Monday, November 27, 2017


Many Christians interpret Romans as saying the state is a servant (minister) of God. They agree that it can be rebellious, but they do not give any criteria for distinguishing between a servant state and a rebellious state. Unfortunately, there are no such criteria in the New Testament. It would be a stretch to extract them from the Sermon on the Mount.

Deut 17:14-20 gives some rules for kings, but because kings are sub-optimal (1 Sam 8), it does not really give much detail. The reason is that God intended a different social order, based on law and judges, not kings and political power. Paul was actually pointing back to that. (The prophets point out some things that are wrong, but they do not say what is allowable, except to point to the Torah.)

The problem with the usual interpretation of Romans 13 (and it is mostly used as a slogan) is that if a ruler has a ministry from God, he must have freedom to exercise their ministry. Admitting that political rulers are servants of God actually opens a really wide door.

We need a political theory that is consistent with on Romans 12, that does not try to do good using evil. I have done this in Government of God.

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