Ep. 15: Can Christian Civil Government Be "Theocratic"?
Play • 29 min

A discussion of whether a Reformed Christian view of civil governance is compatible with theocracy. We explain how the term "theocratic" has been used, and two key elements of a theocratic view (namely, the monopoly state and civil establishment of religion) that must be rejected in a genuinely Christian view of civil governance. We also touch on how some who support a theocratic view go wrong in their eschatology.


00:00 Start

00:32 Episode description

01:27 About the history of the term https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/political-science-and-government/political-science-terms-and-concepts/theocracy

02:22 All of life, and so all politics, is ultimately guided by central religious commitments

04:45 The objectionable sense of "theocratic" is not entailed by the universality of central religious commitments and their ultimate guidance of all of life

05:28 Two key elements of theocracy are "a monopoly state" and "civil establishment of religion"; Monopoly explained

07:41 Just and unjust uses of coercion; The obligation of non-aggression; The illegitimacy of all states

12:13 A simple analogy

15:12 Establishmentarianism explained https://reformedlibertarians.com/against-civil-establishment-of-religion/

16:46 The unique, symbolic, and temporary (now obsolete) old Mosaic covenant theocracy involved suspension of the common grace order; It was a temporary symbolic-intrusion of final judgment and the kingdom of God, now inaugurated in the new covenant institutional church, and yet to be consummated in the New Heavens and Earth

19:59 While the old covenant was in effect, it was not a violation of non-aggression  https://reformedlibertarians.com/002 ; Now, in the new covenant era, the normal operation of the common grace order has resumed; This entails prohibition of establishmentarianism and monopoly, enacting either is antichrist

22:03 Genuinely limited governance, required by God's ultimate sovereignty, according to a consistent Christian view, entails non-monopoly and non-establishment

24:17 Recap

25:10 The under-realization of inaugurated eschatology in the new covenant by postmillennialism and so-called optimism that often accompanies a theocratic view

Additional Resources

More about the temporary suspension of the normal operation of common grace and the eschatological-intrusion within the old covenant theocracy : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3KFqcQlPuA

More about sphere sovereignty : Episode 09 - https://reformedlibertarians.com/009 Episode 12 - https://reformedlibertarians.com/012

More about the underrealization of inaugurated eschatology in the new covenant as held by a postmil view (Gaffin refers to postmil's de-eschatologizing) : https://www.newhopefairfax.org/files/Gaffin%20Theonomy%20and%20Eschatology.pdf

The Reformed Libertarians Podcast is a project of the Libertarian Christian Institute: https://libertarianchristians.com/ and a member of the Christians for Liberty Network: https://christiansforliberty.net

Audio Production by Podsworth Media - https://podsworth.com 


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