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American Government in Christian Perspective (A Beka) Paperback – 1997
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textbook with 3 units - Unit 1: Foundations of American Government, Unit 2: Our Constitutional Republic, and Unit 3: Our Federal Republic.
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At the end of the table of contents, Romans 13:1-7 is prominently displayed. This passage includes the words, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.... Whosoever ... resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation... For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers.... Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom...." It their original historical context, these words were written by Paul to Christians in Rome who were suffering under, among other things, oppressive taxation. Paul was admonishing them to not try to overthrow the government. Several years before this letter, the Jews had caused such disturbances in Rome that they were temporarily banished from the city. A year after the letter, there was a tax revolt. These are the kinds of activities Paul seems to be warning against in his letter to the Romans.
Yet, after quoting Paul's warnings, this textbook exalts the Declaration of Independence, which justifies overthrowing British rule of the colonies--because of, among other things, oppressive taxation!
A second level of irony is found by comparing the clause "there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans) with the clause "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" (Declaration of Independence). So, from whose authority do governments receive their power--from man, or from God? Which is right--God's Word, or the Declaration of Independence? The author's attempts to revere both make for a text that is unsatisfactory for anyone who truly reveres either one above the other.
Find another book that is both more historically balanced and more faithful to the spirit of Jesus.