A sterling exemplar of an earlier century?s spiritual mission of the church, James H. Thornwell, put it well when he said that public virtue would not ensue, unless connected to religion. He affirmed, ?The moral nature of man is inseparably linked with immortality, and immortality is inseparably linked with religion.?
Moreover, Thornwell trumpeted the inescapably religious foundation of politics: ?Subjects that have no religion are incapable ...
A sterling exemplar of an earlier century’s spiritual mission of the church, James H. Thornwell, put it well when he said that public virtue would not ensue, unless connected to religion. He affirmed, “The moral nature of man is inseparably linked with immortality, and immortality is inseparably linked with religion.”
Moreover, Thornwell trumpeted the inescapably religious foundation of politics: “Subjects that have no religion are incapable of law. . . . Every State, therefore, must have a religion, or it must cease to be a government of men. Hence no Commonwealth has ever existed without religious sanctions. . . . man must have a religion. Everywhere, in all ages, in all countries, in ancient as in modern times, in civilized as well as in barbarian nations, we find him a worshipper at some altar, be it venerable, degraded, or blood-stained.”
It will be a welcome step in the right direction if churches re-learn the equal dangers of political extremism and also of Gnostic disengagement. In place of those extremes, we have a large repository of fine materials that can help us keep our balance.
Many of the sermons in this volume were from some of the finest pastors. And among them, Robert Dabney and Benjamin Palmer were from the tradition within Southern Presbyterianism that emphasized the “spiritual mission” of the church.
However, fully embracing the uniqueness of the church, these faithful exegetes also knew that their flocks needed instruction from the Word on all topics. They sought, even though men of their age, to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” while not confusing the agencies of the church and state.
Dr. David W. Hall has served as the Senior Pastor of the historic Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Powder Springs, Georgia since 2003. Previously, he served as Pastor of the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (1984-2003) and as Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Rome, Georgia (1980-1984).
Dr. Hall’s undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis (B. A., 1975) was in philosophy. After completion of his undergraduate studies, Pastor Hall studied at Swiss L’Abri and then enrolled at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating in 1980. He later earned a Ph.D. in Christian Intellectual Thought from Whitefield Theological Seminary.
In addition to pastoring, David Hall is the author or editor of over 20 books and numerous essays. He was also the Founder and Senior Fellow of the Kuyper Institute in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In addition to his commentaries and Kuyper Institute Briefings, his works include: The Genevan Reformation and the American Founding; Savior or Servant? Putting Government in Its Place; The Arrogance of the Modern: Historical Theology Held in Contempt; Holding Fast to Creation; The Millennium of Jesus Christ: An Exposition of The Revelation for All Ages, Welfare Reformed: A Compassionate Approach and A Heart Promptly Offered: The Revolutionary Leadership of John Calvin.
In addition to his work as Executive Director of Calvin500, his Calvin500 series contains the following works: The Legacy of John Calvin, Calvin in the Public Square, Calvin and Commerce, Preaching Like Calvin, Calvin and Culture, Tributes to John Calvin, and Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes.