Law, liberty, and Christian morality

Religious Studies 43 (4):395-415 (2007)
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Abstract

There is a long liberal political tradition of marshalling arguments aimed at convincing Christians that distinctively Christian reasons for issuing coercive laws are not sufficient to justify those laws. In the first part of this paper I argue that the two most popular of these arguments, attributable to Locke, will not reliably convince committed biblical Christians, nor, probably, should they. In the second part I argue that even if the Lockean arguments fail, committed biblical Christians should think that God has authorized the state only to fill the same general role that political liberals have identified for it.

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Kyle Swan
California State University, Sacramento

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