Archive for April, 2016

Theonomy vs. Contemporary Christian Legal Norms

April 11, 2016

Using the Bible to define what laws are just and unjust can lead to a number of conflicts with contemporary legal systems and even legal systems favored by Christians today.  This post will mention two that I think are more controversial but under mentioned:

1) No Inchoate Crimes

The general rule of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” is a principle of retributive justice.  In a case where a person attempts to knock out your tooth but misses (and doesn’t harm you), there is no punishment in this system.  The same goes for attempted murder.  The principle is “he who sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” rather than “he who tries to shed man’s blood … .”

2) No Conspiracy, Solicitation Crimes

Also, there is no provision in the Bible for punishment of people who merely plot a crime or pay someone else to commit a crime.  Asking someone to kill someone else for you was not itself a crime.

There was one exception.  It was a crime to solicit apostasy (see Deuteronomy 13).

In both of the above examples, contemporary Christians are comfortable with punishing people both for inchoate crimes, like “attempted murder,” and for distant participation in crimes, like “soliciting murder.”  There are at least two good explanations for this: both of those activities are sinful (and heinously so) and they grew up in a place where those sinful activities are criminal.

-TurretinFan

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