Ep 21: Romans 13 and Early Christian Theology of the State

It’s Independence Day once again, when hundreds of millions of Americans will celebrate a history most of them know very little about. One of the high holy days of what has become American civic religion, it’s very probable that the Founding Fathers would greatly lament what it has become. However, what Americans have done to the Fourth of July pales in comparison to the far more important issue of what countless Christians have done to Romans 13.

On this special Fourth of July episode, Dr. Jamin Hübner returns to lead a discussion on the context, exegesis, and theology of Romans 13. We discuss the historical background of the text, the history of Judaism and early Christianity on state relations, the practical and theological arguments of Romans, and how the ancient Christians understood it. Statist nationalism and a reflexive “my country, right or wrong” attitude find a sharp rebuke here, but so do the patriot-revolutionaries who would seek to overthrow the state. Instead, Romans 13 calls us to the deeper third way of Christ: one that recognizes the intrinsic evil of the state and requires us to not take part in its evils, while at the same time commands that we refuse to participate in sedition and violent revolution. The apostolic command is to pursue peace and the gospel, trusting that King Jesus will ultimately put all power, rule and authority under His feet, and that Resurrection Sunday is our real Independence Day from the tyranny of sin, Satan and death.

Show Notes

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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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