Monday, June 25, 2012

Rushdoony on the Bible

"Too often, the modern theologian and churchman goes to the Bible seeking insight, not orders.  Indeed, I may go to Calvin, Luther, Augustine, and others, to scholars Christian and non-Christian, for insights, for data, and for learned studies, but when I go to the Bible I must go to hear God's marching orders for my life.  I cannot treat the Bible as a devotional manual designed to give me peace of mind or a 'higher plane' of living: it is a command book which can disturb my peace with its orders, and it tells me that I can only find peace in obeying the Almighty.  The Bible is not an inspirational book for my personal edification, nor a book of beautiful thoughts and insights for my pleasure.  It is the word of the sovereign and Almighty God: I must hear and obey, I must believe and be faithful, because God requires it. I am his property, and His absolute possession.  There can be nothing better than that.  To be my own property and possession in a meaningless world is the ultimate in misery and grief.  But when the great and high God, possessor of heaven and earth (Gen. 14:19, 22), makes me His elect possession by the adoption of grace through Jesus Christ, I must answer to His every enscriptured word, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth" (I Sam. 3:9-10). This is God's calling and requirement of me, and it is my privilege to hear and obey, for His word is life, and it is health (Ps. 119)."--pgs. 691-692, Institutes of Biblical Law, volume 2, by R. J. Rushdoony

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jamestown Quadricentenial 5 years later part 4

5 years ago today, the Quadricentenial changed locations.  The organizers moved headquarters from the Mariott Hotel to Sherwood Forest and Fort Pocahontas.  Owned by a great-grandson of President John Tyler, Fort Pocahontas was also a battlefield in the American Civil War. 

The day began with the "Children's Parade."  We arrived a little too late, so the parade had already started.  My brother, sister, and I were caught up in the parade--in the girls' section!  So for half an hour, two lads in three-cornered hats tramped alongside hundreds of girls.

We reached the big tent, and listened to many lectures.  While in the tent, I also heard a man who would be my favorite musician: Mr. Charlie Zahm.  Also on Friday, we rode on a hot-air balloon.

While monuments had been erected in 1807, 1857, 1907, and 1957, none were officially planned for 2007.  That is, until Vision Forum announced that they were creating their own monument.  They called the children of America to donate just $1 apiece to build a monument.  Many dollars came in, including some from us.  And today, five years ago, the monument was unveiled and dedicated.  Being a part of constructing the monument was--and is--important to me.

A flood of people pours to examine the Children's Monument, including me (with blue waistcoat, camera, and three-cornered hat).  Picture from

Beneath this tile lies the time capsule to be opened in 2107.  It contains, among other things, the names of the donors to the Jamestown Children's Monument.

The Girls' Parade!  The two lads in three-cornered hats in the parade are me and my brother.  Picture taken from A Comprehensive Defense of the Providence of God, disc 12 "Opening Ceremonies", 1:25

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jamestown Quadricentenial 5 years later part 3

The Jamestown Quadricentenial was an important event to our family--perhaps the most important event of the decade to us.  Without it, we would not have seen other Reformed Christian families trying to live by the Bible instead of man's opinion.

Five years ago today, our day was more free than it had been all that week.  We had toured Yorktown on Monday, Jamestown on Tuesday, and Williamsburg on Wednesday.  This left Thursday free for something else.

We listened to a lecture delivered by a man whom we had heard only the Monday before when he announced his topic.  His announcement was so good that we altered plans to hear his lecture. Called Another Generation, this lecture would introduce us to Mr. Geoffrey Botkin.  Five years later, we are still receiving benefit from the Botkin family.

With no tours booked for Thursday, we embarked on the boat tour.  The day was somewhat cold and the wind gusted over the river in large quantities.  If we went inside, it was impossible to hear Mr. Smith, our tour guide.  But if outside, we would quickly get cold.  Back and forth we went.  However, the view of Jamestown from the river was interesting.

Near the end of the tour, we trooped up the stairs to the top deck, listening to Mr. Smith, who was now talking quite excitedly.  On that boat tour we met another man who would influence me: Dr. R. C. Sproul, Jr.  His Biblical Economics Curriculum (released in 2011) has shaped my understanding of economics, which before was woefully lacking.  If you will ever deal with money, barter, or making and selling products, you need to go through Biblical Economics.

That night, we were treated to a lecture by Mr. Patrick Henry (actually Mr. Robert Schumann, but it was difficult to tell the difference).  He was one of the best re-enactors I have ever seen.  He knew so much about Patrick Henry, it was as though we watched Henry himself.

View of Jamestown as some the new colonists might have seen it

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jamestown Quadricentenial 5 years later part 2

The Jamestown Quadricentenial was possibly one of the most important events our family attended.  Without the dedication of Vision Forum to honor those whom the cynical world called "a bunch of British buffoons", our family would likely be much different.
Five years ago, our day opened with three lectures: one on Indians by Mr. Doug Phillips, another on Indian legal systems by Col. John Eidsmoe, and (my favorite) Warfare: the Powhatans vs. the Englishmen by Mr. William Potter.

After finishing the lectures, we hurried to Colonial Williamsburg for our tour.  The reconstructed 18th Century town was very interesting, and touring it with Dr. Marshall Foster added much information.  When his tour finished, we walked around Williamsburg--dressed in authentic 18th Century costume.

While Williamsburg was excellent, the evening proved the high point of the day.  A play was presented entitled Heroes of Jamestown.  The play was well done, presenting the importance of remembering those who struggled and died to found our country, (purchase of the DVDs created from the Quadricentenial's lectures includes Heroes of Jamestown).  After the play, I collected autographs from the actors.  One would impact me in a remarkable way.
"To Jordan,
Keep the Faith!
Hebrews 12:1-2"
This had a long-term effect on me, and Hebrews 12:1-2 continues to be one of the most important Biblical passages for me.
How many of my readers attended the Jamestown Quadricentenial? Please leave me a comment if you did, or if you were edified by hearing about it!

Dr. Marshall Foster leads the tour

Our family at Colonial Williamsburg

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jamestown Quadricentenial--5 Years Later part 1

2007 marked the 400th birthday of our nation.  While officials grumbled about the 104 "invaders" who "Christianized Indians", Vision Forum dauntlessly led a "celebration" of our nation.  Our family was one of the almost 4,000 people who joined them.  Five years later, I remember the Jamestown Quadricentenial as a turning point for our family and for me personally.

Five years ago today, we toured Jamestown with Stephen McDowell.  We saw the monuments and statues which other celebrations had erected.  We even saw the Magna Charta Tree (which we had become familiar with shortly before this...)
One of the most fascinating parts of the tour for me was Jamestown Church, and the bell tower.  Built in 1639, this is one of the oldest structures in the United States.  The church itself was interesting, with wooden benches, old brick foundations, and the 10 Commandments on the wall.  The walls also contained a plaque to Chanco the Christian, who warned Richard Pace of Opechancanough's intended attack on the settlers.
Our family sitting in front of the 1907 monument

Me and my siblings in front of the statue of Captain John Smith

Inside Jamestown Church

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jean Graham, Viscountess of Dundee

"These things have I spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace.  In this world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world"--John 15:33

Jean Cochrane was born c. 1662 to a Covenanting family.  In 1684, she was courted by a young colonel of the Royal (Scottish) Regiment of Horse named John Graham of Claverhouse.  On June 10 of the same year, she married him.

In 1688, the "Glorious Revolution" broke out and Graham, now Viscount Dundee drew sword in defense of King James II.  When he departed from his house, his wife encouraged him in his mission. 

"Follow your glorious fate, where King and Country call you; where honour, and loyalty, and the ardour of your own noble nature, prompt you.  Go where glory waits you!"  Thus spake she, all unconscious of a last farewell.  Yet the heavy sigh, and sad countenance belied her lips.  And as far as her eyes could penetrate through space, she strained them after the departing figure of her heroic husband.--selection from The Grameid by James Philip of Dalimericlose, quoted on pg. 541, Mark Napier, Memorials and Letters Relative to the Life and Times of John Graham of Claverhous, Viscount of Dundee.
His wife was not wanting in her support to him.  She secretly sent him money to fund his campaign. and even corresponded with William Livingstone (lieutenant-colonel of the Scots Dragoons) to join Dundee; the plan, however, was defeated.

In 1689, Dundee was killed at Killiecrankie.  Five years later, Jean Graham married William Livingstone.  She did not have long to live after her second marriage, being killed by the collapse of a house in 1695.

Her dauntless spirit against all odds, and her tireless endeavors to aid her husband should inspire those who hear of the deeds of Jean Graham.