Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Theonomy Demands Natural Law

Jus Divinum on the Mosaic Judicials .
We answer, the Laws of the Jewish Church, whether Ceremonial or Judicial, so far forth are in force, even at this day, as they were grounded upon common equity, the principles of reason and nature, and were serving to the maintenance of the Moral Law. … The Jewish Politie is only abrogated in regard of what was in it of particular right, not of common right, so far forth as there was in their Laws either a typicalness proper to their Church, or a peculiarness of respect to their state in that Land of Promise given unto them.  Whatsoever was in their Laws of Moral concernment, or general equity is still obliging …[2]
Conclusion:  Whatever else 19.4 might mean, it clearly states that the use of the judicials in today’s society presupposes some understanding and application of natural law and common sense equity.  This doesn’t mean theonomy is necessarily right or wrong.  However, it does shed some light on how American theonomists tell the narrative.   If one adds to the mix a hyper-presuppositionalism and a fear of all things Thomistic, then there is no way he or she can read the judicials in the way that the writers of the Confession intended.
Equity is a natural law concept, full stop.  The anti-scholastic theonomist of today is borrowing from Thomistic categories in order to reject Thomistic categories (the irony of this somewhat Van Tillian sentence is thick).

I will say the problem another way.  There are two hermeneutical worlds (courtesy of John Stott).

Mosaic World                                                                                               Today's Application

(How do you apply the two on issues where there isn't a clear connection between the two?)

Mosaic World ---------------------------Equity--------------------Today's Application

Here is the problem:  even if theonomy is correct on this point, equity is a generic category that doesn't necessarily include Mosaic specifics.  Equity presupposes (!) that one use analogy and accepted ideas of fairness, and it doesn't always tell you what that is.  But the Bible doesn't really give a complete list of generalities on fairness.

This is why something like Reid's Common Sense Realism is inevitable.

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