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    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • September 2011
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Church And State

Quoting R.C. Sproul:

In America, we have a long history of valuing the concept of the separation of church and state. This idea historically referred to a division of labors between the church and the civil magistrate. However, initially both the church and the state were seen as entities ordained by God and subject to His governance. In that sense, the state was considered to be an entity that was “under God.” What has happened in the past few decades is the obfuscation of this original distinction between church and state, so that today the language we hear of separation of church and state, when carefully exegeted, communicates the idea of the separation of the state from God. In this sense, it’s not merely that the state declares independence from the church, it also declares independence from God and presumes itself to rule with autonomy. (“Statism”, September 2008, Tabletalk, p. 7)

2 Responses

  1. […] Church And State (via Samuel at Gilgal) Posted by blogsense-by-barb in Uncategorized 09/16/2011 Quoting R.C. Sproul: In America, we have a long history of valuing the concept of the separation of church and state. This idea historically referred to a division of labors between the church and the civil magistrate. However, initially both the church and the state were seen as entities ordained by God and subject to His governance. In that sense, the state was considered to be an entity that was “under God.” What has happened in the past few d … Read More […]

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  2. Yes, historically the Secular government ruled at the permission of the Church. Additionally Luther believed that God was sovereign enough to work through the ways of the world “the state” and church. Lutheranism has not changed that position since the advent of social contracts and liberal democracies.

    However, when people starting coming up with the idea of the Social contract came along things were more secular. In the American tradition -our social contract- the rule eventually became “No government endorsement of religion. No government interference with religion.”

    does this mean the state rules with “autonomy” I’m inclined to think in a liberal republic that’s a bit of an exaggeration. “Statism” is a bit strong of a word here.

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