Stephen Grabill

Posts by Stephen Grabill

Protestants and Natural Law, Part 8

To conclude this series, let’s recap what is meant by natural law by parsing the term. The “nature” referred to in natural law can mean different things, but I mean by it the divinely engrafted knowledge of morality in human reason and conscience, that which all human beings share by virtue of their creation in God’s image. Continue Reading...

Protestants and Natural Law, Part 7

In Parts 5 and 6 we addressed the two most common Protestant objections to natural law. And now, as promised, we will see what limitations the Reformers perceived in natural law, even as they affirmed its value. Continue Reading...

Protestants and Natural Law, Part 6

If the most common Protestant objection to natural law revolves around sin, as we saw in Part 5, we should now address the second most common objection that natural law is a rival to God and Scripture. Continue Reading...

Protestants and Natural Law, Part 5

In Part 4, we saw that post-Enlightenment philosophical currents such as Humean empiricism, utilitarianism, and legal positivism are the real culprits in the demise of natural law and not theological criticism from within Reformation theology, as many today take for granted. Continue Reading...

Protestants and Natural Law, Part 3

In Part 2, we saw that modern Protestant skepticism toward reason is one of the most significant factors in the rejection of natural law. Divine command ethics, particularly of the variety espoused by Karl Barth, quickly came to dominate the field of Protestant theological ethics in the middle decades of the twentieth century. Continue Reading...

Protestants and Natural Law, Part 2

In Part 1, we saw that the infrastructure of Protestant social teaching is not nearly as sophisticated as Roman Catholic social teaching and that natural law has often been viewed as a bridge between the church and the world. Continue Reading...

The Bible and Natural Law

David VanDrunen’s new monograph, A Biblical Case for Natural Law, is a must read for Christians who are perplexed about the biblical standing of natural law. It makes a biblical case for the existence and practical importance of natural law. Continue Reading...

Protestants and Natural Law, Part I

So, why don’t Protestants like Natural Law? The short answer is: there isn’t a short answer. So starting now, and continuing for who knows how long, I plan to tell the story of the Protestant struggle over natural law, from complete rejection by Karl Barth in the 1930s to the recent hint of renewed interest among Protestant intellectuals. Continue Reading...