General Bibliography on Natural Law / Two Kingdoms Doctrines

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Casey, Mar 16, 2008.

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  1. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    Does anyone know if this book [VanDrunen's more scholarly treatment of natural law] has come out yet, or when it's expected to become available? :gpl: Thanks. :)
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2008
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Sounds interesting. I wonder if he will interact with O'Donovan's expression on natural law. I wonder if he will note, as John Milbank, that natural law underwent a shift from participation in the divine law to a law that would be valid even if God didn't exist. Would that change his argument any? It would be interesting.
  3. dannyhyde

    dannyhyde Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hi Casey,

    I'm not quite sure what book you are talking about, but Dr. VanDrunen does have a book in the works on the two kingdoms, but not natural law, per se. He does hope to write more on natural law.

    Are you referring to a book or article you heard about?
  4. Jim Johnston

    Jim Johnston Puritan Board Sophomore

    I have his "A Biblical Case for Natural Law."

    I heard he is coming out with a longer treatment as the above book is 69 pages of text.

    But, there are plenty of scholarly books out on natural law. Not only are there writers in the Aristotelian/Thomistic tradition, who have been churning out good material for a while, there's also another book I have by Grabill, Rediscovering The Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics. It is detailed, and attended by copius amounts of foot, er, end notes.
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I have mixed feelings. On one hand "natural law" is a part of the Christian tradition, but on the other hand, the political theologies of Aquinas and Augustine are noticeably different (and both are noticeably different from the secular faith proponents today).

    Augustine saw two societies. Aquinas saw a unified society comprising that was not (at least overtly) dependent on divine revelation.

    Modern political theories, suffering from the Enlightenment strain of trying to unify everything, have given us (or will give us) a cracked society, the brokeness of which we already see in postmodernity.

    Therefore, appeals to Aquinas' natural law (of which I have become more fond recently) have the ironic task of doing what they aren't supposed to do: Prolegomena. It was supposed to give us a common ground but with postmodernity denying precisely that, where are we?

    In this case, Augustine's 2 Cities might be more helpful. But even then, facile appeals to the 2 Cities are not without there problems. For Augustine defines a society as a group of rational members united by a common object(s) of love. A common object? A common telos? We are back where we started. What if the telos is faulty or idolatrous? Is it still a true society? Would then the only true society be a Christian one?
  6. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks for the note, Rev. Hyde. Maybe my memory has failed me. I was under the impression that a more scholarly treatment of natural law was going to be published soon after the popular monograph. Maybe I misunderstood. Do you know when his book on the two kingdoms may be becoming available?
  7. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    This is what I am referring to in the OP. :think:
    Thanks for the recommendation.
  8. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    While I still quibble at a few points, Budziszewski's A Case for Natural Law is very readable and offers many good critiques of inadequate theories. I am still not convinced at his conclusion/proposal, but it was worth the read.

    I wonder if Van Drunen's larger work on Two Kingdoms is the Natural Law book in question.
  9. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I have actually found St. Thomas' work on natural law to be quite sane, sensible, and corrective in many areas:

    Eternal Law: Includes God's foreknowledge and creation of human events/contingencies. Largely inscrutable to man.

    Natural Law: appropriation of rational creatures of the divine exemplar; inner apprehension of right.

    Human Law: Constructed from natural law and conditioned/applied in historical circumstances. I have always wondered if this could parallel general equity.

    New Law/Old Law: Figure it out on your own. ;)

    Interestingly, Thomas does allow in some degree the OT model to be a model for nations: On Kingship, 105, 1.
  10. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    Not really the direction I intended the thread to go . . . :um:
  11. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    Just a question: I know where Calvin identified Decologue with natural law, but where did Bucer do so?
  12. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    If memory serves, De regno Christi among many places. It was a commonplace in the Reformation.

    I disagree with P. D. L. Avis on Bucer's view of NL. He thinks Bucer's a Thomist. This is parallel to the argument about Calvin -- some see him as a Thomist too because of his NL rhetoric. The case for Bucer's Thomism is perhaps stronger, but the crucial difference, as I see it, between Thomas and the Reformers is that Thomas was willing to identify NL with a universal rational principle to which both God and humans are obligated. That's partly why he made NL broader than the decalogue.

    I'm not saying that Bucer never spoke in any other way about NL but only that Bucer identified the NL with the decalogue. There are other expressions of the same basic law principle in Scripture that could be called NL that aren't the decalogue, but the main point still holds -- that NL isn't some ethereal amorphous subjective entity but a fixed, objective, revealed law expressed in nature and in special revelation.


  13. biblicalthought

    biblicalthought Puritan Board Freshman

    Professor Clark,

    Where is NL revealed in special revelation?
  14. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    Another Scholarly work due soon on natural law/natural theology is Reason and Worldviews: Warfield, Kuyper, Van Til and Plantinga on the Clarity of General Revelation and Function of Apologetics by Owen Anderson.

    Reason and Worldviews (University Press of America)
  15. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    The whole deal with Van Til is kind of tricky. While I don't remember him saying he believes in natural law, I will grant that he did for argument's sake. But at the same time, he also believed that the bible spoke authoritatively about everything (Defense of the Faith, 1955, first 5 pages or so).

    Dooyeweerd and Carl Henry explicitly denied natural law, but they don't have many followers in the Reformed camp anyway.
  16. Jim Johnston

    Jim Johnston Puritan Board Sophomore

    It comes after the part on how to do a heart translplant and before the part about how to fix your car.
  17. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2008
  18. Jim Johnston

    Jim Johnston Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think you got your quote function mixed up. It was "Biblcial Thought" who asked that, not me.

    But, yes, that's one of the places NL guys go to show their view in Scripture.

    DVD gives other examples in his little booklet mentioned above.
  19. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Romans 2:15 says the works of the law are written on the heart. A lot of NL guys say that means natural law is written on the heart. I actually don't think that verse supports NL, though I do have a room for NL in my theology.

    Per Rom 1:18ff I don't think "without excuse" implies a good NL. I think other things do, but not that. One could turn it around and say that "they suppress the truth" proves the non-truth of NL. I buy a form of NL, but I don't use those verses.

    A lot of people look at general revelation and immediately infer natural theology (The HCSB Apologetics Study Bible, for example). I don't think that is a good move.
  20. dannyhyde

    dannyhyde Puritan Board Sophomore

    Casey, if you are still here among this drivel, Dr. VanDrunen is a friend and we've talked about his two kingdoms manuscript a bunch. I'm pretty sure it's done but it'll take a while for editing and publishing if it comes to that. I wouldn't expect anything in the next year.

    He did recently have another article published in the Journal of Church and State . . . no doubt some non-Christian somewhere donated money to Baylor University and its publishing wing and that makes Dr. VanDrunen an unbeliever . . . but his article is pretty good!

    Baylor University || J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies || Autumn 2007
  21. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    DVD published an essay in a legal journal that documented how the Reformers used natural law to resist and kill tyrants. Pretty good, essay. I quibble on a few points on Knox, given Knox's use of the OT law, but it was good anyway.
  22. Jim Johnston

    Jim Johnston Puritan Board Sophomore

    I just went to go see Guy Waters speak at WTS and he argued that the law in Rom 1 and 2 was the moral law. It was an exegetical case based around Rom. 10 and 5. He ws ultimately arguing for bi-covenantalism.
  23. Jim Johnston

    Jim Johnston Puritan Board Sophomore

    You can say that about R.S.Clark since you're his pastor! :eek:
  24. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Heard VanDrunen speak on the Two Kingdoms last year. And have a pretty good set of CDs from those lectures.

    I thought the material was pretty thought provoking myself.
  25. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    I dont see how you can not get from general revelation to natural theology without denying that God revealing various things tells us anything about himself. And I think that is a hard road to go down.

    Also you cannot use "they suppress the truth" to prove the non-truth of NL. Remember suppression does not imply removal and does not imply that such cannot be overriden.

  26. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

  27. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    My brain is mixed on this matter.

    I said one *could.* I was not making my argument against it. Remember, I said I hold to a form of NL.
  28. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior


    [​IMG]This seems to be a loaded question because it seems (or might be taken to) assume the conclusion in the premise.

    Natural law is revealed both in nature and in Scripture. There are witnesses in Scripture to the existence of natural law. Rom 1-2 is an extensive argument from and for natural law and a limited but true natural revelation of God. This revelation is law and it leaves unbelievers without excuse before God. All humans have a legal, non-saving, but true knowledge of the God who is. The law is written on their hearts and in their consciences. Yes, the sinful conscience corrupts the law but it remains sufficient to accuse and convict them of their rebellion against God.

    I would also point to Paul's sermon at Mars Hill/the Areopagus (Acts 17). The first part of his sermon appeals to the very sort of natural knowledge/natural law about which he wrote in Rom 1-2.

    The decalogue is a summary of that law as is Matt 22:37-40 and there is at least some NT scholarship (with which I agree) that sees Paul's discussion of "stoiecheia" as reflective of this same theme.

    You should read Dr VanDrunen's little booklet on a biblical case for NL.


  29. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    Honestly, friends, I intended this thread to be for bibliographical purposes. :doh: (Maybe a mod can re-title it to something more general?)

    I'm trying to assemble a thorough bibliography (of things available in English!), on both natural law and the two kingdom doctrines. I understand there is a bibliography on the Between Two Worlds blog, as has been discussed here. Can anyone provide a bib on the two kingdom doctrines, or recommended reading? Also, what might be some standard critical works of these natural law/two kingdoms doctrines? I'm trying to get a balanced view on these things.

    Thanks brothers, I appreciate your help. :coffee: :book2:
  30. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Thread repaired Casey.
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