Natural Law

A Brief Introduction and Biblical Defense

By David Haines and Andrew A. Fulford
About this book

Does Scripture itself point us to guidance in nature?

As Christians, we affirm that Scripture is our supreme guide to truth and righteousness. Some wish to go further and assert that it is our only guide. But how then can we account for the remarkable insight and moral integrity that many unbelievers seem to display? Indeed, how to account for the myriad ways in which believers themselves navigate the world based on knowledge and intuition not always derived from Scripture?

Enter the doctrine of natural law. Frequently misrepresented as an assertion of the autonomous power of human reason or as a uniquely Roman Catholic doctrine, natural law has actually been an integral part of orthodox Christian theology since the beginning, and is even clearly asserted in Scripture itself.

In this brief guide, David Haines and Andrew Fulford explain the philosophical foundations of natural law, clear up common misunderstandings about the term, and demonstrate the robust biblical basis for natural law reasoning.

Paperback | 142 pages | 5×8 | Published December 1, 2017 | ISBN 978-0999552728

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From the Introduction

In the opening lines of the Bible and in the Church’s creeds, we learn that God is the source of all creation, and that all created things were, in their divinely instituted natural states, good. As we will see, the very fact of divine creation seems to point towards what has been traditionally called natural law: the notion that there is, because of the divine intellect, a natural order within the created world by which each and every created being’s goodness can be objectively judged, both on the level of being (ontological goodness), and, for human-beings specifically, on the level of human action (moral goodness). Ontological goodness is the foundation of moral goodness.

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Natural Law: A Brief Introduction and Biblical Defense could not have come at a better time. Fulford and Haines have provided an outstanding work that must get a wide readership if Christians are to re-engage the public square thoughtfully and appropriately. Before giving what may be the best recent biblical defense of natural law theory, they ground natural law in solid metaphysical treatments of God’s relation to the natural law and in the metaphysics of creation within which natural law makes sense. I am excited about this book! And I thank God for Fulford and Haines who took great effort and much time to serve the church with this resource.

JP Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University



Part I: The Philosophical Foundations of Natural Law

David Haines


Introduction, Distinctions, and Definitions


The Divine Foundation of Natural Law


The Metaphysical Foundation of Natural Law


Epistemological Aspects of Natural Law


A Summary Conclusion

Part II: An Exegetical Case for Natural Law

Andrew A. Fulford


Introduction and Hypotheses


The Hebrew Scriptures


Extracanonical Jewish Literature


The Christian Scriptures


Concluding Thoughts


Praise for this work

“This is a Guide that has considerable depth, indeed two distinct dimensions. The reader is first guided to the philosophical roots of natural law thinking in ancient and scholastic philosophy; then secondly to the Biblical evidence for natural law. The result makes for a first-rate, thought-provoking introduction.”

– Paul Helm

Professor Emeritus, King’s College, London

“God’s general revelation has not only a cosmic, but also a moral dimension. This much should be uncontroversial among Christian theologians and philosophers. During the twentieth century, however, it was widely held that the Reformation had done away with this moral side of general revelation which we call natural law. Happily, during the last decade that misreading has been successfully corrected, and we are now moving from retrieval to contemporary reflection. Fulford and Haines join this revival of Protestant consideration of natural law with a solid philosophical and biblical introduction. The authors and the Davenant Institute deserve our deepest thanks for making these issues accessible to a wide readership in such a clear and thoughtful book.”

– Manfred Svensson

Manfred Svensson, Professor of Philosophy, University of the Andes, co-editor, Aquinas Among the Protestants

About the Authors

David Haines (PhD. in philosophy, Université Laval), is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Bethlehem College & Seminary, Associate Professor of philosophy and religion at VIU, lecturer in medieval philosophy at the University of Sherbrooke, and teaching fellow in dogmatics and philosophy with Davenant Hall. David is the founding president of Association Axiome. He has published a number of articles in collaborative books and academic journals, and has published books on Natural Theology and Natural Law. His academic research focuses on Ancient and Medieval philosophy, C. S. Lewis, Thomism, and natural theology. In his spare time, he enjoys juggling and archery.

Andrew Fulford is a Ph.D candidate at McGill University, where he is researching the relationship of Richard Hooker’s thought to narratives of the emergence of secularity in the early modern period. He is the author of Jesus and Pacifism: An Exegetical and Historical Investigation (Davenant, 2016), and essays on John Calvin and Richard Hooker.


The Davenant Institute endeavors to restore wisdom for the contemporary church. We seek to sponsor historical scholarship at the intersection of the church and academy, build friendships and facilitate collaboration within the Reformed and evangelical world, and equip the saints with time-tested resources for faithful public witness. Below are some of the works we’ve published towards that end.

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