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Building God’s KingdomInside the World of Christian Reconstruction$
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Julie J. Ingersoll

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199913787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199913787.001.0001

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Jurisdictional Authority and Sphere Sovereignty

Jurisdictional Authority and Sphere Sovereignty

(p.39) 2 Jurisdictional Authority and Sphere Sovereignty
Building God’s Kingdom

Julie J. Ingersoll

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 connects the ideas examined in chapter 1 with contemporary dominion theology and the fight against secular humanism, showing how the theological ideas were popularized in forms embraced by evangelicals and fundamentalists who did not themselves come to identify explicitly with the Reconstructionists. A key notion in the Reconstructionists’ systematic biblical worldview addressing every aspect of life is “jurisdictional authority” or sphere sovereignty. In their view, God delegated specific authority in each of three human institutions: family, church, and civil government. This framework set ups the claim that the Bible speaks to all areas of life. Any activity outside the limited jurisdiction of each institution is seen as a usurpation of the others and a violation of biblical law. The result is opposition to public education and public aid to the poor, their broad sense of biblical economics, and more.

Keywords:   jurisdictional authority, sphere sovereignty, biblical law, dominion, secular humanism

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