Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law

Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law

Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law

Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law

Synopsis

This book addresses the old question of natural law in its contemporary context. David VanDrunen draws on both his Reformed theological heritage and the broader Christian natural law tradition to develop a constructive theology of natural law through a thorough study of Scripture.

The biblical covenants organize VanDrunen's study. Part 1 addresses the covenant of creation and the covenant with Noah, exploring how these covenants provide a foundation for understanding God's governance of the whole world under the natural law. Part 2 treats the redemptive covenants that God established with Abraham, Israel, and the New Testament church and explores the obligations of God's people to natural law within these covenant relationships.

In the concluding chapter of Divine Covenants and Moral Order VanDrunen reflects on the need for a solid theology of natural law and the importance of natural law for the Christian's life in the public square.]>

Excerpt

This book represents the continuation of a larger project, the first major part of which was also published in the Emory University Studies in Law and Religion. in that volume I explored the place of natural law in Reformed theology from the sixteenth century to the present, especially in its relation to the doctrine of the two kingdoms. I concluded that the ideas of natural law and the two kingdoms played an important role in Reformed social thought through the nineteenth century, and I reflected on why much of twentieth-century Reformed theology largely ignored these ideas, or even came to regard them as foreign to the spirit of Reformed Christianity.

Though this prior volume was historical in focus, I did suggest that contemporary Reformed Christians ought to reconsider the doctrines of natural law and the two kingdoms. Reformed theologians of yesteryear utilized these categories in theological and social contexts very different from our own, but I expressed my conviction that they are rooted in Scripture and remain exceedingly relevant for helping Christians think clearly about living godly lives in early-twenty-first-century Western society. I also noted my own hope “to offer a detailed biblical, theological, and ethical defense of the Reformed natural law and two kingdoms doctrines, revised in certain respects and applied to important concrete social issues” (14). the present volume seeks to fulfill part of that goal by presenting a thorough (though of course not comprehensive) study of natural law in Scripture while addressing many crucial questions of theology and ethics along the way. I now hope to extend this project to a third volume,

1. David VanDrunen, Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms: a Study in the Development of Reformed Social Thought (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010).

2. I have also fulfilled part of that goal in a separate work, intended primarily for a

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