In my last series of posts I have been trying to shift the frame of discussion from focusing on which people of the founding era were or were not Christian to which ideas of the founding era were or were not Christian. I have also tried to narrow down the topic to how the ideas of the founding era helped or hindered our progression toward the modern world. I attempted to accomplish this within the frame of discussion of a series of essays at "Cato Unbound" on that topic. In addition, I have pushed to make this relevant to the present by examining this in the light of how studying these "Second Wave" ideas can help position us as a nation to catch the Alvin Toffler's "Third Wave". The two questions I have posed are:
Which Christian ideas, if any, helped bring us into the modern world?
Which Christian ideas, if any, helped try to derail us from progressing toward the modern world?
Since my chosen focus is the Declaration of Independence it seemed logical to focus on the "free individuals sovereign" part of this equation. With that in mind, I began to outline here American Creation: Gary Amos, the Declaration, and "Christian" Ideas? some of the arguments of Gary Amos in his book "Declaring Independence" where he outlines his case that the Declaration of Independence was crafted as a legal argument in favor of the using the doctrine of "Interposition" to depose the King and declare independence.
Jon Rowe posted this response to my argument here American Creation: The DOI is NOT a Document of Interposition where he brought up some of the thoughts of John Calvin and declared that the Declaration of Independence did not fit with the Calvinist definition of "Interposition". The following are Calvin's words and a synopsis of "Interposition" from Jim Babka one of Jon's co-bloggers at Positive Liberty from a while back. Read this over and make up your own mind.
John Calvin on "Interposition":
Herein is the goodness, power, and providence of God wondrously displayed. At one time he raises up manifest avengers from among his own servants and gives them his command to punish accursed tyranny and deliver his people from calamity when they are unjustly oppressed; at another time he employs, for this purpose, the fury of men who have other thoughts and other aims. Thus he rescued his people Israel from the tyranny of Pharaoh by Moses; from the violence of Chusa, king of Syria, by Othniel; and from other bondage by other kings or judges. Thus he tamed the pride of Tyre by the Egyptians; the insolence of the Egyptians by the Assyrians; the ferocity of the Assyrians by the Chaldeans; the confidence of Babylon by the Medes and Persians, - Cyrus having previously subdued the Medes, while the ingratitude of the kings of Judah and Israel, and their impious contumacy after all his kindness, he subdued and punished, - at one time by the Assyrians, at another by the Babylonians. All these things however were not done in the same way.
The former class of deliverers being brought forward by the lawful call of God to perform such deeds, when they took up arms against kings, did not at all violate that majesty with which kings are invested by divine appointment, but armed from heaven, they, by a greater power, curbed a less, just as kings may lawfully punish their own satraps. The latter class, though they were directed by the hand of God, as seemed to him good, and did his work without knowing it, had nought but evil in their thoughts.
31. Constitutional defenders of the people's freedom
But whatever may be thought of the acts of the men themselves, the Lord by their means equally executed his own work, when he broke the bloody sceptres of insolent kings, and overthrew their intolerable dominations. Let princes hear and be afraid; but let us at the same time guard most carefully against spurning or violating the venerable and majestic authority of rulers, an authority which God has sanctioned by the surest edicts, although those invested with it should be most unworthy of it, and, as far as in them lies, pollute it by their iniquity. Although the Lord takes vengeance on unbridled domination, let us not therefore suppose that that vengeance is committed to us, to whom no command has been given but to obey and suffer.
I speak only of private men. For when popular magistrates have been appointed to curb the tyranny of kings, (as the Ephori, who were opposed to kings among the Spartans, or Tribunes of the people to consuls among the Romans, or Demarchs to the senate among the Athenians; and, perhaps, there is something similar to this in the power exercised in each kingdom by the three orders, when they hold their primary diets.) So far am I from forbidding these officially to check the undue license of kings, that if they connive at kings when they tyrannise and insult over the humbler of the people, I affirm that their dissimulation is not free from nefarious perfidy, because they fraudulently betray the liberty of the people, while knowing that, by the ordinance of God, they are its appointed guardians."(bold is mine)
Now Jim Babka from his post found here: http://www.positiveliberty.com/2008/04/romans-13-interposition-from-one-christians-view.html:
"NOTES ON INTERPOSITION
Calvin’s Doctrine of Interposition is a good start. But like all doctrines it is subject to enhanced understanding as knowledge and experience expand. Anything that stands in one place becomes dead and stale. This is true of all forms of knowledge and theology is no exception.
(P.S. Using Calvin is Jon and Dr. Frazer's best chance to prove their historical case for Romans 13 because he is "Mr. Orthodoxy" that is why I am addressing Calvin first. As Tom, and Jim in another part of the post above, state correctly, Calvinism does not equal Christianity. So other evidence will follow...)
(P.S.S Dr. Frazer I see Calvin used Othniel as an example just like I did)