Cultural Footprints in Public Discourse

Take a brief moment today to consider name-calling as a rhetorical device. Most of us would agree that it is disgusting when a person calls another person a name simply for the purpose of stigmatizing his or her ideas. This is a terrible approach to debate and dialogue. It may work to solidify opposition among the less astute, but it is nonetheless little more than mud-slinging. Not every use of names can be reduced to mud-slinging, though.

We would do well to recognize that many very historical names leave behind massive cultural footprints. Granted, sometimes people can be falsely charged as Marxists, Pelagians, Hitlers, and the like. However, to evoke one of these names—and myriad others—in a spirited debate, is not necessarily reducible to mud-slinging. In fact, oftentimes, when we reduce the use of these historical names in the cultural dialogue to mere mud-slinging, we run headlong into the error of denying cultural footprints and we demonstrate that we are ignorant of history.

For instance, a person who has studied church history should be very aware of the Pelagian debate where Augustine asserted that men must be enabled by God to do what He requires us to do. Pelagias responded that God would not require anything of us that we are incapable of accomplishing. When some professors and seminary presidents respond to Calvinists with the same line of argumentation and, subsequently, they are told they are making Pelagian arguments, they will often accuse their brothers of mud-slinging. By accusing Calvinists of mud-slinging, simply because they did not (directly) receive their argumentation from Pelagius himself, they deny Pelagius’ cultural footprint and / or demonstrate that they are ignorant of a major debate in church history.

Likewise, a person who has studied political history should be very aware of the Marxist debate where Marx and Engels asserted that a narrative must be forwarded that pits oppressors against oppressed so that a one-world communist utopia could arise. Marx and Engels primarily focused on economics, but they were also for the toppling of other institutions as well, like the family and the church. For them, any destabilization would lead ultimately to revolution, and revolution could only make possible the rise of their desired utopia.

So, when Christian leaders start to smuggle this language of oppressor and oppressed into the church, the idea of a power struggle between classes even within God’s church, some have rightly called them on the use of a Marxist tactic. Yet, predictably, they claim that this recognition of Marxism is nothing more than mud-slinging. By accusing their detractors of mud-slinging, simply because they do not (directly) receive their argumentation from Marx and Engels, they deny Marx’s and Engel’s cultural footprints and / or demonstrate that they are ignorant of a major debate in political history.


The next time someone uses a name you consider to be very negative to describe your position, try not to respond with a knee-jerk reaction and accuse them of mud-slinging. Rather, ask them why they make that connection. You may have imbibed a cultural footprint of which you are unaware. You may have a blind spot in your understanding of history. The other person may have a very valid reason for the connection he or she is making and, if he or she doesn’t, you can offer a more gentle correction than merely accusing him or her of mudslinging.

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology – Redemption and Creation in Kuyper

Read the first seven posts here, here, here, here, here, here,and here.


In our last blog post, we presented some of the core beliefs regarding Abraham Kuyper’s public theology, which can be summed up in one sentence: Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and because of that fact, our allegiance to Him should shape not only the private but also the public aspects of our lives. In Kuyper’s vision, Christ is not just the Lord over ecclesiastical matters, but He is also Lord over public matters like art, science, business, politics, economics, and education. Based on this core conviction, Kuyper served as prime minister of the Netherlands, founded a Christian university, started a newspaper, and wrote influential books on theology, politics, and other topics. In recent years a new generation of Calvinists has further developed Kuyper’s original vision of Christ’s lordship over all matters. To understand these recent developments, we must understand neo-Kuyperian theology concerning the relationship between redemptive grace and creation.

Creation and Redemption

In the neo-Kuyperian theological vision, redemptive grace both renews and restores nature. In this vision, God covenanted creation (“nature”) into existence and ordered it by means of His word. At creation, God instructed his image bearers to be fruitful and multiply (interpreted as a social command), till the soil (interpreted as a cultural command), and have dominion (interpreted as a regal command). His image bearers would glorify him by multiplying worshipers, bringing out the hidden potentials of creation, and lovingly managing his world. However, Adam and Eve were seduced by the word that the serpent spoke against God’s word. Since the first couple’s sin, all of humanity has been under the sway of sin.

This original sin can be interpreted as the antithesis to God’s covenant Word. However, more generally, the antithesis is any word spoken against God’s word. It misdirects the human mind and affections by pointing them toward idols rather than toward the one true and living God. So this world is corrupted, but it is not corrupted in its structures, but only in its direction. Consider the words of Bruce Ashford as an explanation of this point:

In other words, sin and evil were not able to corrupt God’s created order structurally or ontologically. Satan and sin are not as powerful as God’s word and therefore cannot destroy creation. They cannot make purely bad what God created originally good. All they can do is misdirect. Thus creation remains good structurally (in its existence and basic order) but has been made bad directionally (as humanity brings out the hidden potentials of creation by building society and culture, but does so in an errant manner, directing it toward idols rather than God).

For these reasons, God sent his Son to restore nature. The salvation provided by the Son is offered to God’s image bearers, but extends beyond them to the whole creation. According to an interpretation of Romans 8:19-22, Christ will liberate creation from the bondage it is now experiencing because of the Fall. One day, He will return to renew and restore his good creation, purifying it of corruption and misdirection, and placing in its midst a majestic city – the New Jerusalem (cf. Revelation 21:1). This New Jerusalem is not simply a heavenly city, but it is thoroughly cultural, characterized by architecture, art, and music. Thus, the metanarrative of Scripture (creation-fall-redemption-consummation) applies not just to the individual Christian, but it appeals to all of creation.

Cosmic Redemption

This view of cosmic redemption has two broad implications in this vision. First, since God will liberate creation from its bondage—rather than annihilating it— this affirms that sin did not have the power to corrupt creation ontologically. The created order, even though it has been misdirected, remains God’s good creation. He will renew it and restore it, instead of replacing it.

Second, in this vision, our eternity unfolds in our present universe. This affirms the enduring goodness of the physical and material (i.e. cultural) aspects of our lives. In this vision, God’s redemptive grace is not opposed to nature in that God will completely replace this world with another world. Rather, God accomplishes cosmic redemption by renewing and restoring nature – making it what He always intended it to be. Consider the words of Abraham Kuyper:

For if grace exclusively concerned atonement for sin and salvation of souls, one could view grace as something located and operating outside of nature….But if it is true that Christ our Savior has to do not only with our soul but also with our body…then of course everything is different. We see immediately that grace is inseparably connected with nature, that grace and nature belong together. Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader, 173.

Redirecting the Culture

This vision presents a distinctive view of the way a Christian should live in the world. In this vision, believers are called to be transformative or redirective in our social and cultural activities. Within every single vocation that God calls believers, we desire God’s Word to shape our words and activities. Hence, believers inquire about God’s original creational design for a certain activity, then discern the manifold ways it has been misdirected by sin, and finally find ways to redirect that activity or realm towards Christ.

This is done out of love for Christ and our neighbor, as a matter of obedience, and a matter of witness. Since Christ’s lordship extends to all of creation, then it must extend to all cultural activities. Thus, Christ’s saving Lordship should be conveyed not only by our words but by our cultural deeds. And we do so as a preview of Christ’s coming Kingdom, when he will renew this heavens and earth. God’s redemption and restoration transforms us in the totality of our being, across the entire fabric of our lives, and redirects our lives comprehensively. Kuyper writes,

In short, everything is his. His kingdom is over everything….His kingdom is a kingdom of all ages, of all spheres, of all creatures. On Kuyper, 147-148.

Thus every act of obedience—whether in prayer or in politics, in evangelism or in economics—is a part of Christian mission, a manifestation of kingdom work. Because the antithesis is operative as a misdirecting agent in every part of creation and culture, we should draw upon God’s thesis (i.e. God’s word) to redirect all activities in our lives.

Redirecting Public Theology

Most importantly for the sake of our discussion, this vision has a distinctive view of public theology. If God’s sovereign authority holds for every sphere of life and if his word is relevant to every sphere, then politics and the public square are no exception. Kuyper exemplified this conviction in his own life. He drew upon the “grace restores nature” framework in order to shape his understanding of politics and the public square.

First, this vision has a distinctive view of how a Christian should do academic scholarship. It views every academic discipline as an opportunity to view God’s world through the lens of his Word. Kuyper writes,

He who lives from, and consistently within, the orbit of Revelation confesses that all Sovereignty rests in God and can therefore proceed only from Him; that the Sovereignty of God has been conferred absolute and undivided upon the man-Messiah; and that…every…sphere of life recognizes an authority derived from him. Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader, 468.

A Christian scholar who believes that redemptive grace restores nature will recognize that his field of study, has an authority derived from Christ. His discipline operates within a sphere that has a unique God-given principle at its core, shaping the discipline’s goal as well as its appropriate parameters. It is within this framework that Christian higher education can thrive.

Second, this vision strongly encourages believers to approach any aspect of public life by discerning God’s creational design for that aspect (thesis), discerning the various ways in which these aspects have been corrupted and misdirected by sin (antithesis), and working to redirect them toward Christ. Similar to the views of Luther and Calvin, our engagement in the public sphere cannot and should not be done in reliance upon general revelation alone. Christians should allow our specifically Christian beliefs and commitments to inform our views on social, cultural, and political issues.

Third, this vision causes us to avoid an improperly coercive relationship between church and state. Kuyper’s answer to the church-state relationship was the sphere sovereignty concept discussed in our last post. Kuyper argued that God ordered creation in such a way that there are multiple spheres (such as art, science, religion, and politics). God is sovereign over the spheres and each sphere exists directly under God’s authority (rather than under the church’s authority).

Fourth, this vision makes a distinction between the institutional church and the organic church, and applies that distinction to public square activities. The church, as an institution, gathers weekly to preach the word and to administer the sacraments. However, the church is also an organism – a covenantal body of believers who scatter throughout society and culture during the week. While the institutional church may have indirect influence on politics and the public square by shaping its members into Christian disciples, it should not exert direct influence. However, the organic church—the covenanted members of the church—may exercise direct influence in politics and the public square, by applying their discipleship to public matters when opportunity arises and expertise allows.


Much more could be said here, but the “grace restores nature” framework provides the theological foundation for discussion Kuyper’s (and neo-Kuyperian) public theology. There are many who interpret this vision as “redeeming the culture” or “transforming the culture”. However, this would be a mischaracterization of the views of many neo-Kuyperians. Many neo-Kuyperians understand that any cultural transformation will be neither comprehensive nor enduring, until the day when Christ Jesus transforms the world. All of these activities are done out of love for Christ and our neighbor, as a matter of witness and obedience, and in the hopes that the Christian community can provide a preview of Christ’s coming kingdom. Kuyper applied this vision in a very helpful way to politics and the public square. He emphasized God’s sovereignty over every sphere of culture, including church and state. He provided a way for church and state to relate to one another properly, without one domineering the other. He sought to avoid the twin extremes of a naked square on the one hand, or a theocracy on the other. Kuyper grasped one great truth—that Christ’s lordship is universal—and sought to apply it wisely and consistently to life on this earth. And from that we can all benefit.

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology – Sphere Sovereignty in Kuyper

Read the first six posts here, here, here, here, here, and here.


In our discussion of a Reformed Baptist perspective on public theology, we have recently been examining the Reformed confessions. In today’s article, we will begin our discussion of some more recent developments regarding Reformed perspectives of public theology. In our view, no modern discussion on Reformed public theology can be presented without discussing the contributions of Abraham Kuyper. By becoming familiar with Kuyper’s approach to public theology, readers should be in a position to evaluate the politics of writers like Francis Schaeffer, Tim LaHaye (and many of the members of the Christian Right movement), and Tim Keller – all of whom owe an intellectual debt to Kuyper.

As a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church and a leader in the first modern Dutch political party, the Anti-Revolutionary Party, Kuyper sought to re-create a Christian perspective on politics and society that would form the basis for Christian social action. He envisaged this as an integral part of a comprehensive Christian worldview based upon the Scriptures and their interpretation within the Augustinian-Calvinist tradition. Although he wrote copiously in Dutch on theology, art, politics, education, and a host of other topics, only a few of his writings are available in English translations. The most comprehensive statement of his position in English is to be found in the Stone Lectures, which were delivered at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1898 and are published under the title Lectures on Calvinism. This article will consist of a brief exposition of Kuyper’s views as set out in these lectures.

Calvinism as a Worldview

For Kuyper, Calvinism is “a theory of ontology, of ethics, of social happiness, and of human liberty, all derived from God” (p. 15). Thus, Kuyper saw Calvinism, not merely as a system of doctrine, but a comprehensive worldview. In its essence, the heart of Calvinism (and any other worldview) revolves around three fundamental relationships: “(1) our relation to God; (2) our relation to men; and (3) our relation to the world” (p. 19). As example of this interpretation, Kuyper argues that Paganism is a distinct worldview that worships god in the creature. This worship results in a distortion of man’s other relationships by allowing some men to become demi-gods and thus creating caste systems in society. At the same time, too high an estimate is placed on the idea of nature, which leads to a deification of the world. Kuyper offers similar interpretations of Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Modernism – all of which he contrasts with Calvinism. It is in Calvinism alone, he argues, that one can find the proper balance between these vital relationships.

According to Kuyper’s understanding of Calvinism, God enters into immediate fellowship with mankind. So, according to this doctrine, our entire human life is placed immediately before God, ensuring the equality of all men before God and with each other (p. 27). The world itself is to be honored not because it is divine, but because it is a divine creation – the handiwork of God. Practically, this means for the Christian that “the curse should no longer rest upon the world itself, but upon that which is sinful in it, and instead of monastic flight from the world the duty is now emphasized of serving God in the world, in every position of life” (p. 31).

The third lecture in the series is entitled Calvinism and Politics. Here we find a brief, but dense outline of Kuyper’s political theory distilled from his great work, Ons Programme (Our Program, 1878). He argues that the foundational principle for Calvinistic public theology is “the Sovereignty of the Triune God over the whole Cosmos” (p. 99). From this statement, he deduces three realms of sovereignty which he calls “spheres”: the State, Society and the Church. In this way he speaks about his political principle as the application of the principle of “sphere sovereignty” to politics (p. 116).

The Sphere of the State

The first application of this notion of sphere sovereignty is to the State, which seems to refer to the civil government. Kuyper sums up Calvinistic political thought in three theses:

  1. God only – and never any creature – is possessed of sovereign rights, in the destiny of the nations, because God alone created them, maintains them by His Almighty power, and rules them by His ordinances.
  2. Sin has, in the realm of politics, broken down the direct government of God, and therefore the exercise of authority, for the purpose of government has subsequently been invested in men, as a mechanical remedy.
  3. In whatever form this authority may reveal itself, man never possesses power over his fellow man in any way than by an authority which descends upon him from the majesty of God.

Kuyper argues that mankind is organically related by blood so that one humanity exists throughout all time. However, because of sin and the Fall, mankind’s original unity has been fractured, and political life has become a necessity. If the fall did not exist, there would have been no need for the establishment of the structures of the State. Rather, all men would be governed through family relationships. Thus politics and the State are unnatural developments in human history – the State being a mechanical structure imposed upon the natural organic relationships that bind men together. “God has instituted magistrates, by reason of sin” (p. 102). Therefore, from the viewpoint of God’s original creation, the State ought not to exist, but in the light of the Fall, it must exist to restrain evil and make life in a fallen world tolerable – a view reminiscent of Augustine’s Two Cities.

In arguing for his third thesis, Kuyper does not believe that any one form of government is in itself right for all times and places. Rather, the form that government takes is bound up with changes in historical and social circumstances, which is a position he traces back to Augustine. Christians are to seek godly government without demanding a set form. In saying this, Kuyper rejects the idea of a theocracy, which he argues was restricted to ancient Israel.

The Sphere of Society

Building on this foundation, Kuyper goes on to discuss the sphere of society. Society, he declares, is not one whole, but a number of diverse parts which includes the family, business, science, the arts, and etc.. In particular, Kuyper divides the social sphere into four main groups:

  1. the sphere of social relationships where individuals meet and interact with each other;
  2. the corporate sphere, which includes all groupings of men in a corporate sense such as universities, trade unions, employers, organizations, companies, etc;
  3. the domestic sphere, which deals with family, marriage, education, and personal property; and
  4. the communal sphere, which includes all groupings of men in communal relationships such as streets, villages, towns, cities, etc.

Each part of these spheres, Kuyper argues, has “sovereignty in the individual social spheres and these different developments of social life have nothing above themselves but God, and the State cannot intrude here” (p. 116). In society “the chief aim of all human effort remains what it was by virtue of our creation and before the fall – namely, domination over nature” (p. 117).

By contrast to this view of society as a natural, organic institution, government is a mechanical device, which is set over peoples. Its essential characteristic is its power over life and death, which ought to be exercised in the administration of justice. This has a twofold application: 1) to maintain internal justice; 2) to care for the people as a unit at home and abroad. However, since government is mechanically imposed upon the organic spheres of society, friction occurs between different social areas and the government. Kuyper says “the government is always inclined with its mechanical authority to invade social life, to subject it and mechanically to arrange it” (p. 120). At the same time, Kuyper argues that the various social spheres will endeavor to throw off all restraints of government. Thus men will be continually faced with the twin dangers of statism and anarchy. But Calvinism, Kuyper maintains, avoids these extremes by insisting on the sovereignty of God and the rightfulness of a plurality of social spheres “under the law”, which is maintained by the government (p. 121).

Thus, in relation to the social sphere, the State itself has three duties to perform. They are: 1) to draw a boundary between the different social spheres to avoid social conflict. Thus, there is a boundary between the domestic and the corporate life of man. For example, the worker should never be misused by his employer in such a way as to deprive him of a home life or private interest, because such a development would mean that the corporate sphere has illegitimately invaded the domestic sphere; 2) to defend individuals and weak elements within each sphere; 3) to coerce all the separate spheres of society to support the State and uphold its legitimate functions. Thus, each sphere has an obligation to render whatever dues necessary for the maintenance of the overall unity of society as protected by the State (p. 124-125).

The Sphere of the Church and the Individual

Kuyper’s final sphere is the sphere of the Church. While admitting that a divided church presents many problems, he believes that implicit in the doctrine of the liberty of conscience is the ideal of a free church in a free society – hence, the motto “a free Church for a free State”. While acknowledging the benefits of a genuine unity between churches, Kuyper argues that the government must suspend judgment in this area and allow divisions to exist amongst Christians because “the government lacks the data of judgment and would infringe” on the sovereignty of the Church (p. 136). He concludes from this that while extreme forms of church order are to be avoided, allowances must be made for historic and cultural differences between denominations.

Kuyper concludes with a short section on the “sovereignty of the individual person” in which he argues that “conscience is never subject to man but always and ever to God Almighty” (p. 139). This argument leads him to declare that “liberty of speech and liberty of worship” (p. 141) are essential in a just society. Yet, like John Stuart Mill, Kuyper seeks to limit such liberty to “mature men”, and doubts that “backward people” can be granted such liberty. In this, as in all his arguments, Kuyper’s overall aim is to enable “every man to serve God according to his own conviction and the dictates of his own heart” (p. 142).

Concluding Thoughts

Kuyper’s discussion of sphere sovereignty has a number of similarities with Luther’s Two Kingdoms model of public theology, but there are some important differences. Kuyper’s concept of sphere sovereignty deals with different areas into which human life under Christ’s lordship are to be divided; they do not designate the eschatological distinction between this age and the age to come, which is central to the doctrine of two kingdoms. Thus, the concept of sphere sovereignty should be interpreted as a sociological concept that may be consistent with, but different from the two kingdoms doctrine. The two kingdoms model not only represents two spheres (because they denote two governments), but they also denote two overlapping ages.


In the next article, we will develop these points in more detail and examine how Kuyper (and many current neo-Kuyperians) grounded his understanding of public theology based on an emphasis on creation-fall-redemption and the relationship between grace and nature.

A Reformed Baptist Perspective on Public Theology – The Reformed Confessions (Part III)

Read the first five posts here, here, here, here, and here.



In our discussion of a Reformed Baptist perspective on public theology, we have recently been examining the Reformed confessions. In the last two posts, we examined two Reformed confessions’ assertions regarding the relationship of the civil government to the church: The Belgic Confession and The Baptist Confession (1644 / 1646). In today’s article, we will conclude our discussion of public theology in the Reformed confessions by examining two more confessions: The Westminster Confession and The Baptist Confession (1677 / 1689).

The Westminster Confession (1647)

In 1647, a year after the 1646 revision of The Baptist Confession, the Westminster Assembly published the second Reformed confession to be adopted in England: The Westminster Confession. In this Confession, they too addressed the topic of the civil magistrate. However, they returned to the language of the earlier Belgic Confession on the matter.

“The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven: yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed; all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed; and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God” (WCF 23.3).

The Westminster Confession then denied the right of the state to step in and administer the word and sacraments, but argued that it was the duty of the state to oversee and ensure “that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed; all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed; and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed.” In other words, the Westminster view of the state’s role was one of enforcing ecclesiastical order and discipline.

On this front, the Reformed began to see a clear divide in regard to public theology. Both credobaptists and paedobaptists among the Reformed agreed that the church had a duty to speak to the state. However, where English Particular Baptists argued for the state’s role to be one of ensuring liberty of conscience on matters of church practice, the paedobaptists in England as well as on the continent were arguing for more of an enforcer role for the state.

The Baptist Confession (1677 / 1689)

In the latter part of the 17th century, a new generation of Baptists convened to draft a new confession of faith. This Confession would be more robust than the first, but it would take a shape much closer to that of the Westminster Confession than that of the previous Baptist Confession. This change of shape is often mistaken for a change of substance, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Though things are stated differently in the Second London Baptist Confession, it represents the same basic theological framework on which the Particular Baptists operated in the early 17th century.

Notably, the 1689 Confession presents a much more streamlined doctrine of the civil magistrate. The emphasis on duties of the civil magistrate toward the church and regarding liberty of conscience is not as strong, but it is certainly still present. In particular, the laws of the state are put in subjection to a greater, more absolute law.

“Civil magistrates being set up by God for the ends aforesaid; subjection, in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but for conscience’ sake; and we ought to make supplications and prayers for kings and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty” (LBCF 1689, 24.3).

What is suggested in the language “in all lawful things” is the idea that there may be certain unlawful things commanded by the state that would force Christians to violate their consciences. If the question arises as to which to follow, man or our Spirit-led, Bible-informed consciences, we are to choose our conscience every time. As such, the Baptist Confessions are unanimous in promoting (even demanding) liberty of conscience and, when the state violates the conscience of the believer, civil disobedience along with the consequences that follow. There is a higher law to which we are called, so we are to subject ourselves in all things which do not violate that higher law. Even the confessional Presbyterian Americans eventually came to agree with their Baptist brothers on this view altering their own Westminster Confession to allow for liberty of conscience in their public theology.


From our study of the Reformed confessions, we see that there are certain universal principles that must be granted for any truly Reformed approach to public theology. First, God has given the sword to the civil magistrate for the purpose of punishing evil and promoting good. Second, in affirming this biblical truth, the Reformers confessed the duty of the church to speak directly to the state concerning its duties and responsibilities. Third, Christians are to subject themselves to all lawful ordinances of the state (meaning laws not requiring sin or disobedience toward God on the part of Christians). Fourth, Christians are to render respect and honor to all those who are in authority as men and women placed in authority by God to rule over us. Fifth, Christians are to pray for our magistrates in all matters as will lead to the comfort and prosperity of the state so that we might lead quiet and peaceful lives.

Where the confessions disagreed was in areas of ecclesiastical dealings and liberty of conscience. Where The Belgic Confession and the early Westminster Confession both argued that the state should have an enforcer role in the church and that it could force on the people a particular church’s views on the sacraments, the Baptist confessions endorsed a view that removed the state’s power to enforce church matters and promoted liberty of conscience. The Particular Baptists were careful to avoid intermingling of the Two Kingdoms, while not removing the prophetic voice from the church. Eventually, in America, the Particular Baptist perspective on public theology won out even for most paedobaptist churches. Thus, at least in the West, the Baptist view came to be the predominant view of the Reformed. Semper Reformanda!

Having laid a confessional foundation for our discussion, in the next article we will begin our discussion of some more recent developments regarding Reformed perspectives of Public Theology.

The Truth About the Texas GOP Platform on “Reparative Therapy”

The media’s pro-LGBT bias is raising its ugly head once again. The mainstream media and pro-homosexual activists have been up in arms over the platform language passed this weekend at the Texas GOP Convention. With headlines like “Texas Republicans vote to adopt gay conversion policy” and “Texas Republican Party Adopts Discredited ‘Reparative Therapy’ for Gays” one is left to think Republicans in Texas are supporting mandatory, forced therapy to force gays to become straight.

The stories you have read are false.

The Texas GOP simply adopted a straight forward plank that protects freedom and parental rights by allowing Texans to seek the counseling they desire, free from government interference.

The actual language of the platform reads:

“We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.  No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.”

– See more at: