Sunday, September 20, 2015

Theonomy Debate

Dr. Joel McDurmon and Pastor Jordan Hall squared off in a formal debate on the issue of Theonomy. The debate was made available compliments of American Vision and Marcus Pitman of Crown Rights Productions. 

I wish to simply comment on the debate. Dr. McDurmon argues for Theonomy, presupposing biblical authority, on the grounds that the OT laws, specific to civil and criminal laws, are continually binding for all people, unless explicitly or implicitly  those laws are clearly abrogated by God in Scripture. 

Prima facie Dr. McDurmon's argument would logically follow. I see, however, at least three problems. First, God established a covenant and theocratic government exclusively with Israel. He chose them over all the nations to enter in a covenant. This covenant and theocratic government was binding to only Israel and those within the nation of Israel. Thus, for example, if one was in the land of Israel, he or she was obligated to comply with the rules of the land. If, however, one was not an Israelite or was simply outside the land of Israel he or she was outside the covenant or jurisdiction of the theocratic government. So there is a clear distinction that must be kept. The OT laws were obligatory: to a particular covenant people, namely Israel, and in a particular land---the land of Israel. Second, there is no distinction in the OT explicitly or implicitly between the laws of God (e.g. moral, civil and ceremonial). All OT laws were given by God's spoken imperative--thus moral in nature. Third, the NT clearly indicates the old covenant, with its laws, has passed away and the new covenant, with its laws, has been established.  

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