The critical issue is not who was first to come up with ideas, but who the rebels were actually influenced by. They cited Locke. And Lockean “resistance theory” is not the same as “Reformed” resistance theory; the “patriot” preachers reflect Locke’s argument, not Beza’s. As far as I can tell, not a single “patriot” preacher made the “lesser magistrate” argument. I have asked numerous adherents to Mark’s view to give some examples, but no one has done so. Locke did not cite or credit Reformers; Locke did not hold to the fundamentals of Reformed theology.
If you read my post carefully, I said that “this part” of the “Reformed political tradition” did not begin or end with Calvin because he did not subscribe to it. I made no comment about “the Reformed tradition” – unless you think resistance to authority is all there is to “the Reformed tradition.” This – as Mark is fond of saying – does not change my argument at all, either. I have never argued that there were no “Reformers” who justified rebellion; I have never argued that Calvin justified rebellion. My argument concerning Calvin was and remains that he opposed rebellion and that he – not Beza or others – was most influential in those churches that were “Calvinist”; consequently they opposed rebellion until Mayhew gave the rebels a path around Calvin’s teaching that was exploited by those promulgating rebellion. This is why Calvin matters.
In my article explaining why the American Revolution was not a “just war,” I do, in fact, make that same argument on pgs. 49-50 – that Calvin was most influential and he did not support rebellion. It’s not a “move,” it’s a reasoned and supported argument.
I find it interesting that despite Mark’s (and Mr. Van Dyke’s) repeated insistence that the proper identification is not “Calvinist,” but “Reformed/Reformers”, Mark uses the terms interchangeably – not just in these posts, but also in his book on Sherman (e.g. pgs. 26, 27, 29 etc.). It is interesting that Mr. Van Dyke doesn’t “call” Mark on it.
But then, he didn’t “call” Mark on the fact that Mark revealed in these posts that in his book he meant “orthodox Christianity” when he referred to “Christianity” in the American Founding. My work is to be dismissed because it is based on my narrow conservative theological beliefs – even though it isn’t based on that at all, but on the definition of Christianity held by the 18th-century American churches (which I document). I am to be criticized because today there are other views of what Christianity means and, for some reason, it is appropriate and necessary to anachronistically transport them back to the founding era. But Mark is not criticized when he specifically says that he meant “orthodox” Reformed Christianity when he claimed that America had a “Christian” founding. hmmmm
I am surprised that, in his desire to discredit my work, Mark questions the professionalism and research of a fine historian: John Fea. It is also disingenuous to suggest that only those who’ve come under my bewitching spell question Mark’s view of Calvin, the Reformers, and whose influence on the Revolution was most important. My power must be great indeed if I influenced those who wrote before me, such as Steven Dworetz and Michael Zuckert and Thomas Pangle and Quentin Skinner and Harry Jaffa and Alice Baldwin and Robert Kraynak and others. I had no idea I was so powerful and influential! And I thought they influenced me. Thanks for the compliment, though, Mark.
As for that “unpublished doctoral dissertation” to be differentiated from primary sources: I notice that Mark quotes his share of secondary sources (his definition of deism comes entirely from secondary sources). This particular dissertation is not, of course, a primary source, but it cites hundreds of them. The fact that a doctoral dissertation is not published has not kept scholars from citing them for decades. One of the measurements of a dissertation is how many times – and by who – it is cited. That particular dissertation cited by Fea was eventually published. It was published by the University Press of Kansas as part of their prestigious American Political Thought series. It was peer reviewed by perhaps the foremost living expert on early American political thought, Thomas Pangle, and by a distinguished professor from Dartmouth. It has since been affirmed by the editor of the premiere edition of The Federalist Papers, the professor who coined the term “deliberative democracy,” a renowned scholar of the American Founding at Claremont Graduate University, a preeminent Founding era scholar at Stanford, scholars at Notre Dame, Colgate, the University of Georgia, University of Missouri, Grove City College, and others that don’t immediately spring to mind.
Apparently, Mark was not too dismissive of the work in that dissertation, as he edited two books that included chapters that were adaptations of chapters in that dissertation. It was good enough for Mark and Daniel Dreisbach (perhaps the most respected scholar on religion and the Founding), but not for citation by Fea? And when Mark set up a roundtable discussion of that work, none of the discussants Mark selected had any significant criticisms of it – so the entire discussion time centered on a minor, throwaway comment in the book. Jon Rowe no doubt remembers that, as he was a member of the panel. Jon was the only one who had a criticism until I explained why Richard Price was not included.
Yes, Adams mentioned Ponet – but couldn’t even do that without also mentioning Locke. Ponet no doubt influenced some, but Adams’s quote does not indicate that Locke “dilated” on Ponet’s work, but on the same essential principles as did Ponet. In the article to which Mark refers, I also mention Vindiciae, contra Tyrannos on the pages he mentions and suggest that it apparently influenced some. My contention is that a few “Reformed” writers influenced some, but the primary influence in Calvinist churches was … Calvin. And again, that is why Jonathan Mayhew’s pivotal sermon was so important and earth-shaking. If the New England Calvinists were already on board with rebellion, why the big deal about Mayhew and that seminal sermon?
Adams raved about Mayhew: “If the orators on the 4th of July really wish to investigate the principles and feelings which produced the Revolution, they ought to study … Dr. Mayhew’s sermon on passive obedience and non-resistance…” and Adams said it was “read by everybody.” [my italics]
As for Mark’s closing quote from Adams, it refers not to the political theory of the Reformers, but the Reformation itself which created Protestantism and subsequently produced the vast bulk of American colonists. The “exertions” and “sufferings” of these guys were for separating from the Catholic Church – not rebellion against kings.