The bottom line: A succinct set of answers to a very complicated question.
You are a Christian and you want to be faithful to what the Bible says about being a “good citizen.” So how should you view the State and other secular authorities? Does the State always deserve total obedience? Is there ever a role for civil disobedience? Does the State play any role in the affairs of the church? What is the relationship of the State and other (non-Christian) religions? What happens when the State and the Church disagree?
What is the relationship between Church and State? manages to effectively address all of these questions in a very terse volume. Granted, this is a complicated issue, so even as the author admits, the full breadth of an answer is not fully addressed here.
R. C. Sproul basically uses the text from Romans 13 to clarify the Christian’s stance which is, generally speaking, civil obedience. He defines what the State is, what it is supposed to do, what the Church is supposed to do and how the two interact in modernity. He generally prefers civil obedience in the midst of a State that executes lawlessness and idolatry. He elucidates what the Bible says about civil disobedience, which is in fact lawful in some instances. Unfortunately, the reader of this book is also involuntarily exposed to some political and economic commentary that, in my opinion, is the author’s subjective interpretation of some objective Biblical principles.
What is the relationship between Church and State? is part of the Crucial Questions booklet series. The series offers Biblically sound answers to practical, real-life questions about the everyday Christian experience. Without a doubt, the series is very informative and a worthwhile resource.
Each selection in this volume tends to be less than 100 pages so you can get through a booklet in an afternoon. Furthermore, the fact that all of them are available for free (Kindle versions) is just icing on the cake. This book is excellent first step for any Christian who seeks to know more about how they interact with secular government, and will provide valuable information to Sunday school teachers, Christian educators, and Bible students.