Book Review: “The Covenantal Structure of Christian Economics” (Gary North, 2014) Part 23

by Andrew McColl, 21/7/2015

  1. In the biblical worldview, civil government is not an agency of positive sanctions. So, it’s legacy is positive only in the sense that magistrates and judges maintain the civil government as an agency exclusively of negative sanctions. It is not quite a night-watchman state, but it is very close.

Its goal is not to make people better morally. Its function is to place judicial boundaries around convicted evildoers. The legacy it is supposed to build is liberty. It is not to become an agency of distributive justice, which inevitably means redistributive justice (p.383).

The modern world is often shocked to know how minimalist Biblical government actually is. Why? Because we are so used to the opposite.

When governments in the modern era assumed responsibility for education, health and welfare, we got used to the Messianic state, and all the costs that inevitably follow with that foolish notion. Getting back to a tax rate of under 10% would be astonishing for the Westerner, today. He would hardly know what to do with himself, but he would have many more responsibilities to consider in terms of properly caring for his family: their education, health and welfare. This is why the goal of the Christian should always be, smaller government, less tax, and more freedom.

Reducing government begins with changing the way we think about government, and changing the way we think about the individual, the family and the church. It means the individual, the family and the church must all submit to what scripture requires, accepting scriptural tasks, for we cannot replace an evil, unjust system, with nothing.

We will thus need to accept a much more responsibility. Jesus Himself assumed responsibility, and got His hands dirty with the problems of sinful people, before being granted authority. Won’t it be the same for us?

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