PLST 205 Foundations of Law

An introduction to the theological and philosophical foundations of law, including the Augustinian concept of antithetical thinking; the Creator/creature distinction; the development of higher/natural law thinking; the basis for the distinction between the judicial and prudential methods of analysis; the origins and jurisdictional boundaries of family, church, and state: the schools of jurisprudence; and the biblical basis for the fundamental principles underlying the several courses that comprise the basic curriculum.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

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In law schools throughout this country, students are taught tertiary law, a constitutional misnomer, to the exclusion of primary and secondary law. Students are taught the law divorced from its historical meaning and Christian foundation. When its rich history is ignored or re-written and the Judeo-Christian tradition of law and justice is abandoned, law becomes a cold instrument of power – a mere utilitarian tool. Manifestations of specific laws are only as good as the hub to which they are connected. A proper worldview is important to the study and practice of law because the manifestations of law (sometimes referred to as “positive” law) are only as grounded as the first principles that form the basis of a person’s worldview.

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. The student will complete 4 Discussions in this course. You will post one thread of at least 250-300 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of the assigned Module: Week. The student must then post 2 of at least 100-150 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned Module: Week. For each thread, the student must support their assertions with at least 2 scholarly sources/citations in Bluebook format. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly source/citation in Bluebook format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include the textbook, assigned reading, and the Bible.

Quizzes (4)

There will be 3 open-book, open-note quizzes with multiple-choice and true/false questions. Students will be given 1 hour to complete a 25-question quiz by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module 3: Week 3, Module 5: Week 5, and Module 7: Week 7.

Quiz: Foundational Principles will cover the course material from Module 1: Week 1 – Module 3: Week 3.

Quiz: Formation of American and its Biblical Roots will cover the course material from Module 4: Week 4 – Module 5: Week 5.

Quiz: Separation of Power and the U.S. Constitution will cover the course material from Module 6: Week 6 – Module 7: Week 7.

Quiz: Final Exam Essay will cover the course material from Module 1: Week 1 – Module 8: Week 8. The quiz will consist of 2 essay questions. Each essay must be at least 250-300 words. The student will support their assertions with at least 2 scholarly sources/citations in Bluebook format. The student will have one hour to complete the Quiz: Final Exam Essay.

Essay Assignments (3)

There will be 3 short essays of 400–550 words each, completed in Bluebook format. A minimum of 2 sources must be cited for each essay.

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