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What Does Romans 13 Say About Civil Government?

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What Does Romans 13 Say About Civil Government?

A discussion of the main points of Gregory Baus’ article on the historical, confessionally Reformed view of Romans 13 and a Reformed view of stateless civil governance. Also there’s elaboration on lex talionis and the non-aggression principle, the Old Testament (Mosaic Covenant) theocracy, and establishmentarianism. [Direct mp3 download]


00:00 Introduction
00:33 Episode description
01:02 Romans 13: A Reformed View of Stateless Civil Governance, by Gregory Baus
Audio Version
01:22 Summary of preliminaries
02:22 Lex talionis and the non-aggression principle
05:43 distinction between civil governance (viz, administration of civil justice) and the ‘state’ (viz, territorial monopoly on coercion and final say)
06:53 summary overview of article;
Reformed Political Resistance annotated bibliography
07:41 an issue of exegesis, not political theory
09:00 major point: the default providential view is inconsistent with the passage and other Scripture passages, was rejected by the Reformed churches in their confessions, and contrary to sanctified common sense
09:45 Discussed elsewhere:
Gospel on Tap
Daniel 3 Biblical Anarchy
10:00 documentation from Reformed confessions; no obligation to submit to unjust rulers or unjust laws
12:58 Why isn’t old (Mosaic) covenant a violation of the non-aggression principle and a model for civil governance in new covenant era? And why do we affirm disestablishmentarianism?
Against Civil Establishment of Religion
Hodge’s full article
18:51 summary of history of establishmentarianism

Additional Resources


The Reformed Libertarians Podcast is a project of the Libertarian Christian Institute  and a member of the Christians for Liberty Network

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