Thursday, January 7, 2010

Theonomy Part 1

For the next few posts I will be disscussing an issue that has been around for the past couple years called theonomy. It should be noted that I do not embrace this theological view at all. This is an analysis of this Christian view.

To start off with, what is theonomy? according to Random House dictionary, it is "the state of an individual or society that regards its own nature and norms as being in accord with the divine nature." From the Christian perspective, it is implementing God's law into society. According to Professor Van Til, he said "There is no alternative but that of theonomy and autonomy." Every ethical descision is either based on autonomy of on the law of a holy God. Unbelievers consider themselves the final authority in ethical matters whereas a Christians determine what is right and wrong through the Word of God. It is God that has the position and prerogative to do so. Failure to implement God's Law is sin and declaring independence from God. Building on this foundation, theonomists believe that the moral standards from Old Testament apply to the political realm. Theonomists cite theologian William Symington who said, "It is the duty of nations, as subjects of Christ, to take his law as their rule. They are apt to think enough that they take, as their standard of legislation and administration, human reason, natural conscience, public opinion or political expediency. None of these, however, nor indeed all of them together, can supply a sufficient guide in affairs of state" Verses that they use to say that the Old Testament laws apply today are 1 Timothy 1:8-10, Matthew 15:3-4, and Acts 25:11.When it comes to civil disobedience,they believe that it is breaking God’s command to “submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”(Romans 13:1)According to theonomists, they have to submit to authorities no matter what because the authorities are ordained by God and he will "avoid God’s wrath". This is in a nutshell what this Christian philsophy is.

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