... From: timmopussycat ... Idiomatic usages are not often employed in creeds. Abiguities, such as we find in WLC 2 and WSC 2, which
Message 1 of 1
, Oct 30, 2002
----- Original Message -----
From: "timmopussycat" <timmopussycat@y...>
>Yes but how often do we find idiomatic usages used when defining a
>technical term in Christian confessions? Can you give me another
>example of such? Generally speaking Christian creeds and confessions
>are as precise as their makers can make them, and when they define
>something as equal to something else we take their definition
>seriously. They may have been wrong in their definition but we
>usually do not question what they intended to define.
Idiomatic usages are not often employed in creeds. Abiguities, such
find in WLC 2 and WSC 2, which leave the door wide open for
liberalism, aren't very common in creeds either. But, amazingly, they
appear in the Westmisnter standards. IMO, if the divines weren't using
idiomatic language in WCF 19:2, then Bahnsen was correct in saying
divines contradicted themselves in WLC 98. They clearly refered to the
Decalogue as the moral law, then in another place they clearly said
Decalogue is a summary of the moral law. Maybe I'm just dense, but I
don't see your understanding of WLC 98 as being plausible. So, as I
the question is really: blatant contradiction or idiomatic language
Tp The reference in WLC is not as clear as you think. I had noted
from the beginning that my dictionary includes "essentials" in the
meanings of summary or summarily. If the divines were using a
dictionary that included this nuance in their definition of
summarily, then they were not contradicting themselves at WLC 98.
I also forgot to make the following point in earlier posts.
There is, I think, another element which is driving your concern
here. You appear to be concerned that accepting the WCF definition of
the moral law as the ten commandments diminishes the civil laws from
their essential place. May I suggest that this fear is neither a good
or a necessary consequence of taking WCF 19:2 at face value. For the
divines did not leave 19:1-3 to stand on its own; they specifically
added 19:4 which specifically defines how we are to apply the
essential civil laws in the new covenant era.
>> This sounds like an intramural debate between theonomists to me.
>If someone made the claim that he denied all five points of TULIP and
>was a Calvinist in his soteriology, would you call him a participant
>in an intramural debate among Calvinists? Or would you call him
>Now it is possible that you are using a different definition
>of "Theonomy" than the one Bahnsen appeared to lay out when he made
>the following claims
I am. I make a distiction between Theonomists (with a capital "T"),
I mean Reconstructionist Theonomists, and theonomists (with a lower
"t"), by which I mean all those who would apply both tables of the
the civil realm. All Theonomists are theonomists, but not all
are Theonomists. Sorry for the confusion.
I was beginning to wonder if that was what was going on.
Now in your terms, what I am critiquing is "Theonomy" and
specifically Bahnsen's version. I am not here critiquing what you
call "theonomy." Most non Theonomists who apply both tables of the
law in the civil realm follow Calvin and the WCF (as historically
understood) as their guide as to how to apply both tables in the New
Covenant era. Since that is so, we can avoid a great deal of
confusion by employing the term "Calvinist" to describe such a
position rather than "theonomist", and by restricting the use of the
latter word to describe the Theonomic position."
In that way we show ourselves children of our Father in heaven
who "is not a God of confusion but of peace."
>I agree, so do the Divines. The question is not whether God means the
>OT civil laws to be used by the church today and by godly civil
>governments should one arise, but how exactly are they to be used.
>Are we to copy the civil laws of Moses as Bahsnen advocates, or are
>e to follow Calvin, the Divines and the majority of confessional
>alvinists along the approach WCF 19:4 lays out?
Hmm...? Let's see...? Bahnsen or Calvin....? Umm...? Calvin!
And may God's grace be with you.
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