Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reformed statecraft

In assessing the influence of Calvinism in the development of modern democracy, we must give our attention, first of all, to the twin pillars upon which democracy rests: (1) the idea of limited sovereignty, of a government under law, of limits beyond which government cannot go and to which it must conform; (2) the right of resistance when these limits are exceeded. These two concepts do not constitute the length and breadth of democracy, but they are the foundation stones upon which democracy rests. Winthrop S. Hudson, "Democratic Freedom and Religious Faith in the Reformed Tradition," Church History 15, no. 3 (1946): 181-2.

HT: Andrew Fulford

1 comment:

  1. I don't claim to be any kind of expert on history, the effects of Calvinism on Western societies, etc, but I very much doubt that Calvinism has lead to 'modern democracy'. Here's Thomas Jefferson on democracy: "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%." James Madison: "Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death."
    Many other such quotes can be found. We are supposed to be a republic, not a democracy. Calvinism, with its recognition of the fallen nature of man, natural law, Godly principles, etc I would think encourages rule of law, not man. It does not lead to a democracy.