The Bible is a most valuable book . . . being without error and all.

It is not, however, an exhaustive text on every single thing a human must know or even should know. It does contain all you need to know for salvation, but will, perhaps, let you down if you attempt to use it to answer the question: “How should a man relate to a modern republic?”

There are in it certain general principles that are true . . . but it would be difficult for it to deal with modern republics, since they did not exist at the time the last book in it was written.

Still fundamental truths about men are important because . . . they are fundamental truths about men. While the Bible will not help with the details of relating to modern governments, it will give us some parameters to start our own thought.

We can turn to Christians of all ages, such as our brother in Christ John Locke, to gain some insights into what the Bible does say about God and government.

What do I glean from this reading?

First, government has a role to play. It is instituted by God.

Second, government’s role is limited. Only God should receive our absolute allegiance.

Third, God has instituted other structures (family, church) that have their own areas of power and authority.

Fourth, in the final analysis, we are God’s children and so can serve no other master as the greatest authority. When God and government conflict, government must go to the Devil it is serving.

Fifth, God designed men for liberty. He placed a perfect man in a garden and let him choose . . . even badly. He is raising us from slaves to sons and so liberty is a good, though not (obviously) the only good.

There is an initial list of things the Bible has taught me . . . what would others add?

Articles by John Mark Reynolds

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