The (Protestant) American Revolution

The religious context to the Revolution that Seward documents helps to illuminate the meaning of the Declaration of Independence and the rationale for so many ordinary Americans to take up arms against King and Parliament. Understood in the long heritage of resistance thought developed by Protestant political theologians, the basic claims of the Declaration of Independence sound not Lockean, but Protestant.

Politics in the Beginning

Only God can change the heart to perfectly love justice and to act on the basis of it. He does so primarily by means of the Word read, preached, and the sacraments administered. But God has ordained politics as a means of restraining evil as well as of teaching justice and virtue. We must not depend solely on politics. But we must never neglect its necessity and usefulness.

John Witherspoon, Protestant Statesman

John Witherspoon provides a realistic vision of Protestant political engagement which is beholden neither to a belief in national election nor to Enlightenment anthropocentrism with its claim of a neutral public square. In this biography of Witherspoon readers will encounter a model Protestant statesman who embodies both our theological convictions and the principles of government which shaped our nation’s political character.

The Union of Religion and Justice

Traditionalist conservatives today face a paradox. On the one hand, as conservatives, they have inherited a habit of healthy suspicion toward state power, a sense that much that is wrong with the world today comes from governments trying to do too much. At the same time, as traditionalists, they recognize that there are a great many goods today in desperate need of conserving, which—human nature being what it is—cannot be conserved without resolute government support.

Protestant Politics and Natural Law

Whatever its genesis and cause—some suggest Karl Barth’s infamous “Nein!” to Emil Brunner—Protestants largely abandoned the natural law tradition sometime amidst the tumultuous twentieth century. It should be noted that this abandonment conspicuously coincided with the advent of a positivist Supreme Court led by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and his militant campaign from the bench to detach law from a “brooding omnipresence in the sky.”

The French Evolution

While Divided We Fall is surprisingly (and commendably) critical of the left, it also reveals that French is likely to dismiss any meaningful countermeasures by conservatives as manifestations of paranoia and delusion. To acknowledge conservatives’ grievances and fears as fundamentally legitimate, after all, would be to give up on the established order for which French has become a self-appointed guardian.