This post is part of a series of posts taken from Dr. Wayne Grudem's Sunday school class at Scottsdale Bible Church. In this class, Dr. Grudem is taking us through his forthcoming book: Politics: According to the Bible. I have created a category link here, which will allow you to scroll through all of the upcoming posts.
Dr. Grudem was back in his Sunday school class this past Sunday. However, we were in Michigan visiting family. Therefore, I am going to learn right along side you by listening to his recording.
I suppose it might be tempting to be frustrated because Dr. Grudem covers so much territory in his talks. However, I think we should consider his coming text as a great box full of maps. And whenever we find ourselves wondering what God might think of a matter regarding the mixing of Christians and politics, we are likely to be able to open our box, pull out a particular map, and find Dr. Grudem pointing us to God's word on the matter. For this, I am greatly thankful.
In this session, Dr. Wayne Grudem covered:
- Principles for a right relationship between church and state
- All governments should establish a strong and clear separation of powers
- The rule of law must apply even to the rulers in a nation
- The purpose of government is to serve the people, not to be served by the people
- The Bible gives indirect but significant support to the idea that government should be chosen by the people (some kind of democracy)
His last point was fascinating to consider. God established Israel as a theocracy through the line of Abraham. But as we have already discussed, it is not appropriate to think that God's law should be applied to all people. The law was intended for God's chosen Israel.
Furthermore, we find the Hebrew narrative full of monarchies. But this was born from a rejection of God's kingship, and a sinful people desiring to be like other nations around them with their kings. God warned Israel, through Samuel, that they would live to regret this wish as this concentrated power would ultimately lead to corruption. The Bible's testimony bears witness to this as even the greatest earthly king, King David, was subject to a certain amount of corruption.
It is clear that no king can replace Yahweh.
Therefore, under the new covenant, we find ourselves in the era of the church. The epistles clearly display a more separated concentration of power in the appointment of teachers, elders, apostles, etc.
Therefore, Grudem concludes, it seems likely that God would prefer us, in the era of the church, to live under a form of Democracy. This spreads the power across many platforms, and provides us with thankful checks and balances to prevent evil.
Interestingly, Dr. Grudem points out that today 120, of the world's 192 nations, are now operating under some form of democracy, subject to the rule of law.
Clearly, this common grace of God is a benefit to most of the world, and we need only to look at those countries who are not democracies to see the clear evidence.
Up next week:
- Governments should safeguard human liberty
- Nations should value patriotism
- Is it ever right to stand up to our government, and was the American Revolution justified?
Should be most interesting!
Notes from this class: Download Grudem_PoliticsAccordingToTheBible_Chapter3
Here is the audio from this class: