Theonomy - A book by Greg Bahnsen
Comments by Greg Bahnsen
The New Testament teaches us that--unless exceptions are revealed elsewhere--every Old Testament commandment is binding, even as the standard of justice for all magistrates (Rom. 13:1-4), including every recompense stipulated for civil offenses in the law of Moses (Heb 2:2). From the New Testament alone we learn that we must take as our operating presumption that any Old Testament penal requirement is binding today on all civil magistrates. The presumption can surely be modified by definite, revealed teaching in the Scripture, but in the absence of such qualifications or changes, any Old Testament penal sanction we have in mind would be morally obligatory for civil rulers.
Theonomy is application of the law.
Greg Bahnsen, No Other Standard (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1991), p. 68.
Theonomy - Reformed Critique
The principle of interpretation which is supposed to govern Christian orthodoxy is that Christ came to establish, confirm, and declare the Old Testament law (Matt. 5:17-18). Only if we find an explicit abandonment of an Old Testament law in the New Testament, because of the historic fulfillment of the Old Testament shadow, can we legitimately abandon a detail of the Mosaic law. Many have done a reformed critique and those that do seem to go to far as to even deny the importance of keeping the Ten Commandments. The question should really be how much should our government apply of the moral law today and are we commanded to partially or completely reform our laws?
The proper exegetical principle is this: Mosaic law is still to be enforced, by the church or the State or both, unless there is a specific injunction to the contrary in the New Testament.
Gary North, The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1986), pp. 242, 255.
One of the most important and most misunderstood of all Biblical declarations concerning the law is our Lord's declaration in the Sermon on the Mount:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (Matt. 5:17,18).
Two different words are used for the idea of fulfillment. The word translated as "fulfil" in verse 17 is plerosai, related pleroma; it means to make full, to the top, to fill, diffuse, to cause to abound, to pervade. Christians are said to be plervusthai, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit (Col. 2:10; Eph. 3:19). Christ "fills" the universe with His power and activity (Eph. 4:10, pleroun). The word means to fill and to keep full, i.e., to put into force as a continuous thing. Thus, our Lord declared that He had come to put the law into force and to keep it in force. . . Christ as the Messiah or King, because He has come, declared afresh the validity of the law and His purpose to put it into force.
R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1973), p. 698.
- Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
- That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
- Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
- Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
- And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
- And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
- And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest
down, and when thou risest up.
- And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
- And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Theonomy is doing the word of God.
Printable copy of the Ten Commandments
A pdf file is now available to print out a copy of the Ten Commandments.
Printable copy of Ten Commandments
The Love of God and of neighbor is the summary of the law and prophets.
Doing the word is theonomy.
28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
Christ never broke the moral law. He said He had not come to destroy but to finish building the Law, and that not one jot or tittle of it would ever fail until heaven and earth themselves pass away. (Matthew 5:17-18) Also subsequently, all His Apostles taught it. So, too, did the Early Church Fathers, King Alfred, Luther, Calvin, and even the great Jurist Sir William Blackstone. It is the very basis of the United States of America, and also of every other Common Law nation in the world. True Christians Love to Keep God's Law. They shall always do so in Heaven. But all unsaved Law-breakers, will end up in Hell.
Rev. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee
Purchase the book God's Ten Commandments - Yesterday, Today, Forever by Dr. Francis Nigel Lee.
1 Corinthians 7:19
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
Theonomy brings you these weekly Bible verses:
Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving And the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, Proclaim and announce the freewill offerings; For this you love, You children of Israel! Says the Lord GOD.
But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD."
2 Corinthians 4:15
For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.