It may be commonplace to say that God has instituted various governments and has delegated His authority to them in various ways, but speaking, for example, about the "government" of a family seems strange today. And even a bit scary.
Mark Bertrand says that we in the Church are pretty good at targeting failures of government when it comes to the state, but we need to do a much better job of thinking about governing well in the church and the family. What might that look like? How to think well about it? And who says, anyway? At one point, Mark suggests that listeners might be shouting "Hey, these guys are advocating theocracy! Or a bunch of little theocracies within a theocracy!" Are they?
Listen in and find out. Join Mark and C&G host Mike Schutt as they talk at length about the authority and roles of various governments in today's world and the resources available to help them govern well. Would the state be changed if other institutions-- family, church, state, corporations, universities-- were governed well? Are these governments dependent on one another?
Walk through the discussion with them as they suggest that what the Bible envisions is "a community of governments with overlapping authority . . . all backstopped by divine revelation."
We think you'll find this an encouraging and informative discussion.
J. Mark Bertrand is a novelist and pastor living in South Dakota. His crime noir works are Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds, and Nothing to Hide. His book [Re]Thinking Worldview:Learning to Think, Live, and Speak in this World (Crossway 2007) is a great primer on Christian thought and action, and he serves on the faculty of Worldview Academy. He blogs at the world-renowned Bible Design Blog, sharing thoughts and photos on a multitude of design issues. His initial claim to fame was that he was interviewed by Ken Myers on Mars Hill Audio Journal, volume 90, which also features Mike Schutt talking about Redeeming Law.
Mark was also a guest on Episode 46 of Cross & Gavel, the most downloaded episode in the podcast's history. More recently, he joined Mike to discuss the "New Moralism" in Episode 70.
There is a higher law than human law, one from which the authority and justice of man’s law flows into bountiful life. Accordingly, we often see Christian legal theories in terms of knowledge about law, so that what we know of the higher law informs what we should affirm or deny about human law. But Dean Eric Enlow says that another important kind of Christian knowledge about law is how to praise God in relation to it. This praise stirs up and responds to the joy which Christians experience in law, just as praise does when it recognizes and replies to God’s presence in other parts of creation.
Dean Enlow gave two addresses on this topic at the 2017 Christian Legal Society national conference in Newport Beach, encouraging those in attendance to learn to praise God in law.
His first presentation was Joyful Jurisprudence: God's Presence in Law and Man's Praise of God, the keynote for the annual Christian Legal Scholars' Symposium, sponsored by CLS friend and partner Trinity Law School. It was an inspiring presentation and discussion, and the conversation spilled over into the conference bookstore afterwards.
This episode of Cross & Gavel allows listeners to sit in on that conversation, with host Mike Schutt, Dean Eric Enlow, and our friend Byron Borger, owner of Hearts and Minds Bookstore.
Enjoy the conversation!
Dean Enlow graduated from Yale University and Washington University School of Law. During law school, Professor Enlow served on the editorial boards of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and the Washington University Law Quarterly.
He has clerked in the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and he was in private practice in intellectual-property, international, and appellate law. In addition to being dean of the Handong International Law School, Enlow teaches Christianity and Law, International Intellectual Property, Patents, Private International Law, and Torts.
Byron Borger has been talking books almost his whole life, and doing it well and for the good of Christ's kingdom. Since the early 80's, he and his wife Beth have, through Hearts and Minds Books in Dallastown, PA, lived out a mission to see the body of Christ encouraged and the world around them flourish. They believe that ideas matter and that books are an important part of Christian discipleship-- "a disciple is learner, after all," says Byron. Whether you're in his store, on the phone with him, or at one of the many conferences at which he and Beth serve, it is always a treat to talk books with Byron. Subscribe to his amazing Booknotes here. (He mentions this podcast in the latest edition).
Cross & Gavel Audio is a project of the Institute for Christian Legal Studies, a cooperative ministry of Regent University School of Law and Christian Legal Society.
Mike Schutt is associate professor at Regent and director of ICLS and Law Student Ministries for CLS.