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Archive Book Reviews Civic Polity Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth

Davenant Press: For Law and For Liberty

Some friends and I have put out a new book which will be of interest to TCI readers. For Law and For Liberty: Essays on the Trans-Atlantic Legacy of Protestant Political Thought is the published collection of essays which were first presented at the 2015 Convivium Irenicum. The 2016 Convivium Irenicum is right around the corner, by the way, and our keynote speaker is Dr. Carl Trueman. More books will be released in the years to come, consisting of the various conference presentations.

The table of contents for For Law and For Liberty will give you a nice overview of what the book has to offer:

  1. Introduction: W. Bradford Littlejohn and Peter Escalante
  2. Divine Law, Naturally: Lex Naturae and the Decalogue in Two Works of Niels Hemmingsen: Dr. E.J. Hutchinson
  3. Reformed Natural Law Theory and the American Founding: A Critique of Recent Scholarship: Stephen Wolfe
  4. Searching for a Christian America: Dr. Glenn Moots
  5. Views from 19th-Century Europe: How the Separation of Church and State was Seen from Abroad: Rev. Steven Wedgeworth
  6. “No Bar to Christian Communion”: Slavery and the Rise of Elite Presbyterianism in South Carolina, 1800-1860: Dr. Miles Smith
  7. The Kuyper Option: Kuyper’s Concept of the Church in the Context of Strategic Christian Action: Ruben Alvarado

If I had to identify a central theme uniting all of the essays it would be that the political reforms of early modernism, including both theology and philosophy (also, by extension, political science), were made possible by specific contributions from the Protestant Reformation. Thus, we can and should speak of things like a “Christian America.” However, much of this project was incomplete, assuming foundational commitments to be “self-evident” and thus more-or-less stable, and it never quite answered the problem of a separation of church and state that can maintain a virtuous civil sphere.

The essays are all really first-rate, and I would recommend the volume to you.

By Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.