My thesis, in short, is this: Biblically, the opposite to the Law of God is not laws of men, or pagan laws, or secular laws, or unjust laws, or any kind of laws, but lawlessness. What we call “laws” today, passed and enforced by the modern civil governments, are not laws in the Biblical sense; they are not even “unjust laws,” they are simply not laws at all. They are institutionalized lawlessness. The more a society is influenced by the Gospel, the more it is under the rule of law, expressed in the fact that no man has authority above the law. In the same way, the more a society drifts away from the Gospel, the more it will be ruled not by laws, not even by unjust laws—which would still be “rule of law,” even if that law was unjust—but by the whim of powerful men; that is, rule by permit. The thesis, as many readers will notice, has enormous consequences in our modern culture. Therefore, I will also show the direct consequences of the abandonment of the Gospel to the culture, which show a shift away from the rule of law, to more and more rule by permit.
There is a price to be paid for modern lawlessness. Unpredictability; words meaning redefined on the fly; insecurity of contract; the lack of rights; the rotting away of trust in the government and it’s laws, and the inability to protect your life or property.
All this uncertainty increases the costs of doing anything, the risks of working as a society, and the decline of righteousness and justice. In the end, the price climbs so high that the society disintegrates into anarchy, or fragments into new societies with better laws.