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Monday, February 16, 2009

Biblical Democracy: A Review

This is a repost from the ACDP Tshwane blog. I initially wrote this for them.

Biblical Democracy... Two words that probably most Christians would not put together. "An oxymoron," they would say!

However, this book written by Edward Cain and his daughter Miriam Cain (who just happened to be at school with my wife many years ago), gives us a practical look at how the principles set forth in the Bible impact society around us.

The book is written in two parts, Part 1 - God and Government (which in my estimation is the Cain's theory behind Biblical Democracy) and Part 2 - Foundation of Freedom (which is a look at history and how different ideas have shaped the world and countries - distinguishing between the righteous American revolution and the hideous French revolution, for instance).

Each chapter in the book starts with the objectives of the chapter. What can you expect to learn from the chapter? Right through two worldviews are contrasted: the Biblical worldview vs. the secular humanist worldview. It shows what will happen when the God of the Bible is denied His rightful place in any country (Part 1) and gives examples from history that proves the point (Part 2). On the other hand, the Cains make it clear that a nation that honour God can expect God's blessings and again they show examples from history.

It is not an exhaustive treatment of the subject of Biblical Democracy, but it certainly is a good introduction to the subject at hand.

To make its point the book gives various statistics related to the South African political scene. For instance, "the murder rate has jumped from 5 959 in 1977/78 to a high of 26 832 in 1994. More people were killed in South Africa each year (1994-1999) in criminal violence than were killed in 13 years of political violence (23 758 from 9/84 to 12/97)." They also show how South Africa outstrips the U.S.A. by far when it comes to murder rates. In South Africa the murder rate per 100,000 is 47.8 (2002 - 21,738 murders)) while in the U.S.A. it is only 5.7 per 100,000 (1999 - 15,500 murders). It also provides us with rape conviction statistics. In 1988 27.1% of reported rapes resulted in convictions whereas by 2000 only 7.6% of reported rapes resulted in convictions!

Anyone who would like to learn more about why Christians should get involved in the political process must read this book, at least as an introduction!

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