“We must obey God rather than men”: Lutheran-Calvinist theories of resistance
By Keir Martland
The theology of Luther, Calvin, and other sixteenth-century Protestants is similar in some respects to that of S. Augustine, and arguably in the case of Calvin, based on a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of Augustine’s doctrine of predestination, with Harro Hopfl describing the latter as Luther and Calvin’s “favourite Patristic theologian.” Whatever the provenance of it, there is in the writings of Luther and Calvin a strong emphasis on the fallen nature of man. Now, earlier Christian thinkers with such a view of the impaired, flawed, even wretched nature of man, tended to also hold such a view of society as a whole. When thinkers such as Augustine or later ‘Political Augustinians’ applied themselves to political matters, because of their view of man and society, they gave no ‘naturalistic’ interpretation of government, authority, and power, no account of it independent of the source of all goodness, God, since man and society were, on this account, incapable of any virtue apart from Christian virtue. Their treatments of politics, then, left little room for theories of resistance or even for theories of ownership and political authority independent of the Church; rather, such thinkers tended to view all dominion as belonging ultimately to the Church and they expected at least passive obedience from the Christian to the established secular – delegated – and spiritual authorities. Yet there developed in the sixteenth-century a Lutheran-Calvinist resistance theory, or theories. It is, on the face of it, hard to see how the resistance theory as found in Theodore Beza or the Vindiciae contra Tyrannos developed from the writings of Luther and Calvin. Read more
By ilana mercer
RELOCATING the American Embassy to Jerusalem, as President Donald Trump has pledged to do, is more than symbolic. It’s what Christians should be praying for if they value celebrating future Easter Holy Weeks, in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, located in Jerusalem’s Old City. With such a forceful gesture, the Trump Administration will be affirming, for once and for all, the undivided Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State. Read more
By ilana mercer
Paul Gottfried’s essay, “Are Bannon’s Critics For Real?”, dispenses with the no-brainer that Steve Bannon, “Breitbart executive and Donald Trump adviser,” is a white nationalist. After all, argues Gottfried, Bannon “comes from the world of Washington politics and journalism,” not exactly a hotbed of white identity politics. It’s “not at all clear to me that those who write for Bannon’s website publication, some of whom are Orthodox Jews, have much to do with white identitarians who also use the term ‘Altright,’” contends Gottfried.
As co-originator of the Alternative Right concept and phrase, Gottfried is in the know. Read more
Today, I’m going to look at tolerance, particularly in the spheres of religion and politics. And I’m going to conclude that a world based on political and religious tolerance would be a far better place to live than today’s world of out of date, failing states and superstates.
This essay arose out of three recent posts at the Libertarian Alliance blog, all on or related to the subject of religious tolerance; by Keir Martland, Stephen Moriarty and Sean Gabb. For which, I thank all three; though I’m not replying specifically to any one of them. Read more
Mr Martland, for the moment, thinks religious toleration is a good thing. It is not. Religious tolerance is usually just agnosticism or atheism. Those who are just going through the motions of their own religion find it easy to believe that others are merely doing the same. I discuss below why such play-acting is so commonplace, and whether it is quite as benign as it seems. Read more
By Ilana Mercer
Prominent neoconservative Bill Kristol shared his election-year hallucinations with the nation. From the ashes of the Republican primaries would rise a man to stand for president against victor Donald J. Trump, a Sisyphean task that has been attempted and failed by 17 other worthies.
This individual is David French, an attorney, a decorated Iraq War veteran, and writer for the decidedly “Against Trump” National Review. Curiously, Kristol’s independent candidate is a “devout social conservative,” an evangelical who questions the merits of “de-stigmatizing” homosexuality, rejects the progressive premise upon which the transgender, potty wars are being waged, and would keep women out of combat. Read more
Dr. Rita Louise, Guest
The end of the world is close at hand. I know it has to be true. I saw it on TV! There are also websites all over the internet dedicated to providing us with specific information of our inevitable demise. Will it be today, tomorrow, next week or next year. Well that depend on who you talk to, where they derived their information and how they calculated the precise date and time we will all be goners. Read more