A short thesis on theonomy

I’ve found Rev. Brian Schwertely’s sermons on theonomy helpful for me.  I should like to clarify what I believe on theonomy:

1.  I do not hold to the Bahnsenian thesis ala Matthew 5:17.   Better stated, I don’t feel bound to defend it.  Truth be told, I really doubt Poythress and the Biblical-Theology Klineans were able to deal with it in such a way that didn’t gut the Reformed ethic of any real meaning; that said, I don’t debate that particular passage because I don’t think my own position turns on it.

2. Specifically, I hold that the moral principle within the judicial case law is binding, but not necessarily the case law itself.  I think this is what “general equity” of WCF 19.4 really means.   While Bahnsen clearly demonstrated that Westminster Seminary had no clue what “general equity” means, I am not entirely convinced that Theonomists were able to say that 1) the judicial law is binding in exhaustive detail but 2) not this particular law (e.g., an unbetrothed virgin has to marry her seducer).

3.  Per #2, this formulation allows us to avoid the worst aspects of Christian Reconstruction, avoid being tied down in endless debates over exegeting Matthew 5:17 (or even worse, any kind of Klinean spin-off), and interpret the Scottish divines in a faithful way that allows a distinct theocratic witness.

2 comments on “A short thesis on theonomy

  1. Fr. John+ says:

    Ok, you’ve said that you are not a theonomist. But WHY do you not find Bahnsen to be correct?

    If the Ten Law Words were the foundation of all Christian/European law, until the rupture via the Englightenment, then why find fault with them? Is Shari’a, or the Modern Moloch State law, better?

    If so, why? If not, then why diss Theonomy?

    • I *am* a theonomist, if I am allowed to make a few distinctions that I don’t think Bahnsen always made. My “Theonomy Files” series should answer your questions.

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