Theology 101

The Complete Biblical Case for Limited Government

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In this series, I have tried to present textual and ethical reasons for thinking that the Bible teaches a minimalist view of the state. I have also looked at Natural Moral Law theory and its role in the view of the state which I have supported. 

At the beginning of this series, I noted a dialogue between Michael Moore and Star Parker. Parker asserted that when it comes to caring for the poor, which is clearly a moral duty placed on believers, Jesus never intended such action to be forced on people by the state. Such acts were to be voluntary and from a freely given heart of compassion. I believe Parker was correct and, in this series, I have tried to say why I think this.

Can We Make A Biblical Case for Limited Government?

Jesus is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, yet he taught about morality, the state, and the church, which a believer should factor into his political, social, and cultural thinking and practice. So we should ask, “What did Jesus teach, and what does the Bible teach that is relevant to a believer’s view of politics and the state?”

Read part one here.

Three Popular Worldviews & How They View Government

In the current cultural and intellectual milieu, three worldviews fight for the allegiance of the minds of men and women in our culture: Christianity, postmodernism, and scientific naturalism. Both postmodernism and naturalism promote big government. But what does Christianity teach about government?

Read part two here.

A Biblical Methodology for Limited Government

How should we investigate a biblical view of the state? Not by comparing our circumstances to Israel in the Old Testament, but by focusing on the obligations of pagan nations in the Old Testament, which would directly apply to the United States.

Read part three here.

An Old Testament Case for Limited Government

To better understand what the Bible teaches about the state, we need to grasp the basics of positive and negative rights. Then we should review what the Old Testament text reveals about rulers and nations.

Read part four here.

A New Testament Case for Limited Government

Four particular New Testament passages, with wisdom from Jesus, Peter, and Paul, delve into details about the state, authority, and the purpose of government. 

Read part five here.

How Jesus’s Teachings on Ethics Support A Limited View of Government

The core of Jesus’s ethical teachings centers around virtue ethics and the love commands, with compassion and mercy. We should not ask, “What is the right thing to do,” but rather “What is a life of character and virtue? How do I learn to live such a life?”

Read part six here.

The State & The Natural Moral Law

The state’s basic job is to preserve a stable, peaceful social order by punishing wrongdoing that involves the violation of people’s negative rights. Therefore, the state is responsible under the Natural Moral Law and not under scripture.

Read part seven here.

Editor’s Note: This series is adapted from the IFWE research paper, A Biblical Case for Limited Government by Dr. J.P. Moreland. Read the full paper here.

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