Thursday, December 1, 2016

It Is All About Justice

Dr. Joel McDurmon is one of my favorite writers on the subject of  theonomy. He is currently publishing, in installments, his book The Bounds of Love: An Introduction to God's Law of Liberty. It is a much easier read than Rushdoony's Institutes of Biblical Law and he tries to avoid a lot of jargon, instead focusing on what theonomy isn't and how it could be practically applied in a modern setting.

His recent post The Abiding Moral Principle for Penal Sanctions does not disappoint. Here is my favorite quote from this chapter:
Anyone who wishes to deny these facts will find himself in the unenviable position of arguing that at least some, if not all, of God’s laws and prescribed sanctions are unjust and that man’s laws are more just than God’s. If this were not absurd enough on the face of it, such a proponent would then have to list for us which of God’s punishments are unjust and why.
My only issue with Dr. McDurmon is his use of the word "state" when he talks about who should execute justice and punishment under the Law of God. The Law itself does not delegate this responsibility to a state at all. In fact, reading the Law itself we see God directing his commands at "You." That is, all of God's people are responsible for keeping and obeying and enforcing the Law. It doesn't require a state at all. When the people need a judge, they can select one, as they did over and over in the time of the Judges -- a time which was marked by a lack of an earthly state and  by direct rule by God the King. What brought the time of the Judges to an end was the demand of the people to have a King like the heathen and their rejection of God as King.

The Bible does not mention that the cause of the people during the time of the Judges turning to sin was because they didn't have an earthly government. Many modern Christians, however, seem to think that obeisance to a state is the very definition of God's will. I would encourage everyone to read the book of Judges with a fresh eye and without the presupposition that it epitomizes all that is bad about anarchy. After all, if there is no king in the land and everyone does that which is right in his own eyes, but what is right in his own eyes lines up perfectly with the Law of God, it would be a great place. The problem is not the lack of a king, the problem is the lack of obedience to God's Law Word.

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