There are few areas where the discrepancy between the contemporary church and the Protestantism of earlier eras looms so large as in the field of political thought. For the Reformers, their 17th-century successors, and thoughtful Protestants right up through the last century, the vocations of minister and magistrate may have been strictly separate, but the accomplished theologian was usually a master of jurisprudence and political philosophy as well.
Many, such as Richard Hooker or Johannes Althusius, wrote classic treatments in both the fields of theology and law, with a keen sense of both the distinctions of these disciplines and their unity. Today’s Protestants are rarely so fortunate, with most evangelical engagements with political theology betraying a painful naiveté and a profound historical myopia.
Together, the essays in this volume, For Law and For Liberty, challenge us to recognize the breadth and depth of our heritage of Protestant political wisdom, and the complexity and contingency of civic life to which its principles must be artfully applied, which rules out any attempt to inscribe any particular instance of Christian politics as a model for all time. May they also provoke renewed reflection on how to faithfully apply our Protestant principles to the challenges facing our American polity today.
Here is a table of contents for the volume:
- Introduction: W. Bradford Littlejohn and Peter Escalante
- Divine Law, Naturally: Lex Naturae and the Decalogue in Two Works of Niels Hemmingsen: Dr. E.J. Hutchinson
- Reformed Natural Law Theory and the American Founding: A Critique of Recent Scholarship: Stephen Wolfe
- Searching for a Christian America: Dr. Glenn Moots
- Views from 19th-Century Europe: How the Separation of Church and State was Seen from Abroad: Rev. Steven Wedgeworth
- “No Bar to Christian Communion”: Slavery and the Rise of Elite Presbyterianism in South Carolina, 1800-1860: Dr. Miles Smith
- The Kuyper Option: Kuyper’s Concept of the Church in the Context of Strategic Christian Action: Ruben Alvarado
You can purchase the book at this link.
Also, if you haven’t already, make sure to check out our first volume of Convivium proceedings, For the Healing of the Nations: Essays on Creation, Redemption, and Neo-Calvinism, comprising a really fine lineup of essays from our 2014 Convivium Irenicum.