Luther, Madison, and the Two Kingdoms

Rev. Matthew Harrison, the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, discusses a letter President James Madison sent to a Lutheran pastor in 1821 upon reading one of his sermons:

It is a pleasing and persuasive example of pious zeal, united with pure benevolence and of a cordial attachment to a particular creed, untinctured with sectarian illiberality. It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction, to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations. The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.

 President Harrison then goes on to give a very clear and perceptive explanation of the Doctrine of the  Two Kingdoms, which Madison was picking up on, which gives an alternative both to the view that the church should try to rule the world and the view that Christians should withdraw from that world. [Read more...]

C. S. Lewis on the evils of statism

Statism is the belief that the government should control or dominate all, or much, of life.  C. S. Lewis was against it.  David Theroux, president of the C. S. Lewis Society of California, sent me the video of a talk he gave at the first annual conference of Christians for Liberty entitled “C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism.”  I’ve posted it after the jump. [Read more...]

Republican lawmakers cave on fetal pain bill

The Republicans now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The pro-lifers who helped win them their majorities were promised a vote on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, when the unborn child is capable of feeling pain, as well as in many cases surviving outside the womb.  The bill passed the House in the last session, and polls show it having widespread support (including 71% of women).  But after media criticism, the Republican leadership pulled the bill.

Read what Mollie Hemingway has to say about this.  [Read more...]

Tonight’s State of the Union address

Tonight, President Obama will give the annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST.  The previews suggest that the president will put forward a number of liberal fantasies–raise taxes, offer free community college–that have absolutely no chance of passing in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate.

But let’s see what he has to say.  Feel free to live-blog the speech here by commenting on it as it unfolds. [Read more...]

A narrowed religious liberty vs. erotic liberty

Religious liberty, Al Mohler observes, is being restricted to private, unexpressed inner feelings and to what happens within the walls of a church.  Whereas traditionally, religions liberty extended to convictions that apply to external behavior and views about society.  But today religious views about how a person lives his or her life in the world are  increasingly are being outlawed and punished.  Dr. Mohler also gives a name to the specific conflict we are seeing today:  religious liberty vs. erotic liberty. [Read more...]

Obamacare employer mandate goes into effect

Now that it’s 2015, the next phase of Obamacare kicks in:  Employers of more than 100 people must give them insurance benefits.   This provision of the Affordable Care Act had been delayed by executive decree, but now it goes into effect.

Most employers in this range already provide health insurance to their employees, though the law does change things for the companies.  For example, those who work as many as 30 hours must now get insurance, even though they are not full time.

This time next year, the mandate will apply to smaller businesses those of 50 or more workers.  Businesses that hire fewer than 50 are not covered in the law and will not have to insure their employees. [Read more...]


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