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Archive Civic Polity Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy

Kuyper on Civil Government and Divine Right

In Common Grace, Kuyper combines the questions of God’s institution of capital punishment and the institution of civil government into one moment. He understands God’s command to Noah in Genesis 9:6 as the moment when God instituted civil government. He also rejects outright the modern liberal conception of the origins of civil government as founded upon […]

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Archive Civic Polity Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy

Kuyper on the institution of civil government

In Common Grace (Lexham/Acton Institute: 2015), Kuyper spends a number of chapters examining Genesis 9:5 and Genesis 9:6 in relation to capital punishment and, therefore, the instituting of civil government. Genesis 9:5-6 reads as follows: And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Civic Polity Philosophy

The Failure of the Harm Principle

Steven D. Smith’s The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse is one of the most piercing works in political philosophy I’ve read in a long while. Though it’s brief, by the end of it Smith has turned inside out some of the modern Western world’s most repeated fundamental values, and shown that appeals to them are actually […]

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Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Civic Polity Nota Bene

Conly’s Argument Against Autonomy

Yesterday I responded to one of Sarah Conly’s critiques of moral perfectionism, but I mentioned she provides useful objections to stringent libertarianism. Shortly after I posted this, Steven wrote a provocative analysis of some current libertarian politicking. In the spirit of continuing a criticism of anarcho-capitalism, here is Conly’s argument in a nutshell: I argue […]

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Archive Civic Polity Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Simon Kennedy

Althusius on the role of ruler

In his Politca, Althusius says the following about the ruler: The ruler, prefect, or chief directs and governs the functions of the social life for the utility of the subjects individually and collectively … Petrus Gregorius says that just as the soul presides over the other members in the human body, directs and governs them according […]

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Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene

Government Founded on Reasons

The Calvinist doctrine of God is sometimes caricatured as naked voluntarism, the triumph of the will: God is sheer power and does what he likes–as if to say Calvin comes down on one side of the Euthyphro dilemma, the side that says the pious is pious because it is loved by God, his loving it makes […]

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Authors Jordan Ballor Nota Bene

Of Men and Angels

Over at the Acton Institute blog, Quinn Trevelen introduces the political thought of John Calvin and Abraham Kuyper. He also helpfully connects the perspectives of Calvin with respect to James Madison. As Calvin preached, “Were we like angels, blameless and freely able to exercise perfect self-control, we would not need rules or regulations.” The resonance […]