We help, encourage and inspire Christian lawyers, and anyone else interested in law, to deeply and authentically integrate their faith and work. At Theology of Law we curate and produce relevant and rigorous resources that explore God’s heart for justice, his purposes for law, and what it means to follow Jesus in modern day legal thought and practice.

About Theology of Law

DAVID McILROY, M.A., Mtr. Dt., Ph.D.

Barrister, Forum Chambers
Visiting Professor, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London
Adjunct Professor, University of Notre Dame (U.S.A.) in England.

As Christian lawyers, judges, politicians, civil servants and students of law, many of us experience a sacred-secular divide in our lives. The relevance of the faith we profess on Sundays to our working lives the rest of the week often seems unclear, resulting in a palpable tension we have to live with. This, in the long term, can lead to one of three outcomes: some abandon the law in favour of another career (often becoming pastors), others eventually give up their faith, and still others live lives which are frustrated, unfulfilled and secretly despairing.

Day to day life as a lawyer can be unrelenting. Whether the financial rewards are large or small, practising law can be demanding, time-consuming and exhausting. It is easy to be haunted by the questions: is it worth it?, what’s the point of it all?, and how does what I spend my time and my self doing connect to my Christian faith?

I’ve been asking myself these questions for over thirty years, ever since I was a law student at Cambridge University and the Université de Toulouse. Since then, I have practised law as a barrister and taught law as a professor. A desire to explore and understand how the law deeply connects with the Christian faith lead me eventually to a Ph.D in Theology looking at the difference the doctrine of the Trinity makes to how Christians think about law. I return to these questions again and again as I continue to study the Bible and investigate what great Christian thinkers of the past have said about law and about being a lawyer.

So the good news is that you are not alone in asking these questions about your vocation in law and your faith in Christ. In this website, I have sought to pull together the wisdom of the Bible about God’s heart for justice and God’s purposes for law, the best of two thousand years of Christian thinking on law, and my own contemporary reflections on what it means to serve God faithfully in the law today.

If you are looking to understand why God has called you to be a lawyer and what the point of law is supposed to be, then Theology of Law is precisely for you. Here you will find available the books I have published on Christianity and law, as well as articles, audio and video presentations, and regularly updated blog posts and series. There is also a curated repository of recommended resources produced by other individuals and organisations that helpfully engage with the intersection of the law we practise and faith we profess.

As a Christian lawyer you shouldn’t have to live a life frustrated by what seems like an insurmountable chasm between your faith and your vocation. My aim and hope is that you will discover on this website resources that will inspire you, affirm the calling that God has for lawyers, and which encourage you that your service of the cause of justice, of your clients and of your colleagues can be counted as service to Him.

Make sure you never miss an opportunity to be equipped and encouraged by subscribing to our monthly newsletter where we deliver to you a brief curated list of the most important updated resources, news, and information on events that you will not want to miss. Like you, we hate spam and take your privacy extremely seriously, so you can be sure that you will only receive pertinent content meant to help you fulfil your calling as a Christian and a lawyer.

Theology of Law Books

The relationship between law and justice is a major question in the Bible, in Christian theology and in the philosophy of law. The books available here look at this issue from all different angles, considering law both at its best and its unjust worst, in order to help Christian lawyers more deeply understand both the law and their faith, and how they are inseparably connected. 

The End of Law

This book seeks to show how Augustine’s thinking about law, properly understood as theology, has continuing relevance to the questions raised by legal philosophies today.

A Biblical view of law and justice

A Biblical View of Law and Justice seeks to wrestle with the biblical message of justice, giving Christian lawyers a renewed vision and understanding of the potential of their work in the post-Christendom world.

A Trinitarian Theology of Law

This book seeks to show how thinking about law in the light of the Trinity enables us to understand its role, its purpose and its limits.

Master's level unit in the mission of justice and the Theology of Law

Are you considering further study in the areas of law and theology?

Spurgeon’s College offers a Master’s level unit on The Mission of Justice and the Theology of Law, taught by David McIlroy and by Jon Hyde.

The unit aims to introduce students to

  • the principal biblical and theological approaches to law and justice;
  • the importance of justice as an aspect of the kingdom of God;
  • the theological basis for advocacy as an aspect of Christian mission.

The unit looks at the biblical material relating to law and justice, at natural law theories, at historical answers to the questions of law and justice from Augustine, to Aquinas, Luther, Calvin and the Anabaptists, as well as resources from systematic theology such as the Trinity and the Incarnation for formulating a theology of law. Contemporary questions addressed include reflections on human rights, the purpose of government and its relation to the Church, the role of Christian organisations in using law as a tool to bring about justice, and current theories of law in both philosophy and theology.

The unit can be taken on its own or, following completion of other units, as part of a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology or a MTh. degree.

the kirby laing centre norman anderson award

Named in honour of Sir Norman Anderson, this award seeks to support the doctoral research of a young or early career Christian legal scholar with significant promise of exercising academic or professional leadership in the field in the future and for whom financial assistance would make a real difference to their chances of pursuing such research to successful completion.

The subject of the research is ‘Law and Christian Ethics’, understood broadly to include a wide range of topics, for example: theology of law; law and morality; legal philosophy; law and (religious) liberty; human rights law; law, toleration and pluralism; comparative religious law (including Christianity); ethical issues underlying specific areas of law such as contract, corporate, international, administrative or constitutional law; law and bio-medical ethics; law and family/sexual ethics.

Resources for Christians in law

We offer books, articles, video and audio presentations, and other recommended resources that explore our legal vocation vitally integrated with our Christian faith. We examine the theoretical foundations for law as well as the application of Christian principles to questions about how legal systems operate. We look at the big questions such as: isn’t law just a means of oppression?, can a good lawyer really be a faithful Christian?, and what does justice require us to do?.

Be sure to subscribe to Theology of Law to not miss out on our regularly updated resources and news.

theology of law blog

Our blog offers short, accessible, reflections on important and urgent issues for Christian lawyers, and anyone else involved in law. Here you’ll find quick, stimulating reads created to help and encourage you practise your vocation – and, indeed, to live all of life – as a follower of Christ.

Soul Care For Lawyers

Soul Care For Lawyers

Lawyers, like everyone else, need Jesus. But as lawyers, we need Jesus for particular reasons. In every new social situation I find myself in, I want to announce to people “I’m a lawyer” even before people have asked the inevitable question “What do you do?” The words are ready to spring from my lips because for many lawyers, like many medical professions, being a lawyer is not just what I do, it is, in important ways, who I am.

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Soul Care For Lawyers

I am a Lawyer because I Think Like a Lawyer

It should take just a moment to recognise that the thinking of lawyers is dominated by our left hemispheres. Most of the law I learned at University was out of date by the time I came to practise (including the Companies Act 1989 which never came into force). What your law professors don’t tell you is that the real lessons are not in what the law is, but in how to look at the world like a lawyer. At University and Law School, and the early years of practice, our brains are being re-wired.

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Soul Care For Lawyers

I am a lawyer because I find so much of my identity in being a lawyer

To be a lawyer is to have power, prestige and privilege. We exude this from the suits we wear to work, we command it by our control of reasoning and language, we acquire it through our ability to organise. As we enter and progress in the profession, being a lawyer feeds our needs to feel significant, to be respected, and to think well of ourselves.

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Soul Care For Lawyers

I am a lawyer because the law is what I spend my time doing

I am a lawyer because the law is what I spend my time doing. Practising law is like constantly revising for exams; there are always deadlines to meet. The relief of completing a deadline is immediately replaced either by the next deadline or by worrying about finding the next client.

It feels as if the law never sleeps.

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Soul Care For Lawyers

I am a lawyer because I suffer from imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome for a lawyer can be described as the feeling that you are an imposter in your legal practice, not deserving of your place and less talented than everyone else. Fearful of being found out as a fraud, you work especially hard and strive to overachieve in order to stay in the game and not be found out. It’s a powerful driver, but one that is desperately toxic. It is also one that is biblically untrue.

Read More »

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get in touch

If you want to know anything more about the materials on this website, to book David McIlroy to speak, or you’ve got any other question, please fill out the form here and we shall get back to you speedily.