Poly-Cotton Blend

Well, CalvinLaw is up and running (obviously, I haven’t tested out each and every link, but enough to have confidence that they’re all working). Give it a try; scroll down to find Deut 22:11 (“You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together.”). Note that Calvin attributes Deut 22:9-11 (also not mixing seed and mixing plow animals) to the First Commandment (“No other gods before me”). Click on the little word “First” there, and you should be taken to Calvin’s exposition about how those verses relate to the First commandment.

Now I don’t know about you, but in this particular instance, I find Calvin unhelpful. First, what Deut 14:1,2 are doing in there, I can’t tell — they’re not mentioned at all, and they seem completely irrelevant. Second, his exposition doesn’t seem to establish a clear relationship to “no other gods before me”. Third, he doesn’t give much of a practical application in the New Covenant.

So here’s my analysis: I think that these (and other) purity laws were designed by God to be outward means by which other nations could readily perceive that Israel is set apart. In the New Covenant, spiritual Israel is to be transformed by the renewing of their mind, and the circumcision of the heart, that is to say, set apart inwardly. So these old laws are completely abrogated, and serve only to remind us ‘in the world, but not of the world’. How are we as Christians to live differently?

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