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Law and Liberty

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  32 reviews
All law is based upon morality, and morality is itself based upon religion. Therefore, when the religion of a people is weakened, so also is its morality undermined. The result is a progressive collapse of law and order, and the breakdown of society.

Men, though, see law as a limitation on their liberty, and Christianity is held to be the most restrictive with its emphasis
Paperback, 152 pages
Published 1984 by Ross House Books
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  163 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Peter B.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book does a good job of showing that true liberty cannot be separated from God's law. It is also a good introduction into the thinking and writing of R.J. Rushdoony.
In relatively short segments, Rushdoony addresses everything from education to famine, and works through how God's Law applies to each situation. He drives home again and again that only God's Law order creates true liberty, prosperity, and peace.

"But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: All they that hate Me love death." -Proverbs 8:36
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
As advertised, this is an excellent introduction to the thought of Rushdoony. It's main weakness is that it is a collection of thirty-two short essays on a variety of topics--many of them interrelated. But, being an introduction, he never delves very deeply on any single idea.

Rushdoony has a very controversial and often polarizing reputation, but I found myself in near unanimous agreement with everything in the book. Most orthodox Christians that have given much thought to the issues would likel
Aaron Slack
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
A great introduction to theonomy in general and Rushdoony in particular.
London Tiner
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for an introduction to theonomic ideas. It is broken into small 2-6pg lectures so you can read it like a devotional if you choose
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
INCREDIBLE!! I want to buy a whole box of full of this book so I can give away, Mr. Rushdoony is so good at putting things into words - things I've merely thought of in passing, but was unable to articulate well. This is a very helpful book, it even forced me to reconsider some things I've held to. Very thought-provoking. Here's a good quote:

"Leninism cannot be fought by men who mistake war for negotiations and a battle for a debate, and who cannot recognize when and where they are being attacke
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This short book is an excellent primer on the relationship between law and liberty, as the title indicates. So much of the culture today believes that law is a hindrance to their liberty (or as they like to call it today, "freedom"). Unfortunately, such a view is self-destructive, as it is the law that provides the limits upon human depravity, and teaches the standard of righteousness by which men may flourish together. The Founding Fathers of our own nation wanted us to be governed by laws rath ...more
Paul Leavitt
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: currently-own
This book is a wonderful compilation of short essays/articles by R. J. Rushdoony, which means that they are all somewhat disconnected from one another, but they're arranged in such a way to give a sort of consistency and flow to the book. The advantage to this layout is that this will be a tremendous reference book. The titles are descriptive, so a quick read through the table of contents will quickly lead one to a chapter of relevance. I would highly recommend this book.
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Raimund by: Chalcedon Foundation
Rushdoony does an excellent job of showing how the law in general and Biblical law specifically relate to our everyday lives and how we then should live knowing that our redemption is in Christ but our new live is now governed by living for God.
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent brief reading for those thinking about political involvement. It can help in avoiding the pitfalls of the many political movements/orders. It exposes the dangers of libertarianism, conservatism, and liberalism.
Jacob Aitken
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The premise is that all law has a moral base; therefore, all attempts at legislation by definition legislate morality.

You won't find anything new in here that you didn't already see in Institutes.
Jason Garwood
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Douglas Wilson
May 13, 2009 rated it liked it
On the plus side of good.
Theonomy applied to some current issues in society. Not bad. Rushdoony kind of wierds me out, though I can't quite put my finger on why.
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a pretty good primer to his book The Institutes Of Biblical Law. If you have already read that book, however, then I don't recommend reading this one as it will be somewhat repetitive.
Nathan Albright
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge2017
This book has an interesting history as part of the intensely prolific writings of this fairly typically prolific Theonomist writer. Given originally as a series of radio addresses in the 1960's, these books give a fair picture of the somewhat pointed relationship that Theonomists tend to have with people regarding issues of faith and politics. Although it is not uncommon for me to read or reflect upon God's laws or humanistic corruptions of law [1], I tend to do so from a far different perspect ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, religion
A series of transcribed radio commentaries which accounts for their brevity, I think. Rushdoony looms large over the evangelical homeschool movement, in part, for his virulent Calvinist reliance upon the Angry Law God of the Old Testament.

I really wish Christians would leave the Old Testament alone. They do not understand stand it, only read the Cliff Notes version, and it leads them to think they can out-jew the Jews. But the Old Testament is not for Christians. Its not their book.


Nicholas Villarreal
Good. Successfully establishes that all law is based upon a particular morality. The book contrasts Biblical law with secular humanistic law and how true liberty and freedom can only be understood in the context of the Christian worldview. You cannot separate true liberty from God's law.

We must understand that the purpose of the law is to restrain the evil of men, not to regenerate men; only the Holy Spirit can do that. When this understanding is lost in a society, oppressive laws are passed tha
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fine collection of essays on title subject. Rushdoony sets a clear dichotomy with atheistic/humanistic thinking and show how Biblical Christianity provides for a true foundation for the basis of law and provision of liberty. Some of the essays are a bit dated and a collection of essays doesn't allow for chapters building upon one-another, which are this book's primary shortcomings.
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: state-matters, non-pc
One of those books that tells you basics you ought to know but never really are in the books about the basics. Rushdoony understood Socialism, knew its beating heart, knew where it wants to go. He also really understood the Scriptures and God's order. The result is a book that will transform your view of liberty and the threat to it.

Loved it.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you want a good understanding of how we came to the chaos that surrounds us culturally, you can do no better than this short little book.
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh boy, I think I've read this no less than three times already. Probably more.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great introduction to Rushdoony's thought, and the stimulus to read everything else.
Rory Fry
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Helped me reconsider a lot of things. Rushdoony is a fine scholar.
Peter Clegg
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A good look into God being the ruler in all aspects of life. Highly recommended. The book is a little longer than it says here on Goodreads.
Brian Edwards
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rich and consistent scholarship.
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Noel Adams
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Meh. Too much to disagree with here. Good points on family and church government; bad points on civil government. Disappointing.
Joshua Nuckols
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Interesting collection of essays. Rushdoony's writing is repetitive, and over-generalized.
W. Lawrence
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting with a lot of good and worthwhile information in it.
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Rousas John Rushdoony was a Calvinist philosopher, historian, and theologian and is widely credited as the father of both Christian Reconstructionism and the modern homeschool movement. His prolific writings have exerted considerable influence on the Christian right.
“Our basic problem today is that we have two religions in conflict, humanism and Christianity, each with its own morality and the laws of that morality.” 8 likes
“Our increasingly humanistic laws, courts and legislators are giving us a new morality. They tell us, as they strike down laws resting upon biblical foundations, that morality cannot be legislated, but what they offer is not only legislated morality, but salvation by law.” 7 likes
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