The Decalogue and the Civil Magistrate

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Me Died Blue, Feb 24, 2006.

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  1. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I'm interested in hearing about people's views on the civil magistrate's biblical obligation/role (or lack thereof) to enforce the Decalogue, or the moral law. I am not interested in making this thread a set of arguments for (or against) theonomy, as that is really a separate issue. Thus, I'm especially interested in hearing which view non-theonomists hold with respect to the magistrate's enforcement of the moral law, and why you biblically and confessionally hold to that view.

    (The reason I have not listed sole enforcement of the first table without the second is that I have never heard anyone espouse that view.)
     
  2. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    30+ views and no votes or posts...I'll bite.

    Believe it or not, I was the other person to vote yes at this point. Why? It is in the confessions, the reformers, the puritans etc. I've jokingly told people in private that we have another change in historic Reformed Doctrine:
    N.P.P. = New Perspective in Politics

    I know there is a long list below and I'm still working on underlining the relevent points, but it would be worthwhile to print it out and read through it. It sounds so foreign to our ears in this day and age.

    W.C.F. Chapter 23:3 [Of the Civil Magistrate. ]
    " The Civil Magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven: yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed."


    [Second Helvetic Confession on magistrates].
    " In like manner, let him govern the people, committed to him of God, with good laws, made according to the word of God in his hands, and look that nothing be taught contrary thereto. ... Therefore let him draw forth this sword of God against all malefactors, seditious persons, thieves, murderers, oppressors, blasphemers, perjured persons, and all those whom God has commanded him to punish or even to execute. Let him suppress stubborn heretics (who are heretics indeed), who cease not to blaspheme the majesty of God, and to trouble the Church, yea, and finally to destroy it."


    The Scots Confession "“ John Knox
    Chapter 24 - The Civil Magistrate
    We confess and acknowledge that empires, kingdoms, dominions, and cities are appointed and ordained by God; the powers and authorities in them, emperors in empires, kings in their realms, dukes and princes in their dominions, and magistrates in cities, are ordained by God's holy ordinance for the manifestation of his own glory and for the good and well being of all men. We hold that any men who conspire to rebel or to overturn the civil powers, as duly established, are not merely enemies to humanity but rebels against God's will. Further, we confess and acknowledge that such persons as are set in authority are to be loved, honored, feared, and held in the highest respect, because they are the lieutenants of God, and in their councils God himself doth sit and judge. They are the judges and princes to whom God has given the sword for the praise and defense of good men and the punishment of all open evil doers. Moreover, we state the preservation and purification of religion is particularly the duty of kings, princes, rulers, and magistrates. They are not only appointed for civil government but also to maintain true religion and to suppress all idolatry and superstition. This may be seen in David, Jehosaphat, Hezekiah, Josiah, and others highly commended for their zeal in that cause.


    The Belgic Confession of Faith, Article XXXVI
    The Magistracy (Civil Government)
    We believe that our gracious God, because of the depravity of mankind, has appointed kings, princes, and magistrates; willing that the world should be governed by certain laws and policies; to the end that the dissoluteness of men might be restrained, and all things carried on among them with good order and decency. For this purpose He has invested the magistracy with the sword for the punishment of evil-doers and for the protection of them that do well.
    Their office is not only to have regard unto and watch for the welfare of the civil state, but also to protect the sacred ministry, that the kingdom of Christ may thus be promoted. They must therefore countenance the preaching of the Word of the gospel everywhere, that God may be honored and worshipped by every one, as He commands in His Word.


    The French Confession - John Calvin
    XXXIX. We believe that God wishes to have the world governed by laws and magistrates,[1] so that some restraint may be put upon its disordered appetites. And as he has established kingdoms, republics, and all sorts of principalities, either hereditary or otherwise, and all that belongs to a just government, and wishes to be considered as their Author, so he has put the sword into the hands of magistrates to suppress crimes against the first as well as against the second table of the Commandments of God. We must therefore, on his account, not only submit to them as superiors,[2] but honor and hold them in all reverence as his lieutenants and officers, whom he has commissioned to exercise a legitimate and holy authority.

    1. Exod. 18:20-21; Matt. 17:24-27; Rom. ch. 13
    2. I Peter 2:13-14; I Tim. 2:2









     
  3. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I realize the first option in the poll is the majority view among the Reformers, Puritans and original confessional documents, including Westminster. That is not so much the case, however, with the 1789 revision of Westminster:

    How do those who hold to the above version of the Westminster Confession interpret the section I put in bold? Unless I am missing something, I cannot see anything in the chapter (section three or the rest) to suggest a civil enforcement of the first table of the law--and the only thing I can see possibly suggesting a necessary civil enforcement of the whole second table is the part I put in bold; most notably, the statement that no person should be permitted to offer "any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury" to another.

    What I'm unclear on, with respect to the plain intent of the Confession on that point, is the meaning and extent of those four prohibitions. For instance, prohibition of "violence" and "injury" could be said to not in and of itself mandate prohibition of premarital sex (seventh) or most marriages lacking parental blessing (fifth commandment). On the other hand, it may be the case that the required prohibition of "indignity" or even "abuse" could in fact imply a necessary enforcement of the fifth and seventh commandments.

    Could you elaborate?
     
  4. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    Christendom was great fun while it lasted, except for the 60,000 + Calvinists who were murdered or the 3,000+ Anabaptists.

    It was a mistake. We should admit it. God has not charged the magistrate with enforcing the first table.

    He does not bear the sword in vain, but Paul did not want Claudius or Nero to enforce the first table! He wanted the magistrates to be just, according to the natural knowledge of justice that all humans possess. He didn't ask the magistrate to suppress Judaism nor did Peter or the Apostle John.

    The second table is properly the magistrate's business. No one (not even the magistrate) has the right to steal my house, my wife, my life etc. The magistrate doesn't have to know my heart or thoughts. He just has to know what I've done. Did I steal, murder, lie, commit adultry or not?

    Where I worship and how is not the magistate's business. God bless the mostly agnostic or liberal Anglican or deist (with a sprinkling of God-fearing Presbyterians and Anglican) founding fathers for getting that right in principle.

    I'll duck now whilst stones and pitchforks are thrown in great numbers!

    rsc
     
  5. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Graduate

    "No one (not even the magistrate) has the right to steal my house, my wife, my life etc."

    I don't think anyone is arguing that the magistrate has the right to steal. However, you agree that the magistrate can use the sword in upholding the second table, correct?

    "The magistrate doesn't have to know my heart or thoughts. He just has to know what I've done. Did I steal, murder, lie, commit adultry or not?"

    I don't see how this objection applies. There are external violations of the first table as well.
     
  6. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    NB the verb steal.

    When the magistrate puts a murderer to death, he's not stealing. The murderer has violated natural (creational) justice. The murderer has forfeited his life and magistrate is obligated to execute the just punishment, hence Paul says that the M. does not bear the sword in vain.

    My point was that most idolatry is not visible, but invisible. The magistrate is charged in non-Mosaic society with enforcing natural justice relative to what is visible and empirical. Even, however, if idolatry became visible, there's no non-Mosaic evidence that the magistrate is charged with the enforcement of the 1st table. He is not charged with enforcing cultic (religious) purity. He's charged with protecting public safety.

    How did Paul argue in Athens? He noted their idolatry but he didn't call for the application of the Mosaic ("Old covenant" - 2 Cor 3) civil penalties against the idolaters. He called for repentance (law) and faith (gospel) in the risen Christ.

    rsc
     
  7. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Practically speaking, in any other society apart from OT israel, i think it is impossible to speak of magistrate's duties apart from the context of the government they live in. To say a magistrate has a duty to enforce the moral law when to perform that duty would result in said magistrate being immediately removed from power by his superiors is ultimately meaningless in my opinion.

    To be honest i do not think i agree with the confession's emphasis on the civil magistrate for NT times. The bible says NT christians are only sojourners in this world, and almost all the time, the rulers of this physical world will be evil men. Christians are to live righteous lives in this world without compromise, not try to change the entire system. And i think the teaching of the new testament is that living in an evil nation and making use of its systems is not compromise in God's eyes. That is not to say that christians can or should not try to make good changes in their countries, whether by voting, legal protests, or other means, but i do not think it is a very high priority for new testament christians.

    Regarding magistrates, i think taking up roles or jobs in government is an issue of liberty for christians if they feel that is how they can best serve God. But whilst they must never sin or compromise themselves, there is not, i think, any duty outside of israel to enfore the moral law.

    Daniel and Joseph served in positions of high authority in pagan empires, but i doubt they attempted to enforce God's law upon those peoples.

    :2cents:
     
  8. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    Wollebius (one of my favorites and a good transmitter of the work of Polanus and an excellent representative of the Dort era Reformed theology) summarized the most reasonable and tempting revisions of "Christendom."

    He doesn't demand Christian magistrates. He doesn't demand the enforcement of the Mosaic civil code. There's a lot to like about Wollebius' view except that, as might be noticed, he subtly elides the line between the Mosaic theocracy -- which had a specific and special and unique function in redemptive history -- and other (including post-canonical) states.

    This is a premise that I'm unwilling to grant. It was widely held in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was a given. Appeal to the Mosaic theocracy was standard in the Reformed arguments by Beza (On the Right of Magistrates) and others against tyranny.

    There has been since, for a variety of reasons, a paradigm shift for most Reformed theologians so that few (until recently) have been as willing to concede that crucial premise.

    If that premise is not granted, then the notion that the magistrate should enforce the 1st table is much harder to defend. Yet, most of us recognize that Moses was a distinct and unique administration of the kingdom in redemptive history. This is an area where there was tension in most Reformed theology even in the 16th and 17th centuries. Calvin rejects the notion of any attempt to reconstruct the Mosaic theocracy today. So, otoh, they taught this distinction (the uniqueness of the Mosaic theocracy) and otoh they denied it when it was convenient for their politics. I think that, since 1648 (the 30 years war was a power stimulus) we've resolved that tension in a more consistent way.

    I'm sometimes accused of simply wanting to "go back" to the 16th/17th century. Here, however, is an example where I think there has theological progress.

    rsc
     
  9. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    I'm not going to attempt a protracted defense of the principles of the Reformation here, any one who wants that can read any protestant prior to the late 19th century, but a few passing notes would be prudent. First there is the complete arbitrariness of this limitation of the extent of the civil magistrates power to enforce the moral law. Christians are to obey God's Law in every capacity. If the civil magistrate is an exception why?

    There is an appeal to the silence of Paul. Simply because Paul (or any NT writer) does not spell out the enforcement of the 1st table does not mean he disapproves of it. But then Paul does call the magistrate the minister of God.

    It is also purported that we who are for Reformation principles wish to police peoples' thoughts and private opinions, "invisible idoltary". This is a misrepresentation. The magistrate's power in the first and second table of the law is with outward things. Most violations of the 2nd table are invisible and inward as well. Hatred, lust, covetousness, etc. shall the magistrate do away with the 2nd tble as well?

    Concerning penalties: The question is not over what degree of the Jewish application of the moral law carries over in the NT but whether civil enforcement of the 1st table of the moral law carries over at all.

    Concerning "natural justice" which all men know about, the content of this includes the first table of the Law. The invisible things of God, his eternal power and Godhead, in short all of the first table, are known by everyone. Through sin this innate knowledge of God is smuthered but then so is knowledge of the second table which is why pre-born baby murder and sodomy is tolerated by the govt.
     
  10. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    1Ti 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
    1Ti 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

    Geneva Study Bible
    Matthew Henry

    John Calvin
     
  11. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Whilst the OT focuses on israel as a nation dedicated to God, the new testament always shows christians as individual citizens living within pagan nations.

    What practical value is talking about magistrate's duties when in all but the most exceptional cirucmstances christians will have very little control over their magistrates at all?

    And i think the examples of christians who served in pagan empires in both testaments show that Christians can serve in positions similar to that of magistrate even when the context of the ruling government does not allow them to enforce the laws of God.


    I am sincerely interested; Even if we grant that the magistrate does have the duty to enforce either all or part of the decalogue, what practical effect would it have on christians living in 2006?
     
  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Well, the bible says don't kill. Abortion is murder. Civil magistrate outlaws abortion. That's pretty practical, wouldn't you say?
     
  13. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Wow, Chris Rhoades, great post. Were did you get that list? Is that your compilation?
     
  14. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    While that is (intentionally) a very simple, basic illustration, it illustrates the principle of why this issue as a whole is important. While we cannot completely change the government overnight, and it may often take years or a lifetime to even affect one step of change in certain areas, we need to know what Scripture requires of the government in order to ever hope to do any of that, and even more basically, in order to know what to stand for now.

    Building on Jacob's example, should we oppose the legal recognition of homosexual marriage? Why or why not? Is it a seventh commandment issue? If so, then should we ultimately stand for the outlawing of extra-marital sex? If it is the case that those stands (which are parts of the second table) should be advocated, what should people who believe so advocate in terms of the fifth commandment and its civil application? Also, the ninth commandment has definite implications as well--should we advocate treating perjury as a crime, even if it was not done under oath or in a judicial context?

    Those are questions everyone must answer who wants to affirm the second table of the law as the magistrate's responsibility to fully enforce. (Along those lines, what would some such people say with regard to some of those questions, especially those that would seem particularly outrageous in our day?) Likewise, one must take a position on that question (whether or not the second table--and ultimately the first--should be enforced) in order to know what to advocate with respect to many issues that are currently changeable and under consideration. Should prostitution be legal, for instance? If not, why?
     
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    These are good questions, Chris.
     
  16. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Whilst that may be a good answer in theory i don't think it is very practical simply because;

    i) Generally in our present day the magistrate won't outlaw abortion. So saying the magistrate has a duty to do such and such becomes nothing than theological knowledge of another way the nation is in sin for 2006 christians.

    ii) If a christian man were to be the magistrate himself, and he were to attempt to outlaw abortion, the government he serves in would simply get rid of him and change the law back. And Chris (Me Died Blue) raised a good question, if we say we must outlaw one (outward)sin, where do we draw the line? Why not outlaw adultery or fornication?

    Thus in the end the only practical effect of saying the magistrate has a duty to enforce the decalogue is to say christians can never take up roles similar to that of magistrate in government, which as i mentioned earlier, goes against all the examples we see in the bible of christian men serving in pagan empires.
     
  17. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    I am still compiling and typing up more quotes. Ones that I hope to post soon are A'Brakel, Heppe, Kersten, Martyr, Viret, Voetius, Swinnock, etc.

    The main source for the majority was Martin Foulner's Theonomy and the Westminster Confession: An Annotated Sourcebook I was trying to be selective in my quote selection from this book to make sure that it was dealing with the first table of the decalogue. There are many, many more quotes of note in the book and many more by the Rutherford's and Gillespie's even dealing with this topic. This should be a must have book for anyone seriously considering this topic or any aspect of a reformed view on the civil magistrate much less theonomy...

    Other than that I pulled sources from my personal library. I've been studying this issue for the last 3 years pretty in-depth. What I've found is that people's writings on the magistrate fall under many places. Some actually have chapters in the systematics regarding the civil magistrate. Others deal with it under the head of Christ's Kingly Office. Some deal with it under headings of the ten commandments while others yet deal with it under the heading of the church and discipline. Going to commentaries on Deut., Exodus, Romans 13 are also a gold mine. Certain works like David Hall's - Genevan Reformation and the American Founding are worth every penny just for the bibliography not to mention the footnotes! The SWRB cd's are also an excellent treasure trove of works like Peter Martyr's Common Places (Loci Communes) that collect all of his writings on the magistrate into one place. One last resource that I've found excellent is Moses And The Magistrate: Aspects Of Calvin's Political Theory In Contemporary Focus - Jack Sawyer (search for it). It was his ThM dissertation at WTS PA. Download it in PDF - it would be a 11.20 well spent. He compares Calvin's writings and sees how closely they parallel a theonomic viewpoint such as Bahnsen's.

    In my mind this is one area where the reformed have fallen asleep at the wheel. Love 'em or hate 'em, the theonomists have done the church a service by making this an issue again. By doing so, it has caused us to go back and look at our heritage. And what do we find?

    Calvin, Bucer, Bullinger, Beza, Martyr, Knox, Wollebius, A'Brakel, Voetius, Turretin, Ussher, Durham, Perkins, Cartwright, Dickson, Rutherford, Gillespie, Nye, Palmer, Burroughs, Thornwell, et.al. all hold that the magistrate is God's minister and as such should enforce God's law - both tables. Name me one other doctrine that a person could disagree with the men on this list as well as the WCF (original), 2nd Helvetic, Belgic, Scots Confession, French Confession etc. and not be thought out of the strain of reformed thought. Henceforth my comment that we have another NPP to fight. New Perspective on Politics. We are compromised.

    That being said, the concept of the magistrate enforcing the first table is such a foreign concept today. I still scratch my head at it. Like others, the question of practicalness rears its head. The thing is many, many men of the past and present have written on the topic as well as lived it out in church history. That is the kicker for me. Calvin. Bucer. Martyr. Knox. Puritans. These men were not just reformers of the church and of doctrine. They were also intent on reforming the social order to make sure justice occured to God's glory. And they went about it the right way. They taught the Bible to the common folk. They sought to reform/sanctify their own lives. They taught the magistrates role under God. They wrote. They persuaded. We are now left to read and act. We are in a state of reformedom now that we enjoy conferences and message boards (myself included) but not putting legs on our theology. We have to move past that. We don't need to lose sight of the 'not yet' - it is still a motivating factor and our true home - but we need to put both feet in the 'now'.

    [Edited on 2-26-2006 by crhoades]

    [Edited on 2-27-2006 by crhoades]
     
  18. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Mark,
    I see that we are arguing on two different levels:
    1) You are saying that it wouldn't be practical because, given the poor state of society, such would not work. You are making a descriptive argument. Perhaps there is some force to your argument, but it misses the point: Is it right or wrong for the magistrate to govern in a just and godly manner? Not, is it expedient for the magistrate to govern justly?

    2) I am arguing on the normative level. I am asking, as was the intent of this post, what is right or wrong.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    3) Not all sins are crimes. Drunkeness, for example, is a sin, but not a crime. Reasoning by analogy, if I were to drive drunkly and cause harm, that is a crime.
    4) Finally, Kevin Clauson, in his stunning essay, "Ruler of the Nations," made the crucial distinction:
     
  19. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    So to add some practical application we should:
    1. Repent. Repent of our ambivalence. Repent of our lack of compassion and coldness of heart. Millions of lives and blood are on the church's hands for not striving to see this heinous crime ended.
    2. Read all of the material that you can get your hands on regarding the issues.
    3. Stay on top of the happenings regarding the issue in court cases etc.
    4. Bring them up in conversation. I have engaged an athiest, liberal over the last three years and in the last month have had him tell me that he is now pro-life based on all of our conversations.
    5. Engage your elected officials in letters and pray for them. I repeat. Pray for them.
    6. Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center.
    7. Get with your presbytery and begin finding families that are willing to adopt. That way when women come to the center we can offer another way out of their "situation".
    8. Start a post abortion counseling opportunity at your church.
    9. Preach against the topic as well as educate your congregation on their civic duty as well as the magistrate's duty.
    10. Post on boards like this and connect to brothers and sisters worldwide encouraging them to do the same.
    11. Preach the Gospel! In season and out.

    We CAN change people's hearts and minds through the work of the Holy Spirit. We CAN see society changed. It has happened in history. God still works in history. We have to start thinking of things in a practical manner.

    We should outlaw adultery. No-fault divorce? What an abomination.
    We should seek to call crime, crime where God calls it crime.
    I don't see that conclusion as following.
     
  20. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    I agree - excellent questions and direction. Like many of the quotes above said as well as a lot of material I didn't include...Why are we to expect the magistrate to rightly legislate the right/just laws as well as enforce them? Why are we surprised about homosexual marriage? How can we expect magistrates to get the 2nd table right when it has no grounding in the 1st? Positive law based on men's opinions carry no weight. If there is not a transcendent, immutable, just standard to pin them on then what good are they? The reformers also argued from the lesser to the greater. If we are to legislate on the 5th commandment regarding the respect of magistrates and following their laws as well as punishing treason - then how much more so should we guard God's glory.
     
  21. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Jacob,

    My brain doesn't seem to be working properly this morning, so sorry if i misunderstand anything. Yes, i was making a descriptive argument (not necessarily my intention, but looking back i can see that is probably what i did).

    On the normative level, i think i do agree with you that the magistrate is under an obligation to obey God and enforce his laws. Every human being is under God's authority and is to obey God in the authority he exercises and the magistrate is no exception.

    Unbelieving magistrates who do not enforce God's laws are certainly in sin (I do think God allows believing magistrates to serve without sin in pagan governments if the government over them makes it impossible for them to enforce his laws). A christian can and should try to affect political change in his nation, be it though prayer, voting, lawful protests or other means, i am just saying i do not see it presented as being a big priority for the New Testament church.
     
  22. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    Chris,

    The point i was trying to make was that if a magistrate in one of our modern nations were to outlaw abortion (as an example) but without the support of the higher ups in the government, than thos higher ups would simply overturn his ruling. And if he kept trying they would eventually force him out/ ask him to leave etc.

    I think you made some good points on practical steps we can take though.
     
  23. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I have long realized that theonomy is the quickest way to lose friends and not influence people (and I have the scars to prove it). So, while generally theonomic in my views, I rarely bring up the dreaded "t" word, especialy with non-believers. Instead, I ask questions. Concerning standards. How do you know what is right and wrong? Can you justify that without sounding subjective or arbitrary? No?

    The best line of approach is this: When is punishment criminal?

    And here comes the hammer blow:
    Greg Bahnsen, Theonomy in Christian Ethics, p.455
    When God's law (however you want to define it. I will not limit it to theonomy of the moment), then untrampled human will comes to rule insanely where God's law ought to be followed.

    [Edited on 2--26-06 by Draught Horse]
     
  24. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Unless I am as tired as you are (a big possiblity), I agree with virtually everything you just said.
     
  25. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Correct. I anticipated this possibility. In my treatises ( :lol: not really, but I have written a lot on it) on civil resistance I underline the need for a grass roots movement in the country before we can seriously enact change.

    Nevertheless, the magistrate ought to at least try. Stonewall Jackson, the second greatest american to ever live, said this: "Duty is ours, consequences are God's"
     
  26. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    :handshake: Abortion is one of the hot button issues for me. I have spent a lot of time on it. It literally tears me up. It is always a good litmus test for discussions of Christian politics. If one's political theory does not exhort believers to demand justice be done as well as get them to act on it, then it is not a true Christian theory - no matter how much redemptive historical gymnastics one can pull off.

    On a practical note - if a Christian got elected and tried to outlaw it and got beyond talking points what would happen. What would happen if Bush took a state of the union address - let's say an hour's time and addressed the American public. Let's say that all he did was lay out the case for why abortion should be made illegal. Put forth every argument under the sun and shred to pieces every one against it. And then he implores people to take action. He also at the same time implores people to compassion etc. He then suggests websites and a couple key resources for more information.

    What would happen? It would be all over the media and get an incredible conversation going all over the place. And what if for once, the church was ready with persuasive, loving arguments? Instead, we have officials paying lip service to it but still funding it.
     
  27. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Chris,
    Now you are just running up the score.
     
  28. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    Hey, when they put the autistic kid in and he nailed 6 three-pointers, they didn't say that. There's an analogy here!:lol:

    Still have a few more sources to go. There is something to be said for being able to compile 23+pages of support for your position from all of these reformed luminaries. Not to mention, it will be handy for reference eventually.

    Not to mention...I dedicate this thread to Andrew Myers a.k.a. VirginiaHugenot. We have to take up his slack.

    [Edited on 2-28-2006 by crhoades]
     
  29. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    I trimmed the thread and left all of the quotes in the second post above in order to cut down scrolling etc. (although it did reduce my post count...:banghead: :lol: ) I cut quotes from Ussher, Turretin, Bucanus, Heidegger, Gerhard, Kersten etc.

    I'll continue to add quotes below and leave them there for a few days for an easy way of seeing what's been added, then I'll probably cut them as well and refer people to the master list at top.

    [Edited on 3-1-2006 by crhoades]
     
  30. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Keep up the good work, Chris! :pilgrim::up:
     
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