Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

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.



  1. Wow. I finally meet a real live intrusionist. I’ve only heard about this take from Dr. Greg Bahnsen’s lecture defending himself from Dr. Kline’s critique. I just looked to see how much Bahnsen writes about it in his book “No Other Standard.” It seems quite a bit and he also has a little bit in the appendix to his first book “Theonomy in Christian Ethics.”

    The most I’ve heard Bahnsen say is that there is very little scriptural grounds for intrusionism and that it basically is a rationalization of how we can see certain things like God commanind Isaac’s sacrifice or the Israel stamping out Canannites.

    I’d be interested to know what scriptural basis there is to intrusionism if there is any. Or, would you agree that it is basically an explanation that some theologians came up with to try and explain the alleged problems that these hard passages bring about?

    Not trying to offend, just curious how you would respond to these accusations made by Bahnsen.


    Kazooless (RubeRad’s friend)

    Comment by Kazooless — June 13, 2006 @ 7:04 am

  2. Hi Kazooless (in Kalamazoo, I assume)

    My quick response before I head to work. I guess you either see my foregoing articles as the “scriptural basis” or you don’t. What kind of scriptural basis for infant baptism has worked for you, for example?

    Comment by Bruce S — June 13, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

  3. Funny you should ask about that topic. I’m going to leave this with a little suspense and mystery and ask that you talk to RubeRad offline to find out about me and baptism. đŸ™‚ It will be funny when you do. Still looking very forward to meeting you (I guess this Saturday)

    Comment by Kazooless — June 13, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

  4. Interesting concept. I’d never heard of “intrusionism” before. I just figured God gets to do what he wants. Might makes right. http://ruberad.wordpress.com/2006/05/22/might-makes-right/

    Not to dishonor my parent, but I would say that the foregoing examples of scripture demonstrate the need for exegesis, but I don’t see how they justify that particular exegesis. I’m sure you’ll get into this more when you resume with other posts that cover the examples.

    Comment by son1http://ruberad.wordpress.com — June 13, 2006 @ 4:43 pm

  5. The scriptural basis would be scripture that would explain the “apparant contradictions” you point out in the example scriptures. You’ve pointed out “hard passages” that seemingly make God contradict Himself with his normal standards of justice. Then, you conclude with an idea of ‘intrusion ethics.’ The problem is that the conclusion itself has no exegetical basis. It’s just a rationality. Where is the scripture basis to show that God suspends the norm of the ‘common grace stage’ so that he can ‘intrude’ the ‘consummation age’ within? I submit I’ve only seen a rational explanation without scriptural basis.

    Comment by Kazooless — June 13, 2006 @ 7:14 pm

  6. BTW, I believe it is universally acknowledged that Kline was a genius…

    Comment by son1http://ruberad.wordpress.com — June 13, 2006 @ 9:11 pm

  7. Providing exegesis for every point along the way would take far too much time, given that I am pretty busy working out my [own] salvation. It probably isn’t even possible or required.

    What kind of exegesis would you accept to prove the covenant of redemption? That’s where I would have to start – since that was my first point. The covenant of redemption (the promise to the Son that the Father would give Him his inheritance on the basis of completed work – the original covenant of works) is the reason for the delayed consummation.

    What kind of exegesis would you accept to support the idea that Jesus’ ethics is common grace ethics.

    What kind of exegesis would you accept to support the superiority of a covenantal lens through which to view the entire Bible rather than the dispensational lens?

    What kind of exegesis would you accept to correctly draw the lines of continuity and discontinuity throughout redemptive history?

    What kind of exegesis would you accept to prove that we as saints may integrate scripture the same way the apostles did?

    What kind of exegesis would you accept to authorize the “analogy of faith” as a fundamental hermeneutical rule?

    In other words, my point is that there is no single scripture, which if exegeted properly, will yield this view. [See infant baptism, any fully orbed Christology, the nature of the trinity etc.]

    There is still plenty of room for discussion, though.

    Comment by Bruce S — June 14, 2006 @ 3:07 am

  8. For example, look at Jude 6,7. Look at 2 Peter 3:3-10. These verses, exegeted or otherwise, certainly showcase the principle that OT ethics are typological, prefiguring the consummation.

    Comment by Bruce S — June 14, 2006 @ 3:30 am

  9. Bruce,

    By your writing I can’t help but wonder if I’ve upset you. I really hope not. Please let me know.

    I do have a question regarding your last comment. If OT ethics were typological (and I believe to an extent they were), then what does that matter? How does an intrusion ethic follow?

    Comment by Kazooless — June 15, 2006 @ 12:15 am

  10. Nope. But I can see how my repeated “What kind of exegesis . . . .” could give one that impression.

    Tonight’s writing didn’t happen. Maybe tomorrow.

    Comment by Bruce S — June 15, 2006 @ 4:39 am

  11. Whew!

    I just read this after replying to the other post in RubeRad’s Theonomy post.

    Good to know you’re not upset.


    Comment by Kazooless — June 15, 2006 @ 6:45 am

  12. I have heard some incredible exegesis out of Genesis at this conference in Dearborn by Don McCurry, who has been a missionary in Pakistan for many years and now teaches and trains missionaries. Wow! I have so much to process, including my first visit to a mosque, supposedly the most conservative in the country. The Xn ministries in this neighborhood cannot use the “m” word in any way though they preach the gospel constantly in word and deed.

    Comment by Barbara — June 17, 2006 @ 1:38 am

  13. It seems odd to say There was zero due process.” regarding a war directly ordered by God. Due process is a civil institution designed to protect us in the light of a non-omniscient state actor (judge, etc.). It is an entirely irrelevant process when applied to an omniscient God.
    As a nurse we have a series of checks (we call them the three checks and the five rights) which we use to make sure we are giving the right medicine to the right patient at the right time, etc. Obviously when Jesus healed the paralytic he didn’t go through any of these checks…. and justifiably so, as there was no possibility of his making an error.

    Comment by von — August 5, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

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