“A man commanding unjustly and ruling tyrannically has in that no power from God.”
When Lex, Rex was written, the Reformation in England and Scotland was in crisis.
The English Civil War had just begun after Charles I tried to impose popish rituals on the church and asserted his divine right as king to overrule parliament.
Against these grandiose claims the Scottish pastor Samuel Rutherford wrote a book and changed western political philosophy forever as it led to the thinking that enabled the American revolution.
In his very learned work, Rutherford shows from Scripture, classical authors, and scholastic theologians that the king is not above the law; and that when the king violates it flagrantly, the people are right to resist him, even to the point of war.
The title Lex Rex is Latin for “Law is King”.
Divine right theorists had said that the King was the law, but Rutherford reverses this and shows that natural law is above the king, and thus there are times when citizens can and must obey God rather than man.
"Rutherford was a practical and pastoral theologian who could soar to great heights of glorious consolation. . . But Rutherford was also a bare-knuckle brawler who was clearly able to hold his own in the theological bar fight that was the seventeenth century. You are now holding in your hands the evidence of that.” ~ Introduction by Douglas Wilson
THE CHRISTIAN HERITAGE SERIES: The authors in the Christian Heritage Series paid a high price for the words you see before you. Not all paid with blood, but each spent his life fighting for the truth. This faithful sacrifice has become a rich inheritance for the Church in our day, even though it is often neglected. The Christian Heritage Series aims to put these important theological classics on every Christian’s bookshelf in colorful, well-crafted, and affordable volumes, with introductions written by those that love the books and their heritage.
AUTHOR: Samuel Rutherford
INTRODUCTION: Douglas Wilson
PAGE COUNT: 614 pages
PUB. DATE: August 11, 2020 (first published in 1644)