Must the Christian always obey civil authority, or are there grounds for civil disobedience? Are there Christian justifications for political rebellion?
Declaration of the United Colonies. “The Declaration of the United Colonies: America’s First Just
War Statement” in Journal of Military Ethics (2015). Available in Blackboard.
Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer. “After Ten Years.” Available in Blackboard.
Saint Ambrose: A Letter to Emperor Theodosius. Available at:
Letter of Wang Yi (imprisoned Chinese pastor) on civil disobedience:
Discussion: Answer the discussion question above, and keep these questions in mind as you read:
-Ambrose, Martin Luther King and Wang Yi are each Christian clergy responding to unjust acts from rulers. What are some similarities and differences between their responses to injustice?
-The Declaration of the United Colonies was issued by agents of colonial legislatures–what the Protestant reformers called “lesser magistrates”. How is their response different than the clergymen? Why? Is this response to injustice by lesser magistrates justifiable? Why or why not?