A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It is God Who Rules in the Nations of the World.

[T]here are some who deny that a commonwealth is duly framed which neglects the political system of Moses, and is ruled by the common laws of nations. Let other men consider how perilous and seditious this notion is; it will be enough for me to have proved it false and foolish.
--John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Faith, IV:20:14 [Battle]

Thus Calvin, more than five hundred years ago, lays in the dust the modern foundation principles of theonomy, reconstructionism, Federal Vision theology, and all the step-children derived from the rejection of natural law and common grace.

Self-conscious Christianity must include a deep humility based upon the understanding of the deceitfulness of each Christian's own heart which precludes the idea that individualistic self-conscious understanding of the Scripture may not tainted with sin and error. There is a doctrinal perfectionism that is as pernicious as any volitional perfectionism taught by Finney or others like him.

Of course, I cannot take a neutral position with respect to the Lord Jesus [Luke 11:23], but I can certainly and must be neutral about many other people [Mark 9:40] This requires a certain humility of mind and soul. Just because a man is not in my box, doesn't mean he is not doing the will of God.

Those who will take care to read all of Calvin's Institutes and especially Chapter 20 of Book Four [about Civil Government] will see how different it is from the spirit of the MIddle Ages and the modern movements listed above.

The Apostle Paul did not have enough political influence to stay out of jail, nor did the Lord Jesus avoid crucifixion, but they had a bit of influence on the world, wouldn't you say? How did they manage that? I don't think they even had campaign managers, unless the Holy Spirit and God's eternal decree count.

Although Calvin was backward looking in some things, the general tenor of his theology looked forward to the liberating spirit of the Reformation and newness in Christ. Hence, he was able to maintian friendships even with those who abandoned the Reformation and returned to Rome, or with those who did not break completely with Rome. Calvin did not live in a box.

For a modern critique of Theonomy and Reconstructionism, read J. Ligon Duncan's essay at the following link. Click here

A great many things that have afflicted the peace and usefulness of the modern reformed churches come of this stew. There are many articles that have been linked HERE.

I would also strongly recommend Guy Prentiss Waters The Federal Vision and Covenant Theology. You can get it at Amazon

Pray for President-Elect Obama, as the Scripture commands.
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