“We want a Government that obeys God’s Law…” Okay, but what does that actually mean?

In our last article, we saw that some Christians believe that the State should seek to enact God’s Law. We saw that this particularly describes Theonomists who would like to see the Old Testament penal codes enforced. We also saw that “Jubilee” campaigns have their roots in what the Old Testament teaches about care for the poor, stewardship of the land and debt relief and cancellation.  But also, there will be times when some of us simply express the wish that the Government would abandon self-interest and human ideology, turning instead to God and honouring his ways.

The challenge I raised against this outlook was that this raises questions about how God’s Law applies today. Continue reading

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What type of State?

I’m writing these articles about Public Theology in the context of a General Election and that should act as a cautionary reminder. Our Public Theology is likely to be affected by our context. Here we are talking about the role of the state, where its boundaries are and whether it is benign or evil in the context of a modern, western democracy.

Would our view of the State be the same if we were living in Nazi Germany under a tyrannical dictator? What about if we were living in an Islamic theocracy like Iran (it is possible that some readers are)?  When Samuel Rutherford wrote Lex Rex, he was assuming that his readers would be living in a Christian state where the rulers and wider society where at least nominally Christian.  His assumption was that the State was benign but that its role was limited. Continue reading