Over at Lutherpunk’s bog, we had a lively discussion of abortion and other pro-life issues, and I asked what role the government appropriately plays in these issues. But beyond the pro-life issues, I wonder what a Lutheran understanding of government is. I am no Luther scholar, but I gather that for Luther government is a God-blessed institution called to establish and maintain social order, provide education, care for the poor, punish unethical business practices, and carry out other activities related to encouraging good citizenship (a blessed vocation in itself) and establishing social order. What is missing from this description?
So, what is a Lutheran understanding of government? I surely see in Luther a greater role for government than that which many small government conservatives call for, but I can’t figure just how extensive, dominant or controlling a role Luther envisions for government. I could blabber on and on about my personal take on government (which is somewhere in the old Rockerfeller Republican category), but I’d rather try to isolate what constitutes a Lutheran vision for government.
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