The Substance of Consciousness
May 23, 2023
January 03, 2018
In 2017, The Davenant Institute released Natural Law: A Brief Introduction and Biblical Defense by David Haines and Andrew A. Fulford. Haines teaches Christian apologetics and philosophy for a number of Canadian seminaries, and is the founder of the Christian Philosophy and Apologetics Center, which provides university level courses in philosophy and apologetics to the Francophone world. Andrew Fulford is a Ph.D candidate at McGill University.
From the publisher’s description:
As Christians, we affirm that Scripture is our supreme guide to truth and righteousness. Some wish to go further and assert that it is our only guide. But how then can we account for the remarkable insight and moral integrity that many unbelievers seem to display? Indeed, how to account for the myriad ways in which believers themselves navigate the world based on knowledge and intuition not always derived from Scripture?
Enter the doctrine of natural law. Frequently misrepresented as an assertion of the autonomous power of human reason or as a uniquely Roman Catholic doctrine, natural law has actually been an integral part of orthodox Christian theology since the beginning, and is even clearly asserted in Scripture itself.
In this brief guide, David Haines and Andrew Fulford explain the philosophical foundations of natural law, clear up common misunderstandings about the term, and demonstrate the robust biblical basis for natural law reasoning.
Read an excerpt of the book here.
Of the book, Philosophia Christi contributors, J.P. Moreland and Paul Helm say the following:
This is a Guide that has considerable depth, indeed two distinct dimensions. The reader is first guided to the philosophical roots of natural law thinking in ancient and scholastic philosophy; then secondly to the Biblical evidence for natural law. The result makes for a first-rate, thought-provoking introduction.
— Paul Helm, Professor Emeritus, King’s College, London.
Natural Law: A Brief Introduction and Biblical Defense could not have come at a better time. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to see that the increasing secularization of Western culture has lead to ethical, theological and behavioral chaos and relativism. Christians must speak clearly and convincingly about the messy issues of our day, but they, especially Protestants, are ill-prepared to engage the world of ideas without citing the Bible. Among other things, this implies that Christians should be laboring for a theocracy, but this is not what is needed and the state must have some sort of guidance to carry out its mission of punishing wrongdoing in Romans 13 without the scriptures. The existence, nature and knowability of natural moral law is what meets these needs.Fulford and Haines have provided an outstanding work that must get a wide readership if Christians are to re-engage the public square thoughtfully and appropriately. They follow a carefully developed order of presentation in this book. Before giving what may be the best recent biblical defense of natural law theory, they rightly are concerned to make very clear exactly what natural law is. Refreshingly, they ground natural law in solid metaphysical treatments of God’s relation to the natural law and in the metaphysics of the creation within which natural law makes sense. This is followed by unpacking the claim that natural moral law is knowable by human beings. Given this treasure-trove of background, the biblical defense of natural moral law is clarified. I am excited about this book! And I thank God for Fulford and Haines who took great effort and much time to serve the church with this resource.
–JP Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.
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