Althusius has done a commendable job of recreating the governance model of the European Middle Ages within the reality that the universal Church no longer existed as an institution of authority. I can only return to my thought that this missing piece is the critical piece, as without such a universal authority – one that had the respect of the kings and nobles – there was no institution powerful enough to keep the tyrannical ruler in check. Excommunication mattered.
The closest we can get today? Christian leaders that start speaking as if they believe the Bible and Christ’s message. Those who do will lose many, but from what’s left perhaps an ethic can be restored.