2 Kingdoms again. Again?!

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by discipulo, Mar 31, 2011.

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  1. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    I know you guys have been discussing this again and again. Moderators may want to change it to the debate forum or other.

    But I would like to hear from you on a specific situation.

    How should / could the Civil Authorities – Legislator, Justice Courts, Prosecutors, Government, Police,

    – legislate, execute and enforce the obedience to the 1st and 2nd commandments of God’s Holy Law trough Judicial Civil Laws?

    WCF XXIII:3 having also in mind WCF XIX:4

    Should the Civil Authorities legislate, execute or enforce these things:

    1 – All Religions that worship a false god should be forbidden

    2 – All Cults that distort Scripture should be forbidden

    3 – All Images in Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches should be destroyed
    (it wouldn’t be the 1st time in history of course)

    4 – All Images pretending to represent God or Christ should be destroyed – this including paintings, statues, books, postcards, etc…

    5 – Other necessary consequences of applying the following 2 commandments of God's Holy Law:

    I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
    Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:2-6

    For the record I do believe 2 Kingdoms Theology is Reformed, Confessional and Biblical.

    But if you don't, how would Civil Authorities wanting to obey and honor God's Law should proceed specifically on just this 2 Commandments.
  2. puritanpilgrim

    puritanpilgrim Puritan Board Junior

  3. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you Aaron for being interested. I'm hoping this could bring an healthy debate from different camps.

    Kuyper is one of the heroes of Reconstructionism and yet he collaborated and even made a political alliance with Roman Catholics, yes those guys that are under the authority of the Pope.

    With all my due respect for American Vision and more Theonomic folk and so forth, I can’t really see how we could consistently and coherently apply the 2 First Commandments on Civil Society to its uttermost consequences.

    But, hey, that's me saying! I'm hoping to be confronted on this :think:
  4. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    :judge:Keep this to the question of implementation. If this is going to be about theonomy it will need to be moved to that forum.
  5. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Moved to the Law of God forum. I think this discussion is somewhat complicated by the nature of the governments at the time the Reformed Confessions were written.

    I'm intrigued by some of the insights some have had on the issue that arises when one tries to blend the WCF (which is establishmentarian) with the ideas of the American Republic.

    I would say that I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the idea that the State could or would punish for a violation of the 1st and 2nd Commandment. Whenever I note that, however, some people can only conceive of that notion as if, tomorrow, the State as it is would begin to punish for blasphemy and we would have to leave that decision in the hands of our American government.

    It also raises the concern that others have about some of the perceived abuses where people were locked up or killed for what we might agree are orthodox beliefs.

    If we simply look at the State as the State, which is ordained by God, is there any inherent reason why the State is prohibited before the face of God for punishing idolatry? In other words, if we agree that all men live before the face of God, does a man have an inherent "right" to false religion?

    I know we could haggle for a while on how that would actually look in a given society and we could catalog the possible abuses that might arise but, at a fundamental level, if the Magistrate has a right to punish public evil then what standard to we have to appeal to in order to claim they cannot punish for violations of the first four commandments?
  6. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    Rich, thank you, I know you’re being patient with me and with my thread. Maybe I am way out of line here, I don’t know.

    But is it complicated? Yes it is. I know that. You tell it yourself too.

    So we shouldn’t oversimplify it, it’s not about choosing sides here.

    I know you don’t, your post is quite charitable and balanced, I mean it has the right amount of latitude that we need in this matter.

    Look, I’ve got David Van Drunnen’s book and it seems pretty good to me.

    But Dr. Nelson Kloosterman, whom I deeply respect, he even made his PhD in the theological faculty in Kampen of my Church Denomination, the GKv, well, he has been quite critical of Van Drunen’s 2K formulation, and he is doing his best to engage Van Drunnen.

    We need that interaction. We can often throw away the baby with the water instead of interacting diligently and carefully to reform the Church.

    Instead of creating little rival camps we Confessional Reformed people, we do need dialogue, we need balance, we need to stay together and work things out.

    And in that respect you guys are making a great job here with this Board.

    I think 2K Theology has a place in our Reformed view of things, it may be needing refinement, sure, that’s what I am hoping on this thread, that we can share views on this.

    But are we ready to let it go altogether, are we really thinking we must either confine the Kingdom strictly to the Church or extend – enforce the Kingdom (I mean before consummation) to all dimensions of society?

    I hope we can share on this, because speaking for myself, I certainly have a lot to learn.
  7. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    The State has until recently punished blasphemy. 20 years ago saying God's name in vain on the nightly news would get one fired and the station fined. So, was this more holy than having less strict blasphemy laws, more holy or indifferent?
  8. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't believe in Two Kingdoms theology.

    The FCoS subscribes to the unamended WCF with this rider:

    I think if you study the laws of Scotland and England in the Post Reformation period on this subject and how they developed, you will get ideas as to how these things can be regulated and enshrined in law without the State declaring Holy War on e.g. Muslims or Roman Catholics.

    In the Old Covenant violations of these offenses were often punished by the sword (see e.g. the incident of the Golden Calf), and the laws regarding the punishment of idolatry make provision for Holy War to executed on apostate cities.

    In the New Covenant the Church is the Israel of God and is engaged in a Holy War to inherit the Earth. This Holy War is executed by the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, in evangelism and in executing church sanctions on idolaters in the Church.

    It is not the function of the Christian state of e.g. the USA or Great Britain to exercise Holy War on e.g. Muslims and RCs or to bring the sword of iron or the bullet between them and their relationship to God's Word.

    Notice how the Word of God is mentioned in this passage in the context of entering the rest or inheritance. It is by this sword - rather than the sword of iron or the bullet - and by the Holy War waged with this weapon, that the Church enters her inheritance and rest under Christ who is her Moses, Joshua, David and Solomon.

    E.g. Roman Catholic and Muslim immigration could be controlled and certain groups prevented from holding certain offices of state. Thus their presence in the nation would be regulated without the state coming between them and their relationship to God and His Word:

    Catholic Emancipation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Act of Uniformity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Test Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Nonconformism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Conformist - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    All these discussions are somewhat academic unless you get a massive re-ascendancy of biblical Christianity in the Western nations.

    But if you did get such a re-ascendancy, as I believe will happen one day, people will demand change.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  9. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    Tim, I cringed when I heard Obama saying about a Congressional passing of a Law, that: quote *now the devil is in the details *. I was sad to hear the President of a great Nation, who calls himself a Christian, speaking so lightly (altough I know it was a figure of speech, but a most unfortunate one) over the legislation of the US.

    What should the Supreme Court or the Congress do in such a case? The President should be the firts example - role model - to the whole Nation. And what he said, literally, it is an horrible thing to say.

    In Europe we are tragically way beyond that phase now, we are so secularized that it is shocking.

    But I don’t know how we could deal and apply such a Law that you mention (that yes, it is right and good!) towards a lot of things that are written on the Press or said on TV in Prime Time.

    Imagine CNN’s Larry King (just retired I think) on a program discussing Religion and a guest, let’s say, Dawkins, saying that God doesn’t exist.

    Should we really arrest the guy? You understand my point here?
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  10. nwink

    nwink Puritan Board Sophomore

    Does a man have an inherent "right" to break the other 9 commandments?
  11. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    It's not about inherent rights but about civil rights before the law of a Christian state.

    It is by grace that Muslims, RCs and atheists are saved. For the state to threaten them with the sword of iron or a bullet is to intrude into grace's work.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  12. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    Precisely Nathan, no one has that right, and yet for now that *right* of covenant breaking has been given to men until the Final Judgment.

    But with it also Natural Law was given - written in men's hearts that they also may tell right from wrong and Legislate and rule Society accordingly. How?

    To what extend and depth of God's Law? Should we, that believe in Special Revelation, trust in Natural Law in men and Natural Revelation, for the rulling of our societies?

    Should we still as Church be light and salt? Should we continue the cultural mandate in society at large? How?

    Those are my questions.
  13. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    I think we can begin by being honest about the use of the term “two kingdoms.”

    There is a certain group in Escondido that thinks they have a corner on the market with it comes to the term. E.g., in this world “two kingdoms” would exclude theocrats, transformationalists, and theonomists (just to name a few).

    But the basic definition of “two kingdoms” generally includes all the above, even the folks who work in Escondido. It includes folks like Calvin (a theocrat) and Kuyper (a transformationalist). It includes BB Warfield and the Hodges, Thornwell and Dabney.

    The reason being that the basic definition of “two kingdoms” tracks something like this; the Church wields the spiritual sword and the state wields the physical sword. This is the essence of the Reformed confessions. But note there is no absolute wall of separation between Church and state in the Confessions (even the Americanized versions). The Church may petition the state on just cause, and the state is to countenance the true religion.

    Everyone in the Reformed world acknowledges this. But Escondido goes a step farther and adds details beyond what we find in the Confessions and beyond what is in the Word of God.

    E.g., 1) the state’s only business is the second table of the Law. This was not the view of the Church of the Reformers. It was not the view of Calvin*. Dr. Kloosterman appears to have done a good job dismantling VanDrunen’s thesis in this regard, which is largely based on selective quotes. 2) The idea that the state is entirely taught/controlled by something called “natural law” and any appeal to the revealed word of God is illegitimate.

    Reading some of their blogs, you get the sense that Escondido writings are their only source of truth. Clark mentions Horton. Horton quotes VanDrunen. Etc. in my opinion, it would be interesting to get an answer to this question from the Escondido folks: Other than your own writings what sources would you use to accurately define and articulate “two kingdoms?” Is Calvin’s Geneva an example of two kingdoms at work? What about Scotland of the Covenanters? Or Puritan New England?

    The fact is that most folks don’t use the term “two kingdoms” beyond its simple meaning in the Confessions. It’s isn’t a club that we take to our neighbors.

    * Calvin wrote:
    This is decidedly not Escondido-style two kingdoms.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  14. athanatos

    athanatos Puritan Board Freshman

    I have a really hard time believing that Obama was out of line in saying that. "The devil is in the details", as you said, is a figure of speech, and it really has no serious reference to Satan and his work but rather with the frustration of sorting things out (or the pain of people working to agree) as if Satan were at work. If you're worried about words being used improperly (in that the word 'devil' is not genuinely referring the devil), then I am wondering, why is that morally wrong rather than merely grammatically wrong?* Is it just the lack of respect for angels and demons, according to Jude's warning(Jude 8-10? ... I'm not seeing it applying.)?

    * There is a difference. Sorry, English majors.
  15. nwink

    nwink Puritan Board Sophomore

    Exactly. Sorry for not showing the slight sarcasm I had in my question. My question was meant to be food-for-thought.

    Richard, I would say that the State can not (is not able to) intrude into grace's work. The State can only enforce the outward obedience of the law. By the State enforcing both tables of the law, they wouldn't be attempting to force-convert anyone, but it would mean that in a Christian society no one has a God-given right to worship false gods.
  16. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    No-one has a God-given right to worship false gods; no-one has a God-given right to covet. The question is what is the role of the Christian state in this. Our rights before God are different to our civil rights.

    Under Moses idolaters and false worshippers were executed; but the Church, not the British state, is Israel now. Therefore the Church should be reminded by these Mosaic laws to discipline idolaters and false worshippers.

    By general equity the Christian state may decide to exclude certain people from moving to the country - even political liberals in Great Britain, if they could turn the clock back to the immediate post-war period, would prevent Muslims from entering this country - and prevent them from holding public office.It's not the function of the Christian state to wage Holy War on its subjects.

    On the other hand, I don't believe in Two Kingdoms, but Establishmentarianism. But two important spheres are the Church and State.
  17. nwink

    nwink Puritan Board Sophomore

    Right. No one has "a God-given right" to worship false gods because "freedom of religion" is not a God-given right. God only gives the right to worship Him as He has commanded.

    I think the State shouldn't make provisions for people to worship their false gods (not granting building permits for places of public worship, etc). I mean, based on Romans 13, what law is going to be the basis for the "evil" that the State is supposed to execute wrath against, as the minister of God?
  18. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    Richard, thank you for very relevant and helpful posts.

    I am aware that 2K terminology became associated with WTS, but Theological Schools develop lines of investigation that will further promote, that is normal.
    Anyone familiar with research knows how things work, it's like saying redundantly that someone is quoting selectively, well, that why it is called quoting. It means that it may represent, at least partially, someone's thought, nothing new about it.

    One other thing is to understand if the Theology produced is within the boundaries of Reformed Orthodoxy and which nuances we may think should be corrected.

    Concerning the 2K expression, should we better use Augustin’s 2 Cities terminology? I have no problem with it, it is also Biblical – Hebrews 11

    2k, I believe, comes specially from Calvin, selected quote:

    Therefore, in order that none of us may stumble on that stone, let us first consider that there is a twofold government in man
    (duplex esse in homine regimen): one aspect is spiritual, whereby the conscience is instructed in piety and in reverencing God; the second is political, whereby man is educated for the duties of humanity and citizenship that must be maintained among men. These are usually called the spiritual and the temporal jurisdiction by which is mean that the former sort of government pertains to the life of the soul, while the latter has to do with the concerns of the present life not only with food and clothing but with laying down laws whereby a man may live his life among other men holily, honorably, and temperately. For the former resides in the inner mind, while the latter regulates only outward behavior. The one we may call the spiritual kingdom, the other, the political kingdom. Now these two, as we have divided them, must always be examined separately; and while one is being considered, we must call away and turn aside the mind from thinking about the other. There are in man, so to speak, two worlds, over which different kings and different laws have authority.
    Institutes, 3.19.15
  19. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Freedom to sin isn't a God given right. It may be - will be - a civil right, to certain extent under a Christian state.

    Moses shouldn't be hewed to too closely - as Calvin and many others said - otherwise you don't have general equity but replication of a typological kingdom, including the Land as a type of God's blessing and Heaven and the use of the death penalty as typological of New Covenant Holy War by the New Covenant Israel of God, and also of being cast out of God's Kingdom forever.
  20. nwink

    nwink Puritan Board Sophomore

    Having Romans 13 in mind, what law is going to be the basis for the "evil" that the State is supposed to execute wrath against, as the minister of God?
  21. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    Academic research means dealing fairly with relevant source material and answering objections contained in that source material. One would certainly expect that of folks working in institutes of higher learning.

    In the Bible “two kingdoms” is defined quite clearly; kingdom of light vs. kingdom of darkness. Kingdom of Christ vs. kingdom of Satan. This is the way Augustine generally, but not consistently, used the terms. Christians live in but one of these kingdoms. Modern theological two kingdoms doesn’t track well with this view.

    This comports with the broad view of two kingdoms. Of course Calvin elaborates in various places in 4.20.

    But this section is not directed at the civil magistrate per se. It’s speaking of Christian liberty, so it must be read in that context. Every Christian exists simultaneously in both kingdoms. But there is no automatic transfer of “spiritual liberty” from one kingdom to the other.

    Calvin is addressing the particular difficulty in interpreting “conscience” in Rom. 13:1, 5.
  22. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Well if your debating the nature of general equity of the Mosaic judicial law versus the Mosaic judicial law simpliciter you'd be better asking a separate Q under Theonomy or this thread will get complicated.
  23. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior


    WRT adultery, which option is most appropriate (in your understanding):

    1) The civil magistrate is not permitted to censure adulterous behavior
    2) The civil magistrate is permitted to censure adulterous behavior with something short of capital punishment
    3) The civil magistrate is permitted to censure adulterous behavior even to the point of inflicting capital punishment on the guilty parties
  24. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    Titus 3:1Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.

    Important question Nathan, one part of the answer is that it is not the Church who sould rule Society, that was - is - the Roman Catholic error.

    The other part is that it shouldn't be the Civil Authorities ruling the Church either, so for those who call Calvin a Theocrat or Geneva a Theocracy, they are stretching way out a specific historical context of Reforming the Church precisely away from Romanism.

    I mean, Calvin wouldn’t accept being called a Theocrat, he had too many problems with the 2 City Councils trying to have their saying on ecclesiastical matters.
    Calvin never belonged to those Councils ,not being a Genevan but a French, so a foreigner.

    And he saw an intrusion of the City Councils in wanting the Sacraments to be administered to certain people in certain ways, against the Church Consistory decisions.

    They finally kicked Calvin out of the City just to call him back later. So how could Calvin believe that was a Theocracy, by no means, Calvin defended the separation of State and Church, it was just that things were not so easy to work out in that specific context.

    He supported Civil laws to embrace both tables of the Law, but he didn’t want Geneva to be harboring heresies because that could have meant Vatican extending further the reputation of heresy to the Reformation on matters that were Biblical, like the Vatican claiming that Geneva denied the Trinity or something. That was the whole issue with Servetus.

    But unlike the city council, Calvin didn’t want the execution of Servetus, so we can deduce a lot form Calvin on that, he actually was not supporting death penalty for heresy, as some claim.

    But how about our own specific context? It is great to hear from the Scottish Covenanters or John Owen working alongside Parliament and Cromwell, but it isn't it so simple today is it?

    ---------- Post added at 05:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:11 PM ----------

    Tom, in general we confine the Kingdom of God to the Church (we may also include more than that for Reconstructionism, ok) but the World at large is not surely neutral.

    Paul uses in Romans 13 and Titus 3 the words principalities and powers that he uses in Ephesians 6 and Colossians 4, see aslo that the Prince of this World is the devil or that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one, etc

    Yes, that Anthitesis is there, in the 2 Cities or in the 2 Kingdoms, WTS 2KS is not bypassing it, otherwise they would be implying that Paul is contradicting himself between Colossians 4 and Ephesians 6 and Titus 3 or Romans 13.

    That's why we need to pray for the authorities.

    The question is now is if the discontinuity in Redemptive History affects only Ceremonial Law or also Civil Law and if yes, if the Equity of Moral Law should be Normative both to Church and to Society.

    And if yes, how we apply Discipline, to use an ecclesiastical term, how we apply both Tables of the Law in Society.

    Actually no one yet responded my simple questions on my first post.

    Can we really in Civil Law and Civil Society condemn consistently all heresy and idolatry?
  25. nwink

    nwink Puritan Board Sophomore

    Right, the Covenanters worked alongside Parliament because Parliament swore the National Covenant and Solemn League & Covenant, and the desired end of their working with Parliament was to see the reformation of doctrine, worship, church government in England and Ireland in addition to Scotland. It surely isn't so simple today, especially when the State's authority and laws are based on majority opinion, instead of to have our laws reflect the moral law of God.
  26. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    Insofar as sinful, fallen man is able to act “consistently” in any matter, I would say “yes.” All it takes is the will of the people motivated by a genuine love for God to insist as much from their civil magistrate.

    God condemns all forms of false belief and false worship. No one is entitled by any sort of fictional “civil rights” to believe or act contrary to the expressed revelation of God. Civil crime generally involve acts rather than beliefs.

    There is nothing, confessionally-speaking, that prevents a magistrate from condemning heresy/idolatry/blasphemy. Or from enforcing laws based on the Fourth Commandment. What it boils down to on the part of the magistrate is a matter of will. Political will and moral will. At the present time the political and moral will in this country is not so inclined. That does not mean that it cannot be so in some other place or time.

    One will note that the Confession does not require that the magistrate treat all religions equally. Preference is clearly given to protecting the gospel ministry.

    This is not inconsistent with the broad definition of “two kingdoms.” Obviously it is not what is generally taught in Escondido.
  27. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    A modern state has full liberty to enact any Mosaic punishment, and the moral responsibility to do so, when it can demonstrate that the punishment remains valid applicaton of that general equity inherent in the relevant commandment(s) of the decalogue (which is the law of nature that all men know even if they reject that knowledge) in a context in which God is no longer the overlord of a national covenant with a given nation. To accomplish such a demonstration one must: determine why death was the appropiate punishment for adultery under Sinai, then consider whether that punishment remains just in the differing covenantal context obtaining today. Test case: idolatry and heresy: under the first covenant, idolatry (and heresy effectively the same thing) were not only idolatry but treason as they ineveitably would trigger God's covenantally required judgements on the nation. Do idolatry and heresy remain treason today? Demonstrations are left as an exercise for the student.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  28. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior

    Tim, thank you for your insights.

    Death was the appropriate punishment for adultery under Sinai because God ordained. Leviticus 20:10.

    But outside of the Church there is no longer Theocracy (although some Muslim Countries particularly Islam - as xiite - have an Allahcracy which is a form, under a false revelation, of theocracy) .

    And since we have Democracy, and the Legislator is made up of 2 chambers (here in the Us, in most European countries there is only 1 parliament)of elected representative Congressmen, is it reasonable to expect from men with different opinions and even different religions and beliefs to be complying with the Mosaic Law for legislation?

    On the other hand notice that Paul addresses a case of sexual immorality in the Church in Corinth.

    1 Corinthians 5:1 a man has his father’s wife

    Yet Paul doesn’t call for an application of Leviticus 20:11 that no doubt he knew by heart.

    And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    He rather tells the Corinthians to exercise Church discipline.
  29. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    There's no death penalty for treason against the State in Biblical law as the State isn't the foundation of social order. Marriage is, so it gets the same penalty the State has traditionally given to treason: death. That's one reason why sex between unmarried people only gets a fine. There was no oath of allegiance given.

    I'm about half way through VanDrunen's LIGTK and his big thing is that the world is under the Noahic covenant. I haven't finished the book, but I'm interested in seeing how Moses fits in. For instance, under Noah should the Masai in Africa be forbidden to drink blood? After all, under Noah you can't. And on the other hand, can you marry your half sister? Because under Noah you can but Moses you can't. So how do you determine natural law? Is it Moses, or Noah?

    I'm trying to keep an open mind, and it's worth the study. I still half way feel it's the Reformed version of "don't polish brass on a sinking ship" but there seems to me to be some merit in keeping a strong distinction between the two kingdoms.

    ---------- Post added at 02:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:31 PM ----------

    That's a tricky one, since the Corinthian believers didn't bear the sword. If I were to tell you to kill a serial murderer a liberal judge let out of jail, I would be wrong, and you would be wrong for killing him, even under Moses, since we aren't in official positions. The more honest question would be to ask if Paul would have FORBIDDEN the church there to turn the guy in if there was a death penalty at the time for that behavior.
  30. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't see death as appropriate for adultery in this age. I don't even know if it was always meant to be applied under the Mosaic case law in the Mosaic age.

    As you know I believe that the death penalty was being used typologically under Moses to teach about the need for a sacrifice for sin and the possible permanent exclusion from God's kingdom by eternal death.

    The law on punishing adultery is fulfilled

    (a) Ecclesiastically when in the New Covenant Israel church sanctions are applied by the congregation under the authority of the elders to adulterers.

    (b) Eschatalogically when adulterers are excluded from God's kingdom; that is adultery is not a good sign that someone has true saving faith.

    (c) In the civil realm by general equity the wronged party should be able to take the adulterer to the cleaners.

    Theonomists tend to think that general equity means that Moses should be applied as exactly as possible except that stoning should be eschewed.

    Also when it is pointed out that there may be typological elements in the Mosaic criminal and penal law theonomists either deny this, or admit it, and then say that it should have no influence on how we interpret "general equity".

    When we remember that OT Israel was typological of God's Kingdom and that the NT Church is NT Israel - not the American or British State - we see the dangers of being simplistic or biblicist in this area.
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