Over on X Stephen Wolfe offers a typical Natural Law kind of statement by posting;
“Christians need fewer theologian writing about politics. Politics, for Christians, should mainly be a discipline of non-theologians.”
From here Wolfe quotes from Francis Junius, a man who was trained to be a minister but left disgusted with the politics in the Church and his native country surrounding the controversy between Arminius and the supporters (including his own Uncle) who supported Calvinism.
“If any theologian labors concerning the matters relating to the ordering of human society, he wastes himself, and does the most serious injury to the God who calls him, to the Church for whose sake he has been called, and to her calling by being a busybody and meddling in others’ business which is insatiable ambition.”
The Mosaic Polity — pg. 20
A few observations here.
1.) Wolfe’s position here, amazingly enough, apes the position of Radical Two Kingdom Theology (R2K). R2K, like Wolfe here, insists that ministers should stay away from politics. Don’t talk about abortion from the pulpit. Don’t talk about sodomy from the pulpit. Don’t advocate for sabbath laws in the social order from the pulpit. Don’t give reasons from the Bible as to why magistrates are in sin for pursuing an immigration policy that dilutes both the religion of the people and the original stock. Wolfe wants all this to himself and others like him. Wolfe desires for the elimination of “thus sayeth the Lord,” ringing from the Church. This is the same exact position of David Van Drunen –he of R2K fame.
2.) Wolfe being a Thomist and following the Natural Law school basically advocates here for the same kind of philosophy/ideology/theology that emanated from the pagan Enlightenment. Wolfe doesn’t need any stinking theology in order to arrive at his politics. Indeed, per Wolfe, politics should belong to non-Theologians (as if that were even possible). Wolfe is echoing the Endarkenment project and is advocating that man — starting from himself, by the use of right reason and natural law– can come to truth without any Scriptural revelation.
3.) Allow me to say, once again, that there are exactly zero academic disciplines that can be pursued apart from theology. Whether one is talking about sociology, education, judicial realm, arts, philosophy, politics, history etc. etc. etc. theology is inescapable and is the beginning point for all disciplines. There is no pursuing any discipline without theological a-prioris. This includes the Natural Law Thomists types who hide from themselves the theology that they are working from while insisting that they are not doing theology. Wolfe does this in his book, insisting in his book that he is not doing theology. I promise you… all any of us do, all the time (including Dr. Wolfe) is theology. It’s just either purposeful disingenuousness or a blindness of epic proportions to deny this.
4.) There are whole books out there connecting theology to politics. Martin Foulner’s “Theonomy & the Westminster Confession” is one such book. Dr. Glenn R. Martin’s “Prevailing Worldviews of Western Society Since 1500,” is another. R. J. Rushdoony, Francis Schaeffer, Gary North, and C. Greg Singer all connected what they wrote on politics to theology. Pray tell, what does Wolfe do with the Black Robed Regiment in the American colonies during the run up to the War for American Independence?
Now Wolfe, hating the presuppositional school as being a Natural Law theologian (and I feel the same way about his philosophy as he does about my theology,) like his R2K bedfellows doesn’t want the presuppositionalists swimming in a pool (politics) he thinks should be exclusive to him and his R2K pool buddies but I’m here to tell you that he’s in over his head and is drowning.
5.) I understand how frustrated Wolfe is by so many clergy who are absolute dorks who are resisting him. However, the problem with these dorks is not limited to politics. These dorks rot at politics because they rot at theology. They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a pulpit. Frankly, I’m surprised that God has struck many of them dead where they stand in their pulpits for resisting the Lordship of Jesus Christ over nations. However, the conclusion here isn’t to restrict a theology that touches every area of life (including politics) from the bailiwick of the pulpit.
6.) I have liked some of the conclusions that Wolfe has arrived at but I absolutely loath … despise … hate the man’s Natural Law methodology. We see the instability of it again in Wolfe’s echoing of the R2K school in his desire to eliminating theology from politics. Here we have R2K who insists that they are the voice of God’s Natural Law, and Wolfe who insists he is the voice of Gods’ Natural Law, and these two are at each other’s throats as to what Natural Law teaches. If the R2K Thomists, and the Wolfe crowd Thomists can’t agree on what Natural Law teaches how is anybody else going to read the tea leaves of Natural Law rightly.
Natural Law went the way of the Dodo bird because men began to see that it was clearly a thin and weak reed to lean on. Natural Law was eclipsed because it sucked wind as a theology/philosophy that could provide stability for a social order. The reason then, and the reason now, Natural law sucks so badly as a epistemological foundation is that it is completely subjective to whomever is reading Natural Law. This is proven, in spades, by the fact that the R2K fanboys, and the Wolfe fanboys, who both love them some Natural Law can’t stand to be in each other’s presence when it comes to working out what Natural Law really means.