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God and Politics: Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government (Smith)

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What does the Bible say about civil justice? How is Christ King over the nations? Was America ever a Christian nation, and should it be one? Which Old Testament laws apply to civil life today? To what extent should the state tolerate non-Christian views and practices in the name of pluralism?

These are some of the questions addressed by 16 contributors representing four positions on the biblical role of civil government. Originally delivered at a consultation on that topic, each of the four major papers is presented by a leading representative of that view and is followed by responses from the three other perspectives. The result is a vigorous exchange of ideas aimed at pinpointing areas of agreement and disagreement and equipping God’s people to serve him more effectively in the political arena.


Table of Contents:

Part One: Theonomy – Introduction to Theonomy

1. The Theonomic Position – Greg L. Bahnsen

2. The Principled Pluralist Response to Theonomy – Paul G. Schrotenboer

3. The Christian America Response to Theonomy – Kevin L. Clauson

4. The national Confessional Response to Theonomy – H.B. Harrington

Part Two: Principled Pluralism -  Introduction to Principled Pluralism

5. The Principled Pluralist Position – Gordon J. Spykman

6. The Theonomic Response to Principled Pluralism – Carl W. Bogue

7. The Christian America Response to Principled Pluralism – David M. Carson

8. The National Confessional Response to Principled Pluralism – David M. Carson

Part Three: Christian America – Introduction to Christian America

9. The Christian America Position – Harold O.J. Brown

10. The Theonomic Response to Christian America – Joseph N. Kickasola

11. The Principled Pluralist Response to Christian America – James W. Skillen

12. The National Confessional Response to Chrsitian America – D. Howard Elliott

Part Four: National Confessionalism – Introduction to National Confessionalism

13. The National Confessional Position – William Edgar

14. The Theonomic Response to National Confessionalism – Gary DeMar

15. The Principled Pluralist Response to National Confessionalism -  Gary Scott Smith

16. The Christian America Response to National Confessionalism – John Eidsmoe

Part Five: Major Responses – Introduction to Major Responses

17. The Theonomic Major Response – Greg L. Bahnsen

18. The Principled Pluralist Major Response – Gordon J. Spykman

19. The Christian America Major Response – Harold O.J. Brown

20. The National Confessional Major Response – William Edgar 



Gary Scott Smith is chairman of the Department of History at Grove City College, PA.



"The publication of this work indicates that a major change is under way in American churches. An area of life previously neglected is now the center of considerable interest and concern. All the contributors to some degree share a Christian concern with political order and the necessity for a Christian stance and action. Their comments deserve attention. " - R.J. Rushdoony

"The church has needed a scholarly work that dispassionately, yet biblically, examines the tension points that exist between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of our God. [The Consultation on the Biblical Role of Civil Government] has compiled such a work in God and Politics, which not only provokes thought but makes interesting reading." - Cal Thomas