The Rutherford Option

Now, my point isn’t to terrify you, though if you are a parent, you have to know what you and your children are up against in our world. Rod Dreher is absolutely correct that parents, churches, and other groups are going to have to get radical in their efforts to protect themselves and their children. There is plenty of room to debate how we do that, but none to debate whether we do it or not.

Mapping out a strategy of spiritual protection is about as far as Dreher’s book takes us. This is where I would argue that Dreher’s approach is insufficient. Here is where we get to my option, the Rutherford Option. In short, my argument is that we certainly must protect our families and churches, but that we should also do what we can to fight for a just political order (understood in Christian terms) in our own nation as well. Why is this the Rutherford Option?

Samuel Rutherford was a seventeenth-century Presbyterian pastor and theologian, college professor and head, and commissioner from Scotland to the Westminster Assembly, the body that wrote the Westminster Confession of Faith, and Shorter and Larger Catechisms. Rutherford is best remembered today for a large collection of pastoral letters he wrote. These letters are thought by many to be some of the most heavenly-minded things ever written by an uninspired author. But Rutherford also wrote Lex, Rex, which was a polemic against the absolute divine right of kings to rule without checks on their power.

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