Conclusion on O’Donovan

This alternative interpretation is not conclusively proven, but we have demonstrated that it is equally as valid – and equally as supported by evangelical scholarship – as O’Donovan’s. Given the biblical-theological evidence we have examined, it would seem that the initial position for a Christian would be the non-violence (or non-resistance) demonstrated in the lives and teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. Thus, the burden of proof lies upon any theological position that would suggest an exception to this style of living. While O’Donovan’s masterful biblical theology clearly shows the role of judgment in the hands of the government, he has fallen short of proving that the Christian is expected, or even permitted, to be part of that process. As we have seen, it is possible to interpret Romans 13:1-7 ,1 Peter 2, and Mark 12 to suggest this conclusion. However, it is by no means the only, or even the best, understanding of those passages within their context. Therefore, the burden of proof still resides with O’Donovan to demonstrate that his interpretation is the correct one.

This is not the same as proving O’Donovan wrong, however it does leave him short of having proven himself right.

 

Now I’ve got to put all this together into something vaguely coherent and present it to my supervisor, so I’ll be taking a little break…

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