By Brad Finkbeiner
Published May 2, 2008
“Is Theonomy Exegetically Sound?” Rogers hardly answered the question. By stripping away his opening credo, his first round personal advertisement, his incessant definitions of “Theonomy,” his irrelevant points about salvation, his lengthy excursions into historical theology and, last but not least, his virtual army of straw men, it is clear that Rogers was engaged in some other debate. He never did rebut my expositions of Heb 8; Gal 3; Rom 2-3, 6, 7; 1 Cor 9; 2 Cor 3; Eph 2 and other key texts. And when trying to rebut my philosophical arguments he often missed the point (e.g., he still does not understand my “moral Meno” argument). Finally, he never resolved the monstrous contradiction of affirming Jesus’ jot and tittle principle while insisting that the ceremonial laws were abolished. And as for his quotation of Matthew 5…
The OL Passed Away With The Old Heaven & Earth
Jesus said “until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter nor stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all things come to pass.” Theonomists treat the verb “pass away” in the phrase “until heaven and earth pass away” as a consummative aorist, as though Jesus said “…until all the heavens and earth have passed away” or “until heavens and earth completely pass away.” But Jesus used a subjunctive aorist. Since this verb denotes an undefined action we must rely on context to determine what kind of action is being referred to. The immediate context does not tell us, but the broader context does. Later in Matthew’s gospel, when Jesus was discussing the utter destruction of Jerusalem, we read this: “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (24:34-35). Jesus associated the passing of heavens and earth with the destruction of the covenant nation in 70 AD.
Jews would have recognized this as the testimonial of God’s two witnesses. Having said “I call heaven and earth as witness against you today,” Moses assured the nation of Israel that they would one day be “utterly destroyed” (Deut 4:26). This was later repeated: “I call heaven and earth against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse” (30:19). Since the Law made it clear that two witnesses were needed to bring a charge against someone, God called upon heaven and earth to bear testimony against the covenant-breaking nation. Heaven and earth would “testify” by passing away in the first century AD.
Paul assured his audience that “the form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor 7:31). John wrote: “The world is passing away…” (1 Jn 2:17). Elsewhere: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Rev 21:1). The following comparison of John’s account (12:2ff) with other texts reveals that the new heavens and earth were inaugurated in Christ:
“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…”
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…” (Heb 12:22).
“But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother” (Gal 4:26)
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
“For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (2 Cor 6:16)
“…the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new…”
“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor 5:17)
The only way to make the phrase “until heaven and earth pass away” consistent with the NT epistles is to treat the verb “pass away” in an ingressive sense. As Todd Kofchur notes, “Jesus was focusing on the beginning of this ‘passing away’ event without reference to its duration or completion” (unpublished paper).
The NL Accompanied The New Heaven & Earth
Redemptive history was a regaining of paradise lost, a restoration of the creation that “fell” in the first Adam. That fallen order began passing away with the coming of the second Adam. Jesus spoke of the NC era as “the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne” (Mt 19:28). As the Spirit generated the first “very good” order (Gen 2:2) so He began to regenerate (lit. “re-genesis” or “re-beginning”) its corrupted state through the power of the resurrected Christ under the NC. Those who rose with Christ are “new creations” under a new life system (Rom 6:4).
In light of all this newness can the Old Law be the one thing that remains? Pop Theonomist Gary DeMar admitted “The New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant with new leaders, a new priesthood, new sacraments, a new sacrifice, a new tabernacle, and a new temple. In essence, a new heaven and earth.” How then, in spite of Jesus’ explicit giving of a “new commandment,” can Theonomists insist that Old Law alone remains?Life under the NC is a life of renewal (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 4:16; Col 3:10; Eph 4:20-24; Titus 3:15). The goal is to be renewed unto the image of Christ (Rom 8)—not the Law—to be conformed to the Beginning of the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18), the Progenitor of the new race appropriately called the “church of the firstborn” (Heb 12:23). To appear in the likeness of the new Adam let us live as He lived, let us love “as He loved.” Solo Christo!
|ROUND||Jay Rogers||Brad Finkbeiner|
Forerunner - Home » Theonomy Debate - Is Theonomy Exegetically Sound?
Your comments are welcome!
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)