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Greg Bahnsen (GB309) – Why Christian Ethics Matters!

Listen here….

      1. GB309

 

Bible Reading – 1Peter 1:13ff 

13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

 

  • How important is obedience/holiness to God in salvation?
  • What is Bahnsen seeking to highlight by the THREE portraits?
  • What was the significance of the 1st portrait?
  • What spoiled the 2nd portrait? What was notably absent?
  • What was the characteristic of the third portrait?
  • Are the moral effects immediately noticeable with doctrinal slippage?
  • What are some of the (moral) characteristics of TODAY’s generation?
  • Is there even common agreement throughout culture regarding say the meaning of ‘marriage’?
  • What revolution occurred in just 30 years in American Christian culture?
  • Is the Christian Church CLEAR about the Bible’s teaching on crime/punishment?
  • What was Bahnsen’s point in drawing attention to the bumper sticker?
  • Which petition of the Lord’s Prayer is awkward for the contemporary Church?
  • What is the chief source of confusion regarding contemporary ethics among Christians?
  • What did Bonheoffer teach about God & the Christian life?
  • What was Leslie Dewart’s mistake?
  • What did H. Richard Niebuhr’s propose?
  • What was Joseph Fletcher so famous for in this respect?
  • Are the pronouncements of these (liberal) philosophers the main problem for the contemporary Church? If not who are??
  • Did CI Schofield advocate ‘law keeping’ in his Bible?
  • Which Church in 1972 taught a dispensational view of God’s Law?
  • Did the reformed scholar Henrick Hart recommend law keeping?
  • Is it possible to be ‘rule-free’ in life?
  • Why is Jeremiah 31:32 so relevant to our enquiry?
  • What is the essential difference between the New Covenant and the OT Sinaiatic Covenant?
  • Why is Ezekiel 36: 26-27 so relevant to our enquiry?
  • Why is Romans 8:1-4 so relevant to our enquiry?
  • Does the NT exhortation of Jesus to ‘love’ replace now the Christian’s obligation to obey?
  • Were the OT commandments different from Jesus’ NT commands?
  • Why is Matthew 5:17-19 so relevant to our enquiry? Are minor adjustments of God’s Law to be tolerated?  What did Jesus say?  Who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven?
  • The scribes & Pharisees faithful in keeping God’s Law ……. weren’t they?
  • What is, in fact, the Christian’s basis for acceptance before a holy God?
  • What is the source of power in the Christian life to keep God’s Law?

Greg Bahnsen (GB308) – Responses to Critics of Theonomy

      1. GB308


Bible Reading – James 4:1-12


Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and[b] adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble.”

Humility Cures Worldliness

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.  11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?

 

  • Fowler argues against the Law’s general validity. How are Jesus’ words in Matt 5:17-19 compelling?
  • What is the essential ‘thrust’ of Matt 5?
  • What is the true interpretation of Acts 15 in relation to the injunctions recommended by the Council of Jerusalem?
  • What precisely did the reference to the Law being a ‘Tutor’ correspond to in Galatians 3/4?
  • Heb 7:12 intimates a change in the Law? How/why is this compatible with Theonomy?  What ‘hasty generalisation’ is employed by critics of Theonomy in connection with this passage?
  • What conflation do some critics make when they allude to the ‘progressive nature of Biblical revelation’?
  • Some urge that we ought simply to follow/emulate the pattern set forth by Jesus’ life. How should we respond?
  • Should we limit ourselves to NT morality alone?
  • Were all the OT covenants distinct from one another? How is Gal 3:21 relevant to our enquiry?
  • Reformed theology differentiates between moral & ceremonial law. Is that legitimate?  How is the doctrine of the Trinity relevant at this point?
  • Is it possible to keep the 10 Commands but relinquish obligations to the case laws?
  • May we de-legitimise the Law of God as inapplicable to those contemporary nations not in formal covenant with God (e.g. Kline, Sproul, Fowler)? Was OT Law restricted to the nation of Israel?
  • Is God’s Law racially variable?
  • Should Christians be interested in ‘politics’? How does Bahnsen demonstrate the pertinence of Scripture to political rule?
  • Are the Ten Commandments limited in application to OT Israel?
  • Is there a sharp/clear distinction to be made between ‘general revelation’ & ‘God’s revealed will/Law’?
  • Are inferential arguments made from Scripture valid?
  • May we reasonably set aside NT evidence for Theonomic evidence & see what’s left? Must we take account of all Scriptural evidence for a particular position?
  • May we safely reflect on our personal, subjective IMPRESSION of a topic?
  • Some suppose Theonomists fail to separate the spheres of Church & State. Do they?  Is this relevant to a critique of Theonomy?
  • Which crimes are ‘religious’ crimes?
  • Does the prosecution of civil justice conflict with the enterprise of evangelism?
  • Why is the text of Ezra Ch 7 concerning the pagan king Artaxerxes relevant to our enquiry?
  • Were the penal sanctions in the OT applied by (i) the Church or (ii) the state?
  • May we legitimately distinguish between religious & non-religious offences?
  • May different spheres (church, family, state) each have SIMULTANEOUSLY different reactions/responses to sins/crimes?
  • Is the provision of common grace contrary to the exercise of civil justice?
  • Is all sin a capital crime?
  • Did Jesus dismiss the Law of Moses when he forgave & then dismissed the woman caught in adultery? (Jn 8)
  • Would the implementation of God’s Law in civil society trigger a ‘Christian holocaust’?
  • What are we to think of the widespread tendency of Christian leaders who ridicule the penal sanctions of OT Law?
  • Did Dr Greg Bahnsen ever, during the course of his early life, reflect seriously on whether Scripture required him to hold (what would most likely be perceived as) such unpopular views?
  • What will our own personal choice be in this same regard? Would we be ‘double-minded’ (Jam 4:8)?
  • Did Calvin subscribe to the penal sanctions of God’s Law?
  • Is there anything really ‘novel’ in the theonomic ethical perspective? How does it compare with traditional CONSISTENT protestant orthodoxy?

Greg Bahnsen – When is Punishment Criminal?

Greg Bahnsen (GB307) – When is Punishment Criminal?

      1. GB307

 

Bible Reading – Hebrews 2:1-4

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

 

  • What according to William Penn (1644-1718) is the only alternative to being ‘governed by God’?
  • Where according to Jacques Ellul (1912-1994) is the sphere of man’s greatest affirmation of man’s autonomy & pretensions against God?
  • What is the alternative to God’s Law (Theonomy)?
  • Is crime merely an offence against the arbitrary law of the (humanistic) state?
  • If state law is the ultimate law, is there EVER any legitimate appeal against it?
  • How is the Beast of Revelation relevant to this issue?
  • Is there a separation of ‘Church’ and ‘State’? Who ultimately rules and governs each of these realms?
  • Where in Matthew’s gospel does Jesus affirm & ratify OT Law & legislation explicitly?
  • Who, according to the Great Commission, now possesses ALL authority in heaven and ON EARTH?
  • Who according St John (Rev 1:5) is the Ruler of the kings of the Earth?
  • Is it awkward, embarrassing and difficult in the context of a radically secular culture to defend the penal sanctions of the OT?
  • Should prisons be reformed or closed according to Scripture?
  • When is punishment ‘criminal’? Does the title/office of a magistrate warrant a particular sentence?
  • Does popular consent warrant a particular civil punishment?
  • Does a ‘lynch-mob’ exercise properly authorised punishment?
  • What is the moral justification for civil punishment? Is ‘reform’, ‘deterrence’ or ‘prevention’  an adequate warrant?
  • Is it EVER right to punish the innocent? Why is this consideration relevant?
  • What is the ONLY moral justification for civil punishment? (See Prov 28)
  • What does the substitutionary atonement of Christ for sinners take for granted?
  • How are the texts of Hebrews 2:2 & Romans 3:31 relevant to our enquiry?
  • What do we (unwittingly perhaps) presuppose when we affirm the propriety of eternal damnation for the impenitent sinner?
  • How does St Paul, in Acts 25:11, affirm capital sanctions?
  • How does Romans 13 reference capital sanctions?
  • How are these texts relevant to our enquiry? Mark 7:10; Rom 1:32; Matt 5:21,22; Luke 19; Heb 10:28.
  • What percentage of ‘convicted criminals’ repeat their crimes (at the time of publication)?
  • What ALONE provides for civil society a model of true ‘Justice’?

 

Greg Bahnsen – How does the Equity of Old Testament morality apply today?

      1. GB306

 

  • Does OT morality address merely ‘Church based’ activity or does it have legitimate application in say the advancement of social (political) justice?
  • Of what significance is the slaughter of infants at the time of Jesus’ birth as recorded by Luke?
  • What was the source of Pilate’s authority according to Jesus?
  • How different/similar is the contemporary ‘evangelical church’ to the Jews of Jesus’ day who chanted, “We have no king but Caesar”?
  • Did St Paul accommodate himself to statist government authority (see Acts 17)?
  • How (monetarily!) were early/primitive Christian creeds an affront to the Roman authorities?
  • What was the significance of the number & signature of the Beast of Revelation?
  • What were the TWO characteristics of those who opposed the Beast of Revelation?
  • Are WE to have ‘no king but Caesar’?

 

Bible Reading
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.

[Rom 13:1-7]

  • To what extent are we to exercise ‘conscience’ in our obedience to civil authority?
  • Are children ALWAYS to obey their parents? (see Eph 6)
  • What interesting TREND among late 20th century evangelicals does Bahnsen identify?
  • Why does Bahnsen reference Isaac Watt’s hymn: ‘Joy to the world’?
  • Is something of Eden’s curse evident in the political realm?
  • Does God call the various kings of the earth to account for the way they governed?
  • Are we (Christians) to glorify God in the way that we vote/allow statesmen to influence society?
  • Where is God’s will to be found regarding ‘politics, criminality, principles of finance’, etc??
  • How should we answer the common objection expressed by many contemporary Christians that, ‘we are New Testament believers, etc’?
  • How should we answer the common objection expressed by many contemporary Christians that, e.g.
  • we are not under Old Testament Law now!
  • only the Ten Commandments are moral aren’t they?
  • Why did God give so many other commandments – beyond the 10?
  • Do the various OT ‘Case Laws’ contradict the Ten Commandments?
  • Has God given us one version of morality in the Ten Commandments & another in the Case Laws?
  • If the NT upholds the morality of the 10 Commands, what is the implication for NT endorsement of the Case Laws?
  • Does the ‘definition’ of a thing add to the thing itself?
  • How is the sin of ‘bestiality’ a helpful referent in assessing NT morality?
  • What is the logical conclusion of saying, “We only have to keep the 10 Commandments”?

 

Alleged arguments against the socio-political requirements of the OT for the NT Christian

  • In Gal 3-4, is Paul addressing the Ceremonial Law or the Socio-political laws?
  • Which aspect of God’s Law (ceremonial or moral) teaches justification by faith?
  • What aspect of God’s Law did the religious leaders of the day glory in?
  • How does Walter Chantry err in expositing In Gal 3-4?
  • What category of Law is the example Bahnsen references concerning ‘loose axe-heads’?
  • Chantry perceives the OT judicial law as ‘harsh’. Do you agree?  What was king David’s estimation of it?
  • ‘The school master is harsh; the judicial law is harsh therefore the school-master is the judicial law’. What’s wrong (fallacious!) with that argument?
  • Some say (e.g. Fowler), ‘the OT judicial laws applicable to just the covenant people of God.’

i.e. They were addressed to the Jews; how is the sin/crime of sodomy pertinent to this pseudo-argument?

  • How are Deut 4, Prov 14, Ps 119 & Isaiah Ch 42, Ch 2, Pr 16:12, Ps 2 pertinent to this question?
  • WHOSE wrath does the civil magistrate avenge? (Rom 12…..13)
  • Whose Law is the civil magistrate to exercise?
  • Today & in recent history, are good men consistently vindicated & evil men punished by various humanistic regimes?
  • What is implied by (i) the text of 2Thess 2 ‘the man of lawlessness’ (ii) the Beast of Revelation (iii) 1Tim 1:8ff?
  • Is there any substantial difference between the law revealed in Nature & the Law of Moses?
  • What was the plain significance of the Reformation mural ‘Justice Lifts the Nations’ (see here) painted by Paul Robert?
  • Is there something novel/peculiar about ‘Theonomic’ ethics?

Responses to Predominant Psalmody

The link below addresses ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ that pertain to the piece I wrote advocating a return to Predominant Psalmody in formal Christian worship.  I welcome further cross-questionning & would wish to clarify what I have written beforehand that has left doubts & questions in peoples’ minds.  Just let me know!

July 2017

Psalmody FAQ (version 1)

 

Greg Bahnsen – What Changes were entailed from Old Covenant to New Covenant?

GB05 – How has the Old Covenant been CHANGED now by the New Covenant?

 

      1. GB305

 

Bible Readings

Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: we have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore, it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbour, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. [Heb Ch8]

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.   [Heb 10:1]

Questions

Is there a DISTINCTIVE ‘Christian’ outlook in ALL areas of consideration?

Concerning Ethics as revealed in Scripture, ‘Has God changed His mind?’

May/Should we presume that OT standing laws continue to be binding in NT?

What false criticism (Straw Man) is most often lodged against the Theonomic perspective?

Who alone may determine if & how the Old Covenant has changed?

Is Redemptive revelation ‘progressive’?  Does Theonomy allow for this?

Does Theonomy recognise the fulfilment of OT shadows & types in the New Covenant economy?

What was Meredith Kline’s key criticism of Theonomy? Is it fair?

Does Theonomy recognise the FIGURATIVE & ILLUSTRATIVE character of many OT commandments?

How does Bahnsen use the parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate his point?

How does the OT law regarding the erection of a ‘roof parapet’ apply today?

Does the OT teach a separation between Church & State?

Were the particular commands issued to Israel regarding the destruction of the Canaanites ‘standing laws’ – i.e. of contemporary application?

Is the Levirate marriage commandment binding today?

Is Theonomic Ethics easily reducible to a list of do’s & don’t’s?

 

How is the Old Testament ‘old’?  How does the discontinuity between Old/New manifest itself?

What is meant by ‘testament’?

Was the Old Covenant ‘glorious’?

What does the New Covenant assure/grant that the Old could not?

What could Old Covenant law, being written on stone tablets, NOT energise?  What did this typify for Paul?

Does the Holy Spirit teach a NEW law/life-style for new covenant believers?

Does Theonomy teach that Christ redeemed His people from the curse of the law?

How does the new covenant SURPASS/EXCEED the old covenant?

What two features of OT sacrifices indicated their relative powerlessness & temporality?

How was the ministry of the OT high priest indicative of old covenant ‘weakness’?

What did the ‘tearing’ of the veil of the temple signify?

How does the New Covenant impact our ‘motivation’ to keep God’s Law?

What, according to Jeremiah 31, has now been written on the heart of the New Covenant believer?

What was wrong with the Old Covenant?

Do the changes (between Old & New testament) (a) take away or (b) establish ancient moral duties?

What was Jesus’ key concern in the Sermon on the Mount?

How does Jesus’ own life help us comprehend the true character of God’s Law?

How does the ‘finality’ of NT revelation impact the obedience of saints? (see 2Tim 3:16)

How does all this impact Christian responsibility?  (Lk 12:48)

What has happened to all OT shadows of God’s Law?

What is meant by ‘the passing away of the Old Covenant’? (Heb 8:13)

What according to Hebrews 9 is the difference between Moses’ and Jesus’ priesthood?

Given that the Old Covenant was ‘shadows’ compared with New Covenant ‘reality’, are we any less obliged to follow the PRESENT ‘reality’?

Contrast the OT community of saints with the NT community of saints.  Where now is the Israel of God?

How does the passing away of Canaan as the location of God’s kingdom affect OT Law land references?

What has happened to OT laws pertaining to the separation of Jew & Gentile (separation of seeds, fibres, meats, dietary, etc) with the advent of the NT economy?

Once more, what then are we to say of the allegation that ‘Theonomy makes no distinction between Old & New Testament Law’?

Why Psalm Singing

In this article I present an argument for the return of Psalm singing to dominate our corporate, formal Church worship.  I’ll address peripheral matters on a future occasion.  In the meantime, I attempt to show that historically this was orthodoxy and that we should seek to recover it for the sake of our collective well-being and for the glory of God.  May the Lord bless its reading & study.

Steve Layfield

A Humble Plea for Psalmody to Dominate in Sung Worship

Greg Bahnsen – Has God Changed His Mind?

      1. GB304 - Has God Changed His Mind?

 

Questions

1. Is there a DISTINCTIVE ‘Christian’ outlook in ALL areas of consideration?

2. Concerning Ethics as revealed in Scripture, ‘Has God changed His mind?’

3. May/Should we presume that OT standing laws continue to be binding in NT?

 

Bible Reading
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…..

[Matthew 5:16-20; 48]

4. What place is there in the Christian life for ‘Good Works’?

5. What is the characteristic of those Christians who love Christ?  (Jn 15)

6. What examples of ‘moral duties’ does Dr Bahnsen illustrate from NT teaching?

7. What example does Bahnsen reference that shows cultural nuance?

8. Are there any NT ‘laws’?  Give at least THREE examples

_________________________________________________________

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9. What is ‘licentiousness’?  Is there any place for licentious Christianity – even for so Christians that wish to follow exclusively the NT?

10. How much of the Scriptures is the Word of God?  OT only, NT only or NT & OT?

11. If OT law is no longer binding TODAY, has the Lord changed His mind?

12. What are we to think (& practice!) regarding sexual relations with animals? What are we to think (& practice!) regarding witchcraft?

13. Are NT laws in harmony with OT laws or is there a new program for morality?

14. What’s the relevance of 2Tim 3:16?

15. Why is ‘bestiality’ a pertinent (if gross!) example for consideration?

16. Does Scripture provide moral instruction (moral principles) from which we can develop a Christian mindset on ‘genetic engineering’?

17. How needful is OT Scripture to the formulation of sound ethical practice?

18. What is the NT attitude regarding the OT in relation to moral instruction?

19. What is the distinctive ‘Theonomic’ assumption in relation to OT/NT?

20. How does the NT define sin? [1Jn 3:4]

21. Is ‘love’ an OT or NT commandment?  From where did Jesus quote to exhort his followers to love God?

22. What, according to Bahnsen, is the best way to break Scripture?

23. Did Jesus quote God’s Law from beyond the Decalogue (10 Commands)?

24. Many Christians argue that only those laws from the OT REPEATED in the NT are binding for Christians today.  What’s wrong with this?

25. How does Paul in 1 Corinthians, Romans 6 & 8,13, 2Cor 6, the author of Hebrews 8 & Revelation 12 contribute to this issue?

26. What warning does John issue in 1Jn 2:4?

27. What is the characteristic of a holy disposition?  (Numb 15:40)

28. What is the characteristic of an unholy disposition?  (Gen 3:5)

29. What does Mal 3:6 teach us about God & His holiness?  Was His OT holiness different to His NT holiness?

30. Is God fickle?  Does He change His mind?

31. Are ethical standards necessarily universal & timeless?

32. What does the psalmist say?  (Ps 89:34)

33. What did the coming of Christ change?

34. Hebrews 8 & 10 rehearse Jeremiah 31.  What specifically was promised there?

35. What does the New Covenant promise empowerment for?

36. What CANNOT the word ‘fulfil’ in Matt 5:17 mean?  Why not?

37. What key hermeneutical principle is violated commonly by biblical scholars in relation to Matt 5:17?

38. Was Jesus intimating RELATIVE NEGATION in Matt 5:17?

39. Even if Matt 5:17-18 are awkward, is verse 19 (Matt 5) ambivalent at all?

40. What was Dr Copse’s conclusions regarding an orthodox Calvinistic (reformed) perspective regarding changes in the covenants?

41. Does the NT anywhere teach the requirement for repetition of an OT law before it becomes part of NT law?

42. What does Matt 4:4 contribute to this question/controversy?

Greg Bahnsen – Who’s in Charge Here?

Bible Reading
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

[Luke 6:46-49]

      1. God's Law - Who's in Charge?

 

Questions

1. What does Bahnsen identify as the heritage of the Theonomic perspective?

2. What great issue does Bahnsen draw our attention to by his anecdote regarding IBM?

3. How are we to arbitrate between the multiplicity of outlooks ‘out there’ in the Market Place of Ideas?

4. What/where is the ultimate MORAL authority in the world?

5. What solemn warning is included in the parallel account of this episode (Lk 6) is given in Matthew 7?

6. Who IS in charge according to Scripture?

7. What, beyond one’s personal life, does Bahnsen urge us to build with reference to Scripture?

8. What does Jesus call someone who refuses to build upon His words?

9. How frequently do we make ‘ethical decisions’? How much of life is ‘ethical’?

10. Is eating ethical? Is watching TV?

11. Some make ‘pleasure’ their goal; others make ‘health’; some look after ‘number one’…… What objective standard enables us to measure competing ethical codes?

12. What are some of the prerogatives of ‘Lordship’ in the Old Testament (OT)? See Lev 19 & Deut 7:9-11; the Shema Deut 6:4-9; Ex 34:10?

13. What are the practical implications of God’s jealousy for His people?

14. What qualification does God supply to His Law in Deut 5:32-33?

15. Are additions or subtractions acceptable to God?

16. What is spelt out in Lev 18:1-5? With what does God contrast HIS laws?

17. What does Deut 6:5-9 require of us? (hand, door post, forehead, ….etc)

18. What is the conclusion here?

19. What according to Rom 14:9, Phil 2:1, 1Cor 12:3, Acts 16:31, Rom 10:9 is the goal of Christianity?

20. What is the import of the First Commandment?

21. How does the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) summarise mankind’s duty?

22. What qualification does God possess to warrant His authority over mankind?

23. What fraction of humanity will be judged by God’s Law?

24. Which schools of thought are antagonistic to Theonomy?
A ___________________ school of thought (self-determined law)
A ___________________ school of thought (against God’s Law)

25. What is the problem with (i) Plato’s idealism (ii) Sartre’s existentialism?

26. How does the Bible resolve the tension between relevance & absolute authority?

27. Who said, “We must live as men who can get along very well without God”?

28. Is YOUR life built upon the foundation of God’s word?

29. What is ‘licentious’ antinomianism?

30. What is ‘spiritual’ antinomianism?

31. What is ‘dispensationalism’ antinomianism?

32. What is ‘latent’ antinomianism?

33. What is the Theonomic ethics?  Is it biblical?

Greg Bahnsen on Theonomy – Why it represents authentic, full-orbed, Biblical Christianity

In the following blog pages I will provide questions for contemporary Christians (Christianity) that are addressed by Dr Greg Bahnsen, one of the key pioneers of 20th century Christian Reconstruction (Theonomy) which Dr Joe Boot identifies as ‘New Puritanism’. Boots label for this movement is helpful since it side-steps the simplistic & unfair criticism lodged by many that Theonomy is essentially a theological novelty with little/no historical precedent. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Those who ignore or refuse to hear the challenge put by Theonomic advocates are like the wilderness pilgrims who refused to heed the admonition of Joshua & Caleb to ‘take the Land of Promise’. They are resistant to God’s call given to them in the Great Commission & find themselves worshipping a distant god who makes a fleeting appearance each Sunday morning (where a semblance of Sabbath respect remains!) before disappearing again for a further week. Rousas Rushdoony, the other principal champion of the great cause had this to say about such an attitude.
All who are inquisitive to the nature of true faith in Christ would do well to listen well and pay careful attention to the argumentation presented here. Look up the Scriptures, pray & ask God to open your eyes. Consider humbly & carefully whether the burden of these messages – now over 20 years old – are not still as pertinent as ever. May the Lord raise up a new generation of soldiers & followers after Christ who are, like Joshua & Caleb of old, brave-hearted & strong, willing to take on the giants of contemporary godless secular culture & be counted.

May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
cut for the structure of a palace;
may our granaries be full,
providing all kinds of produce;
may our sheep bring forth thousands
and ten thousands in our fields;
may our cattle be heavy with young,
suffering no mishap or failure in bearing;
may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

Psalm 144:12-15


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