David Hall
Calvin’s discussion of Romans 13 began by explaining that all civil power originates with the sovereign God—not with man, as later secular schemes suggested. He then discussed the role of civil government and the duty of the Christian to submit to that government except in extreme circumstances...Continue reading.
David Hall
Although some theologians claim to see discrepancies between Calvin’s early thought in The Institutes and his later commentaries and sermons on the matter of resistance, a review of his commentary on Daniel 6:21-23 reveals no radical discontinuity. Admittedly, certain events, such as the 1572 St...Continue reading.
David Hall
Moses’ layered scheme, advised by his father in law in Exodus 18 seemed to Calvin and his disciples to be republicanism. Commenting on a similar passage in Deuteronomy 1:14-16, Calvin stated: “Hence it more plainly appears that those who were to preside in judgment were not appointed only by the...Continue reading.
David Hall
Rather than commending either a democracy or a monarchy, Jethro advised Moses and the people to select a plurality of prudent representative leaders (Exodus 18:21). Moses instituted a graduated series of administrations with greater and lesser magistrates, and Calvin asserted that the earliest...Continue reading.
David Hall
In a phrase that would become incendiary, Calvin noted that not only kings but also “people must sometimes take up arms to execute public vengeance” (4:20, 11). The same basis for waging war was also used both to justify revolution and to put down sedition. If the magistrates were to punish private...Continue reading.
David Hall
Calvin was balanced in his views of government. He called for ethical and religious considerations to be included in good government, argued for republicanism on an authoritative basis, pleaded with believers to exemplify virtue and be submissive as a norm, and paved the way for later political...Continue reading.
David Hall
I send greetings to all Protestants at the Inauguration of the 45th President of the US. Believe it or not, some of our tradition’s ideas have led you to this point. After a spirited campaign, perhaps a voice removed from the political fray could offer some modest, principled advice. With all the...Continue reading.
David Hall
A survey of congressional proclamations for days of fasting or Thanksgiving is instructive, especially to those who have been catechized in the dogma of strict separationism. Indeed, the religious worldview of the 1770s betrays the following key theological assumptions, which were apparently...Continue reading.
David Hall
Despite having been born near John Calvin’s Geneva (Nyon) and having attended the University of Geneva, John Fletcher (1729–1785) later relocated to England and threw all in with the Wesley brothers. He was ordained to the Anglican priesthood in 1757 but his sympathies were all with the upstart...Continue reading.

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