the following is a students post and needs a reply, thx
I believe in Richard Hooker’s view of government best reflects biblical Christianity. “While the Roman Catholics put Scripture and tradition on a parity as the touchstone of faith and
the Puritans would have no authority but the Bible, this article argues that Hooker steered clear of either extreme. His formula was to accept Scripture’s absolute authority where it spoke plainly and unequivocally and to consult the tradition of the church on the points which the Bible was silent or ambiguous about. However, the solution would be incomplete without human reason, which, he insisted, must be used and obeyed whenever Scripture and tradition needed clariﬁcation or were faced with a new set of circumstances” (Tulejski, 2018). Hooker’s best thought was to look for scripture for answers but knew that not all answers could come from the Bible. He understood that people must use their reason, judgement, and personal experiences to come to solutions that were not fully explained.
While I agree with some of Martin Luther teachings, I do not fully agree with their view of government. “Luther claims that Christians as such do not need government. But government exists to help Christians as subjects in the temporal kingdom” (Cart, 2018). I believe that government is a necessary evil to help people, build infrastructure, and keep the peace among its citizens. Luther also believed that they Bible would give provide all answers that man needed to work through life. While this is good in theory, the Bible only provides guidance and not answers to everything in the world. Governments must be in place and history recorded to help ensure that countries to not repeat mistakes that were made in the past, again in the future.
I do not believe in John Calvin’s thought on government as well. He established a religious government. To me, this is a dangerous conflict of interest. When someone has to choose between religion and their government and there are competing interests, it does not work well for anyone. Additionally, if a person does not believe in the same religion as their government, then that government does not have their best interest at heart. Government and religion should be kept separate in order to allow all religions an equal opportunity to thrive and promote their ideals to the general public. Calvin’s government only allowed enough room for one way of thinking and not an all-inclusive environment.
Cart, J. A. (2018). God and Government: Martin Luther’s Political Thought. Lutheran Quarterly.
Tulejski, T. (2018, January). The Law and the Origins of Political Order in Richard Hooker’s Political Theology.