Martin Luther, whose courageous conscience was captive to the Word of God, without question, would vehemently disapprove. Recognizing this blatant departure from biblical principles and Luther, a faithful and heartbroken ELCA minister bemoaned, “My denomination is ‘Lutheran’ in name only.”
Given the milieu within this embattled denomination, I am not at all surprised or offended that an ELCA pastor would find my treatment of theonomy to be distasteful, if not laughable. The following is our respectful, but lively dialogue. For clarity, my interlocutor’s words appear bold and italicized. May God add His blessing to your reading.
"I disagree with your premise that Theonomy or whatever name you call it cannot lead to violence. In my opinion, it's an extreme view and not many scholars agree with it. I used to be Calvinist BTW. I know there are some good reformed scholars but Reconstructionism/Dominion/Theonomy is out of the mainstream."
Can you please present from my blog where I said "Theonomy cannot lead to violence"? I think one would be hard-pressed to find any system of belief of which it could be logically said, "this CANNOT lead to violence." Wouldn't you agree? (Do we not find "extreme" views in nearly all camps?)
Yes, there are "some good" Reformed scholars. And, I think there may be "some good" Lutheran scholars. But, I'm really not interested in what may be termed as the logical fallacy of "appeal to authority." (People all too easily throw around the phrase "scholars say....")
Similarly, the notion that "Theonomy is out of the mainstream" is also unconvincing to me. What constitutes "mainstream" is most often quite subjective.
I am more interested in this question: Is theonomy--as I presented it in my article--biblical? I'm not speaking of violence or of any particular form of government. I'm simply asking, by what standard should the civil magistrate seek to govern, according to scripture?
“So by who's interpretation? Your interpretation of God's law which is Reformed?”
This is nothing but an attempt at obfuscation. To demonstrate the foolishness of your queries, I shall answer you with questions. 1)Would you please give me the “Reformed interpretation” of YOU SHALL NOT MURDER? Can you now give me a “non Reformed interpretation” of the same command? Is the “non Reformed interpretation” essentially or significantly different from the “Reformed interpretation”?
2)Please answer these same questions in regards to YOU SHALL NOT STEAL. 3)Now, let’s try the same questions in regards to YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS. 4)Please answer the same questions with reference to “YOU SHALL NOT LIE WITH A MALE AS WITH A WOMAN.”
I don’t suppose I need to continue my reductio ad absurdum any further. The silliness of the proposition-- that God’s Law is unclear--should be apparent. For not only has God revealed His Law in scripture, but also in the heart of man. As Lewis argues in “Mere Christianity,” every man knows the law.
“C.S. Lewis would not agree with you. Sorry.”
This, of course, is a non sequitur. I do not appeal to Lewis in my article. (I did quote him, fairly, if not verbatim--from memory--in my comments to a reader.) Nevertheless, Lewis would completely concur that there is a higher Law than man’s “law." And while I can understand why you would wish to invoke Lewis (though improperly); I cannot understand why you would use the term “Sorry,” upon so doing.
“Thomas Jefferson who was a Deist would disagree with you. LOL”
This is yet another non sequitur. I make no appeal to Jefferson in my article. I remind you of what I wrote to you earlier: I'm simply asking, by what standard should the civil magistrate seek to govern, according to scripture? (Jefferson, like Lewis, was a brilliant thinker; however, neither of them are in the Canon.)
However, since you seem more interested in Jefferson than in scripture on this subject, I shall indulge you in a quote from an early American.
God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever. (Thomas Jefferson--LOL).“Don't get me wrong I do not believe in relativism but invoking God and country is dangerous and idolatry which is ironic.”
Yes, invoking “God and country,” wrapping the Bible in the U.S. flag, etc. is at worst idolatrous; and at best perilously close to idolatrous. (I’m not exactly sure how this is “ironic”?) But I think we may be in agreement on this particular, narrow point. (That IS ironic.)
Next week: We shall conclude our series on theonomy with a debate from a disgruntled unbeliever.