Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

June 27, 2006

Israel was a theocracy. This is not up for debate …

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 5:15 am

Israel was a theocracy. This
is not up for debate really. What may be debated is what a theocracy is. I like this definition from G. Vos Biblical Theology, page 125.

The theocracy never was intended to be a missionary institution in its Old Testament state. The significance of the unique organization of Israel can be rightly measured only by remembering that the theocracy typified nothing short of the perfected kingdom of God, the consummate state of Heaven. In this ideal state there will be no longer any place for the distinction between church and state. The former will have absorbed the latter . . . . The fusion between the two spheres of secular and religious life is strikingly expressed by the divine promise that Israel will be made ‘a kingdom of priests and an holy nation’ [Ex. 19:6]. As priests they are in, nay, constitute the kingdom.

Three things stand out in this definition. The first is that he sees Israel typifying the consummated, perfected kingdom of God – the state of heaven itself. The second is the idea that a theocracy consists in a completely overlapped, cotermination of the holy and the secular realms. The third is the idea that the theocracy was never intended to have a missionary impact on the surrounding culture.

How this bears on the intrusion argument is that the ethical propositions that seem to conflict with the decalogue are explained by the idea that “who is my neighbor” has a different answer in the consummation than the New Covenant age. The New Covenant age is clearly between the theocratic age and the age to come, even though we are also being built up as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9.


June 24, 2006

What is your guess as to how many years transpired…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 3:54 am

What is your guess
as to how many years transpired between Cain’s murder of his brother Abel and the Israelite’s conquest of Canaan? The number should be quite large, I would think. No one knows but most OT scholars reject Usher’s dating schemes which come up with about 3000 to 4000 years or so. Realistically, the number is a lot higher. Whatever it is (and I think a number like 100,000 years is not without its merits) that number of years is how long God’s common grace institution of the state had been in operation prior to Canaan’s fall. In other words, God’s providence had enabled man’s ability to govern with normal due process. It was God’s care of mankind, both the reprobate line of Satan’s seed (starting with Cain) and the elect line of the seed of the woman (starting with Seth) that brought stability and normalcy to the human project, more and more wicked though it gradually became.

Archaeological discoveries have shown that nations with sophisticated governmental processes existed and formed numerous treaties (covenants) among themselves. An attack by a single nation like that of the Israelites on Canaan (and the other -ites) was from the perspective of common grace due process an unjust war. It was a holy war. It was an intrusion upon the common grace stage of the consummation’s dual function of curse/blessing. Curse for the doomed seed of Satan and blessing for the elect in Christ.

My use of the term savage is warranted only from my contention that God’s providence is what made possible the common grace state institution in the first place. It was his own law that he was upholding in the affairs of men for thousands of years that permits us to step back and see what was happening from an upper level.

The phrase: might makes right actually seems to fit very well here.

June 20, 2006

Adam’s involvement in this will be quick and painl…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 1:33 am

Adam’s involvement in this
will be quick and painless. I bring him up to get you used to the idea of consummation. What do you think was Adam’s state prior to his fall? Had he attained the ultimate in all that human’s can hope for? Or was he in a probationary state?

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that I contend (along with the Reformers) that he was on probation. Probation means that one is awaiting an outcome prior to being either DQ’ed or being promoted. Had he passed his probation, the consummation would have occurred right then and there. However, in that case, the consummation would have only consisted in ultimate blessing for him and all his progeny – all those over whom he was the federal head.

He of course failed his probation. Again, the consummation could have occurred right then and there. Owing to his failure, that consummation would have been ultimate judgment. God was not satisfied with that outcome. He desires to deliver that ultimate blessing. His desire to bless and his demand for justice however had brought about two things. One, is that the consummation will consist in both blessing and curse destruction. The other is that the consummation had to be delayed.

Now what was it that made this delay possible? Common grace. Not saving grace but grace common to all men. Both the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.

Common grace is the stage, eschatological consummation is the goal. In fact the eschatological consummation) goal shows up in the grand drama of history before any notion of the salvation of the elect from the curse destruction.

June 17, 2006

I’m not done, yet. I do realize that I threw out …

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 1:22 am

I’m not done,
yet. I do realize that I threw out the study on intrusion in an inflammatory manner. That is my style and I probably should ratchet my colorful use of the language if I don’t want to lose half my audience. I also realize that I more or less started in the middle. Without some biblical theology context, buying into my argument is a bit tougher. Note: this is not my argument, actually. It is also not all that esoteric either. The basic approach has been around for ages.

Themes that require development to buttress the argument are as follows:
– Adam’s probation and what it means.
– Eschatology and how it plays in at the very beginning.
– The importance of common grace and how all of history is possible because of it.
– What a theocracy is.
– That OT Israel is a theocracy
– That OT Israel is the typological consummated kingdom of heaven
– As such, Israel is an intrusion of the consummation onto the common grace stage of history.
– The New Covenant era is less of a typifier of the coming consummation age than the OT era.

Once this is laid out, the controversial “intrusion ethics” becomes almost a footnote to all the above Biblical Theology themes listed.

I also realize that the above development is something that practically nobody cares about these days. But, don’t forget, I also have a “so what” section planned. Each of the above will be given a very short treatment, so check back.

June 13, 2006

These articles are about intrusion ethics. Here is…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 3:59 am

These articles
are about intrusion ethics. Here is the idea: After Adam (and his wife Eve) failed their probationary assignment, God could have immediately brought an end to his project and transitioned directly into the consummation period. To do so exactly at that time would have meant that Adam’s failure would have aborted the inheritance promised to Christ. Consequently, God delayed the consummation period. The drama of history would be played out on a stage extending over a great many years. The stage for this great drama is the stage of common grace. The necessity of the instituting of common grace centered around the enmity between the two lines – the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. The shape of common grace first appears in the story of Cain and his plea after being indicted for the murder of his brother. God’s response is to create the common grace institution of the state. (These verses surely indicate how densely packed the word of God is). The reformed consensus here is that, because of this verse, the primary function of the state is due process. Vigilante justice (what Cain most feared) was outlawed. Perhaps Paul had this verse in mind in Rom 13:1-4.

This background data may seem unrelated to the earlier articles. But the purpose for introducing this topic is to highlight the stage that history plays out on. It was this common grace stage that is intruded upon by the examples I have shown. These ethical dilemmas are each in their own way an intrusion of the consummation age onto the common grace stage.

This is most obvious in the case of the Israelite murder and pillaging of the land of Canaan and the “ites”. Given the justice department (state) instituted by God as a protection even to the reprobate line (Cain) of Satan, there is no way that the Israelites can not be viewed as butchers. Unless there is something else going on here. The thesis is that at various times in redemptive OT history, the eschatological consummation breaks in onto the common grace stage, prefiguring the end. In the consummation, the question “who is my neighbor” has a completely different answer. So, Israel’s treatment of their Canaanite neighbors was not primarily justice being meted out. (There is that element, of course, since the “ites” needing punishing and because He had to fulfill his land promise to Abraham).

There was zero due process. Israel was not in any sense operating as “the state”. It was by all accounts an unjust war. It was realized eschatology (a spoiler, in dramatic terms) for the “day of the Lord“. (If that last verse gives you the willies, try this one).

I’ll resume next time with some more detail and a look at some of the other examples.

June 11, 2006

Here is the final example. Read this story. Here…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 5:25 am

Here is the final
example. Read this story. Here, in the story of the poor man Lazarus, the principle of neighborliness is obliterated. No longer is it the right thing even to assuage the thirst of the suffering in such a slight way.

These stories in juxtaposition unlock the entire mystery that I have posited.

Over the next few posts, I will attempt to explain what these stories teach us and finally I will attempt to answer the question you may be asking: “So what?” In other words, how does this apply to my life as a Christian?

June 10, 2006

Just a few more examples before I wrap this up. Ho…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 3:28 am

Just a few more
examples before I wrap this up. How hard is it to reconcile this proscription of harlotry with God’s wonderful plan for Hosea’s life? After reading of the order to kill a son, just about any of these ethical collapses become pretty easy to swallow. No?

June 8, 2006

Some of these articles may be pointing out surpris…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 4:17 am

Some of these articles
may be pointing out surprising things in scripture that you may not have previously noticed. Israel’s assault on Canaan (and all the other “ites”) is certainly not one of those. That episode is both a very well known story and is also not without some fairly obvious explanations. So too is this next story. But this one is the most shocking of all, at least in my view.

God ordered Abraham to kill his son. It kind of amazes me how readers, myself foremostly included, can become inured to what is going on here. Rather than being shocked, we settle in to rationalizations (nodding approval) which surface due to the typology of the cross event that we readily see here. Then, rather than being shocked at the cross event, we noddingly approve of what is going on there also.

The question is how can it be that in one breath God orders the execution of Abraham’s child and in a later breath lays down the law that says if a parent executes his child to the god Molech, that parent shall be executed? It should go without saying that this sort of murderous killing had long been excoriated. Are you satisfied with the argument that the typological purpose of this episode justifies the killing of one’s own child?

If you stick with me, this project’s aim will come clear. I have just a couple more examples after which I will wrap it up with the point.

June 7, 2006

The next place to look into for this project is Le…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 4:19 am

The next place to look
into for this project is Leviticus 4. This passage in Leviticus is the beginning of a lengthy series of prescriptions for what to do about sin – sin of all sorts. The idea is that by performing sin offerings, atonement is made for the one who has sinned. Right relationship is restored between God and the sinner.

Here is the odd thing. Sitting side by side with these prescriptions for how to handle sin there are numerous cases presented where making a sin offering is not an option. Starting in Leviticus 7 and resuming in Leviticus 17 is the re-introduction of the phrase “cut off”. I say re-introduction because the idea of being cut-off has already made several appearances earlier in the story. (Worth looking up: Gen 9 and Gen 17). Certain sins are to result in the guilty party being cut off from the covenant people. This is obviously a bad thing. A slow death.

Further on in the book of Leviticus, things get very serious. Certain other sins are to result in the guilty party being killed on the spot. And in some cases, the guilty parties are killed in an unmediated fashion: i.e. God is the one who performs the execution.

So my first question is why is it that this elaborate system of sin offerings is not effectual for all sin? Why did God not allow a way for these other sins to be atoned for? My second question is how do these Leviticus passages instruct us.

June 5, 2006

Continuing with the theme that is touched on by Da…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 5:18 am

Continuing with the
theme that is touched on by David’s approach to his enemies in the Psalms and the word’s of Christ that says we should love our enemies and pray for them, I present to you this: Read Exodus 20, specifically verses 13 and 15. Now read Deuteronomy 3:1-7. Here we have both murder and stealing. Of course, this is not the only example of this kind of “atrocity” in Israel’s dark past.

What say ye? The apparent contradiction (God speaking with a forked tongue) as well as history scream out for an answer in view of the fact that these “crimes” have cast a long shadow down the corridors of time. Surely these Jews are not very neighborly.

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