From Judges to Justices: Keeping Executive Power in Check Is an Ancient Problem (HARVEST PRUDE, JULY 2, 2024, Christianity Today)

Daniel Darling, who is director of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Land Center for Cultural Engagement and has been critical of Trump, said reactions to the decision were perhaps overblown.

“Despite the screaming, the Court has strengthened democracy,” he wrote on X. “Trump has to prove his election-meddling was part of official acts. The government has to prove they weren’t. The court seems to lean in the direction that they weren’t.” […]

While the case on the surface deals with weighty legal matters of contemporary politics, one legal expert said the questions around the rule of law at the heart of the case are the same controversies that biblical figures wrestled with in the Old Testament.

“Much of the Old Testament are stories of kings abusing their power,” Robert Cochran, professor emeritus at Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law and coeditor of a 2013 InterVarsity Press book, Law and the Bible, told CT.

He pointed to the story of King Ahab, who coveted a vineyard owned by a man named Naboth. Naboth refused to sell. So Queen Jezebel had him killed, and Ahab took the vineyard.

Prior to Israel installing a king, the nation suffered from the opposite problem of general lawlessness. The Book of Judges explored the need for someone to be in charge, due to chaos caused by human sin, and the concern that human-held power is liable to corruption.

Cochran pointed to the last five chapters of Judges, where people unrestrained by the rule of law committed rapes, mass murders, kidnappings, and forced marriages (Judges 17–21).

“At the end of each story appears the refrain ‘In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes,’” Cochran said, citing Judges 21:25 (NLT). “The implication is clear: Israel needs a strong executive to enforce the law.”

But establishing a king did not fix ancient Israel’s problems either.

Imagine that Republican attorney generals could charge Joe criminally for all the bogus stuff they whinge about?