WHO We Are
The Blackstone Institute is a unique, cutting-edge, exciting educational adventure committed to declaring and defending the Judeo-Christian worldview of law – engaging in “constitutional and jurisprudential apologetics.” We are an educational enterprise designed to inform and inspire its students and clients, with teaching as our tool and words as our weapons in the climactic cultural engagement popularly referred to as America’s “Culture War.” Biblical truths (e.g., The Ten Commandments) are the heart of our teaching. This articulation and application of the Judeo-Christian worldview of law were epitomized in the works of the great Eighteenth Century British jurist, Sir William Blackstone, whose legal philosophy dominated both English and American law until well into the Twentieth Century. Our work also reflects the influence of great Christian worldview/presuppositional apologetics scholars such as Francis Schaeffer. Working with others of like mind, the Institute functions within the framework set forth in 1 Peter 3:15-16.
Blackstone is a teaching endeavor committed to promoting and pursuing research and teaching focused on constitutional theory/history, legal philosophy/history, and law-related theology, philosophy, and public policy/cultural issues – and their interrelationships. We also 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.
WHOM We Teach
Blackstone believes that “academics without action are dead; action without academics is deadly.” The two must be wedded in the proper manner. Therefore, we teach groups ranging from high school students to legal professionals. We tailor our teaching to our audiences’ interests, backgrounds, and needs, constantly demonstrating that many of the same truths can be understood by a high school freshman and a federal judge – though, obviously, at a different level and from a different perspective.
A general classification of our clients could include the following groups: (1) high school students; (2) college students (undergraduate and also graduate, although the latter might fall into category #3); (3) graduates/post-graduates/professionals (e.g., academicians, other educators, pastors/theologians, lawyers/judges, non-judicial civic officials, etc.); (4) leaders and laymen (interest group activists, political party leaders, church lay leaders, etc.).
WHAT We Teach
Blackstone’s constitutional and jurisprudential apologetics employ landmark court decisions (e.g., Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas) as keys, sometimes as portals, in analyzing and evaluating the “fundamental facts” and “primary policy” areas most critical to America’s war of the worldviews. Decisions are understood as both reflecting, and influencing, the worldviews in which they are rooted.
The fundamental facts are:
- America is engulfed in the all-consuming flames of a Culture War from which no one and no area of American life can escape.
- The Culture War is between two irreconcilable enemies – the Judeo-Christian worldview and the Humanist worldview.
- Humanistic courts have captured the Constitution and morphed it into a weapon against our culture, making the courts and Constitution a white-hot front in the Culture War.
- Americans who support the Judeo-Christian worldview can and must be equipped, trained, and motivated to fight for our Constitution, our courts, and our culture.
The primary policy areas are:
- Protecting religious liberty, especially of persecuted Christian believers;
- Promoting the sanctity of human life;
- Advancing the Biblical concept of marriage/family and opposing homosexual activism;
- Supporting the rights of creationism in the battle with evolutionism.
Blackstone’s teaching includes signature programs of studies and action events led by the “Blackstone Blitzes,” Constitution College,” and “Truth Triathlon Team.” Most of our work can also be studied individually – one study at a time and by an individual or group.
WHY We Teach
Our research and teaching are committed to:
- offer students a detailed analysis of the content of the Constitution and the concepts it embodies;
- articulate for students a clear explanation of the Culture War, including the issues which fuel it and the opposing forces engaged in the battle;
- explain the role of the courts in using the Constitution as a weapon to morph our Judeo-Christian America into a Humanistic America;
- expose students to a unique understanding of American legal and constitutional history set against the backdrop of English and European legal and constitutional history;
- examine with students portions of law-related disciplines (the classical liberal arts, theology, philosophy, etc.) without which “the law” cannot be adequately understood;
- provide students with the tools Constitutionalists can and must use to revive the Constitution and to provide opportunities for using these tools;
- help students develop critical thinking skills and understand how to defend Constitutionalist theory and the Judeo-Christian worldview;
- advance students’ skills in verbally expressing Constitutionalist and Judeo-Christian principles, and especially to do so orally, “thinking on their feet”;
- motivate Constitutionalists, and teach them how, to become active participants in the Culture War, fighting for our Constitution, our courts, and our culture.
HOW We Teach
Blackstone’s program of existing, and new, studies and action events are committed to being : (1) comprehensive – covering the variety of disciplines (theology, philosophy, etc,) which are relevant to law; (2 ) cohesive – organized and presented so that the interrelationships of various areas of law and law-related thought and the culture are emphasized; (3) congruent – consistent with the real world of cultural engagement, where we must mount both a defense of the Judeo-Christian position and an offense against our opponents. Blackstone’s constitutional and jurisprudential apologetics teaches both offensive and defensive capabilities. Blackstone’s programs are flexible as to length and complexity so that they may be adapted to a wide range of audiences and situations. We seek to utilize every media available – from traditional to cutting-edge technology:
- Blackstone Live – in-person teaching by Blackstone scholars;
- Blackstone Online – Studies available totally via internet;
- Blackstone Recorded – Studies available on CDs and DVDs;
- Blackstone in Print – Hardcopy versions of Blackstone teachings;
- The “Blended Blackstone” – A study or action event which incorporates two or more of the above formats, designed by consultation with Blackstone and focused on the needs of the audience involved.