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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Our Covenant Political Theology

The basis for Revolution is part and parcel of the political and social theology of the United States. All the ideas of republican government, including Revolution were clearly enumerated and brought to light for the American colonists and western civilization through the Protestant Reformation.Those at American Creation would have you believe this idea of revolution was espoused to the colonists through a heretic philosopher named John Locke. In fact, Locke was only repeating the Reformers, no different than quoting them today, except I'm not aware Locke quoted Rutherford or Calvin, although he could have. This is precisely the reason the speaker for the revolutionaries; Samuel Adams quoted Locke and the social compact. Adams and Locke took their ideas from the same source; the Reformers. Since Samuel Adams was a Calvinist, when he quoted the social compact, he was not thinking of Locke or Rousseau, rather, the colonists understood Adams was referring to the Solemn League and Covenant. This agreement was written by Adams and Warren after the 17th century covenant between the Scottish Presbyterians and the English Parliamentarians.

The Declaration of Independence was founded on a Puritan Solemn League and Covenant. Yes, rights were part of the idea, but not the main reason for revolution. Adams and Dr. Joseph Warren wrote the Solemn League document that was far from the secular compact of John Locke. In fact, Locke was only repeating Rutherford, who was repeating Calvin, including the Natural Law tradition, taken from Romans 2:14-15, and enumerated in a more excellent light, whereby Hooker, Pufendorf et al., built upon, guiding the patriot preachers to exposite the Natural rights of the colonists, preceding the American Revolution. Unitarian preachers (Samuel West) are the minority and do not represent the biblical view of Romans 13 nor the views in the declaration of independence.

Here is Professor and British historian Jack Richon Pole:
It isn't surprising to claim the idea of popular sovereignty and representative government by the Colonists of the 1760's was not influenced, as is generally believed, by the political theology of John Locke..Very little evidence exists to suggest that Locke exerted any effective influence on the political thought of the Colonists until Thomas Jefferson came to draft the Declaration of Independence.
-Political representation in England and the origins of the American Republic (Macmillan 1966). H. Trevor Colborum, Thomas Jefferson's Use of the Past, "William and Mary Quarterly" Jan. 1958, 56-70. 
Modern philosophers see Locke to be the inspiration behind the DOI in spite of its Calvinist foundation. Furthermore, there is a connection between Locke and Rutherford. Locke met him, most likely many times and knew him intimately because Locke's dad was Rutherford's friend. This post written last year by David Kopel is another example of Locke's connection to Rutherford. Locke read Lex Rex, then secularized his views, removing the covenantal structure the founding fathers put into the declaration of independence. Rutherford's influence is seen through Witherspoon and Adams, just as Francis Schaeffer writes.

As to empiricism, Schaeffer destroyed Locke's argument just as Berkeley did in the 18th century. Locke contradicted himself by removing the biblical basis for government in exchange for empiricism, yet if experience doesn't come from inside man, it must come from where everyone else found it; and Locke rejected that source, killing his own argument. Locke's empiricism ignored the very foundation of natural rights. Schaeffer was just repeating what Berkeley found in Locke's flawed reasoning.

Moreover, by 1681, Locke himself owned a copy of Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos and most other Calvinistic resistance tracts. (Hall. A Heart Promptly Offered, p. 297).

It was Covenantal Puritanism that was the basis of the DOI, given the document itself claims the King abdicated because he broke the covenant between himself and the people, as well as violated their natural rights. Here, is the noted former Emeritus Professor at Columbia:

From the Bay Colony came the great intellectual leaders, the theologians who became the leaders … in the establishment of New England colonies… Nor was its influence restricted to New England, for its ideals and aspirations… became the dominant influence in the development of the United States.
--Joseph Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American Civilization, vol. 1, ch.3

Even Robert N. Bellah notes, Puritanism was the foundation for our constitutionalism; what he coined, our "civil religion."

Prominent 19th Century historian Alex d'Tocqueville did not give Enlightenment Rationalism, or John Locke the foundation, but understood Puritan Covenant Theology that spread throughout the new nation:
In was in the English colonies… better known as the states of New England, that the two or three main principles now forming the basic social theory of the United States were combined. New England principles spread first to the neighboring states and then…to those more distant, finally penetrating everywhere… Their influence now extends beyond its limits over the whole American world…”
--Alex d’Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Book I, ch. 2.

Is it no less a surprise that the political leader of the Revolution was a Calvinist Puritan, speaking for the new nation?
The people of this country, alone, have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent bound themselves into a social compact. Here no man proclaims his birth or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote public felicity, let him be the servant of the public. This is the only line of distinction drawn by nature.
--Samuel Adams, An ORATION Delivered at the State-House, In PHILADELPHIA, To A Very Numerous AUDIENCE; On THURSDAY the 1st of AUGUST 1776

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Historians and Mark Noll

As TVD writes, Mark Noll is a liberal, which would preclude him from being an evangelical Christian. Christian orthodoxy and liberalism are mutually exclusive. Evangelical, from The Evangel, is doctrine, theology, essential doctrines of the historic faith, proclaiming the Gospel, from the beginning of the church. If Noll is a liberal, most likely, he rejects parts of the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith. These reflect the person of Jesus Christ and are clearly enumerated in scripture, including the tri-unity of the Godhead and Deity of Christ; Jn 1:1-3,14; 8:58, 5:19, 10:30, Rom 9:5, found nearly in every book of the New Testament. In fact, the early church fathers (Tertullian, Polycarp, Clement) adhered to the Trinitarian Godhead.

In the review mentioned, the author makes the comparison between biblical exegesis and resistance and republicanism. However, many Christian men believed resistance is biblically correct. The same can be said of republicanism without the new testament making declaratory statements against it. Did not the great minds of the church agree Israel was a republic? Did not Calvin and Farel form Geneva a republic beloved to reformers all over Europe and England? Did not Viret, Peter Martyr and Beza teach at Calvin's Academy (adored by Thomas Jefferson himself) Exodus 18? The messiah did not physically reign over Israel as king and neither did Moses. In that given situation, how was Israel a theocracy? Moses did not rule for God; the Torah was the authority and the power spread out among the most wise. Moses and Joshua were consulted only for the most serious circumstances or where the Lord would actually consult them. The Monarchy happened later on and God did not intervene in the people's sinful request for a king.

Marian exiles, Lutheran Torgau and Magdeburg Declarations? Some Waldensians believed in resistance 100 years before the Lutherans. Who did these Waldensians fight against? The author writing against Noll, Prof. Moots, believes Noll's ideal biblicists are the Puritans, yet that is hardly something to brag about. The Puritans made many serious errors, some even deadly; not to mention their errors about the Sabbath that carried over into the founding. One man esteems one day above another, another esteems everyday alike. Let each be fully persuaded in his own mind. The exaltation of the Sabbath replaces Grace. In fact, God removed the Sabbath in Hosea 2:11, so it is not binding at all, but Christ is the Sabbath. He is the rest for His church, completing the work the Old Testament was a shadow of.

The reviewer attacks Noll for believing the Revolution was a departure of proper bible exegesis. However, Calvin gave no proof he rejected interposition, rather, the evidence supports he and the reformers approved it and spread the doctrine more thoroughly by Beza and others. Romans 13 says "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities." Not following unbiblical orders is still subject to the governing authorities.

Romans 13 does not teach unconditional obedience like Moots claims, and pacifism refers to rebellion, which I would like to see anyone defend from the New Testament. Yes, the left obviously would condone rebellion from Romans 13 as TVD says, if they even read it. On the contrary, David Barton, his allies, and the Republican party in general would support rebellion in the DOI wholeheartedly. I have read Barton quote John Jay and others supporting rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God, but those are sinful man's words, not God's words. Better to abide by the scripture.

Why would Noll attempt to use the Enlightenment to support Calvinist resistance theory? If Noll is a liberal, is not Fea is to the left of him?