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Sunday, October 11, 2015

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  • Eighteenth century natural law philosophers, and others before them, treated feudal society as a norm rather than an outgrowth of a real, if imperfect, Christianization of society and its relationships in terms of Biblical law. Thus, God's law became a given and hence "natural." Such thinking is not only non-historical, but also distinctly non-Biblical. Scripture tells us that nature is fallen and man depraved by a sin nature. Nature is not to be seen as a source of law or revelation. Only God is true and only His revelation is law. His creation may reflect His law, but is not a source of it. If nature is the, or even an, independent source of law, then man is its mouthpiece. Natural law is an open invitation to the autonomous mind of man interpreting nature as law. In a more Christian era, it was easy to see the prevailing ethic as "natural." It was not natural; it was the moral capital of a Christian culture which had self-consciously limited state authority after the fall of Rome, the last great pagan empire of antiquity. Law does not come from nature; law comes from the Creator of nature. In the physical realm "the laws of nature" are a mis-named reference to God's established laws over the material creation. Likewise, the reference in moral philosophy to "natural law" credits nature as the self-evident source of ethics and law.
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