Reformed leaders, their personal truths and private perquisites...

(Tim, w/thanks to Mick) Excellent post by Doug Wilson. If you want to read him, don't bother; but if you don't want to read him, you simply must.

In passing, let me note here that, at the first meeting I attended of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood--the organization that gave us that mincing eight-syllable construction "complementarianism"--several of the more prominent council members shut down an attempt by a younger man to get CBMW to oppose women combatants in our armed forces.

It was clear the thought of CBMW making any statement about the application of God's Order of Creation outside the Christian home and church petrified them. Manhood and womanhood were private truths for the people of God, only.

It was much like the approach taken by Covenant Theological Seminary's resident ethicist David Jones who...

way back in 1999, sought the repeal of sodomy laws. Taking on himself the responsibility of responding to my letter addressed to Prof. Jones, Covenant's president at the time, Bryan Chapell, wrote assuring me that Jones wasn't going soft on homosexuality. The lesson?

The application of God's Order of Creation outside the Christian church and home scares the pants off Reformed academics. And they're not even R2K...

Comments

I can provide no clearer example for why I hold modern broad based Evangelicalism to be utterly worthless. There's a reason I drive my family fifty miles one way to church on Sunday-and it's not because my twelve passinger express van gets good gas mileage.

Both your thoughts and Doug's on this are excellent. I think some of it does come from an R2K type fog. I was dialogging with someone on a similar issue who said something like, "Well, we can't expect unbelievers to keep the law." I said, "I don't think it's unreasonable to try to keep Aunt Sadie the atheist from committing murder." The whole idea that morality cannot be legislated in the civic sphere is completely unworkable, not to mention dishonoring to God --the only question is whose morality it will be.

The heart cannot be legislated. Morality certainly can, must, and should be legislated. God is the source of that morality. We can't give behaviors a pass just because they seem, in our enlightened judgment, to be harmless.

And, he was quick to add, no immorality is harmless....

>>The whole idea that morality cannot be legislated in the civic sphere...

Every last law ever made by man is nothing but his legislation of morality. As you point out, the only question is the ground of that morality. Then R2K's inventors warn us laws must not be be grounded in Scripture or the perfections of Scripture's God.

Love,

I've come to the firm conviction that "complementarianism" is a fatal compromise. When leaders can't say anything against little girl soldiers, mothers with troubled teens running for VP or abortifacent birth control ...

Ken and Tim,

So interesting that someone would say "you can't legislate morality." What is morality?

Here's a hint, a little Latin word: mos, which in the plural is "mores" and it means? "manner, custom, way, usage, practice, fashion, wont" and "In partic., in a moral point of view, conduct, behavior; in plur., manners, morals, character; in a good or bad sense" (from Lewis and Short).

It is never a question of morality, but what (or whose) morality. Even Roman pagans understood that.

Tim and Ken, like I said to Mark VDM in the other thread, I'm glad you have 2k to kick around since you don't own dogs.

The point of 2k is not that you must not use the Bible for law, but rather what happens when the Bible is no longer the standard. Is there any other basis? The Christian tradition has said, yes. There is natural law or general revelation, which would explain why Greece and Rome were fairly orderly and free societies.

But if you're right, that the Bible is the only basis, then you must believe that the U.S. is illegitimate. Doesn't your citizenship compromise your faith, since you are a member of a godless society and Paul tells us not to be unequally yoked?

>>The point of 2k is not that you must not use the Bible for law

That will be news to some R2K folks. So now we can use the Bible as a basis for statutory law. Now we can address issues like sodomy and child murder. Works for me.

"But if you're right, that the Bible is the only basis … "

Gardyloo, Sirrah!

Egad! Gadzooks!!

Comest thou to thine understanding by kephalonomancy? Knowest thou not that such entheomania as thou displayeth differeth not a frittered fig from mean chirosophy? Ora, lege, lege, lege, relege, labora et invenies! Withal thou canst not stand on but a lonesome lege!

"Doesn't your citizenship compromise your faith, since you are a member of a godless society and Paul tells us not to be unequally yoked?:

Zut alors! Pure scatoscopy!! Barking madness!! Pthah!! Gak!

Fred, that's it, I'm buying a plane ticket to fly out there and straighten you and your congregation out! And, I am sending you the bill.

Darryl, as a matter of fact I do own a dog, but I don't kick her. Only Arminians, FVers and R2K people. It's so fun, I can't resist.

What do you do in a culture where the Bible is no longer the standard? Why, that's easy! You stop asserting the crown rights of King Jesus. You retreat into the ivory tower, and talk about how the Bible never really calls you to obedience or to apply the truth, because it is all set up for you to fail, and Jesus to complete. You let the government do all sorts of wicked and despicable things, and do not utter a whimper, because you don't want to "get in the way of the gospel."

Let me share a quote given to me by one of my fathers in the faith,

“Meanwhile, do not let us try to escape the difficulty by saying that Christian principles are very excellent for individual men, but are inapplicable to the conduct of nations. To say that is high treason against the authority of Christ. If the rules of life which He taught us are really authoritative, they ought to control the conduct of nations not less than the conduct of private persons like you and me. Nations, after all, have no existence independent of the human beings who compose them; nations are only large companies of men and women; and what is right or wrong for each individual who helps to make up a nation, must be right or wrong for all such persons collectively. Moral obligations do not evaporate in a crowd; and Christ our Lord assuredly meant His moral teaching to enter into and control the conduct of nations; in other words, to control politics. No; if as yet this is not the case; if men who would shrink from wrong in their individual capacity advocate it as members of a corporation, or as citizens or rulers of a State, this only shows how much our Lord has yet to do in order to make even the Christian world really His. But if He delays His work, this is no proof that He will not complete it, or that, in then end. the world will not be subject to the Prince of Peace” (H. P. Liddon, Advent Sermons, Vol. I, p. 358,359, "The Prince of Peace.")

Dgh,

Greece and Rome were fairly orderly societies in terms of what and free for whom? Here's a newsflash: whatever vestige of natural law theory was left after Darwin( and we're talking not much )was awept away with quantum physics. You talk as if Locke's worldview is still tenable and Newton's God is still out there looking over us.

Dgh,

To your second point: we are an apostate nation. When you are politically forced to subsidize all manner of evil you may rest assured that your faith is compromised. As we continue to experience God's judgements we may comfort ouselves with the claim that we only work in the kitchen at Aucshwitz.

Fred nails it.

Fr Bill speaks in tongues - and I dig it.

What about one of the areas of application mentioned in the post above--God's Order of Creation? I like this statement of Doug Wilson: "[Proverbs 31] DENIES that a woman's place is in the home. It AFFIRMS that her priority is the home." (He also explains a little of what he means by this.)

(See http://dougwils.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2284:The-Role-of-Biblical-Women&catid=79:themes-in-proverbs )

Does that go far enough to suit?

Sorry--the second emphasis in Pastor Doug's quote in my post is "priority" not "affirms."

Quote:

//Dgh,

To your second point: we are an apostate nation. When you are politically forced to subsidize all manner of evil you may rest assured that your faith is compromised. As we continue to experience God's judgements we may comfort ouselves with the claim that we only work in the kitchen at Auschwitz.//

OK, don't know if the following is a dumb question but:

What does this discussion mean for Christians in cultures where they are truly a minority? I'm thinking of big parts of South-East Asia, as I have friends from there. I am really wondering as to how much we talk about here, would actually be a priority concern in their settings.

I'm new to the discussion, so where is the best reading on the r2k vs one kingdom controversy found?

Mark,

For history here, scroll back up to the original post and click on the sub-heading/classification "Two Kingdom/Spirituality of the church."

Ross,

There are two issues here. First, we were founded as a Chrstian nation( prior to that coup in Philadelphia).The incorporating documents of the various colonial establishments( with the exception of Rhode Island )were self-consciously and judicially Christian. We may forget our broken covenants: I'm guessing God dosen't.

The second issue, and perhaps more to the point, is that we are a representative democracy. Our elected officials act on our behalf and speak in our name. We are responsible for what they do.

Don - so, in some ways, what we are talking about is an issue which is intramural for American Christians? (I'm not one, for the record, but am intrigued to follow the arguments).

Well how it applies in America is an issue for American Christians. And R2Kers, from the sober Dr Hart to the embarrassment that goes by Zrim, have been utterly unable to address how it should apply in these circumstances, where each Christian wields political power and consequently has political responsibility.

Ross,

Implicit in what David stated above is the fact that Christians in America are by no means a politically insignificant minority. Our evils as a nation are first and formost a failure of the Church-particularly of the pulpit. R2K is simply the latest manifestation of this failure.

>>...utterly unable to address...

Yes, that's the final word on R2K; utterly unable to sustain anything other than a sarcastic monologue.

Any number of men have pointed out that, as citizens of these United States, we live in a constitutional and representative *democracy*, and thus our civil magistrates both rule and answer to us. What are the implications of this for R2K?

Silence about the question and the ridicule of some other straw man more to their liking. Something easily skewered that no one actually believes, but that it's helpful to act as if their opponents hold to it.

Recently, I've come to two conclusions: first, that it's worthless to try to have a constructive conversation with them; and second, that their entire argument is simply the excluded middle behind their demand that every man choose between civil law being based on both tablets of God's Moral Law or no tablets of God's Moral Law. "Take your pick," they say, "but it must be one or the other!"

For myself, I've never read anyone down through church history who said our choices are limited to these two poles. But R2K men say it's so and who's going to prove them wrong?

In such a way as to lead them to acknowledge it, that is.

Love,

Tim, but if you don't follow all of God's law, then you are god determining which laws of God you follow. Plus, you use God's law to berate unlovingly other Christians.

There is another way out. It is the light of nature. But you won't have that because you seem to think that you are purer and more loving than everyone if you follow the Bible. And when someone comes along and points out that you're not following all of the Bible in public life, then you fold and say you can't have a constructive conversation.

Ken, our father in the faith . . . from an Advent sermon? Reform up, man.

>>And when someone comes along and points out that you're not following all of the Bible in public life, then you fold and say you can't have a constructive conversation.

Darryl, there you go, again--refusing to answer the question. Answer the question. Craig (and others) have asked it again and again and again and again, and you act as if you haven't heard it and whine about how you're not being loved. To quote the King James Version, "Quit you like men." Man up and answer the question.

David Gray has asked it once more, for the nth time, above. Answer the question.

And if he does, Craig and David, I'll leave it to you to engage his answer since I'm going to be out of the loop for a while.

Also, Darryl, you still haven't responded to my pointing out how inane your discussion with Tim Keller was when you went on and on for thousands of words about the Christian pursuit of justice in the modern world and the public square while never once mentioning the slaughter of millions of unborn babies going on all around us. It was a silence of both you and your eminent interlocutor that screamed, yet you can't admit how damning your silence was (and still is).

Thousands of words about justice from men who claim to care about it deeply, and not one thought of the millions of unborn babies being slaughtered all around us, day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, by the tens of millions in these United States alone, and now reaching a billion, worldwide.

Tim Keller and Darryl Hart have a public discussion with each other about the Christian's duty to pursue justice in which they discuss specific injustices and how Christians ought to approach them, but nary a mention of the slaughter of the unborn.

Inane.

But hey, that's R2K for you.

Love,

> There's another way out. It is the light of nature.

Are you referring to the same light of nature that gave us those "fairly orderly and free societies" of classical antiquity? If we discount the infanticide, sexual perversity, continual wars, political corruption, and slave economy that characterized these societies you may have a point.