By Brad Finkbeiner
Published May 2, 2008
“Is Theonomy Exegetically Sound?” Rogers hardly answered the question. By stripping away his opening credo, his first round personal advertisement, his incessant definitions of “Theonomy,” his irrelevant points about salvation, his lengthy excursions into historical theology and, last but not least, his virtual army of straw men, it is clear that Rogers was engaged in some other debate. He never did rebut my expositions of Heb 8; Gal 3; Rom 2-3, 6, 7; 1 Cor 9; 2 Cor 3; Eph 2 and other key texts. And when trying to rebut my philosophical arguments he often missed the point (e.g., he still does not understand my “moral Meno” argument). Finally, he never resolved the monstrous contradiction of affirming Jesus’ jot and tittle principle while insisting that the ceremonial laws were abolished. And as for his quotation of Matthew 5…
The OL Passed Away With The Old Heaven & Earth
Jesus said “until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter nor stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all things come to pass.” Theonomists treat the verb “pass away” in the phrase “until heaven and earth pass away” as a consummative aorist, as though Jesus said “…until all the heavens and earth have passed away” or “until heavens and earth completely pass away.” But Jesus used a subjunctive aorist. Since this verb denotes an undefined action we must rely on context to determine what kind of action is being referred to. The immediate context does not tell us, but the broader context does. Later in Matthew’s gospel, when Jesus was discussing the utter destruction of Jerusalem, we read this: “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (24:34-35). Jesus associated the passing of heavens and earth with the destruction of the covenant nation in 70 AD.
Jews would have recognized this as the testimonial of God’s two witnesses. Having said “I call heaven and earth as witness against you today,” Moses assured the nation of Israel that they would one day be “utterly destroyed” (Deut 4:26). This was later repeated: “I call heaven and earth against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse” (30:19). Since the Law made it clear that two witnesses were needed to bring a charge against someone, God called upon heaven and earth to bear testimony against the covenant-breaking nation. Heaven and earth would “testify” by passing away in the first century AD.
Paul assured his audience that “the form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor 7:31). John wrote: “The world is passing away…” (1 Jn 2:17). Elsewhere: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Rev 21:1). The following comparison of John’s account (12:2ff) with other texts reveals that the new heavens and earth were inaugurated in Christ:
“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…”
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…” (Heb 12:22).
“But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother” (Gal 4:26)
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
“For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (2 Cor 6:16)
“…the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new…”
“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor 5:17)
The only way to make the phrase “until heaven and earth pass away” consistent with the NT epistles is to treat the verb “pass away” in an ingressive sense. As Todd Kofchur notes, “Jesus was focusing on the beginning of this ‘passing away’ event without reference to its duration or completion” (unpublished paper).
The NL Accompanied The New Heaven & Earth
Redemptive history was a regaining of paradise lost, a restoration of the creation that “fell” in the first Adam. That fallen order began passing away with the coming of the second Adam. Jesus spoke of the NC era as “the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne” (Mt 19:28). As the Spirit generated the first “very good” order (Gen 2:2) so He began to regenerate (lit. “re-genesis” or “re-beginning”) its corrupted state through the power of the resurrected Christ under the NC. Those who rose with Christ are “new creations” under a new life system (Rom 6:4).
In light of all this newness can the Old Law be the one thing that remains? Pop Theonomist Gary DeMar admitted “The New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant with new leaders, a new priesthood, new sacraments, a new sacrifice, a new tabernacle, and a new temple. In essence, a new heaven and earth.” How then, in spite of Jesus’ explicit giving of a “new commandment,” can Theonomists insist that Old Law alone remains?Life under the NC is a life of renewal (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 4:16; Col 3:10; Eph 4:20-24; Titus 3:15). The goal is to be renewed unto the image of Christ (Rom 8)—not the Law—to be conformed to the Beginning of the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18), the Progenitor of the new race appropriately called the “church of the firstborn” (Heb 12:23). To appear in the likeness of the new Adam let us live as He lived, let us love “as He loved.” Solo Christo!
|ROUND||Jay Rogers||Brad Finkbeiner|
Forerunner - Home » Theonomy Debate - Is Theonomy Exegetically Sound?
Your comments are welcome!
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)