Archive for the ‘Theonomy’ Category

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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John Owen on the Theonomy Debate between Joel McDurmon and Jordan Hall

April 4, 2015

John Owen, Works, Volume 8 (“Sermons to the Nations“), p. 394:

Although the institutions and examples of the Old Testament, of the duty of magistrates in the things and about the worship of God, are not, in their whole latitude and extent, to be drawn into rules that should be obligatory to all magistrates now, under the administration of the gospel, — and that because the magistrate then was “custos, vindex, et administrator legis judicialis, et politiae Mosaicae,” from which, as most think, we are freed; — yet, doubtless, there is something moral in those institutions, which, being unclothed of their Judaical form, is still binding to all in the like kind, as to some analogy and proportion. Subduct from those administrations what was proper to, and lies upon the account of, the church and nation of the Jews, arid what remains upon the general notion of a church and nation must be everlastingly binding.

I wonder if both the debaters would agree with that quotation? If so, then the resolution of their recent debate can be affirmed in one sense (i.e. the civil laws are obligatory as to their moral aspects and analogously) and denied in another sense (i.e. the civil laws are not obligatory in their Judaical form).

I note that Bahnsen himself seems to have felt that he could agree with Owen, since Bahnsen himself quoted it in his interaction with Ian Murray (as can be seen here).

-TurretinFan

Pseudo-Kline Retranslates the Torah

September 28, 2012

The Pentateuch actually states:

Deuteronomy 4:6-8
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

However, if one adopts a Klinean “intrusion ethic” principle and if one therefore denies that Israel’s civil laws are laws that reflect the natural law given to all nations, then one might expect a very different kind of reaction than that described in the above passage. One might expect something like the following:

[Klinean] Deuteronomy 4:6-8
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your [foolishness and barbarity] in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a [eschatologically overrealized] people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments [that would be so inappropriate, if not for the intrusion of the eschaton and the consequent conflation of the two kingdoms] as all this law, which I set before you this day?

I really do think that some of Kline’s spiritual successors (even those who have never read Kline himself) do think that the OT civil laws are barbaric and that it would be totally inappropriate for a country today to have similar laws.  They don’t view the OT civil laws as admirable and something to be imitated.

People who think that way have, it seems, drunk too deeply of the well of Enlightenment, Modern, and Post-Modern thought.  Their concept of what constitute good laws are therefore distorted.  Their judgment is faulty.

They ought to reconsider their position and recognize that the statutes and judgments that were righteous – statutes and judgments that had (to use the Confession’s expression) general equity that has continuing relevance to all nations.

Kline never re-translated Deuteronomy to fit his misunderstanding of natural law (as far as I know), but his positions seem to imply this kind of view of the Torah.

-TurretinFan

Are Nations Supposed to be Concerned About Righteousness?

August 15, 2012

Some people seem to think that nations have no business in promoting morality in general or sexual morality in particular. There’s not always a cogent reason for this objection, but often the presupposition behind the objection is that there is supposed to be separation of church and state, and that this separation should entail the state being concerned with “secular” things and the church being concerned with “religious” things. Morality is then identified as a “religious” thing, and so the objection concludes that the state has no business addressing issues of morality.

The Bible provides a counter-point. While there is separation of church and state in the Bible’s example of the monarchy of Israel (the king was not the high priest, and the high priest was not the king), there is also significant areas of overlapping concern. The king (not the high priest) was supposed to enforce a lot of laws that clearly were designed to regulate morality, while the high priest was supposed to provide for sacrifices for sins.

Some have imagined that the example of Israel is not set forward to be an example for the nations. On one level, that’s true. There are certain aspects of Israel’s system that have passed out of existence. The old administration of the worship of God has passed away, particularly in view of the coming of the last and greatest priest, Jesus.

Nevertheless, church and state remain. Thus, the question remains – whether the state, as such, should be concerned about righteousness.

The Bible has the answer:

Proverbs 14:34
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

My point is not to emphasize the word “any,” which is added by the translators, but rather to emphasize that this is presented as a gnomic truth (the point the translators conveyed with “any”). Sin and righteousness are something that leads God to treat nations as nations in a particular way. Thus, nations as nations have an interest in promoting righteousness and suppressing sin.

-TurretinFan

One of the Problems of Pluralism

April 26, 2011

If you live in a pluralistic society, you are going to have deal with situations like this one (link). Keep in mind that Sikhs are required by their religion to carry a kirpan. Their code of conduct states: “Have, on your person, all the time, the five K’s: The Keshas (unshorn hair), the Kirpan (sheathed sword), the Kachhehra (drawers like garment), the Kanga (comb), the Karha (steel bracelet).” (Reht Maryada, Chapter 13 as translated/paraphrased here)

Suppose for the sake of the argument that there is a religious justification for the actions of the “dissident” members who are opposing the “open membership” move of the majority. Must a pluralistic society tolerate this settling of their religious dispute amongst themselves in their own temple? Or must the state step in to enforce the will of the majority? or of the minority (if the minority are right about the requirements of their religion)?

And if a pluralistic society can rightly intervene in religious disputes amongst Sikhs, why not amongst other religions?

And for my Escondido friends, what if a majority of a Christian church were attempting to open communion to everyone who wants it? Does the civil magistrate have a duty to protect the church of our Lord against such violence from a majority?

-TurretinFan

N.B. No Sikh I’ve ever met would approve of what took place in the Sikh temple in the linked article. Please don’t assume that because Sikhs carry the kirpan, they are violent people. Please don’t make any other illogical conclusions from what I’ve written. There, that should avoid about 90% of the comments.

Where in the Golden Rule is That?

December 10, 2009

Someone (I’d use their name or handle, if they had left one) asked where in “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (sometimes called the “Golden Rule”) did Jesus authorize “religious persecution,” which (one supposes) is the pejorative term that folks these days us to refer to the Reformed position on the civil magistrate.

The simple answer is that the golden rule is not relevant to the government (I mean of course, the government of the state, though the same could be said of any government, as such), it wasn’t intended to be, and we get God’s instructions for the government elsewhere.

However, that may sound a bit glib, so let’s look at Jesus’ words in context first:

Luke 6:30-31
Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

If you think that “as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” is supposed to be applied to the government, do you think that giving to everyone who asks is also to be applied to the government? Is this the welfare verse? Surely you can recognize that it is not intended that way. Nor is it a uniform principle that we must always give whatever anyone asks from us, nor that we must always do unto others as we would want done to us.

But that’s just a start. From the slightly extended context, we learn that this is an exposition of the command to love our neighbour as ourselves:

Luke 6:27-29 & 32-35
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
[The passage above]
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

The whole thrust of the passage is toward doing good to those who personally injure you. It’s not an absolute mandate that you can never seek legal recourse, but rather a general principle of how we should treat people who are our personal enemies.

In a parallel account of this teaching in Matthew, we see an additional point which shows that this teaching is part of an exposition on the law: “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Matthew 5:43-44
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That law was not new. It was an Old Testament law:

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

And yes, the same Old Testament law authorized:

Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Numbers 33:52-53
Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: and ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.

Leviticus 24:16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.

Exodus 31:14-15
Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Obviously, the government can’t make anyone believe (nor prevent them from coveting). Obviously, as well, the government executing witches, destroying idols, stoning blasphemers, and enforcing the sabbath will not, in itself, save anyone (just as punishing rebellious children, murderers, adulterers, and thieves cannot save anyone). Nevertheless, it is consistent for the government to enforce such laws and for the duty of believers to be that they love their neighbor as themselves.

-TurretinFan

The real Francis Turretin on: Continuing vs. Abrogated Portions of Civil Law

July 10, 2009

One of the areas where I might disagree (with respect to some of the nuances) with the real Francis Turretin, is in his treatment of the Old Testament civil law. Nevertheless, as Andrew Myers has (at Virginia is for Hugenots) kindly provided a quotation from Turretin on this subject (along with other interesting related material), perhaps you’d like to see what he says: (link).

To the glory of our Most High Law-giver!

-TurretinFan

GreenBaggins on Theonomy – A Response

April 6, 2009

Lane Keister at GreenBaggins has a post in which he argues that “Theonomy is Biblically-Theologically Wrong” (link). I can summarize it thus: “redemptive-historical theology removes the O.T. civil laws while natural law replaces them.”

1) Limited Agreement on the Church-State Distinction

I agree that the church and state are not one and the same thing in the New Testament.

a) However, I should note that Mr. Keister (because of his Redemptive-Historical framework) has failed to notice that church and state were not one and the same thing in the Old Testament. A redemptive-historical approach is so focused on the earthly ministry of Christ that it tends to lose sight of the original context of Old Testament passages. While there are redemptive-historical themes and a significant amount of typology in Scripture, we must never permit these themes to prevent us from understanding the literal sense of Scripture.

b) Additionally, I should note that Mr. Keister has failed to notice that even in the New Testament the civil government (whether that be king, governor, or whatever) is considered a “minister of God” (just as in the Old Testament, see Exodus 24:13 and Romans 13:4). In fairness, Mr. Keister does mention Romans 13 (and even mentions that the magistrate is ordained by God), but argues that there is nothing in Romans 13 that cannot be argued on the basis of natural law, which brings us to the second point of limited agreement.

2) Limited Agreement on the Natural Law

I agree that God has provided information about himself through the created order and especially through the conscience, which we can refer to as “Natural Law” and that we must not go contrary to Natural Law any more than to any other divine revelation.

a) However, Mr. Keister overlooks that the Natural Law is necessarily universally applicable. That is to say, God’s revelation of himself through Nature and Conscience was also applicable to Old Testament Israel.

b) Additionally, Mr. Keister overlooks that the Natural Law tends not to be propositional. Thus, for example, Natural Law can tell us that crime must be punished, but it may not be able to tell us whether theft should be a capital offense. This actually brings us to a point of disagreement with Mr. Keister.

3) Mr. Keister’s Arguments Against Capital Punishment for Violation of Second-Table Commandments are Unsupported and Unsupportable Either from Scripture or Natural Law

Mr. Keister states:

However, it is not the civil magistrate’s job to execute a boy for cursing his parents (as was true in the Old Testament civil laws). It is the church’s job to instruct and to exercise church discipline.

There are two problems with this claim:

a) Mr. Keister is arguing for church discipline to handle the affairs of civil government. Although he doubtless does not intend to do so, Mr. Keister is violating the two-kingdoms principle that civil affairs are within the authority of the civil magistrate: attempting to take this away from the civil magistrate and give it to the church. However, the church is not charged with punishing crime: that is not within its sphere of authority.

b) The issue of insubordination of children to parents is an issue of civil law, as is recognized by the Old Testament and in the Natural Law. The Old Testament explicitly ordains the death penalty for cursers of parents and places it, contextually in this list:

i) Regulation of Slavery (Exodus 21:1-11);
ii) Capital Punishment for Premeditated Murder and Relief for Accidental Homicide (Exodus 21:12-14);
iii) Capital Punishment for Battery of Parents (Exodus 21:15);
iv) Capital Punishment for Kidnap (Exodus 21:16);
v) Capital Punishment for Cursing of Parents (Exodus 21:17);
vi) Restitution for Battery (Exodus 21:18-19);
vii) Application of (ii) and (vi) in the case of slaves (Exodus 21:20-21);
viii) Punishment for Battery of Pregnant Woman (Exodus 21:22-25);
ix) Further application of (vi) in the case of slaves (Exodus 21:26-27);
x) Punishment of Homicide by Chattels (Exodus 21:28-32);
xi) Punishment for Damage to Chattels by Pit-digging (Exodus 21:33-34); and
xii) Punishment for Damage of Chattels on Chattels (Exodus 21:35-46).

Within that context it should be fairly clear that cursing one’s parents is part of the civil code of Israel, and it is the responsibility of the civil magistrate (the “judges” mentioned, for example, in Exodus 21:6) to address these issues. It is not a matter governed through the church (i.e. through the priests) and it is not a matter connected with the ceremonial law or with an issue unique to the nation of Israel (as, for example, the land of Canaan).

c) It is worth noting that, in this instance, Mr. Keister has gone beyond even many fairly radical non-theonomists in suggesting that a second table offense should not be governed by the civil government.

d) Mr. Keister does not provide any real argument from the Natural Law in support of his contention that the Natural Law does not suggest such a penalty. On the contrary, Natural Law teaches that men must obey their parents, that parents deserve a special dignity, and that the greater the dignity of the offended party the worse the punishment should be on the offender. In short, while someone might argue that the specific punishment of death for cursers of parents cannot be gleaned from the Natural Law (given the inspecific nature of Natural Law), nevertheless the Old Testament civil law provides an example well within the bounds of Natural Law and fully consistent with it and certainly Mr. Keister’s opinion that death penalty is inappropriate cannot be supported by natural law, even if the natural law does not clearly require such a penalty.

4) Mr. Keister’s Situation-Specific Dismissal Is Too Unspecific

Mr. Keister asserted: “Now, the theonomist will probably reply that the civil law of Old Testament Israel is of a piece with and is the outworking of the moral law given in the Ten Commandments. True, it is. But it is an outworking of the Ten Commandments for a particular place and people.” (emphasis in original)

I certainly agree that it was for a particular place and people. That’s a very true statement, and yet it does not follow that therefore the civil law of Israel would not be a good law for other places or peoples. There’s nothing in the Bible or in the Natural Law to suggest that the hearts of post-Pentecost men are less hard than the hearts of the Jews from the time of Moses to the time of Pentecost (or till A.D. 70 or whenever it is alleged that the civil law of Israel ceased to have effect by those who reject what they refer to as “theonomy”). Furthermore, the Bible does tell us that the civil laws of Israel were given good laws:

Nehemiah 9:13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:

In fact, they are set forth in Scripture as the paragon of all laws for governing nations:

Deuteronomy 4:8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

In principle, I agree that where the judgments are specific to Israel they are naturally not applicable to us – but judgments like those on honoring one’s father and mother are not specific to Israel.

5) Mr. Keister Overstates His Point in Abandoning Old Testament Principles

Mr. Keister stated:

In other words, Jesus Christ is the apex of the trajectory of Old Testament Israel, and the church is in Christ. Therefore, it does not make sense to say that modern-day governments should run themselves according to principles that were given to Old Testament Israel as Old Testament Israel.

Surely, Mr. Keister is right that Jesus Christ is the focal point of the Bible. It does not follow, however, that the good laws given to Old Testament Israel are not based on principles that must be followed by any government that wishes to follow the law of God.

Mr. Keister has plainly overstated his point here, since Mr. Keister acknowledges the role of Natural Law. Nevertheless, since God cannot be inconsistent with Himself, and since the Natural Law is a Creation ordinance (at the latest, upon the Fall and the obtaining of the knowledge of good and evil), therefore the “principles” of the civil law of Israel must be the same principles found in the Natural Law (otherwise the civil law of Israel would not be good laws).

6) Mr. Keister’s Redemptive-Historical Framework Causes Him to Conflate Categories

We see a conflation of categories in Mr. Keister’s comment:

And yet the principles in the New Testament for church government say nothing of the sword. Instead, the weapons are spiritual, for we fight not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual enemies. Ephesians 6, by the way, is one reason why I believe the application of Old Testament Israel’s holy wars draws a straight line to spiritual warfare today in the church.

(emphasis in original, link omitted)

Mr. Keister is right in one way: the church (either of the Old or New Testament) was not entrusted with the sword. That’s the duty of the civil magistrate – the king, governor, judges, etc. depending on the applicable form of government. On the other hand, in both the Old and New Testament the civil magistrate does bear the power of the sword (See Romans 13:4).

The roles and duties of the church and the state are different, just as the roles and duties of the parents and the state are different and the roles and duties of the parents and the church are different (although there are various overlaps at pints).

This leads me to the final point (prior to the conclusion).

7) Mr. Keister’s Conflation Actually Undermines the Proper Two(or Five) Kingdoms Distinctives

Elsewhere I’ve discussed how there are not just two, but actually five, kingdoms (link). Each has its own proper sphere of authority, and the existence of one sphere of authority does not negate or invalidate the other spheres. Mr. Keister’s emphasis on the duties of the church with respect to sin (i.e. church discipline) seem to suggest that because the church has some responsibilities with respect to sin “X” that therefore the civil government does not also, and in parallel, have responsibilities.

Specifically (so the argument seems to go), because the church is called on to excommunicate those who curse their parents, the civil government has no responsibility to put such villains to death. This flawed reasoning would seem to destroy the proper multiple kingdoms distinctives and cause the church to usurp the roles of the other spheres, especially the civil sphere.

Let me give some illustrative counter-examples.

Example 1: Man commits adultery, two witnesses observe this, and the offended wife brings the matter before the judges.

Reaction by State: It would be appropriate for the state to punish this man for his crime. I see no reason (notwithstanding the Pericope Adulterae) why that punishment must not be death.

Reaction by Church: Discipline, up to and perhaps including excommunication (upon following the appropriate protocols).

Reaction by the Adulterer’s Father: Condemnation of his son’s misdeed, and exhortation to repentance.

Reaction by the Adulterer’s Spouse: In this case, the offense has destroyed this particular sphere of authority. Thus, the woman is not required to “submit” to the adultery, although she ought to seek to forgive this man who has sinned against her.

Reaction by the Adulterer’s Employer: Condemnation of his employee’s misdeed, and exhortation to repentance.

Example 2: Man (out of hate) kills someone who works for him, two witnesses observe, and the family of the deceased brings it before the judges.

Reaction by State: Death for the murderer.

Reaction by the Church: Discipline, up to and perhaps including excommunication (upon following the appropriate protocols).

Reaction by the Murderer’s Father: Condemnation of his son’s misdeed, and exhortation to Repentance.

Reaction by the Murderer’s Spouse (if applicable): Exhortation to Repentance.

Reaction by the Murderer’s Employees: Exhortation to repentance.

We could go on and on with other examples. The point of these examples would simply be to show that each sphere of authority generally can react to any given sin. That reaction may be different in one sphere of authority or another. Thus, the fact that the state is going to execute the death penalty for murder does not preclude the church from acting to discipline the man, perhaps even excommunicating him if the circumstances warrant. Likewise, a father need not remain silent when his son does something wrong, but can condemn him for his sin and exhort him to repentance.

In some spheres, the ability to exhort to repentance may be limited: for example, one may be able to exhort one’s employer or husband to a godly life of repentance largely through example. Nevertheless, each violation of God’s law should provoke the appropriate reaction from each of the sphere’s of authority.

Conclusion

Accordingly, I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Keister’s contention regarding theonomy (in general – as opposed to a specific flavor of theonomy) being Biblically and/or Theologically Wrong. I must, of course, qualify that disagreement. If theonomy causes one to lose sight of the preeminent role of Jesus in the Bible, then theonomy (in that instance) is wrong. If one is so focused on the duties of the civil magistrate that one commits the opposite error from that identified above, and places all the responsibility for reacting to sin in the hands of the state, then that species of theonomy is wrong.

But a true, Biblical theonomy embraces the multiple (two, five, or however many) kingdoms and the ministers of each of those kingdoms: the father has his duties, as does the parent, the spouse, the employer/employee, the elder/deacon/layman, and the king/subject. One does not trump the other, and one does not usurp or supplant the other. The King must be honored, so must the master, the father, the husband, and the elder. Each is to be honored and obeyed and each has certain responsibilities. God has given these spheres of authority, and each should be governed according to the word and law of God, as revealed both in Nature and Conscience but also in Scripture.

-TurretinFan

Homosexuality and Ethiopia

December 23, 2008

It is reported that religious leaders in Ethiopia are pushing for a constitutional ban on homosexuality (link). While it is great that a nation would condemn sin, governmental action is not enough. The church needs to be active in preaching the true Gospel of repentance and faith in Christ. While the government does have a role in restraining sin, the primary responsibility for transforming the heart of the nation, so that sins like homosexuality will continue to be detestable, is on the ministers of God.

May God give Ethiopia greater reformation of its Christianity,

-TurretinFan

Five Kingdoms Theology

November 10, 2008

There is a difference between the church and the state. They are two different kingdoms, with different spheres of authority. The Bible gives us information on how each sphere properly operates. They are not, however, the only two spheres of authority, contrary to the impressions that some recent advocates of so-called “Two Kingdoms” theology.

There is also the kingdom of marriage. In that kingdom, there is husband and wife. As with the first two kingdoms, the Bible provides guidance as to how this kingdom should be run.

Another kingdom is the kingdom of family. In that kingdom, there are parents and children. As with first three kingdoms, the Bible provides guidance as to how this kingdom should be run.

Another kingdom is the kingdom of the workplace. In that kingdom, there are masters and servants. As with the first four kingdoms, the Bible provides guidance as to how this kingdom should be run.

Perhaps only in the cases of Adam and Noah (we might also add Abraham) can one find all these kingdoms together. Adam (and likewise Noah) was the spiritual leader, the civil leader, the husband, the father, and the master. We have different roles. Nevertheless, we should live our lives, in whatever roles we find ourselves, in accordance with the Word of God.

That means:

– In our church, we should look to God’s Word regarding the elders, the deacons, and the brethren;
– In our state, we should look to God’s Word regarding the king;
– In our workplace, we should look to God’s Word regarding the masters and the servants;
– In our marriage, we should look to God’s Word regarding the husband and the wife; and
– In the family, we should look to God’s Word regarding the parents and the children.

In all things, we should seek to govern our lives in accordance with the Word of God found in Holy Scriptures. That is the sort of “theonomy” that I favor: a five kingdom theonomy. It is a theonomy in which we let the Word of God govern and instruct us in every part of life – in all seven days, not just Sundays – in all spheres of life – not only those designated “religious.” There are many authorities that God has set up in various aspects of our life. When we serve as an authority, we must look to God’s Word for guidance, and when we serve under an authority, we must likewise look to God’s Word for guidance.

-TurretinFan


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