I ate my wafer...


Interesting interview in Christianity Today about church/state relations. I know that Talcott and Jared Cook have hashed some of this out in the past, but I thought Ted Haggard had some excellent points.


  • He makes some fine points but doesn't really give a solution. He basically seems to say that in matters of government Christians should only employ arguments that have secular assumptions.

    Given that, his support for FMA seems highly suspect. He says he supports it for the sake of our children, because FMA would be "the greatest benefit to society and to our culture" and blabs about the impeding doom of western civilization. But this argument only works on Christian grounds, right? I mean, it's not clear to me that on unbelieving presuppositions the breakup of traditional marriage is a tragedy. Even if it's a little harder on kids--so? Just require those parents to enroll them in, say, 2 years of therapy at age 12. All will be fine with the world and we can continue doing what we want to do, right?

    So, really, Haggard's claiming to espouse Jared's view, but when the rubber hits the road on key topics he switches back over to my point of view.

    Hey what do you all think about what Paul says in Romans 13:1-4 about the state? Seems there that the purpose of the state is to punish evil and reward good--which looks a lot more like what I'm talking about than what Jared's talked about. Also, what other passages do you guys think are key in developing a Biblical view of the state?

    By Blogger David Talcott, at 12:07 AM  

  • I thought that the fact that he elects NOT to make a biblical argument for the FMA is more relevant that the argument he makes. That is, he's specifically considering biblical arguments out of bounds.

    I'm not certain if he can back up his secular argument for FMA with facts, but that's a different ground entirely than which argument he elects to make.

    As far as other relevant biblical references...I've heard Christians argue for using Revelations (sort of a preterist thing), as well as various bits from Romans, Galatians etc.

    By Blogger Bob, at 1:03 PM  

  • Hrm, can't remember anyone arguing political views from Revelation, but I wouldn't be surprised if those arguments are out there.

    I understand the difference between making an argument explicity based on the Bible and an argument from reason alone, or natural law, or some other supposed non-religious source. But it's unclear to me what sorts of facts about morality can we appeal to when forming laws. That's the crux of the matter. Haggard seems to assume moral truths derived from Scripture: e.g. that traditional marriage is good, that divorce is immoral because of the harm done to children. How do we define "good" and "harm" in those cases, particularly when the good or harm isn't a purely physical good or harm?

    By Blogger David Talcott, at 10:26 AM  

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