By David Fergusson
The wealthy culture of Christian political theology calls for renewed recognition, relatively at a time whilst secular liberalism is in drawback and while the civic contribution of faith is being re-assessed. This ebook explores the connection of the church either to the country and civil associations, drawing in particular at the thought of civil society. It bargains a serious evaluation of the influence of the 1st modification within the usa and, in a concluding bankruptcy, defends the argument for carrying on with disestablishment in England and Scotland.
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Additional info for Church, State and Civil Society
There is one God of creation and redemption, of Israel and the church. Tertullian’s writings reiterate earlier themes about God’s providence, and the potential of political and economic life for divine service. Yet the abiding sense is one of alienation. We become conscious of the witness of the martyrs. The Christian life must escape the pervasive filth and pollution of the pagan world. 7 Christians are to shun idolatrous activities, astrological speculation, gladiatorial sports, together with a range of trades and professions associated with these.
The timing is ironic given the recent agreement of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation on this very subject. Against this, one now hears echoes of 53 See George, The Theology of the Reformers, 287. These are discussed by Hans-J¨urgen Goertz, The Anabaptists (London: Routledge, 1996), 96. Church and state: theological traditions 45 Balthasar Hubmaier’s exhortation to good works in the time allotted us: ‘The most pious and godly Christians must also confess that they are unsaved until their death.
20 The city of God (civitas Dei), to which Christians belong, is an eschatological polity to which we are called by baptism into the church. In its task of preparing souls for the city of God, the church nevertheless makes use of the peace of the earthly city (civitas terrena). Secular power has a place within the divine economy. It makes its contribution to the true peace of the heavenly city. As a restraining ordinance that controls the worst excesses of evil and sin, the secular is used by God, and Christians are enjoined to seek the peace of the city not so much on account of self-preservation as through love of their neighbours.
Church, State and Civil Society by David Fergusson