Defining Terms in the Westminster/1689 Federalism Debate: Part 1

I’ve heard it said, “he who defines his terms, wins the argument.” Recently, I have been discussing with a friend, who is one of my elders, about a friendly disagreement we have regarding covenant theology. We even had an opportunity to present our differing sides at our last church men’s meeting. Due to time constraints, … Continue reading Defining Terms in the Westminster/1689 Federalism Debate: Part 1

An Excerpt from Jonathan Edwards’ Charity and Its Fruits: Lecture 10 “A Condemning Spirit” Edited in Updated English

Editor's Preface: Why Update this Text? Many Christians today broadly fall into to two categories: those who recognize that some of the best truths of Christianity may be found in the works of authors long dead, and those who sadly do not. I firmly identify with the former group. Countless times, my soul has been … Continue reading An Excerpt from Jonathan Edwards’ Charity and Its Fruits: Lecture 10 “A Condemning Spirit” Edited in Updated English

How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 6

VII Conclusion: A Christian View of Government 1. Review: government needed, taxes owed, submission required, resistance rare This essay began with the question: how should an American Christian view government? This question very quickly morphed into the better question: how should a Christian view government? In no way was this question answered exhaustively; however, I … Continue reading How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 6

How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 5

VI The Just Grounds for Revolt or Civil Disobedience 1. Injustice is insufficient grounds to dishonor/disobey authority It is not difficult to find some biblical precedence for civil disobedience in certain cases, but it is necessary to see what cases are insufficient for civil disobedience. Not many would argue that civil disobedience is permitted under … Continue reading How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 5

How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 4

V The Proper Political Attitude for an American Christian 1. Peculiar Responsibilities of an American Citizen Like Locke, Montesquieu was very influential on the political thought of the Founding Fathers. His most important work, the Spirit of the Laws, distinguishes three forms of government: republics, monarchies, and despotisms. Of republics, there are two kinds: democracies and … Continue reading How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 4

How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 3

IV Taxation is Not Theft 1. Jesus Says to Pay Your Taxes  For many years, from many different Christians, I have heard the phrase, “taxation is theft,” or other equivalent phrases. Like the rest of us, I have no great fondness for paying taxes. Nevertheless, although I cannot call it a pleasure, I must consider … Continue reading How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 3

How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 2

III The Unbiblical Tendency of Unlimited Libertarianism 1. The Problem with Christian Libertarianism  Like many political ideologies, libertarianism is ill-defined. The term is used differently by almost everyone who uses it. However, the opening sentences of Henry David Thoreau’s famous essay Civil Disobedience goes a long way in capturing the general flavor of Libertarianism: “I heartily accept … Continue reading How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 2

How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 1

Preface What follows, in a number of installments, is in effect an extended essay on the question, ‘How should an American view government?’ Special attention is given to certain trends and ideologies that I am convinced are founded in a skewed way – askew from the clear teachings of Scripture – of answering this question.  … Continue reading How an American Christian Should View Civil Government: Part 1