I have a lot of respect for intellectuals who do good work and push the edge while maintaining honesty in their work. Mark Noll is just such a man. I saw him speak to a small group at Duke once, even got a word with him afterwards. He is perhaps the most prominent theological historian in the world.
But I don’t like what he has to say in Christianity Today, and I don’t like that CT saw it fit to publish.
What I find most lacking is I Samuel 8. Statist Christians love to toss Romans 13 around all the time. “You must obey, blah, blah, blah…” But the precise understanding of the distinction between law and government was best illustrated in the Revolutionary war.
The patriots were not rebelling against England’s Common Law, only the arbitrary dictates of a king. The English Common Law was so highly regarded by Americans that Blackstone’s Commentaries were commonplace. No it was not the law the Americans rejected, it was the idea that a human could claim the privilege of law-giver. The Common Law Process was the best ever devised for discovering the Natural Law, and the English and Americans got a long way with it.
Mark Noll has been studying Theologians too long. Time he read some economics.