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Thread: Different Views..

  1. #101
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    Why do we crave rules? To boast in our own works? To have something to assure ourselves with? To rule over others? What is the real motive behind the desire to find, sometimes, by convoluted means, a specific law for every situation? Check that motive carefully because ANYTHING which diverts the believer's focus off Jesus Christ and Him crucified is harmful.

    Jesus said we will KNOW the truth and the truth will set us FREE. Free to desire to please Him in every way, in everything. If the grace of God is at work in us, if our eyes are in the Lord Jesus, if our desire is to please Him, the Holy Spirit is our teacher. "everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself" (1 John 3:3)
    Come on, Martin, you're smarter than this. Theonomists do not advocate following God's law as a means of JUSTIFICATION or as a means to boast in one's works, or as an excuse to take their eyes off of Jesus. Because by works of the law will no flesh be justified (Gal. 2:16, etc.) When I read your posts, it almost comes across to me that you've spent so much time listening to the critics of theonomy that you've become sidetracked on what's really at issue in this entire discussion. What we're talking about here is not how a man is justified (by faith in Christ's person and work alone, not works or anything that we contribute), but the question of what is to be the Christian's MODEL and STANDARD for sanctified and righteous living. We say that it is God's law that is this model for righteous living. But even there, we don't follow the law of God in our own strength or in some Pharisaical fashion but by recognizing our own weakness and looking to Christ, the author and finisher of our faith; by relying daily on the grace of God as He feeds us as we make use of the means of grace (bible reading/preaching, prayer, sacraments, Christian fellowship, etc.). To illustrate this point consider the contrast between the Jew's way of following the law of God versus the proper way:

    Rom. 9:30-32 - What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law

    In this passage notice that Paul does not denounce the pursuit of righteousness, which is defined by heartfelt obedience to God's law. What he denounces is a pursuit of that righteousness by one's own STRENGTH rather than by relying on the grace of God through faith.

    Within the life of a true believer, reverence and affection for our Lord shows itself by heartfelt obedience to the law of God. It's our way of showing that we love the Lord because living in terms of His revealed standards of behavior pleases Him; and above all else the Christian delights in doing things that please His Creator, the One who redeemed him from the yoke of bondage to sin and utter hopelessness. And, too, we see that this obedience does not limit itself ONLY to inner piety, as important as that may be, but to ALL other areas life and in everything we do. Therefore we also recognize Christ's Lordship in the area of politics; we believe that the Lord is pleased when his people seek to extend his righteousness and justice, as expounded by His law in the area of social policy in government here on earth. However, we don't believe that the Lord is pleased or glorified when his people who are empowered by the Holy Spirit and who have the only right standard of righteousness and justice that there is, sit idly by and let satan's kingdom of darkness run roughshod over all our institutions.

    Does this mean that we replace the preaching of the good news of the gospel with a plan to implement social policy where we can? Of course not! These two things are not mutually exclusive. As part of the discipleship process we expound the gospel message in its fullness; but we also recognize that the gospel message can't be understood apart from creation and the fall of man into sin and man's spiritual deadness and total inability to do anything in his own strength to rebuilt the relationship with his Creator and subdue culture; we also recognize that because of the wickedness of men's unregenerate hearts and satan's desire to implement his own way of doing things in society, rather than God's way, that there is satanic resistance to righteousness and peace in a society and a corresponding resistence to bringing the gospel forth. Man is a social creature and needs God's blueprint for social righteousness and justice for governments if societies are to function properly and exhibit the peace and righteousness that God wants and that all Christians should seek and promote. In short, theonomists believe that there is an entire Christian world and life view; they do not believe that life should be fragmented into sacred/secular distinctions or that there is any area of life or any portion of the earth that Christ does not claim Lordship over or claim as His own.

    Well, I know I've probably belabored this point, but I hope I've made it quite clear that what we're talking about here in theonomic ethics is that the law of God is model for SANCTIFIED LIVING, both personally and socially, but not in any way a means of JUSTIFICATION or a way of meriting God's favor by one's own works. So, I think you're simply confusing categories when you make comments like this. Martin, even if you never embrace the theonomic approach to ethics, please at least be charitable to us and don't imply that we're legalists. We're not legalists. I know critics have made this claim, but I personally think it's baseless. Nonetheless, your warning from an earlier post was well taken. If there is a tendency to promote social transformation in place of the good news of the gospel, then it surely is something we need to guard against. In if it's a problem then I'll join with you in standing against that tendency. But, as I said earlier, I don't see why it has to be either/or and not both/and. Teaching people about the righteousness and justice of God, as revealed in His law is simply part of Christian nurture and discipleship; an aspect of instructing people in terms of an entire Christian world and life view. I pray that I didn't come across as too harsh here. See ya, bro.

    peace out...

    ...BK

  2. #102
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    Re: Different Views..

    So many things I want to say. So many misunderstandings I want to clear up ... but sadly so little time! Sorry, folks but I'm not gonna have the time to answer the last two posts in detail for a couple of days. Please bear with me, but, Lord willing, I do hope to get to it. In the meantime I would like to say that I am posting here to learn - just in case it doesn't come across that way in the way I post. I would also like to take this opportunity to at least clear one of the misunderstandings up:

    Quote Originally Posted by LoverofLiberty
    Come on, Martin, you're smarter than this.
    No, seriously, I'm not!

    Martin

  3. #103
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos

    Quote Originally Posted by LoverOfLiberty
    Come on, Martin, you're smarter than this.
    No, seriously, I'm not!
    Well, actually, I'm not either. By the way, no worries about the response thing. I can't get to a fraction of the stuff I want to say either.

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  4. #104
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    Since the law of Christ is directed to the internal state
    It is true that new covenant people are required to exhibit internal heartfelt love and reverence for the Lord. But even in the OT obedience was not limited only to external acts; God was preeminently concerned with love and the heart of a man, that is, the internal part of man's being, including his goals, motives, and thoughts. This is just as it is in the new covenant age. What's changed in the new covenant age is not the standard that God requires, but rather, the glory and power of the accomplished work of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in empowering the new covenant believer to KEEP the law of God in all its fullness. Consider how God was concerned with the inward state of his people in the OT:

    Ex. 25:1,2 - Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.

    Lev. 19:17, 18 - You shall not hate your brother in your heart... (notice that this kinda sounds like Jesus' correction of the Pharisaical abuses of the law in Matt. 5:21,22)...but you shall love your neighbor as yourself (hey, didn't Jesus say this, too?... new standard in the NT? I dont think so).

    Deut. 4:29 - ...from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul...

    Deut. 6:5 - You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength...(Again, didn't Jesus say this)

    Deut. 10:12 - And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul

    Deut. 11:13 - And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

    Deut. 13:3 - you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

    Deut. 26:16 - This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.

    Deut. 28:47, 48 - Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies;

    Psalm 7:10 - My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart.

    Psalm 24:3,4 - Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.

    Psalm 73:1 - Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart.

    Psalm 119:2 - Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!

    Prov. 4:23 - Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

    Prov. 6:14 - [A worthless person, a wicked man]... Perversity is in his heart

    Prov. 6:18 - [These six things the LORD hates]... A heart that devises wicked plans... (it would seem strange for God to hate something if sin in the OT was confined only to external acts).

    Prov. 6:25 - [To keep you from the evil woman]...Do not lust after her beauty in your heart...(this sounds like Jesus' explanation in Matt. 5 on lust)


    I could go on but hopefully this makes my point. A good Jewish teacher in OT Israel would easily have been able to make the connection between the inner state of a man and his outward actions and that God ALWAYS required uprightness when it comes to man's inner state, not just outward or external obedient acts. Even in cases where it might not be as clearly stated in the NT, there is no evidence that the standard is different. Indeed this whole theme is the essence of the teaching that Jesus gave in his sermon on the mount. He didn't change the standard that had already been revealed, he just gave correction and clarification from where the Jews of his day perverted and twisted the meaning of the law. Same standard both in OT and NT, not two different ones. We see also that this comports well with what I had said in a previous post concerning the meaning of Matt. 5:17-20, that Jesus didn't come to annul the OT law, but to confirm it and fill it to full measure. Ok, that's it for now.

    Peace out...

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  5. #105
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    Re: Different Views..

    Hey look, everybody, I've been promoted to Junior Member!!!!! I think I'll celebrate by eating a burrito or two tonight. But, no, none of you has my permission to call me "Junior".

    ...and like a snowman on a hot April day...I'm gone...peace out.

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  6. #106
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    Re: Different Views..

    BK says:
    Within the life of a true believer, reverence and affection for our Lord shows itself by heartfelt obedience to the law of God. It's our way of showing that we love the Lord because living in terms of His revealed standards of behavior pleases Him; and above all else the Christian delights in doing things that please His Creator, the One who redeemed him from the yoke of bondage to sin and utter hopelessness. And, too, we see that this obedience does not limit itself ONLY to inner piety, as important as that may be, but to ALL other areas life and in everything we do. Therefore we also recognize Christ's Lordship in the area of politics; we believe that the Lord is pleased when his people seek to extend his righteousness and justice, as expounded by His law in the area of social policy in government here on earth. However, we don't believe that the Lord is pleased or glorified when his people who are empowered by the Holy Spirit and who have the only right standard of righteousness and justice that there is, sit idly by and let satan's kingdom of darkness run roughshod over all our institutions.

    I want to go on record as saying that I agree completely with this statement. Although we may disagree on where exactly to find the “law of God” we are on the same team when it comes to working to extend it to all areas of our lives and ultimately to all areas of creation.

    Eileen says:
    I have come full circle on this forum. I have learned a great deal from the study of NCT, wonderful things and truths that God has shown me and areas God has grown me in but from threads like this one I can again understand the wisidom God has for us in the OT. A blessing to come full circle and not leave behind the rich treasures to be found in the 'whole counsel of God'

    One of the biggest struggles for me is my desire to always try and pigeonhole everything into a “System” so I can get my head around it. Thank you and others here for reminding me that the when the Bible speaks it’s my job to say amen systems be dammed.
    Also remember although the core of NCT has been around since John Bunyan we are just now putting meat on the bones so there is a good chance ideas that we come up with will be incomplete or just plain wrong. Don’t take my word as NCT gospel.

    I believe the principle behind the destruction of abortion can be found here:
    Exodus 21:22, 23

    "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine, 23 and if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life."


    This is exactly what I mean by taking the spirit of a passage I think this is an excellent example of looking at an Old Testament law from a new covenant prospective

    I thought I'd try and show that were not as far apart as it sometimes appears

    By the way did you know that the state motto of Ohio is "with God all things are possible"

    Knowing that how can anyone not be Postmill today

  7. #107
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    This is exactly what I mean by taking the spirit of a passage [the Ex. 21 passage on killing of unborn child] I think this is an excellent example of looking at an Old Testament law from a new covenant prospective.
    Yes, very good. But Tomas, I never denied that. The theonomic ethic maintains that it's the PRINCIPLE which is illustrated by some policy law directive whether it be in the OT or NT that we apply to our modern situation or circumstance. We only insist on looking at ALL of God's direction for life and social righteousness, which necessarily includes the OT as well as the NT. Maybe I haven't been clear enough on this, but please don't view theonomists as advocating that we should look ONLY in the OT for our moral direction, whether it be in the area of personal or social morality. No, we look at ALL of Scripture, including the NT perspective of things. Obviously, the OT must be understood in light of NT revelation to see if there is any change or modification or clarification of the moral directives found in the OT. This is all part of the theonomic system. Thanks for these comments, Tomas and Eileen. I many respects I'm actually quite encouraged by what I've read.


    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    By the way did you know that the state motto of Ohio is "with God all things are possible".
    You should read some of the original state constitutions during the founding days of this country before the courts struck down all those laws in the 1800's. They read just like a biblical law handbook out of the OT. Those people were clearly theonomic in their view of government; and in schools you didn't have children carrying weapons killing each other, engaging in rampant drug abuse, rampant sexual immorality and promiscuity, teen pregnancy, abortion, people who can't read or think... and the list goes on and on... And yet the church thinks that recogizing, appreciating, applying, and loving the law of God is a bad thing. Imagine that!

    ...out...

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  8. #108
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    The problem for me is that logic alone is not enough to build a case for Theonomy when the NT clearly says that the new covenant replaces the old covenant which is made obsolete, that the law is with fault - "the weak and beggarly elements", that the law is a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ, that the law is only a shadow of what is to come, etc, etc, etc. We have the law written in our hearts, we have the Spirit, why go back to the letter which kills?
    Ok, I can see how you would come to a conclusion like this. But, Martin, as I see things, I think this view of the differences between the old and new covenants goes too far.

    First of all, I think it's important to recognize that there is a fundamental difference between moral or justice defining laws in the OT versus mercy-extending or, if you like, redemption-expounding laws. The first set, which identify righteousness and justice, are universal and unchanging; they apply to all men of all ages of all cultures. But because of man's fall into sin, God gave the second type to show how man can be redeemed from his failure to perfectly live up to all that God requires of all men.

    Secondly, in the case of the redemption defining/expounding laws, for example, the laws pertaining to the sacrificial system or priesthood are in this class. God would not have ordained the killing of an animal or a priest to intercede to God on behalf of His people if man hadn't fallen into sin. But since man DID fall into sin, these laws were given as a means to illustrate the fact that where there is no shedding of blood there is no remission of sin, and the essence of substitutionary blood atonement, etc. These were meant to illustrate and expound the concept of justification by faith alone. These laws find their object and true fulfillment in the person and work of Jesus Christ, as we see in the book of Hebrews, for example, in the NT.

    However, a law such as "Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength" is not a foreshadow of anything. It's simply a moral command, indeed a summary command, which is explained, illustrated, and given content by more specific and particular commands. It's a law that identifies what God requires of all men. It doesn't explain in any way how one is to be redeemed from breaking a law. In another aspect, the breaking of such a law only shows that one is guilty and condemned before God; but it doesn't at all show, as in some foreshadowing sense, HOW one can be redeemed from breaking it.

    I know people are sometimes uncomfortable with this type of categorization of God's law, but I don't see how you can honestly understand the OT and God's system of salvation properly without making this type of distinction. It makes absolutely no sense to me to say that God's moral defining laws and mercy extending laws are not really different at all, but are of the same type, purpose, and design. Even in the OT, I think the distinction is pretty clearly drawn. Consider a couple of examples:

    Hos. 6:6 - For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

    1 Sam. 15:22, 23 - "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

    (See also Ps. 51:14-17; Prov. 21:3; Isa. 1:10-17)


    I'll talk more about what I see as the differences between the old and new covenants in a later post as time allows, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling a bit with this one. Suffice it say for now, though, that I don't believe the bible, even in the NT, teaches that the moral requirements of God, including those found in the OT, have been set aside, as though God has a double standard for men in different times or cultures. Hopefully, I'll be able to explain that more fully later.

    ...I'm gone....peace out...

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  9. #109
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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    We could look at this from the other perspective and say that the duo of postmillennialism/theonomy:

    1. can lead to Christians being unprepared for persecution since it expects persecution to decrease even though world events would suggest the opposite;
    2. can lead to Christian preoccupation with societal change over and above the person of the Lord Jesus Christ
    Ok, these are fair warnings that we should definitely guard against. But we should note that these criticisms don't, in themselves, refute the view. There have been excesses and undesirable tendencies held by any group out there so this type of criticism could be leveled against any number of groups one wishes to attack.

    Incidently, the bible teaches us that knowledge puffs up. Does that mean we shouldn't study God's word in order to avoid that possible pitfall? Or do we go ahead and study and show ourselves approved, while heeding the warning and guarding our hearts against such?

    ...out

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    Ok time for the second bite of the elephant.
    Tomas, quit biting my pet elephant!!!...


    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    The New Covenant on the other hand will last forever and eventually encompass the whole world so it has a Constitution containing model law (Matt 5 etc) an executive (2nd Cor 2:6) judicial (1 Cor 5:12) and a legislature (Matt 18:18) whose laws are subject to a court of final appeal (1 Cor 11:19).

    So the Church in a particular time/place would prayerfully answer questions specific to that time/place. For example the Church in America might decide that child labor is generally cruel and a violation of matt 7:12. Would this practice automatically be wrong in a poor village in Kenya? It’s up to the church to decide and the jury is still out. In this way the new covenant law is defused to the whole world not just a small part.
    Ouch! Tomas, I don't know if you realize it or not, but you're basically proving my point in all this, which is that if you don't use ALL of God's word, you have no way of providing a definite "thus saith the Lord" answer to social problems. You'll either be reduced to adopting a universal principle, but one which is so general and abstract that it really has insufficient defineable content to it; it's like telling someone to "play fair" without telling them what the rules are. Or, on the other hand, you reduce yourself to a relativistic ethic that leaves you with no objective standard with which to examine whether the actions of a civil ruler are just or not. Again, you need SPECIFIC revelation, not just a general principle or platitude. The answer to this dilemma is simply that the law of God IS the final court of appeal. God's law is above man's law, and there is no higher law than God's that one could appeal to. If that's not the final court of appeal, the social ethic of the Christian is no better than that of the secularists. More on all this later, though. Time to eat.

    ...out...

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

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    Re: Different Views..

    I think it's time for me to skedaddle from the forum for awhile.

    Skeuos:
    I hope that my post didn't cause a misunderstanding with you. I should have addressed it to T1 because that was who it was an answer to. That's one thing about a 'forum', we can't see each other's expressions or hear the tone of voice, etc. so we can feel attacked when we aren't or totally misunderstood. I too visit here to learn and have found that putting it down in my own words helps to solidify it for me. Blessings to you.

    LoverOfLiberty:
    I am not a theonimist but have appreciated so much your expounding the truths of the OT and God's law. I have been blessed by the renewal of the whole counsel of God.

    T1:
    I'm glad we are closer in belief than it appears We are in Christ and there is nothing greater that we could share. Isn't the study of the Word awesome?

    Ta Ta!
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Different Views..

    Eileen ... where are you going??? I have so much enjoyed your input and wisdom in this discussion. I am insisting you stay .. hahaha

    BK, tomas1 and skeous ... I appreciate that you have taken the time to address these issues and hope to see you carry on. It really is helpful to read this and I too apologize if I was misunderstanding anyone's point of view. I sometimes shy away from posting because I struggle with clear concise writing.

    Being fairly new to Covenant Theology and reformed thinking I do find these forums very informative. It causes me to rethink many of my presuppositions.

    Thanks guys/gal .... You better not leave Eileen .

    Out .... Jan
    It is what it is

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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by LoverOfLiberty
    You should read some of the original state constitutions during the founding days of this country before the courts struck down all those laws in the 1800's. They read just like a biblical law handbook out of the OT. Those people were clearly theonomic in their view of government; and in schools you didn't have children carrying weapons killing each other, engaging in rampant drug abuse, rampant sexual immorality and promiscuity, teen pregnancy, abortion, people who can't read or think... and the list goes on and on... And yet the church thinks that recogizing, appreciating, applying, and loving the law of God is a bad thing. Imagine that!

    ...out...

    ...BK
    I am currently reading a book called “Immaculate Deception” by George Grant. I recently read a section from this book that I think relates to this discussion about “law”. I will try to put it in my own words and how I understood the author.



    I believe you hit a nail on the head BK with your analogy of early State constitutions and even the Declaration of Independence. Although Jefferson was a far cry from a “Christian” I do see some very inspired words in this document. I feel I am extremely blessed by God to be born in a country such as this one. I also believe it was a great experiment in liberty.



    The tremendous freedoms that we exercise were carefully secured against the arbitrary and fickle whims of men and movements by the rule of law. Our social system was not designed so as to depend on the benevolence of the magistrates or the altruism of the wealthy or the condescension of the powerful. Every citizen in the United States, rich or poor, man or woman, native born or immigrant, young or old, is equal under the standard of unchanging, immutable, and impartial justice. Justice is only equal with the absolute rule of law. Thomas Paine expressed it well when he wrote in “Common Sense” … In America, the law is king.



    As fallen human beings if left to mere discretion of human authorities, even the best intended statutes, edicts and ordinances inevitably fall apart into some form of death dealing tyranny. There must be an absolute against which no encroachment of prejudice or winds of change of prejudice or preference may interfere. There must be a foundation that the winds of change and the waters of circumstance cannot erode. There must be a basis for law that can be depended on at all times, in all places and in every situation.



    Now here is the crutch of the success of American liberty … It is a Christian innovation. The Declaration of Independence starts out with inalienable rights and these are given to us from our Creator. Jefferson also stated that the purpose of government was to be governed by the people for the people.



    This only works when we can appeal to the “Supreme Judge of the World” for guidance and relying on His “Divine Providence” for wisdom. The founding fathers of our country committed themselves and their posterity to the absolute standard of the “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” Wow that is really a powerful statement isn’t it?



    To me and this is KEY … To whom do we appeal? Of course it must be to the Bible. I believe that it is an either/or situation. Either God’s way or Man’s way. The article that Martin used in his defense and the idea of “natural” law I believe only begs the question. Sure there are natural laws … but why are those consider laws outside of the rule of God’s law?



    I believe that BK has shown that you must use the OT as well as the NT to understand fully what God expects and has shown us what is right and what is wrong in His sight. Therefore I believe this is where the NCT falls apart.



    I have also read some of the other threads on this topic and I can see why many of the CT believers see the NCT believers as antinomians. Of course, I think there are many points on the scale and you can be a far left theonomist who takes the heart out of the law and can truly be described as “legalist”. And you can be a far left antinomian and completely dismiss righteous living and try to wing it on your own feelings (as the Holy Spirit is my only guide types).



    B A L A N C E is such a hard place to be hahaha. Such is life in the fallen human world. Anyways … back to my point about the United States and our ability to have such liberty comes from the FACT that LAW is indeed King here … To bad we have allowed many of the whims of men to erode the solid beginning we had some 200 plus years ago. This I would love to see change. Yes!!! To go back to the basics that the puritans had and ruled their lives by.



    Well I hope I was concise and understandable. So much for my opinion ….



    Peace and out hahaha >>> Jan
    It is what it is

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    Re: Different Views..

    O.k. BK I have some real questions not just rhetorical ones

    Is slavery against the law of God? If so how do you know this? If not should a Christian care about removing slavery from the earth?
    I’m trying to understand how exactly the final court appeal works in theonimony.

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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    Is slavery against the law of God? If so how do you know this? If not should a Christian care about removing slavery from the earth?
    I’m trying to understand how exactly the final court appeal works in theonimony.
    Wow, T., talk about hitting your head on the nail! You're right, this can be a divisive issue even among theonomists. I can give you my opinion on it, but there might be another theonomist who would vigorously disagree with me. There is no universal agreement among certain particular applications or interpretations of God's law even among theonomists, any more than you have universal agreement on various passages in the NT among evangelical Christians.

    What we have to remember is that even if two people agree that the OT should be used as part of our ethical analysis, it's still necessary that they make proper use of the principles of hermeneutics in order to glean the principles being illustrated in the text. Then you also have to have wisdom to know how to apply it to our modern situation or particular circumstance, which can be another potential stumbling block when doing ethics. So what I want to emphasize here is that what I've been talking about is the question "what should be our STANDARD of political ethics?". Your question is really one of actual exegesis of the text and then figuring out what application it has to today's situation, if any.

    As far as the slavery issue, I'll readily admit that I'm by no means an authority on the subject. But I will say that I don't believe that God PRESCRIBED slavery as though it were a moral command, in that if you didn't engage in its practice that you were sinning against God. Notice that God did not COMMAND its practice; He only REGULATED the practice in order to prevent abuse. Therefore, since it wasn't prescribed as a practice then it shouldn't be prescribed as a practice today, either.

    God did allow slavery as a way to pay off debts as in the form of indentured servitude. However, even in that there is a redemptive element built into it, as we see, for example, with the Jubilee laws. So perhaps there one might try to build a case for its cessation since it was meant to expound redemption in Christ. So would I fight against slavery? Yeah, so long as I, or any other sphere of influence, for that matter, make use of lawful means, as delineated in God's word, as found in both the OT and NT. As I said, God didn't prescribe the practice of slavery, and since God obviously would prefer his people live in freedom then this is what we should seek for all men. However, I do not believe that the bible authorizes the use of compulsive force by either individuals or governments to bring this about.

    I will go on record as saying, however, that the practice of kidnapping a man from his family, be it in Africa or elsewhere, and then selling him into slavery (which was the case with the European slave traders and some of the early settlers in America) is a wicked and abominable practice in the eyes of God and would warrant the death penalty of those who practiced it. God's law makes this quite clear:

    Ex. 21:16 - He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.


    Sorry, Tomas, if this is a wimpy answer, but as I said, I'm not the best authority. The truth is I haven't really thought about this issue that much since it's not something that I really encounter. To be more of an authority, I would need to do more careful examination of the principles given in both the OT and NT. Anyway, if someone thinks I've misinterpreted God's law in this area or have said something out of line, then I'm certainly teachable and willing to be corrected.

    ...out

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by tomas1
    Is slavery against the law of God? If so how do you know this? If not should a Christian care about removing slavery from the earth?
    I’m trying to understand how exactly the final court appeal works in theonimony.
    Oh yeah, one more thing, T. Whatever new testament principles(s) you would apply in answering this question, I would apply it (them) also. I would simply have more information at my disposal than you, since I would make use of all of God's word, including the OT law. Of course, as I've said before, the OT law must be understood in terms of the principles that are being illustrated and taught, and also in terms of their NT understanding of them.

    Gone again...

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by doctr of grace
    This only works when we can appeal to the “Supreme Judge of the World” for guidance and relying on His “Divine Providence” for wisdom. The founding fathers of our country committed themselves and their posterity to the absolute standard of the “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” Wow that is really a powerful statement isn’t it?

    Great post, young doctr. Hey, I could have sworn I heard "America, the Beautiful" playing in the background as I was reading your post.


    Quote Originally Posted by doctr of grace
    To me and this is KEY … To whom do we appeal? Of course it must be to the Bible. I believe that it is an either/or situation. Either God’s way or Man’s way. The article that Martin used in his defense and the idea of “natural” law I believe only begs the question. Sure there are natural laws … but why are those consider laws outside of the rule of God’s law?

    Yeah, I agree, and I think this is a good observation. I think the best versions of natural law ethics seem to presuppose that the laws revealed in nature are somehow different than those revealed in God's word. But it's exactly at this point that I think the difficulty arises; as though God has two standards of righteousness and justice for different people. No, God can NEVER relax his unchanging standards of righteousness and justice. They are the same for all peoples and all times. God's law is holy and just and good and pure (Ps. 19; Rom. 7), just like God's own character is. This is the case BECAUSE God's law is based on his own character. To extend this we also know that since God's character is unchanging then His law must also be unchanging. What God sees as good and just doesn't change from one period of time to the next or from one person to the next.

    On the other hand, a natural law theorist could say that the law revealed in nature and the law revealed in God's word are the same. In this case, we recognize that the law revealed in nature was given in the form of inscripturated revelation from God in order to protect from the tendency of man and satan to corrupt and distort it. So in a case like this, it seems that natural law theorists prefer the "law in nature" over that same law as given in inscripturated revelation. But why would someone want to prefer a sinful rendering of God's law, as we see throughout our natural experience as a result of the noetic effects of sin, over the inscripturated version that was meant to correct and guard against this sinful tendency to distort the law?


    Quote Originally Posted by doctr of grace
    Well I hope I was concise and understandable. So much for my opinion ….
    You did alright for a young lass. And, yes, your opinion does count. Second only to mine, of course.


    Quote Originally Posted by doctr of grace
    Peace and out
    Ditto

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

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    Re: Different Views..

    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen
    I think it's time for me to skedaddle from the forum for awhile.
    No, Eileen. You don't have anyone's permission in this forum to leave. I hope my excessively long posts didn't frustrate you and run you off. But, seriously, if you must move on, then we'll miss you. But PLEEEEAAAASSSE don't leave...lol



    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen
    I am not a theonimist but have appreciated so much your expounding the truths of the OT and God's law.
    Ok...And why aren't you a theonomist? What is it about the thesis that inclines your resistence or that you find objectionable or difficult? Eileen, I don't mean this question as a challenge; I'm asking only in curiousity. It would actually profit me greatly to know where you are on this in case I was unclear or didn't address certain things. I have a hunch Tomas would profit from knowing the answer to this question, as well, because of his insistence that covenant theology implies theonomy. Anyway, take care.

    out...

    ...BK
    For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4,5)

  19. #119
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    Re: Different Views..

    BK:

    Well.......let's see if I can explain why I don't think I'm a theonomist....I'll sure try!!

    First of all I must tell you that my mind is not geared to politics and I think that theonomy is. I don't think politics ever (or at least in the way most people do), start talking politics and I usually tune out. That will make a difference in how I view the issues we are talking about.

    When I read and study the OT what always comes to my mind is 'the nation' of Israel and how God dealt with them as a nation. Even when I study the individual lives of the great OT saints, Moses, Joseph, Abraham, David, etc. it seems that what I learn is how God used them in specific ways for "the nation'. This still has application for us in the promises of the covenant and most certainly in the moral law of God, the 10 commandments specifically and all the laws with the principles behind them.

    When I read and study the NT I don't think of a nation, I think of individuals. We are taught in the gospels and the epistles specifically about Christ, and we are exhorted as individuals of the same body, the true Israel, the elect. So probably up to now we would agree, right?? However.......

    I don't see the NT as having a political agenda, instructing the Church, i.e., 'go and form this type of government', etc. The teaching focus of the NT is on the 'individual believer' and how we are to 'walk' as Christians as we sojurn here (for this truly is not our home). How we are to be light and salt in our homes, our jobs, how we are to spread the gospel and how we are to be ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within us, until the fullness of times. So to me it is the 'individual' believer that God works in and through, the church, etc. in establishing His Kingdom, not the re-establishing of the penalities of the OT law.

    The law is truly written on our hearts, I whole heartedly believe that, however I don't embrace the NCT teaching that voids the moral law of God given in the OT or the teaching that there is little or no continuity between the two covenants. I agree with you in that all of the law is a standard that we can look to for the principles that will benefit us in making laws for the nation; I just don't believe that is the call of the church.

    Ps 1:1,2
    "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night"

    You see, I do love the Old Testatment
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Different Views..

    Eileen,

    Again an excellent post .... I too struggle with interest in politics. >yawn< I look forward to BK's response. You have presented a good case and perspective I had not seen for yet another difference between the OT and NT dealings of God.

    BK ... hahaha at "america the beautiful" that one cracked me up. I also appreciated your comments on natural law.

    I think that tomas needs to rethink his idea that the gospel and church growth leads to fewer laws. That could only be the case after the consummation of all things which is yet to happen. Until then we are dealing with fallen natures and the tendency to be "self ruling" and therefore self destructive. I mean you only have to see where this country was some time ago and where it is now (spiritually) to see this tendency. Or in fact a read through the OT and Israel's successes and failures.

    BTW ... I am listening to that MP3 we discussed this past week. I will let you know how it goes.

    God Bless and peace .... Jan
    It is what it is

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