Running Head: LAW 1
Discuss which aspects of these theories (American Legal Realism, Law and Economics, and the Interpretive Approach) are consistent or inconsistent with the biblical worldview of the law.
To effectively compare the consistency of each of these theories to the biblical view of law it is important first to discuss the aspects that each of these theories advocated for. The government affects our lives on an everyday basis since it controls almost every aspect of our lives through the regulation that it enforces. The purpose of law is to restore order in the society. Various theories over the years have been developed trying to explain where the law came from in the society and the role and function of law.
First, let’s focus on what the bible says about laws. Often it is difficult to establish a clear view of what law and government are according to the bible because the bible does not offer insight into human-made laws (Morey, 2010). According to the teachings of the bible which are the basis of Christian faith, God is seen as the divine source of all truth and all laws and human being ought to be accountable only to him. Christians, therefore, view the Bible as the source of all authority and laws that need to be followed by human beings. The laws of a country, therefore, need also to comply with the laws that God dictates in the Bible for them to be acceptable in a Christian society and for it to have strong foundation.
The American Legal Realism defines law as what judges in a court do or decide in a case rather than what they are going to decide or what they are going to do. This theory recognizes only those rules that are made by judges as the only laws. Law, in this case, does not allow any moral or value compass, but rather it is generalized as the decisions of the judges. This theory moves away from written laws and believes in evolution of various parts of law in order to accommodate changes in the society (Kelsen, 2007). This theory is highly inconsistent with the Christian view of laws because according to Christians laws are clearly written down in the bible and follow a given moral compass, unlike the American Legal Realism where there is no clear set down laws. Inconsistency also is observed in the fact that the basis of this theory is human-made laws from scientific observation while biblical view is God made laws.
Law and Economics also known as the economic analysis of laws refers to the application of theories of economics in analysis of laws. The theory states that law is a tool of the society that aims to enhance the efficiency level of an economy and therefore economic analysis needs to be the guide to making laws (Kelsen, 2007). Based on this the inconsistency that exists when contrasted with the biblical view of law is clear. In law and economics, the basis of formation of these theories is economic analysis or economic theories as compare to the biblical view where the basis of formation is the laws of God stated in the Bible.
Finally, the Interpretive Approach claims that law is not a set of facts that have been laid out but that which the lawyers construct during their practice. This approach also acknowledges that there is no way law and morality can be separated (Kelsen, 2007). This theory is a little consistent with the biblical view of law since it takes into consideration moral values most of which are dictated by the word of God in the Bible.
From the discussion above, it is clear that the point of consistency and inconsistency of the three theories is the basis upon which laws are formulated. The first two theories are inconsistent since they do not draw their basis of law formation from the Bible but mainly from scientific and empirical grounds.
Kelsen, H. (2007). General theory of law and state. Clark, N.J: Lawbook Exchange.
Morey, R. (2010). The Bible, natural theology, and natural law : conflict or compromise. Longwood, Fla: Xulon Press.