The Eternal Sonship of Christ Defended Against Marcellian Triunist Adoptionism Wednesday, Apr 10 2013 

First, on the meaning of monogenes I offer these two links:

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2010/03/eternal-generation-of-son.html

https://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/james-white-the-heretic-part-2/

I find the Triunist position extremely inconsistent and contradictory concerning this issue. They reject eternal generation because  it doesn’t make sense to them, yet they turn around and provide their alternative, the Triune God, which they admit, doesn’t make sense either.

On the issue of the Incarnational Sonship heresy that uses Heb. 1, Acts 13:33, Psalm 2:7, Rev. 1:5, and Col. 1:18  I offer these links:

http://therodofiron.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/incarnational-sonship/

https://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/samuel-clarke-on-acts-1333-was-the-son-really-begotten-in-eternity-or-in-time/

Now the Marcellian Triunist will also quote:

Luke 1:30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How [w]can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

Firstly, one  can not escape realizing that if it is the case that the Logos became a Son in the economia and not from eternity then the Holy Ghost really is the Father for the Holy Ghost is the one who brings forth the conception in the womb of Mary. Anyone familiar with the history of early Sabellian Monarchism sees the necessary connection with this interpretation of Luke 1:35. On the scriptural side Paul Liberati  did a great job in his article Incarnational Sonship showing how Christ is called the Son of God as a redemptive manifestation of his eternal Sonship.

Now to some scriptural proofs of Christ’s eternal Sonship:

Heb 1: 1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

Here the Son was said to be involved in the creation of the world, which is before the incarnation.

John 5:18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

Here we see that his Sonship was ontological in that it pertained to ontological equality to a divine person not merely his role in the economia.

John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

Here we see that the Son is in the bosom of the Father. On the Marcellian view, the Sonship of Christ pertains to his human nature which could never be in the Father’s bosom.

Dan 3:25 He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire [v]without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!”…Dan 3: 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel

This seems to fit right in with the Nicene as I showed here:

https://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/who-is-it-that-in-isaiah-6/

In John 5:18, the Father is denoted as the Father of Jesus by the Greek πατέρα ἴδιον. In Rom 8:32 Jesus is referred to as the Father’s ἰδίου υἱοῦ. This Greek word ἴδιος denotes what belongs to someone properly or that is predicated of someone properly. In Rom 8:3 Christ is described as ἑαυτοῦ υἱὸν. This word ἑαυτοῦ is used by Paul in Rom 14:14 when he says that nothing is evil in itself; thus evil is not necessary to created essences. Thus, when we read that the Son is the Father’s OWN Son, what the scripture is telling us is that he is the Father’s Son properly and that to be a Father of a Son is something necessary to the Father, ontologically and eternally. Thus, πατέρα ἴδιον, ἰδίου υἱοῦ, and ἑαυτοῦ υἱὸν denote NATURAL SONSHIP, not Adopted Sonship which in the Greek is υἱοθεσία (Rom 8:15, 23, 9:4, Gal 4:5, Eph 1:5).

Moreover, to change the direction a bit to Systematic Theology, if the Son only becomes Son in the economia, then the Father must become the Father and thus deny his immutability.

If as the Marcellian Triunists maintain, that the Sonship of Christ was created with his incarnation, it then must be that his Sonship pertains to his human nature, not his divine nature. However,

Rom 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord

Here we learn that Christ’s Sonship, as it pertains to his human nature, relates to David, not to God the Father.

For more on Rom 1:3-4 see here:

https://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/the-covenant-of-redemption-adoptionism-justification-and-christology-by-drake/

My Radio Debate On Baptism on Bible Smack Radio Friday, Mar 15 2013 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bible-smack-radio/2013/03/15/can-babies-be-baptized

The Land of Canaan; A Promised Land for the Jews Today? Saturday, Nov 24 2012 

Samuel Rutherford, Covenant of Life Opened, page 60,

“7. In the former, Canaan was promised, in this, Heaven. Ans. Canaan is promised only but sacramentally, and that was a pœdagogicall promise for the infancie of that Church, but a type which was then in that Covenant, and is not now, make not two Covenants, one then, and another now? Except ye say, there was then a Lamb in the Passeover, which was a Type of Christ to come, and there is now no such Type, because the body is come, and Christ the true High Priest offered himself. Therefore there are two Christs, one then to come, another now who hath come already. The Lords dispensation with Israel is often called a Covenant, now it must either be a Covenant of Works, or of Grace, or a third Covenant.”[1]

John Calvin, Commentary on Ephesians 6:3

And that thou mayest live long on the earth. Moses expressly mentions the land of Canaan,

“that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12.)

Beyond this the Jews could not conceive of any life more happy or desirable. But as the same divine blessing is extended to the whole world, Paul has properly left out the mention of a place, the peculiar distinction of which lasted only till the coming of Christ.”[2]

I have provided a sermon, “Drake’slandpromise.wma” [forgive the section on saving faith-I had not yet read Clark], that can be accessed at the bottom of the Covenant Theology page at  The King’s Parlor.[3]  I have also explained this issue in detail in my Tables of Human Hearts, treatise, “I. Thirty Two Theses in Defense of the Moral Law, XVII”.[4] The conclusion is that the modern day ethnic Jews have NO divine promise, bequeathing to them, at least in principle, the Land of Canaan, which is modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan and Syria. That promise was dissolved into the broadening of the New Covenant with the ministry of Christ.

Orthodox Jews also agree that the Zionist movement is un-biblical and agree that according to prophecy, their sins have dispersed them around the world with no national sovereignty. That is the correct position.

Common Grace and Divine Dispositions in the Economy of Salvation Monday, May 14 2012 

Definitions:

God is 1.) Universally gracious to all his creatures. 2.) Generally gracious to mankind including the elect wicked.3.) Covenantaly gracious to his Church-those who profess the true religion, though a mixed group of saved and unsaved  4.) Especially and Effectually gracious only to his elect.

I.) God’s Will – What is God’s disposition towards men?

A.) God has a Preceptive (Moral) De Jure Will: What it should be. God has a Decretive (Quoad Eventum)Will; What they will be or what it is. Though God only has one will (The decretive will), the Preceptive will is an execution of part of the decretive will. See The Divine Will by Drake.

Here are a few examples:

i.) Moral Will – 7th Commandment- Forbidding adultery

Decreed Will- Psalm 139:16 David commits adultery

ii.) Moral will (De Jure) Jon 3:4 “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Should be destroyed, they deserve to be destroyed.

Decreed Will (Quoad Eventum) Jon 3:10  And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. (Rutherford, Covenant of Life Opened [COL] pg. 8)

iii.) Review: In reference to God’s dealings with men he tells us what things ought to be, but for his own purposes he has decreed that things will be very different than the way they ought to be.

B.) Relation to the salvation of men

i.)Positive aspects

1.) God’s Dispositions are manifested in a love that desires the salvation of all men (Volition reflecting nature not decree) and shows goodness and kindness to all men that should lead them to repentance.

a.) Mark 10:21

Mar 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Mar 10:22  But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

Mar 10:23  And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”

Do hardened sinners grieve over the Word? Yes. There is some grace mingled with reprobation:

Mat 27:3  Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,Mat 27:4  Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.Mat 27:5  And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

b.) Ezekiel 33:11

c.) Acts 17:30 Commands all to repent according to the De Jure Preceptive Will not Decreed Qouad Eventum.

d.)  Romans 2:4-5

I am not saying that God’s grace tries but that it should or ought lead to repentance. Goodness ought, de jure, bring sinners to repentance. But Qoud eventum does not always bring sinners to repentance because God does not provide the condition, though he still holds sinners responsible to repent.

e.) The goodness and kindness shown to the reprobate

1.) Luke 6:35 We should not think this refers only to the elect wicked. For one, we do not know who the elect wicked are. Secondly, we are commanded to love as God does. If the hyper Calvinist was correct it would follow that we only love the elect and only hate the wicked.

2.) Mat 5:45 

3.) Acts 14:16-17

Objection.) The Bible says that God hates the wicked.

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Psa 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Answer) God displays:

1. A Love of Complacency to converted elect

2. A Love of Benevolence to non elect Reprobate

3. Wrath and Curse Federally but not Penally to non converted Elect for the non converted elect receive afflictions that are Evangelical not Judicial. Rutherford, Covenant of Life Opened [COL] pg. 8

4. Wrath and Curse Federally and Penally to non elect Reprobate for the afflictions of these people are merely the beginning of their satisfaction of Law Vengeance.  

5. Paternal wrath towards converted elect

6. Hatred only for the Reprobate- Jer 31:3

Objection.) God is only good to the wicked that he may condemn them the more!

Psa 92:5  O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

Psa 92:6  A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

Psa 92:7  When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:

Psalm 69:21-28, Psalm 73:18-19

Answer.) There are 4 major purposes for God’s kindness to the wicked:

1.) De Jure to bring to repentance,

2.) To treasure up judgment on them for the full manifestation of his justice in condemning them,

3.) Though God’s longsuffering is primarily to usward, consequently he is being longsuffering with the wicked to sustain the society of men while God effectually calls and perfects his elect in time.

4.) Through “common grace” God restrains the sinfulness of men (Tower of Babel) making them productive in society, producing and inventing things that continue the process of eliminating the suffering of the curse of sin. These are not good works, because they are not done for the glory of Yahweh.

C.) Concerning God’s hatred and love

If God only loves the elect and only hates the wicked, it would follow that the elect unconverted were never under God’s wrath and curse in any way. From this notion has sprung the doctrine of eternal justification. So if we reject eternal justification (Rom 8:30) what is God’s disposition toward the elect before effectual calling?

Rutherford: Romans 4

Before Conversion the elect sinner is federally under the curse and wrath of God’s law according to the covenant of works. However, the punishments that God afflicts the non converted elect with do not satisfy his law-vengeance against them but this affliction is evangelical to bring him to repentance.  After repentance, the elect are federally in Christ and are sons and therefore the afflictions God brings on us for sin are paternal to conform us to Christ.  The non-converted reprobate are federally under the curse and wrath of God and the punishments and afflictions he brings on them are according to his Law-Vengeance and Curse and should (de jure) bring them to repentance but actually and decretivly (qoud eventum) are only the beginning of God’s wrath being satisfied in them which will be completed in the lake of fire.

Questions

1. Does this grace flow from the atonement?

Only indirectly; directly, it flows from God’s nature. The atonement pertains to the decree, common grace pertains to divine nature. All things are related in some sense and so some benevolent consequences (not efficacious benefits of the COG) flow from the Atonement to all men.

2. How does common grace apply to loving your enemies?

A.) In Christian Sanctification we are admonished to imitate our father in heaven with reference to our enemies. Eph 5:1, Luk 6:36.

B.) If you believe that God is only merciful to the elect, this will greatly affect your views of Christian sanctification.

3. Did Christ obey the second law, love thy neighbor as thyself?

Yes. The Hyper Calvinists say that Christ only loved the elect. In HC-ism it follows that we only love the elect and only hate the wicked. This would contradict the verses that teach to love our enemies.

Dr. Francis Nigel Lee Friday, Apr 27 2012 

I would like to give my readers the works of Dr. Francis Nigel Lee whom I believe should be the contemporary Historiographer and Political writer of the Protestant Faith. You can read his works  here.

Justification Debate With Catholic Nick Saturday, Apr 21 2012 

I have posted all my essays and replies in full on one page here at The Kings Parlor for easy to use research purposes .

John of Damascus on Holy Images Refuted Part 2 Saturday, Apr 21 2012 

John of Damascus on Holy Images Refuted Part 2

The following is taken from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library edition (London: Thomas Baker, 1898) with copy and paste text support fromFordham University’s Internet History Sourcebook’s website:

Psa 97:7 Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images, Who boast themselves of idols; Worship Him, all you gods.

Deut 5:6 ‘I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 7 ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. 8 ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

Deut 4:15 “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, 16 so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth.

On page 13 Damascus argues, “Again, in His tabernacles, as when all the people of Israel adored in the tent, and standing round the temple in Jerusalem, fixing their gaze upon it from all sides, and worshipping from that day to this”

>>>In a section dealing with the anchoretic arguments for kneeling before the host, Gillespie refutes in toto, the anchoretic arguments for icon and relic veneration coming from the adoration that the Jews gave to the Temple and Ark in the Old Testament,

George Gillespie’s English Popish Ceremonies, originally published in 1637; Reprinted in 1844. (Edinburgh: Robert Ogle and Oliver& Boyd), pg. 102-105,

“Sect. 17. The sixth and last argument whereby I prove the kneeling in question to be idolatry, is taken from the nature and kind of the worship wherein it is used. For the receiving of the sacrament being a mediate worship of God, wherein the elements come between God and us, in such sort that they belong to the substance of the worship (for without the elements, the sacrament is not a sacrament), and withal are susceptive of co-adoration, forasmuch as in the act of receiving, both our minds and our external senses are, and should be, fastened upon them; hereby we evince the idolatry of kneeling in the receiving. For in every mediate worship, wherein some creature is purposely set between God and us to have state in the same, it is idolatry to kneel before such a creature, whilst both our minds and senses are fastened upon it. Our opposites have talked many things together to infringe this argument. First, They allege the bowing of God’s people before the ark, the temple, the holy mountain, the altar, the bush, the cloud, the fire which came from heaven. Ans. 1. Where they have read that the people bowed before the altar of God, I know not. Bishop Lindsey indeed would prove from 2 Chron. vi. 12, 13, and Mich. vi. 6, that the people bowed before the altar and the offering. But the first of those places speaks nothing of kneeling before the altar, but only of kneeling before the congregation, that is, in the sight of the congregation. And if Solomon had then kneeled before the altar, yet the altar had been but occasionally and accidentally before him in his adoration; for to what end and use could he have purposely set the altar before him, whilst he was kneeling and praying? The place of Micah cannot prove that God’s people did kneel before the offerings at all (for it speaks only of bowing before God), far less, that they kneeled before them in the very act of offering, and that with their minds and senses fixed upon them, as we kneel in the very act of receiving the sacrament, and that at that instant when our minds and senses are fastened upon the signs, that we may discern the things signified by them, for the exercising of our hearts in a thankful meditation upon the Lord’s death. 2. As for the other examples here alleged, God was immediately present, in and with the ark, the temple, the holy mountain, the bush, the cloud, and the fire which came from heaven, speaking and manifesting himself to his people by his own immediate voice, and miraculous extraordinary presence; so that worshipping before these things had the same reason which makes the twenty-four elders in heaven worship before the throne, Rev. iv. 10; for in these things God did immediately manifest his presence as well as in heaven. Though there be a difference in the degrees of the immediate manifestation of his presence in earth and in heaven, yet magis et minus non variant speciem. Now God is present in the sacrament, not extraordinarily, but in the way of an ordinary dispensation, not immediately, but mediately. They must therefore allege some commendable examples of such a kneeling as we dispute about, in a mediate and ordinary worship, else they say nothing to the point.

Sect. 18. Yet to no better purpose they tell us, that when God spake, Abraham fell on his face; and when the fire came down at Elijah’s prayer, the people fell on their faces. What is this to the purpose? And how shall kneeling in a mediate and ordinary worship be warranted by kneeling in the hearing of God’s own immediate voice, or in seeing the miraculous signs of his extraordinary presence. Howbeit it cannot be proved, neither, that the people fell on their faces in the very act of seeing the fire fall (when their eyes and their minds were fastened upon it), but that after they had seen the miracle wrought, they so considered of it as to fall down and worship God.

But further, it is objected, “that a penitentiary kneels to God purposely before the congregation, and with a respect to the congregation, &c. When we come to our common tables before we eat, either sitting with our heads discovered, or standing, or kneeling, we give thanks and bless, with a respect to the meat, which is purposely set on table, &c. The pastor, when he begins the holy action, hath the bread and the cup set before him purposely upon the table, and with respect to them he gives thanks,” &c.

Ans. Though a penitentiary kneel to God purposely in the presence and sight of the congregation, that he may make known to them his repentance for the sin whereby he hath scandalised them, yet is the confessing of his sin to God, kneeling there upon his knees, an immediate worship, neither doth the congregation come betwixt him and God, as belonging to the substance of this worship, for he kneeleth to God as well, and maketh confession of his sin, when the congregation is not before him. But I suppose our kneelers themselves will confess, that the elements come so betwixt God and them when they kneel, that they belong to the essence of the worship in hand, and that they would not, nor could not, worship the flesh and blood of Christ in the sacrament, if the elements were not before them.

To be short, the case of a penitentiary standeth thus, that not in his kneeling simpliciter, but in his kneeling publicly and in sight of the congregation, he setteth them before him purposely, and with a respect to them; whereas our kneelers do kneel in such sort that their kneeling simpliciter, and without an adjection or adjunct, hath a respect to the elements purposely set before them; neither would they at all kneel for that end and purpose for which they do kneel, namely, for worshipping the flesh and blood of Christ in the sacrament, except the elements were before the eyes both of their minds and bodies, as the penitentiary doth kneel for making confession of his sin to God, when the congregation is not before him.

And if one would say, that in kneeling at the sacrament he worshippeth not the flesh and blood of Christ, but the Lord his God only, yet is the same difference to be put betwixt his kneeling before the elements, and the kneeling of a penitentiary before the congregation: for the very kneeling itself (simply considered) before the elements, respecteth them as then purposely set in our sight that we may kneel before them; whereas, in the case of the penitentiary, it is not his kneeling to confess his sin to God which hath a respect to the congregation as set in his sight for that purpose, but some circumstances of his kneeling only, to wit, when ? At that time when the congregation is assembled. And where? Publicly in sight of the congregation! In regard of these circumstances, he hath the congregation purposely in his sight, and so respecteth them; but in regard of the kneeling itself simply, the presence of the congregation is but accidental to him who kneeleth and confesseth his sin before God. As touching giving thanks before the meat set on our common tables, though a man should do it kneeling, yet this speaketh not home to the point now in controversy, except a man so kneel before his meat, that he have a religious respect to it as a thing separated from a common use and made holy, and likewise have both his mind, and his external senses of seeing, touching, and tasting, fastened upon it in the act of his kneeling. And if a man should thus kneel before his meat, he were an idolater.

Lastly, Giving thanks before the elements of bread and wine, in the beginning of the holy action, is as far from the purpose; for this giving of thanks is an immediate worship of God, wherein we have our minds and senses, not upon the bread and wine as upon things which have a state in that worship of the Lord’s supper, and belong to the substance of the same (for the very consecration of them to this use is but then in fieri), but we worship God immediately by prayer and giving of thanks, which is all otherwise in the act of receiving.

Sect. 19. Moreover it is objected out of Lev. ix. 24 ; 2 Chron. vii. 3 ;Mich.vi. 6 ; 2 Chron. xxix. 28—30, that all the people fell on their faces before the legal sacrifices, when the fire consumed the burnt-offering.

Whereunto it may be answered, that the fire which came from God and consumed the burnt-offerings, was one of the miraculous signs of God’s extraordinary and immediate presence (as I have said before), and therefore kneeling before the same hath nothing to do with the present purpose.

But if we will particularly consider all these places, we find in the first two, that beside the fire, the glory of the Lord did also appear in a more miraculous and extraordinary manner, Lev. ix. 23, “The glory of the Lord appeared to all the people;” 2 Chron. vii. 1,12, ” The glory of the Lord filled the house.” They are therefore running at random who take hold of those places to draw out of them the lawfulness of kneeling in a mediate and ordinary worship.

The place of Micah I have answered before; and here I add, that though it could be proved from that place (as it cannot), that the people have bowed before the offerings, and that in the very act of offering, yet how shall it be proved, that in the act of their kneeling they had the offerings purposely before them, and their minds and senses fixed upon them in the very instant of their worshiping.

This I make clear by the last place, 2 Chron. xxix., out of which no more can be drawn but that the people worshipped whilst the priests were yet offering the burnt-offering. Now the burnt-offering was but accidentally before the people in their worshipping, and only because it was offered at the same time when the song of the Lord was sung, ver. 27. Such was the forwardness of zeal in restoring religion and purging the temple, that it admitted no stay, but eagerly prosecuted the work till it was perfected ; therefore the thing was done suddenly, ver. 36. Since, then, the song and the sacrifice were performed at the same time, we must note that the people worshipped at that time, not because of the sacrifice, which was a mediate worship, but because of the song of the Lord, which was an immediate worship. Now we all commend kneeling in an immediate worship. But this cannot content our opposites; they will needs have it lawful to kneel, in the hearing of the word, purposely, and with a respect to the word preached (though this be a mediate worship only). Their warrants1 are taken out, Exod. iv. 30, 31; Exod. xii. 27; 2 Chron. xx. 18; Matt. xvii. 6. From the first three places no more can be inferred but that these hearers bowed their heads and worshipped, after that they heard the word of the Lord; neither shall they ever warrant bowing and worshipping in the act of hearing.

In the fourth place, we read that the disciples fell on their faces when they heard God’s own immediate voice out of the cloud. What maketh this for falling down to worship at the hearing of the word preached by men? How long shall our opposites not distinguish betwixt mediate and immediate worship?…Sect. 20. But tho kneelers would yet make more ado to us, and be still stirring if they can do no more. Wherefore one of our doctors objecteth,1 that we lift up our eyes and our hands to heaven, and worship God, yet we do not worship the heaven ; that a man going to bed, prayeth before his bed ; that David offered the sacrifices of thanksgiving, in the presence of all the people, sal. cxvi; that Paul, having taken bread, gave thanks before all them who were in the ship, Acts xxvii. 36; that the Israelites worshipped before Moses and Aaron, Exod. iv. 31. Hereupon another doctor, harping upon the same string, tells us,a that when we kneel in the act of receiving the sacrament, ” we kneel no more to bread than to the pulpit when we join our prayers with the minister’s.” *********Oh, unworthy instances, and reproachful to doctors ! All these things were and are accidentally present to the worshippers, and not purposely before them************, nor respected as having a religious state in the worship. What ? Do we worship before the bread in the sacrament, even as before a pulpit, a bed, &c. ? Nay, graduate men should understand better what they speak of.” (pg.105)

Damascus also appeals to the fact that our Bibles are full of images, letters and words that represent God.

>>>But words don’t represent things. Words are arbitrary tags for things. (See Language and Theology by Gordon Clark)

Damascus complains (pg. 15),

“Answer me this question. Is there only one God? You answer, “Yes, there is only one Law-giver.” Why, then, does He command contrary things? The cherubim are not outside of creation; why, then, does He allow cherubim carved by the hand of man to overshadow the mercy-scat? Is it not evident that as it is impossible to make an image of God, who is uncircumscribed and impassible, or of one like to God, creation should not be worshipped as God. He allows the image of the cherubim who are circumscribed, and prostrate in adoration before the divine throne, to be made, and thus prostrate to overshadow the mercy-seat. It was fitting that the image of the heavenly choirs should overshadow the divine mysteries. Would you say that the ark and staff and mercy-seat were not made? Are [15] they not produced by the hand of man? Are they not due to what you call contemptible matter? What was the tabernacle itself? Was it not an image?”

>>>First, Damascus is not arguing against the Reformed understanding of images as I have just shown in part 1;  however, there is something to be said here. Like good judaizers that the Anchoretic Churches are, they do not understand the difference between the Old and New Covenant. Ceremonies are inferior to simple Biblical Elements: Heb 9: 9Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;10 [Which stood] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal (sarx) ordinances, imposed [on them] until the time of reformation. (kjv)

The outward display of the Temple and Tabernacle were part and parcel of the CARNAL Old Testament administration of the Covenant of Grace. The Christian bride does not need such adornments. 1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

Damascus though is arguing against a very strange system of theology that forbids images altogether. We Calvinist Reformed do not do that. We forbid making images of the divine persons, we forbid worshipping images of dead saints or anything outside of the Godhead (but we do not forbid making images of dead saints) and we forbid making the Church building a display of wealth and ornate carnal obsession.  I have had many Eastern Orthodox people assume we forbid all imagery and accuse me of Manichaeism. This is a lie.

Damascus complain (pg. 27)  “The shadow and winding sheet and relics of the apostles cured sickness, and put demons to flight. (Acts 5.15) How, then, shall not the shadow and the statues of the saints be glorified?”

>>>The Apostles had miraculous power, testifying to their divine calling. We do not have these powers, seeing that these gifts ceased with that period. (Dan 9:24, Heb 1:1-2, Acts 2:17-18 [Compared with Heb 1:2 “Last days”; Heb 9:26 “Consummation of the ages”; 1 Cor 10:11 “ends of the ages”], 1Co 13:8-9).

Damascus makes a strange admission on page 29,

“Secondly, we know that blessed Athanasius objected to the bodies of saints being put into chests, and that he preferred their burial in the ground, wishing to set at nought the strange custom of the Egyptians, who did not bury their dead under ground, but set them upon beds and couches.”

>>>Part II contains more arguments against the making of all images with some more support from tradition. I found no new arguments. Part III contains more complaints towards those who refuse all images and more appeal to tradition. I found no new arguments.

An Eastern Orthodox Defense of Moses’ Law Thursday, Nov 17 2011 

Fr. John Whiteford of St. Jonah Orthodox Church has written a good article titled The Continuing Validity of the Moral Law of the Old Testament. It is a good article and an exposition of the early Fathers. I have read from Eastern Orthodox apologists that there is no distinction between moral and ceremonial law. I have read that the Sabbath in the OT was moral but only for the Jews. Whiteford demonstrates there is a distinction between moral and ceremonial and clearly asserts “But the moral law of God is unchanging” which is a clear biblical and historical definition. His definition rules out that the command was moral and at the same time temporary. Some qualifications need to be made when he asserts that Jesus makes the moral law stricter in the NT but overall it is a good article.

 

 

The Scriptural and Scottish View of the Judicial Law Explained by Sherman Isbell; Polygamy Case Example Saturday, Nov 12 2011 

I would like to offer my readers this treatise by Sherman Isbell (Of the Free Church of Scotland [cont.]) titled The Divine Law of Political Israel Expired: General Equity from the FCOSC website The Westminster Presbyterian. This is a masterful exposition of the Westminster view of the Old Testament Judicial Law in opposition to modern Theonomy. As a reference, if anyone is wondering what alternative manual on Biblical Law they should turn to instead of Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law I would suggest Anthony Burgess’ Vindiciae Legis : or, A Vindication of the Moral Law and the Covenants, from the Errors of Papists, Arminians, Socinians, and more especially, Antinomians (1647) which is a series of thirty lectures preached in London during the Westminster Assembly. You can download the book here from SWRB for 5 bucks!

Isbell makes a very important  point in correction of the Anchoretic and Eastern Orthodox view of the Law.  An Eastern orthodox friend of mine who is always trying to convert me to Eastern Orthodoxy  argues against the Puritan doctrine of the Christian Sabbath in defense of his man made holy days (The Liturgical Year):

“Drake, here are a few ancient canons showing the Sabbath was not Sunday, the Lord’s Day.

“Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord’s Day; and if they can, resting then as Christians.” Synod of Laodicea, Canon XXIX

“During Lent the Bread must not be offered except on the Sabbath Day and on the Lords Day only” Synod of Laodicea, Canon XLIX.

“On all days of the holy fast of Lent, except on the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day and the holy day of Annunciation, the Liturgy of the Presanctified is to be said.” Qinisext, Canon LII…

The adultery commandment is different in the OT which did not forbid polygamy and concubinage, whereas the NT forbids them. The essence of the command is inseparable to it’s form in the covenant it is given. How to keep the Sabbath is spelled out in the OT, you do not do this. The church canons reveal that Sunday as Sabbath is not known to them…

[Drake] Polygamy was forbidden in the OT.
Malachi 2:14-15. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

[Eastern Orthodox Friend] Polygamy was provided for under Mosaic Law (Exod. 21:10; Lev. 18:18; Deut. 21:15) The OT commands are moral because obedience is required under that covenant. Moral/ceremonial is a false dichotomy.”

With reference to Exo 21:10 my Eastern orthodox friend forgets Jesus’ words, Matthew 19:8… Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. These Mosaic clauses do not represent moral law. Isbell says,

“The theonomists’ denial of the more substantial distinction made by the Confession is evident in that they do not appeal to the moral law as the standard by which to separate what remains obligatory in the judicial law from what does not. In the Confession’s hermeneutic, the moral law is the measure for identifying the moral element in the ceremonial and judicial laws. Accordingly, whatever in the Mosaic judicial laws was a sufferance of the hardness of men’s hearts, and thus came short of the righteousness in the moral law, has no enduring relevance. Moreover, in the large extent to whichIsrael was placed under added restriction with a view to preserving them until the coming of Christ, civil requirements which go beyond the general ethical teaching found elsewhere in Scripture have no enduring obligation.

Theonomists deny this discriminating function to the moral law. They will not accept that the judicial laws should be subjected to a superior standard as to what constitutes righteousness, because theonomists seek the standard of righteousness in the judicial laws themselves. [Just like the Orthodox] ”

My friend has shown once again that theological error is usually shared by extremely adverse systems of theology. One would think that Theonomic Presbyterians and the Eastern Orthodox have nothing in common. Think again. Assuming that righteousness was to be found in the judicial law itself is the common mistake of both Theonomists and Eastern Christians. Polygamy was immoral but was allowed under that typical,  ceremonial and CARNAL administration Heb 9:10 (Which the Easterners operate off of copiously in the public worship services) precisely because it was carnal.

With reference to Lev 18:18 Jamieson Fausset Brown says,

“18. Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her–The original is rendered in the Margin,”neither shalt thou take one wife to another to vex her,” and two different and opposite interpretations have been put upon this passage. The marginal construction involves an express prohibition of polygamy; and, indeed, there can be no doubt that the practice of having more wives than one is directly contrary to the divine will. It was prohibited by the original law of marriage, and no evidence of its lawfulness under the Levitical code can be discovered, although Moses–from “the hardness of their hearts” [ Matthew 19:8 , 10:5 ]–tolerated it in the people of a rude and early age. The second interpretation forms the ground upon which the “vexed question” has been raised in our times respecting the lawfulness of marriage with a deceased wife’s sister. Whatever arguments may be used to prove the unlawfulness or inexpediency of such a matrimonial relation, the passage under consideration cannot, on a sound basis of criticism, be enlisted in the service; for the crimes with which it is here associated warrant the conclusion that it points not to marriage with a deceased wife’s sister, but with a sister in the wife’s lifetime, a practice common among the ancient Egyptians, Chaldeans, and others.”

With reference to Deut 21:15 Jamieson Fausset Brown says,

“15-17. If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated–In the original and all other translations, the words are rendered “have had,” referring to events that have already taken place; and that the “had” has, by some mistake, been omitted in our version, seems highly probable from the other verbs being in the past tense–“hers that was hated,” not “hers that is hated”; evidently intimating that she (the first wife) was dead at the time referred to. Moses, therefore, does not here legislate upon the case of a man who has two wives at the same time, but on that of a man who has married twice in succession, the second wife after the decease of the first; and there was an obvious necessity for legislation in these circumstances; for the first wife, who was hated, was dead, and the second wife, the favorite, was alive; and with the feelings of a stepmother, she would urge her husband to make her own son the heir. This case has no bearing upon polygamy, which there is no evidence that the Mosaic code legalized.”

Reg Barrow Gives Modern Theonomy The Karelin Lift Saturday, Oct 22 2011 

Alexander Karelin was one of the most devastating wrestlers to ever live. His most impressive display of power was when he would lift 300+  pound opponents from flat off the the ground and reintroduce their necks and collar bones to the mat with crushing force. The move was nicknamed “The Karelin Lift”. With parallel might, Reg Barrow’s writings, which IMO are the best available writings anywhere representing true historical Presbyterian Principles regarding issues of authority, the church, and the state, have ripped the Americanist Pseudo-Reformed systems of Theology to shreds.  In his work Pornography, The Anabaptists And Doug Wilson’s Civil Antinomianism he clearly shows the primary fallacy of the Modern Theonomist movement and in so doing gives an exposition of the historical Puritan Theonomy which is nothing short of the ancient Patriarchal Establishmentarianism so common with human societies in the history of the world.

Barrow places his finger on the primary error of this system,

“To begin with, on the pornography question Wilson (and other *modern* Theonomists) apply a *form* of “regulativism” (really “hyper-regulativism”; see below) where it does not belong — i.e. in the case of negative civil sanctions. Ironically, many of these same people also deny (if only by their practice; James 1:22; Titus 1:16) the true regulativism where Scripture teaches it does belong — i.e. in the public worship of God.”

The rest of his work is an exposition of this very mistake and at the end of his work he lists some devastating questions that the Modern Theonomist cannot answer:

“¥ Is the magistrate to punish a neighbor who inconsiderately and obstinately plays his stereo (from his front porch) at 120 decibels (every night of the week) from 3 to 5 A.M.? What if “Mr. Rock and Roll” decides to do the same thing outside of an old folks home? A hospital? A church meeting house” on the Lord’s day (at 11 A.M.)?

¥ Should those in favor of abortion be allowed to speak publicly in favor of their views, or to print pro-abortion literature, or make pro-abortion videos and music? Should they be punished for seeking to win others to their view?

¥ Should medical establishments be free from civil punishment for training abortionists?

¥ Should the civil magistrate allow triple X videos to be intermingled in the children’s section of the local video store? Should those who do such things be liable to negative civil sanctions? What would you think of a father who said that he doesn’t agree that civil sanctions are lawful in such a case, and though he would boycott such a store *personally*, and have his church pray against them, he would also defend (in his magazine?) the *civil right* of the store owner to pervert others who do not find (in their reprobate minds) such public perversion to be offensive to them or their children? This is an interesting question, as *modern* Theonomists often denounce those who focus on *only* individual (or family) piety, to the exclusion of civil matters — and yet some of them exempt pornographers from criminal penalties (which in effect makes them less reconstructionists than some of the pietists who understand by “the law of nature and nations” [as the old divines would say] that public pornography should be suppressed by the civil magistrate).

¥ Should heroin, LSD, PCP, MDA, mescaline, peyote, pot, or other mind (and spirit) altering drugs be legal and available at your local corner store? Does the Bible explicitly mandate any civil restrictions on the *age of buyers* of such poisons? Does the Bible explicitly mandate any civil restrictions on the age of buyers of alcohol? Tobacco? Pornography?

¥ If a group of university students takes it upon themselves to block a major interstate as some sort of protest (as happened a few years ago in San Diego), should the magistrate use his coercive force to intervene, and later punish these offenders in some way? Given Wilson’s published principles civilly defending pornographers, could there even be a law making such behavior criminal?

¥ Can the police, as police (and not as private men) stop a crime at its beginning, or even before it begins, or do they need to wait until it’s been committed to apply negative sanctions (even death to the criminal) against the perpetrator (or would-be perpetrator)?

¥ Should terrorists be apprehended and proceeded against with sanctions *before* they have detonated the bombs they are found to be manufacturing? Which *explicit* biblical negative civil sanction deals with bomb *making* (in and of itself)? Is there not much which a lawful civil magistrate must determine, that is not explicitly stated in Scripture, in order to rightly apply the *spirit of the law of God* in a case such as this?

¥ Should a teacher (in a public, private or home school) be punished for positively *promoting* (not just exposing) homosexuality, atheism, communism, Romanism, Islam, occultism, or even bestiality in the classroom? What about for providing recipes for home-made hallucinogenics (as one of my high school teachers did many years ago)? For teaching evolution as a fact?

¥ Should a drunk driver be punished by the civil magistrate before he actually hurts anyone?

¥ Should those flagrantly violating traffic laws be punished, though they may not yet have hurt anyone or damaged property? Should there even be traffic laws (or other safety standards applied to vehicles)?

¥ Should those wearing flagrantly immodest clothing in public (e.g. bikinis) be prevented from doing so by the magistrate, and punished if they persist in this sin? Should those running naked in public (“streaking”) be subject to civil sanctions?

¥ Should those making movies, songs or books promoting blatant error be subject to civil sanctions?

¥ Should the civil government ever repress godless (and blasphemous) art or music, and punish those producing and promoting such filth?

¥ Is the U.S. law mandating civil punishments for “conspiracy to violate an international treaty” biblically legitimate (apart from the question of whether or not the US in a duly constituted nation)? Does this depend on which treaty is being violated (i.e. whether it is lawful or unlawful to begin with)?

¥ Is it a crime in Scripture for one person to commit adultery, while, on the other hand, promoting, counselling and encouraging millions to do so (as pornographers do) is free from civil punishment?

¥ Is the public toleration of pornography, Romanism, abortion, Islam, homosexuality, idolatry, the occult, atheism, etc. (all parts of the complex moral person of Antichrist) one of the causes of God’s wrath upon our nations? Should all publicly know national or provincial causes of God’s wrath be dealt with by the civil magistrate?

¥ Are patent laws legitimate?

¥ Should cigarette companies, who knowingly deceived the public about the health hazards of smoking, be liable to civil penalties?

¥ Are there explicit penal sanctions revealed in Scripture (without the use lawful inferences) regarding medical malpractice (which does not result in death)? For example, if the undisputed negligence of a doctor causes a person to become a paraplegic, is the negligent doctor free from civil liability?

¥ Would it be a crime for a company to produce a food containing traces of peanut extract, and not alert their customers as to this ingredient, if they knew that severe allergic reactions would seriously harm a small portion of those who consume this product? What *explicit* Scripture deals with this from the civil standpoint? Do we again have to rely on necessary and lawful inferences, based on Scripture, to determine this case?

¥ Should avowed Satanists be allowed to homeschool their children? Unitarians? Romanists?”

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