The Bible: for everyone, everything, everywhere

It is not only the church and the school which must be Christian. Every area of life and thought must obey God and His word. It’s a very serious mistake to think of the Bible as a church book. The Bible is more than a church book. It is a book for the totality of life, and as a result, this book is for every man in every area of life, and for every institution. It’s a Bible for church and state, for school and laboratory…

It’s a book for every area of life, and this book is seriously maligned and damaged if it’s treated as a book for the church only. It is to dishonor this book to limit its scope. It’s a book for the courtroom. It’s a book for the state. Every area of life is under God. It must hear His word and must obey Him. This does not mean the union of church and state. It means religion is basic to the state as it is to the church.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (n.d.). Postmillennialism and Education. Pocket College. Available http://www.pocketcollege.com/beta/index.php?title=Postmillennialism_and_Education_-_RR148K20. Last accessed 13th Aug 2017.

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The Puritan identification with the Bible

In England, the Puritan identification with the Bible was so strong that some Puritan extremists sought to replace English common law with Biblical laws of the Old Testament, but were prevented from doing so. In America, however, there was far more freedom to experiment with the use of Biblical law in the legal codes of the colonies, and this was exactly what these early colonists set out to do.

The earliest legislation of the colonies of New England was all determined by Scripture. At the first assembly of New Haven in 1639, John Davenport clearly stated the primacy of the Bible as the legal and moral foundation of the colony…

Subsequently, the New Haven legislators adopted a legal code – the Code of 1655 – which contained some 79 statutes, half of which contained Biblical references, virtually all from the Hebrew Bible. The Plymouth Colony had a similar law code as did the Massachusetts assembly, which, in 1641 – after an exhortation by Reverend John Cotton who presented the legislators with a copy of Moses, His Judicials – adopted the so-called “Capitall Lawes of New England” based almost entirely on Mosaic law

Quote source
Spiro, K. (n.d. ) America and Jewish Values: The Bible’s major role in the creation of the United States and its democracy. The Jewish Website. Available http://www.aish.com/jl/48965036.html. Last accessed 15 May 2016

No excuses for blasphemy

I always hate it when people utter a certain three-word expression, with the initials of OMG. Half an hour ago, I came across this commentary from John Calvin, on Leviticus 24:11-14:

This circumstance is also worthy of remark, that, although the blasphemy had escaped him in a quarrel, punishment was still inflicted upon him; and assuredly it is a frivolous subterfuge to require that blasphemies should be pardoned on the ground that they have been uttered in anger; for nothing is more intolerable than that our wrath should vent itself upon God, when we are angry with one of our fellow-creatures.

Still it is usual, when a person is accused of blasphemy, to lay the blame on the ebullition of passion, as if God were to endure the penalty whenever we are provoked.

Quote source

Calvin, J. (n.d.) Harmony of the Law, Volume 4. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Available http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom06.ii.xvii.html. Last accessed 20th Apr 2016.

The Christian call to political authority

Proverbs goes on to say, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Prov. 29:2). How can the righteous be in authority if the Lord Jesus does not permit them to participate in the civil sphere in which they may exercise that authority?…

Civil government’s main role is to enforce law and protect its citizens. Enforcing law is, of course, not arbitrary. The apostle [Peter] notes that they are to punish evil and reward good, which are defined by God, not man. We are not at liberty to make up our own arbitrary laws such that what God calls evil we call good, or vice versa (Isa. 5:20)

Quote source

Stephen, J. (2010). The Sufficiency of Scripture: The Key to Revival. Pleasant Word, Enumclaw, pp, 138, 161.

While on this earth, all are subject to God’s moral law

A lawless nation will disintegrate into chaos very rapidly. John the Baptist imposed God’s moral law on Herod, who was clearly not a Jew, when he rebuked Herod for committing adultery (see Luke 3:19 and Mark 6:17-18).

Under the Mosaic Law, strangers living with Jews were also expected to observe the Jews’ law (Exod. 12:19, 12:48; Deut. 1:16, 5:14, etc.)

While we live on this earth, we are all subject to God’s moral law, as Romans 2:14-16 explains.

Quote source

Stephen, J. (2010). The Sufficiency of Scripture: The Key to Revival. Pleasant Word, Enumclaw, p. 163

Biblical law as the basis of common law

Well, the common law properly is Biblical law. In other words, in the English tradition, and to a degree in the Germanic tradition, all of the Biblical law was simply made the law of the state, and I have, for example, at home—I’ve cited this before—a New Hampshire court decision from [1835] in which the judge simply goes to the Bible and cites the appropriate passages and then gives his decision.

Why? Well, because this is common law. This was the law recognized as the basic law, the basic premise for everyone.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (n.d.) Direction of the Law. Available http://www.pocketcollege.com/transcripts/043%20-%20IBL00%20Introduction%20to%20Institutes%20of%20Biblical%20Law/RR130A2.html. Last accessed 5th Sep 2015.

Regeneration (not revolution) is the way forward

According to the British Centre for Science Education:

Still, the utter nasty meanness of [Christian] reconstructionism pervades the entire movement as it did the Taliban:

“The creation mandate was precisely the requirement that man subdue the earth and exercise dominion over it. There is not one word of Scripture to indicate or imply that this mandate ever was revoked. There is every word of Scripture to declare that this mandate must and shall be fulfilled. Those who attempt to break it shall themselves be broken.” (Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, 1973, p.14)

Note the last sentence. This is the language of an authoritarian opinionated monster – the language of mandate, subjugation, submission, and dominion driving an ideology based on a God who will never accept compromise, moderation, or tolerance.

But the BCSE’s interpretation is biased and comes across as irritated emotional rhetoric—the kind one would expect from a left-wing politician. Absent from the BCSE’s polemic is the following quote of Rushdoony:

Because we are not God, for us the decisive power in society must be the regenerating power of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us. Not revolution but regeneration, not coercion but conversion, is our way of changing the world and furthering the Kingdom of God. This is the heart of Christian reconstruction. The heart of Biblical law is that it makes us the basic government of society in and through our personal and family life, through our vocations, churches, and schools. In Biblical law, civil government is a very limited and minor sphere of rule and power.

If only the British Centre for Science Education could broaden its narrow field of understanding (beyond evolution and climate science advocacy) to a half-decent grasp of theology.

Quote sources

  1. British Centre for Science Education (2007). In extremis – Rousas Rushdoony and his connections. Available http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/RousasRushdoony. Last accessed 8th Jun 2015.
  2. Rushdoony, R.J. (n.d.) The Heart of Christian Reconstruction. Chalcedon Foundation. Available http://chalcedon.edu/research/articles/the-heart-of-christian-reconstruction/. Last accessed 6th Jun 2015.