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Posts Tagged ‘Liberalism’

Martin Luther as Hercules Germanicus by Hans Holbein, 1523. “In the picture, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, Duns Scotus and Nicholas of Lyra already lay bludgeoned to death at his feet and the German inquisitor, Jacob van Hoogstraaten was about to receive his fatal stroke. Suspended from a ring in Luther’s nose was the figure of Pope Leo X,” The Reformation Room.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

  • 2 Corinthians 3:17

“Then the children of Israel…forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies” (Judges 2:11,13-14).

It’s often been noted that Israel under the judges went through a number of cycles of faith in the Word of God prosperity, followed by unbelief, leading to bondage to foreign powers, followed by repentance, and finally deliverance from oppression.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this cycle is the close connection between belief and liberty, on one hand, and unbelief and oppression on the other.  The passage just quoted from Judges is a good illustration of this principle. 

Put another way, spiritual liberty, faith in the Lord, leads to political and economic liberty.  Rejecting the Word of God produces slavery both political and economic. 

Put still another way, spiritual liberty leads to political and economic liberty, spiritual bondage to political and economic bondage. 

Not only did this pattern hold true in ancient Israel, it also holds true today.  It was the widespread preaching of and belief in the Gospel of Justification by Faith Alone that spiritually freed the people of the nations to which the Reformation came from the bondage of sin and guilt.  And those same nations were the very ones to become the freest states on earth politically as well as the most prosperous.  

In his booklet Christ & Civilization, John Robbins noted this patter, writing,

Martin Luther’s courageous rejection of – in the name of written revelation, logic, and freedom – of this faith-works religion laid the necessary theological foundation for the emergence of a free, humane, and civilized society from the ancient and medieval paganism of Christendom. The result was religious freedom and her daughters: political, civil, and economic freedom (38).

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  First spiritually, then in other ways politically and economically. 

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