This worldview perspective enables us to understand in an interrelated manner the U. S. Constitution, jurisprudence – or philosophy of law – the cutting-edge legal and cultural issues of our time, and the law-related truths of other areas, such as: philosophy, theology, and their various interrelationships. The pre-eminent, Twentieth Century, Christian apologist, Francis Schaeffer, declared that “Nowhere have the divergent results of the two total concepts of reality, the Judeo-Christian and the humanist world view, been more open to observation than in government and law.” Observing these two “total concepts of reality” and their “divergent results” in law and government – and learning how to fight effectively for the Judeo-Christian view – are at the heart of Blackstone’s teaching.
We give attention to the classical liberal arts, which are necessary to understanding the Constitution and “the law” – and yet are typically excluded from legal and constitutional studies. Our teaching, therefore, is clearly interdisciplinary. We research, create, and teach both in-the-box and out-of-the-box, always dedicated to functioning in accordance with the highest standards of scholarship. Much of our current scholarship is being created and positioned under the umbrella of an innovative academic/activist partnership, the “Christianity Confronting the Culture Initiative.”
Biblical truths are foundational to our research and teaching. These truths were articulated and applied through the Judeo-Christian worldview of law as epitomized in the works of the great Eighteenth Century British jurist, Sir William Blackstone. Blackstone’s legal philosophy dominated both English and American law until well into the Twentieth Century. But the Blackstone Institute is unique in giving attention to the key figure in the “Americanization” of Blackstonian principles, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, author of Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833).
Story spent thirty-four years on the Court (beginning in 1811), and during most of his tenure was also Dane Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. His own one-volume “Abridgement” of the original three-volume Commentaries was written “For the use of colleges and high schools” (Story’s words on the title page). As the American Monthly Review (Dec. 1833) declared, “the fruits of [Blackstone’s] Professorship of Law, at Oxford, was Blackstone’s Commentaries. [Story’s Commentaries are] to our Constitution, all that Blackstone’s Commentaries were to the English Constitution….” Although generally unknown today, “There can be no doubt of Story’s modern importance to constitutional debate,” declare Rotunda and Nowak in their “Introduction” to the reprinted copy of the “Abridgement” celebrating America’s Bicentennial (1987).
Story’s expressed desire that all Americans be constitutionally literate is honored in the variety and versatility of Blackstone’s teaching, which has attracted audiences running the gamut from high school homeschoolers to academicians, attorneys, and judges. Our current clientele focus is on arming leaders and leaders-to-be, including church leaders and theologians, academicians and other educators, legal professionals, and parachurch and activist leaders. Our current issue focus includes foundational legal and social arenas: religious liberties, abortion and life issues, evolutionism v. creationism, and the new sexualism. Our clientele groups and specific content may change some occasionally in response to shifts in American law and culture; but our mission, foundation, and basic principles are timeless.
Working with others of like mind, we function within the framework set forth in 1 Peter 3:15-16. Much of our current scholarship is being created and positioned under the umbrella of an innovative academic/activist partnership, the “Christianity Confronting the Culture Initiative.”