This essay continues the Christian Theology and Public Policy Course by John Cobin, author of the books Bible and Government and Christian Theology of Public Policy. It is the sixth installment of a seven part series dealing with Christians and rebellion against the civil authority, originally titled “Christian Views on Rebellion.”
In my previous two columns, I outlined the two historical schools of Evangelical thought regarding the nature of the state and public policy: (A) the Integrated Authority School and (B) the Competing Kingdom School. In this column, I pick up that discussion by delineating in greater depth the principles of Competing Kingdom School, and the two views associated with it.
The competing kingdom school views the state as an entity entirely distinct from the church and family insofar as promotion of the Kingdom of God is concerned. Some proponents of this school would see the state as benign, although it often rears up its ugly side to assail the church of God. Others would view it as significantly aligned with Satan’s kingdom and his efforts in the world. Either way, the state is not a special sphere of authority along with the family and the local church.