Can Christian Civil Government Be Theocratic

Ep 15: Can Christian Civil Government Be Theocratic?

Summary – Can Christian Civil Government Be Theocratic?

A discussion of whether a Reformed Christian view of civil governance is compatible with theocracy. We explain how the term “theocratic” has been used, and two key elements of a theocratic view (namely, the monopoly state and civil establishment of religion) that must be rejected in a genuinely Christian view of civil governance. We also touch on how some who support a theocratic view go wrong in their eschatology.

Main Points of Discussion

00:00 Introduction
00:32 Episode description
01:27 About the history of the term “theocracy
02:22 All of life, and so all politics, is ultimately guided by central religious commitments
04:45 The objectionable sense of “theocratic” is not entailed by the universality of central religious commitments and their ultimate guidance of all of life
05:28 Two key elements of theocracy are “a monopoly state” and “civil establishment of religion”;
Monopoly explained
07:41 Just and unjust uses of coercion;
The obligation of non-aggression;
The illegitimacy of all states
12:13 A simple analogy
15:12 Establishmentarianism explained
16:46 The unique, symbolic, and temporary (now obsolete) old Mosaic covenant theocracy involved suspension of the common grace order;
It was a temporary symbolic-intrusion of final judgment and the kingdom of God, now inaugurated in the new covenant institutional church, and yet to be consummated in the New Heavens and Earth
19:59 While the old covenant was in effect, it was not a violation of non-aggression
(See Episode 2);
Now, in the new covenant era, the normal operation of the common grace order has resumed;
This entails prohibition of establishmentarianism and monopoly, enacting either is antichrist
22:03 Genuinely limited governance, required by God’s ultimate sovereignty, according to a consistent Christian view, entails non-monopoly and non-establishment
24:17 Recap
25:10 The under-realization of inaugurated eschatology in the new covenant by postmillennialism and so-called optimism that often accompanies a theocratic view

Additional Resources

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The Christians for Liberty Network is a project of the Libertarian Christian Institute consisting of shows and hosts offering various perspectives on the intersection of Christianity and libertarianism. Views expressed by hosts and guests do not necessarily reflect the view of the organization, its staff, board members, donors, or any other affiliates (including other hosts or guests on the network). Guest appearances or interviews of any incumbents, officials, or candidates for any political, party, or government office should not be construed as endorsements. The Libertarian Christian Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and does not endorse any political party or candidate for any political, government, or party office. For information about the Libertarian Christian Institute’s core values, please visit this page.

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