Posted in Subjects

Good Writing is Clear Thinking

Albert Anker Schreibender Knabe mit Schwesterchen I 1875

R.J. Rushdoony:

“Second, we must say that good writing is clear thinking. Muddled thinking and muddled writing is a headache in any and every area. In fact, one of the problems of our day is that, as at the end of every age, thinking is muddled and therefore writing is muddled. It’s a curious, but very significant fact.

But in the days before the fall of Greece there was no good writing and no good thinking. Before the fall of Rome there was no good writing and no good thinking. As the medieval era came to a close, again, there was no good thinking and no good writing. We have the same problem today. Good writing is clear thinking.

This is why in a Christian school you can teach good writing in a way that you cannot in a state school. The whole philosophy of humanistic man is such, today, that it militates against clear thinking and therefore good writing.

At the end of every age there is a collapse of culture, a collapse of thinking and it reflects itself in the writing. This is why I think composition can only be properly taught in this day and age in a Christian school; precisely because the Christian school, in my opinion, represents the wave of the future. It represents that agency which, alone, is teaching the consistently good leadership for tomorrow; only there can you teach good composition.

The inability to think straight, and then to express that, is one that is more and more apparent in our culture. We must say, further, that the purpose of good punctuation and good grammar is simply to further clear thinking. This is the emphasis we must make when we teach grammar and punctuation.

At a Christian school we are not interested in creativity. We are interested in intelligent writing, clear thinking, and propositional thinking. This is what constitutes good composition.”

Read more:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.