302 POLITICAL POLYTHEISM them  eternally.  “Know  thyself”  gets  you  into  hell,  not  heaven.  This light   of   internal   revelation,   through   God’s   restraining   grace   (“com- mon  grace”),  enables  human  society  to  function  in  history.  God  does not allow men to become totally consistent with their own  covenant- breaking  presuppositions.2 But  to  the  extent  that  men  become  con- sistent  with  their  covenant-breaking  religions,  they  depart  from  this testimony  of  God’s  ethical  standards.  Thus,  natural  law  theory  as  a concept  separated  from  biblical  revelation  is  like  every  other  doctrine separated  from  biblical  revelation:  wrong.  The  outline  of  autonomous law  is  wrong;  the  judicial  content  is  also  wrong. Darwinism   destroyed   natural   law   theory.   Secular   scholars   very seldom  take  seriously  the  tradition  of  natural  rights.  (A  handful  of libertarian  anarcho-capitalists    do.)  Only  in  the  twentieth  century have  we  seen  a  few  systematic  efforts  by   Calvinistic    Christians  to abandon  natural  law  and  “natural  rights  theories.  But  they  have  not “gone  the  distance”  in  abandoning  natural  law,  for  to  do  so  automat- ically   and   necessarily   delivers   society   into   either   judicial   chaos   or theocracy.  Christians  do  not  want  either  alternative.  Thus,  they  are given  larger  and  larger  doses  of  moral  chaos,  interspersed  with  per- iods  of  arbitrary  tyranny.   This   is  all  that  the  philosophy  of  autono- mous man has ever been able to deliver in theory, and what it is now delivering   in   practice. We have seen in the writings of Van  Til, Schaeffer,  and the trio of historians  –  Nell,  Hatch,  and  Marsden  –  variations  of  the  same theme:  the  illegitimacy  of  at  least  three  and  probably  four  points  of the  biblical  civil  covenant.  They  do  not  explain  the  details  of  biblical civil  hierarchy:  the  mutual  representation  of  God  and  His  covenant people  –  God  before  men  and  men  before  God  –  by  civil  magis- trates.   They   reject   the   Old   Testament-revealed   civil   law-order,   the historical  sanctions  attached  to  this  law-order,  and  the  postmillennial implications  of  these  historic  sanctions.  What  is  then  left  of  the  idea of   the   biblical   covenant   in   civil   government?   Nothing   concrete.   Not biblical  law,  not  natural  law  (our  Calvinist  scholars  are  too  sophisti- cated  epistemologically     for  that),  not  Newtonian  law,  not  existen- tialist law — nothing. The category of civil law is open-ended. This  is  a  denial  of  covenant  theology.  Nothing  is  ethically  open- ended in history. All of man’s history is under the ethical terms of the 2. Gary North, Dominion and Common Grace: The Biblical Basis  of Progress (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1987),  ch. 6.