and error. The humanistic utopias are all prisons, because they insist on a finality which man does not possess.” (page 145)

“For Biblical Christianity, the answer to the problem of evil is God’s grace, the grace of God through Jesus Christ and the restitution of all things. Man’s problem is not his environment but sin, man’s desire to be his own god, his own law and principle of ultimacy. Man cannot save himself, either by politics, by works of law or morality, or by any other means. Jesus Christ is man’s only savior. Man must live under God’s law order in order to live freely and happily, but the law order cannot save man, nor will that law order long survive, if there be not a sizable body of believers whose life is the law of God. Basic to true order therefore is grace. Without grace, man lacks the character to develop his potentialities, capitalize his activities, and order his life.” (page 184)


Table of Contents

1998 Preface (By R. J. Rushdoony) 1
1. The Apostles’ Creed And Creedalism 3
2. Nicea: History Versus Imagination 9
3. Constantinople Against The Hatred Of Certainty 17
4. Te Deum Laudamus 25
5. The Power And The Glory 31
6. Ephesus: The Worship Of Man Condemned 35
7. The Council Of Chalcedon: Foundation Of Western Liberty 53
8. The Athanasian Creed: The One And The Many 69
9. Constantinople II: The Fallacy Of Simplicity 79
10. The Doctrine Of Grace 93
11. The Procession Of The Holy Ghost 99
12. Canon Law 109
13. Constantinople III: The Abolition Of God 115
14. Iconodulism 123
15. The Ascension And The Session 133
16. The Last Judgment 141
17. The Church 147
18. The Communion Of Saints 155
19. The Forgiveness Of Sins 163
20. The Resurrection Of The Dead 169
21. Man And The Creeds 175
22. The Foundations Of Social Order 181
Index 187

Product Details

Item #: 0003
Title (short): The Foundations of Social Order
Title (full): The Foundations of Social Order: Studies in the Creeds and Councils of the Early Church
Author(s): Rousas John Rushdoony
Number of Pages: 197
Edition: Third Edition (1998)
Copyright: 1968
Printing: Unspecified (1998)
Style: Paperback
Publisher: Ross House Books
ISBN-10: 1-879998-12-2
ISBN-13 None
Library of Congress Catalog Card #: 68-25836
Electronic Version: http://chalcedon.edu/research/books/the-foundations-of-social-order/
Dimensions: 9.0” X 6.0” X 0.5”
Weight: 0.8 lb
Shipping Weight: 1.3 lb
Price: $13.50

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