Since assuming my new position on the faculty of the International School of Law in Washington, D. C., I have been asked by a number of well-meaning Christian friends: “What are you doing there?”
When considering the offer, what did I obtain for my personal library from a European antiquarian book dealer but a seventeenth-century Latin divinity thesis on the subject “whether one who gives up theology for law or medicine can be saved” (conclusion: yes, but be careful). My present role, however, has in no sense been a desertion of theology, since my professorship of jurisprudence (jurisprudence=philosophy/theology of law) was created at ISL specifically to reintegrate positive law and Christian truth in the manner characteristic of Blackstone and legal instruction in the early years of our nation’s history. The interrelations of law and theology are multifarious.
Readers of older apologetic literature are aware that lawyers and legal scholars have often been concerned with the credibility of Christianity. The “founder of modern apologetics” by way of his classic work The Truth of the Christian Religion (1627) was Hugo Grotius—and he is even more well known as the “father of international law” for his treatise on The Law of War and Peace (1625). The greatest authority on American common-law evidence in the nineteenth century was Harvard Law professor Simon Greenleaf, the author of the still published Testimony of the Evangelists, a demonstration of the reliability of the gospel accounts of our Lord’s life. Irwin Linton’s popular volume A Lawyer Examines the Bible, the tracts and booklets of J. N. D. Anderson (director of the University of London’s Institute ...1
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