The Relationship between State and Church Classical Concepts Examined from a Baptist Perspective

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Uwe Swarat


Baptists have long stood for freedom of religion and of conscience, and these two are inextricably bound together with the relationship between church and state. This paper examines the following church-state models: the Eastern Church model of the established church; the Roman Catholic model of political theocracy; the theology and praxis of Martin Luther’s doctrine of the two regiments; the Reformed Christocratic mode; the Anabaptist model of strict separation of Christians from public affairs; and finally the Baptist model, which emphasises separation of church and state, but permits Christians to take on civil roles in society. The author concludes by pointing out the shortcomings of the state-church and theocratic models, preferring instead the Baptist model of state-church separation, which also attempts to implement Luther’s doctrine of the two regiments.

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Author Biography

Uwe Swarat

Prof. Dr. Uwe Swarat is Professor of Systematic Theology and the History of Dogma at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Elstal near Berlin (Theologische Hochschule Elstal).