Why did Bahnsen shave his beard?

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by KMK, Oct 29, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    Just teasing a tad, hence the wink. I honestly enjoy Jacobs rhetoric much.

    I spelled pigeon hole wrong though.

    I accuse all philosophers and logicians of being sophists..... That sais, my questions were serious though.

    Who carried out teh penal sanctions and are there examples of it happening besides directly from the hands of God..
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    There is some truth to his teasing. Sadly, there have been times when I used my meager skills at logic to dance an argument. Hopefully, that is past me.
  3. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    How was moses killing the egyptian when he fled an act of war?

    I asked becasue I did not know. And I do not know of any recorded incident..
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    That was tongue-in-cheek. My point was Moses was not guilty of a capital crime since he acted in self-defense of his neighbor. Most civilized societies recognize that (or did before this generation).

    As to the recorded incident, my references say who was usually in charge of jurisdiction.
  5. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    You are a beautiful man, brother!

    Pro 20:29
  6. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    I'm in favor of captial punishment, but not for pagans, perverts, and problem children.
    The Bishop is no good for civilian affairs, and the magistrate is no good for ecclesiastical affairs.
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    And who said we should mix the two? Bahnsen had a whole chapter in TiCE defending the Separation of Church and State. Rushdoony's lectures on American History extol in the highest of praises the voluntary church. Rather, it is usually the critics of theonomy who have a hard time consistently maintaining the separation.
  8. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    OK, but if the church and state are mirror images of one another what is the net effect?
  9. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    State taxes and executes civic judgment. Church does not. Church gives sacraments; State does not. Your question seemed to post two different, yet absolute, ethical standards for Church and State. We believe in different functions and applications of morality, but not two different moralities.
  10. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Seriously, this sounds reasonable.

    But I don't trust men. Is there any way we could get our Lord to come down here and administrate? I think that would be the only way to do this right. Or, should we wait for His timing? I don't begrudge someone who wants to do right. The Puritans had good motives. But you know what they say.....'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.'
  11. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Yes, you do. To some degree, as a citizen, you trust our secular, anti-Christian Federal government. If you can trust incompetent bureaucrats, why can't you trust Christian citizens (and I will make the allowance that these won't be revivalist baptists).

    I don't really see what this has to do with me. I have no intention of establishing some perfect utopian Kingdom of God upon earth. I just long for just laws and as 1 Samuel 23 says, justice is defined by ruling in the fear of God.

    I know this is a sacrosanct cliche, but I don't buy it, and neither does our blessed Confession. In chapter 16 of the WCF, on good works, it lists one of the qualifications as a heart purified by faith. This is the intentional or personal dimension of Christian ethics. The good intentions part is necessary for a work to be a good work.
  12. BrianLanier

    BrianLanier Puritan Board Freshman

    I really don't like to get into this debate, but it seems to me that the *least* credible arguments against theonomy are the arguments from "certain undesirable consequences will follow in society, like penalty for X", or "sinful men will apply said laws incorrectly".

    These seem to be direct indictments against the OT civil laws as such. The first argument would be calling into question whether or not the penalty for X is just in the first place. Since if was just in the first place, then it would serve as no reason to deny the application of it in modern society. The second argument would be to say that it shouldn't have been applied under Moses either. Since if it that is a valid reason to not enforce a system of laws, it would be equally applicable in the case of Moses. It would also be applicable to our own nation's (non-theonomic) system.

    Better arguments must be exegetical or logical, or both.
  13. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Should we execute adulterers or not? I don't think so. Jesus didn't think so.
    Judgment is deferred until the last day. That is equitable.
  14. Jim Johnston

    Jim Johnston Puritan Board Sophomore

    WHy didn't Jesus think so?
  15. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Jesus per human nature didn't have that jurisdiction either, but anyway. While I don't like the idea of executing adulterers, you need to read what Brian wrote above. It is a poor critique that dismisses a position based on some uncomfortable consequences. Remember, you are not critiquing me, but God's law.

    Secondly, where do you find the exegetical distinctions for executing a serial killer but not executing an adulterer? That category does not exist. Yes, you can point to Joseph, but that doesn't tell you what a civil magistrate may or may not do. And also, Mary wasn't an adulteress.

    Thirdly, Judgment really isn't deferred to the last day. We execute judgment all the time and no one blinks an eye. If the capital sanctions of the MOsaic law are "ethical anticipations of the judgment of the reprobate" (Kline, 164), we must ask why are not all sins not punishable by death? The Scripture teaches that all sin dersevers the eternal wrath of God (Matt. 12.36; Gal. 3.10; Jms. 2.10). We should also wonder why some crimes are punishable by fines, in that fines do not reflect "the judgment of the reprobate" at the last day.
  16. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member


    Which gets back to the original question, if the law against shaving was right in the Mosaic economy, why would it be unjust today? Everyone says, "Well, 'obviously' that would be legalistic (unjust) today." How was it just then but irrelevant now? Surely it was not a 'ceremonial' law.
  17. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    I think whether a law can or should be applied today goes beyond merely whether it would be just. We also have to consider God's intent. Did he want the law to continue to apply beyond the nation of Israel?

    Just some thoughts:

    Joseph shaved himself before going to meet Pharoah (Gen 41:14), but there is no indication he was a compromising man, nor did God ever call him out for this.

    The Law itself provided for sometimes when a person would shave (Lev 14:8-9), which I think argues against the fact that the law was an absolute moral one.

    Leviticus 21:5, while applying directly to priests condemns even the shaving of the head, but the Apostles later seemed to allow it (Acts 21:24).
  18. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    Let us say the beard shaving was judicial. Paul answers clearly in Galatians. "Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made..." (Galatians 3:19).

    Even the judicial function is not needed beyond an educational purpose becasue of Christ according to Paul. When we come to conversion through faith in Christ, the law's role as custodian is abolished. No longer can the law demand our death, for God has declared us "Not guilty!" No longer can the law declare us transgressors, for the record of our sins has been blotted out. The curse of the law has been removed (Galatians 3:13).

    it is our instructor (the educative role), revealing to us God's way of life-the path He desires that we follow. It expresses the good and perfect will of God, not only explicitly through its many commandments, statutes, and judgments, but implicitly through the creational and historical narratives.

    "Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian" (Galatians 3:23-25). Hnestly, how can Paul be more clear?

    So it is not irrelevant as an educational tool, but it is as a judicial custodian. Well at least to the inspired Apostle. I must say though, I can't find the educational purpose of these Law's about ones beard...
  19. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    If judicial laws are instructive of Christ, then I have a question. How does Deuteronomy 24:5 point us toward Christ?
    I don't really think you are taking into account the Reformed distinctions of the law. In arguing against the judicial law's use, you are making sweeping indictments against the Law itself. I know you didn't like me saying it in another thread, but that looks just like dispensationalism.
  20. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    In Jn 8, He said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. "

    Apparently, He didn't trust men either.
  21. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    I do not balk at God's standards, I balk at men imposing their interpretation of them on me.
    Before Moses, capital punishment was promulgated in Gen 9:6.
    I don't remember Joseph's predicament. (edit) OK, Mary's husband. Sorry. Yeah I guess it was a good thing he wasn't a theonomist.(/edit)

    I don't want ALL judgment deferred until the last day. Conscience is God's law FROM God. You speak as if the law written on the heart is not from God. Romans 13 establishes the validity of the magistrates conscience as a standard from God.

    And yes, an unvarnished theonomy would require instant death at the slightest infraction, so I guess you and I have more in common than we thought!

    Re: fines
    A sinner in hell for eternity is 'paying' it off' so to speak. This form of punishment reflects the idea of a fine; which of course the sinner hasn't enough 'money' to pay it off.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
  22. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Those of you arguing against the use of the beard law in the NT age seem to be arguing against theonomy in general. I know why a non-theonomist would be against the use of OT judicial laws today. My question was more about how does a theonomist pick and choose which judicial laws to uphold today. I am seeking to understand the theonomic paradigm better.
  23. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    Then Paul must have been a dispensationalist. I only quoted him Jacob. I never said pointed towards Christ did I? Paul himself did not seperate Law either. He speaks of different roles, but I do not see where he completely disenjoins them.

    What does Pau mean here:

    "Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian" (Galatians 3:23-25).

    "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1).

    just as a woman whose husband has died "is discharged from the law concerning the husband" and is now free to marry another man, so we, having "died to the law," are free to "belong to another, to him that has been raised from the dead..." (Romans 7:14).
  24. Barnpreacher

    Barnpreacher Puritan Board Junior

    That we cannot justified by the Covenant of Works, and no one here is arguing any differently.
  25. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Men, by definition, will impose their interpretations of a code on people. That goes without saying. Basic hermeneutics. Nobody goes to the text with a "blank slate."

    Those cute comments are nice, but they are lacking truth-value. All that Gen. 9 can say is that murder is a capital crime. It doesn't tell you what to do in case of homosexual gang rape, kidnapping, incorrigble criminal behavior, etc.

    Conscience can be--and in our nihilistic culture it is by definition-- seared. Do you trust the conscience of the sadist and masochist? Hitler's conscience didn't bother him as a magistrate. Neither did Stalin's.

    If you can drop the rhetoric and actually *prove* that statement, you might have a point. With all due respect, your statements have been nothing but critiquing horror-stories that you deduced from God's law. They lack truth-value and are getting old.

    That wasn't Kline's argument.
  26. BrianLanier

    BrianLanier Puritan Board Freshman

    Then by necessity you "balk" at the Mosaic administration of God's law as well, since it too was an instance of "men imposing their interpretations of [the judical laws] on [others]". But even non-theonomists agree that the judicial laws *were* intended for them. This is exactly what I was talking about in my earlier post pointing out the weakness of certain "critiques" of theonomy.
  27. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Therefore, God ordained that His judicial laws would be interpreted and executed by 'sinful men' for OT Israel at least. If God had no problem doing so then, why do some think it so objectionable today?
  28. BrianLanier

    BrianLanier Puritan Board Freshman

    That's right. His argument (at least at this one point) seems to be the following:

    (1) Men enforcing their interpration of a law-code on individuals is bad. (In this case the judical laws of the OT)

    so that,

    (2) If a law-code requires that men must enforce it using their interpretations of it, then that law-code should not be enforced.


    (3) All law-codes require that men must enfore them using their interpretations of them.


    (4) No law-code should be enforced.

    I could clean up this argument I'm sure (the terms in the premises could be more precise, etc.), but you get the idea. I think it conveys at least what would be the consequence of holding on to premise (1).
  29. Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Puritan Board Junior

    He meant more to it than that. Law, part and parcel was pedagogical (Thanks patrick for that word), in ALL instances. Paul would not have meant, "In relation to justification, the law is "rudiments of the world" and useless, yet we must keep the penal sanctions of the judicial aspect. Law was Law to Paul. Therefore whatever educational purposes can be found in the beard cutting law, pursue it for that, but it gets disregarded for any judicial enforcement under teh new covenant.
  30. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    If I am dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God… (Col 3:3)

    If “in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world…” (Gal 6:14)

    If I am “become dead to the law by the body of Christ…” (Ro 7:4)

    Then what obligation have I to the law of Moses?

    The Jews have a saying, A corpse is free from obedience to the law.

    How truly are we to take the Scriptural sayings that we have died in the death of Christ – united with Him in His death – and raised to newness of life, united with Him in His resurrection? Does this depict the reality of our lives, or is this just “religious talk”?

    The Lord Jesus perfectly kept the Mosaic ordinances during His life – He kept them for me – but after He rose from the grave was He still “Torah observant”? Or was His period of perfect Law-keeping accomplished? Does the Savior keep Mosaic ordinances in Heaven? Am I not in Him, seated with Him in Heavenly places? (Eph 2:6)

    What manner of creature am I? Is my conversation in Heaven, or am I of the world?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page