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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Bahnsen v. Ferguson part 3

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  • John Felso
    ... 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
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "timmopussycat" <timmopussycat@...>
      >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 as we
      find in WLC 2 and WSC 2, which leave the door wide open for theological
      liberalism, aren't very common in creeds either. But, amazingly, they both
      appear in the Westmisnter standards. IMO, if the divines weren't using
      idiomatic language in WCF 19:2, then Bahnsen was correct in saying that the
      divines contradicted themselves in WLC 98. They clearly refered to the
      Decalogue as the moral law, then in another place they clearly said that the
      Decalogue is a summary of the moral law. Maybe I'm just dense, but I really
      don't see your understanding of WLC 98 as being plausible. So, as I see it,
      the question is really: blatant contradiction or idiomatic language usage?

      >> 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
      >something else?
      >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"), by which
      I mean Reconstructionist Theonomists, and theonomists (with a lower case
      "t"), by which I mean all those who would apply both tables of the law in
      the civil realm. All Theonomists are theonomists, but not all theonomists
      are Theonomists. Sorry for the confusion.

      > If Ex 17:8ff clears up the ambiguity, why do we need the judicial
      >law to answer this question?

      If the Decalogue is the whole moral law and gives us everything that is
      essential, why would we need either?

      >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!

      >Thank you for your serious attempt to engage these issues. More such
      >attempts are needed, and not just by presbyterians.

      Thanks for entertaining my point of view. I think I'll have to bow out of
      any further discussion now in the interest of time though.


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