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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A. A. Hodge: The Judicial Law of Israel

I ran into another theonomist on Facebook.  Unfortunately, they cannot read the Westminster Confession for what it plainly says in Chapter 19 on The Law of God, paragraph:

4.  To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people; not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require. (Exod. 21, Exod. 22:1–29, Gen. 49:10, 1 Pet. 2:13–14, Matt. 5:17, 38–39, 1 Cor. 9:8–10)

The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).
A. A. Hodge's commentary on the Westminster Confession of Faith says this about paragraph 4:

That the judicial laws of the Jews have ceased to have binding obligation upon us follows plainly, from the fact that the peculiar relations of the people to God as theocratical King, and to one another as fellow-members of an Old Testament Church State, to which these laws were adjusted, now no longer exist.

Hodge, A.A. (2011-02-17). A Commentary on The Westminster Confession of Faith With Scripture Proofs (Kindle Locations 3844-3846).  . Kindle Edition.
There is absolutely no mention of the moral law in relation to the judicial law or the ceremonial law.  If, as the theonomists assert, the judicial law is the same thing as the moral law, then surely the Westminster divines would have said so?  But instead the different paragraphs distinguish between the three types of law, namely the ceremonial law, the judicial law, and the moral law.  Christ has fulfilled the ceremonial law by sacrificing Himself as a propitiation for the sins of the elect individuals who belong to God.  The judicial law passed away with the Old Testament nation of Israel.  The moral law is forever binding, however.

As for the "general equity" clause, this is by no means meant to conflate the moral law with the judicial laws of the Old Testament nation of Israel.  Whatever it means, it cannot mean, therefore, what theonomists say it does.

Of course, it must be admitted that at the time the Westminster Confession was written there was no separation of church and state.  The state enforced both tables of the Decalogue (Exodus 20:1-17).  But even so it should be remembered that Geneva was not a theocracy.  The commentary by A. A. Hodge above makes that clear.

See also:  Article VII

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