BibleGateway Verse of the Day (KJV)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Brief Theonomy Explanation

I enjoyed this brief explanation of theonomy occasioned by a disagreement on some discussion thread on American Vision, I think.

"...The humanist, however, will assert all types of accusations and hysteria against the theonomist expressing its outrage that theonomy teaches that treason against the family, and not the State, is punishable by death. The Christian humanist is likewise appalled because we assert that adultery, for example, is a crime as well as sin, no different than murder is a crime as well as a sin. He then imagines some ecclesiastical hierarchy and "Theocratic State" is really at bottom of the theonomists thinking. This is in only in his imagination.

Another example might be the dietary laws, while most theonomists recognize these have been changed, humanists will assert all types of outlandish arguments that we might outlaw pork and lobster, for example. Of course, they will assert such arguments in disparaging jest. Their alternative is the FDA regulating every single bite of food you can purchase anywhere, you open your refridgerator and you'll find governmentally regulated cheese, milk, meat, eggs and in the end a governmentally regulated 1.6 gallon federal flush. But, oh, the horrors of possibly finding pork or lobster verbotten! :lol: It's all really quite silly and simply the necessary tactics utilized when they know they have no valid argument against our thesis..."

Read the entire response here.

Unfortunately, the "Les" person here being responded to appears to be a Baptist.

May I say something to my Baptist brethren?

I would recommend that before any Reformed Baptist anywhere publicly, on a discussion thread or a sermon or a blog article or anything, argues against theonomy, that he make effort to UNDERSTAND what he is talking about.

Please, for the sake of your Reformed Baptist brethren and for the sake of the Lord of intellectual honesty and truthful witness-bearing (Jesus Christ), learn what theonomy is.

Your pastors are not good sources because they don't know what it is either. They haven't bothered to read the books by theonomists which explain the theonomic position.

Find out what theonomy is from theonomists--read their books and articles, listen to their speeches. That way, you can be sure that you are getting an accurate representation of theonomy. Hearsay is more likely to be a misrepresentation than a representation, especially with silly books such as Theonomy: A Reformed Critique (TARC).

(If you've read TARC, you might consider reading No Other Standard by Greg L. Bahnsen, in which he defends theonomy against the critics. One interesting thing he does as a preface before each chapter is quote the critic, and then then quote one or another of his other books, showing this has already been answered. He charitably assumes that the critics have bothered to do their homework and actually have read that which they are critiquing.)

We don't want Baptists to further exacerbate their existing reputation of going into theonomy debates ignorant.

Even if you disagree with theonomy (and preferably before you disagree with theonomy), at least know what it is.

Strawman arguments (including ad hominem, fear-mongering, and vague suspicion) are worthy only of dismissal, and the one who argues thusly gains a reputation for fallacial argumentation and, possibly, stupidity or laziness. The only argument a theonomist will be interested in is a Biblical argument.

At least read Theonomy in Christian Ethics by Greg L. Bahnsen first. Thoroughly and with an open Bible.

And if it really is just too much to bother with, then please don't assume that you "pretty much get" the "gist" of "where those people are coming from." This is fearful imagination talking, with nothing but hearsay and vague suspicions to go on. Don't speak false witness or gossip. Just stick with reading the Bible as if it were the Word of God and True. You can't go wrong that way.

Just because our paedo-baptist brothers are wrong in their belief that covenantal and reformed Biblical theology requires the baptism of infants (unbelievers), doesn't mean we have to parade our own ignorance.

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