Sunday, May 13, 2012

Page 94 of The Search For Christian America

I'm enjoying this book. From what I can tell, it was written to Francis Schaeffer. That's implicit throughout the book. The authors respected Schaeffer as a Calvinist theologian, but thought he greatly erred when he put on his historian and political scientist hats. Schaeffer was, as well, a Sola Scriptura evangelical who disbelieved in the natural law and the Church's incorporation of Aristotle. This is key; because what Noll et al. write that is reproduced below doesn't work unless one accepts this premise. Natural reasoning as such is "secular" because it is not from the Bible. Theistic natural law merges God and natural reason. It's the natural law (as discovered from reason) with God to make it binding (not everyone accepts you need God to make the natural law binding in an "ought" sense; but America's Founders seemed to believe this). The authors argue that without a grounding in the Bible, it was easier for later secularists to separate God from nature.
I know this post could to lead to arguments. But one minimal point on we should all agree: The political theology of the American Founding was not Francis Schaeffer's which believed in the Bible, but not natural law (which has its origin in the noble paganism of Greece and Rome and was later incorporated into the Church by Aquinas). Hell, I'm not even sure if Schaeffer's Calvinist resisters like Rutherford believed in this. (I'm no expert in them; but I've seen evidence that they believed in the natural law and like Aquinas, cited Aristotle as an authority on part with early Church Fathers; John Knox did; though I can't vouch for what he argues.)

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