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Reformed Faith and Politics (1983)

A central question of political ethics is: ‘Why ought one to obey the state?’ A Christian political ethic puts a different question: ‘How can we love God in serving our neighbors through politics?’ The purpose of humanity is to love God and to help our neighbor know the love of God. Therefore, Christian political ethics cannot be autonomous; that I, Christians cannot think of the state as an order independent of God that they are free either to remold or to rebel against apart from God. Christian political ethics are not heteronomous; that is, the laws of the state are not obligatory on Christians apart from God. Christian political ethics are theonomous; they are the ordering of government for the purposes of God.