Turretin on The Political Government of the Church

Status
Not open for further replies.

brianeschen

Puritan Board Junior
A friend of mine shared this quote with me from Turretin as a good summary of the historic view of the two kingdoms. Enjoy!
Turretin On The Political Government Of The Church

Thirty-Fourth Question: The Political Government Of The Church

What is the right of the Christian magistrate about sacred things, and does the care and recognition of religion belong in any way to him?

We affirm.

II.) They sin in excess who claim all ecclesiastical power for the magistrate…

They sin in defect who remove him (the magistrate) all care of ecclesiastical things so that he does not care what each one worships and allows free power to anyone of doing and saying whatever he wishes in the cause of religion.

They also sin in defect who, although they ascribe to the magistrate the care of nourishing and defending the Church, so that he may kindly cherish and powerfully defend it, still leave nothing of recognition and nothing of judgment concerning religion save the execution alone to him. They rest upon this foundation – that this knowledge and judgment about matters of faith is proper to the ecclesiastical order, whose decrees the magistrate is bound to respect and perform.

The orthodox (holding the mean between these two extremes) maintain that the pious and believing magistrate cannot and ought not to be excluded from all care of religion and sacred things, which has been enjoined upon him by God. Rather this right should be circumscribed within certain limits that the duties of the ecclesiastical and political order not be confounded, but the due parts left to each…

Francis Turretin
Institutes of Elenctic Theology Vol. III pg. 316
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
The only problem with this quote is that it arose out of the context of Christendom, and is not strictly speaking a biblical requirement or definition. The church in the book of Acts had no such protection, or positive relationship, nor did the church of the first several centuries following the ascension and Pentecost.

It may be great logic (may be...), but I don't see Turretin citing or discussing any Scripture to prove his point in that snippet. Maybe he does this in the surrounding context? I have him sitting around, but he's not the most restful fellow to read on the Lord's day, so he will have to wait until Monday (at least), unless you want to fill us in.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The only problem with this quote is that it arose out of the context of Christendom, and is not strictly speaking a biblical requirement or definition. The church in the book of Acts had no such protection, or positive relationship, nor did the church of the first several centuries following the ascension and Pentecost.

The Acts itself contains various civil defences of the Christian faith which urge the magistrate to view it as the true representative of the legally recognised Jewish religion.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
The only problem with this quote is that it arose out of the context of Christendom, and is not strictly speaking a biblical requirement or definition. The church in the book of Acts had no such protection, or positive relationship, nor did the church of the first several centuries following the ascension and Pentecost.

The Acts itself contains various civil defences of the Christian faith which urge the magistrate to view it as the true representative of the legally recognised Jewish religion.

But such civil recognition was only by Roman permission and fiat (no other Empires of the period had religio licta laws. And even so, such recognition did not exempt religion from Roman obligations (e.g. Cult of the Emperor worship), which is what the Jews used against the Church in Acts.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
But such civil recognition was only by Roman permission and fiat (no other Empires of the period had religio licta laws. And even so, such recognition did not exempt religion from Roman obligations (e.g. Cult of the Emperor worship), which is what the Jews used against the Church in Acts.

I don't see how this negates the apologetic nature of the speeches in Acts. The argument was that the church had no protection in the book of Acts. My counter is that we see the foremost apologist for Christianity making legal defences on its behalf. While there is no de facto protection for Christianity the Acts demonstrates that the apostolic church sought it de jure.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
But such civil recognition was only by Roman permission and fiat (no other Empires of the period had religio licta laws. And even so, such recognition did not exempt religion from Roman obligations (e.g. Cult of the Emperor worship), which is what the Jews used against the Church in Acts.

I don't see how this negates the apologetic nature of the speeches in Acts. The argument was that the church had no protection in the book of Acts. My counter is that we see the foremost apologist for Christianity making legal defences on its behalf. While there is no de facto protection for Christianity the Acts demonstrates that the apostolic church sought it de jure.

Matthew,

Agreed. My comment was in relation to the OP and the initial response more than your point. While the legal defense was indeed de jure, it was not a matter of right, but of circumstance (that it was de jure). Turretin would appear to be arguing for a fundamental de jure right, but that did not exist in Rome (and in fact religio licta protection was withdrawn by Rome.)
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Turretin would appear to be arguing for a fundamental de jure right

Fred, yes, that argument is based on the fact that the magistrate is an ordinance of God rather than a creature of human convention, which is clearly taught in Romans 13.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top