Eminent Domain

It’s been a while since I’ve dealt with Theonomy; largely because the main contenders have resumed their lives outside of Blogorrhea (as crazy as it may seem that there is a possibility of life outside of Blogorrhea)! But we do still chat in other venues, and Jeff said “you should blog this, and see what other people think,” so here goes…

Ability and Authority

I promised a “major concession“, so here it is.
What is it? What is it?

Theonomy vs. Religious Freedom

From the forerunner (and as quoted by Gene Cook on the 11/14/06 Narrow Mind webcast)

How would Christian Reconstructionism [AKA Theonomy] define “freedom of religion”? Is it an “inalienable right” to be protected by the government?

Any person — Jew, Moslem, Catholic, Protestant — would be free in a Biblically Reconstructed society under the civil law to worship. The civil government has no power to restrict religion. The civil government has an obligation to see that all people obey the moral law as it falls into civil jurisdiction. Thus religious expressions which contradict the Ten Commandments would not be publicly tolerated. The domain of the church is to preach truth. Because Reconstructionists are postmillennialists, we believe that eventually, organized false religions will become rare, if not extinct. This will be accomplished mainly through the efforts of the church, not the state.

So I guess at least partly the extinction of organized false religions will come about through the efforts of the state?

But don’t worry — you see, you shouldn’t be afraid that Theonomy hopes to spread the gospel by the sword. All they’re talking about is that the state will use the sword to clearcut non-Christians from the public arena, so that all other voices would be “forced into hiding“, and the gospel could be preached freely (but not by the sword).

I wonder if any state has ever before refused to tolerate public religious expressions which contradict the state religion? I wonder if any state has ever before forced non-Christians into hiding?

Don’t be squeamish, though, about the task before us. The state of Israel was required to suppress enemies of their religion; therefore, a Christian nation is required to suppress enemies of the gospel, right?

Theonomy Debate

The Theonomy debate finally happened. About 60 men gathered in the very chilly SoCal mountain night air to eat Hoagies, smoke Stogies, drink homebrew, and hear a debate. The specific debate question was

Does the Civil Magistrate today have the responsibility to enforce the first table of the Decalogue?

Our good friend J. “Not-a-Sith” Theonomist argued in the affirmative, and our new friend Gene “Unchained” Cook in the negative. Both speakers represented their positions well, and everybody enjoyed the debate. You will enjoy it too, if you download it right now! Here’s theĀ debate proper (65 minutes) and here’s the Q&A (90 minutes).

Here I have some post-debate reflections, including a number of verses that I was saving up, because I didn’t want to post them earlier and distract Jeff from his preparation.

Continue reading

In and Out of Theonomy in 17 Easy Steps

This guy has been there and back again, and tells us how. How many tens of thousands of words on this blog could have been saved if only I had read this first?

On a related note, it appears that James Jordan went all the way through Theonomy and came out on the other (dark) side! From wikipedia, I don’t understand this paragraph:

A third type of Reconstructionist theonomy was followed by some writers associated with the Institute for Christian Economics in Tyler, Texas (which also published some of Bahnsen’s works). These writers, especially James Jordan, followed the mono-covenantalism of Rushdoony, but put an emphasis on the idea that, as there was only one covenant, and that covenant was given to the Church, and law was given within that covenant, law was given to the Church, and not to the world. The implication of this was soon understood to be that the writings of Moses were not a law code as such, and that theonomy was not a legitimate idea, nor was Christian Reconstruction which took theonomy as its moral foundation. Biblical law was still seen as important, but secondary to ecclesiastical concerns. Eventually a new theological movement, known as Federal Vision theology, emerged.


More news wrt “The man Christ Jesus” Dr Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda: Pastor Gene Cook of Unchained Radio/The Narrow Mind Webcast hosted “Bishop of Bishops” Carlos Cestero (apparently Miranda’s chief apologist/spokesman), to discuss his movement in the light of scripture. The audio (60 min/15meg mp3) is available from the Unchained Radio podcast site. Eventually (next year?) I think the mp3 will roll off the free podcast page, but it should still be available from Unchained Radio for 98 cents.

Some thoughts:

Ooh, I want to read more…

A Lover, not a Fighter

A while back, I quoted John M. Frame’s review of Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law. Buried in another comment thread, I recently provided a link to Frame’s article “Machen’s Warrior Children”. I highly recommend that all (Reformed Christian) readers of this blog go and read that article. Here is the abstract, to give you a flavor of what it is about:
I am a Reformed Christian, and I want to read more…

Jesus’ Gordian Knot Undone?

Don’t you just love it how the Sprit can open your eyes to the reading of God’s word? I just saw something I never noticed before. Readers of this blog are certainly aware of the controversial nature of this quote from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5:

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)

Can there really be anything more to say?

Moses’ Law is not God’s Law

In the beginning, there is God, and God has a Law. God’s Law is a natural expression of his perfect, constant, and holy character. All men, in all times, Old Covenant, New Covenant, in covenant, out of covenant — All men are subject to God’s Law. And we have sin, which is any transgression or want of conformity to God’s Law. Sin earns death, and God is the judge and executioner. But there’s a problem: God’s Law is not written, and thus it is hard for man to know what it is, so that he can obey it. And when he fails to obey it, man earns for himself death. But God loves man, and wants to give him life.

What can be done?

Paul was not a Theonomist

I stumbled upon this while starting to write a comment in this previous thread. It seemed important enough that it deserved its own new post (and thanks to Albino Hayford for the title suggestion!).

Consider, from I Cor 5, the case of incest that Paul had to deal with:

Eww, incest…