Saturday, February 14, 2009

Theonomic Attitude

Anything else is just, a "bad attitude".

Propositional Attitude WikipediaI have been borrowing from this phrase, "Law-Attitude", ever since I noticed it in the title of one of Greg Bahnsen's books, (or essay), "The Theonomic Antithesis to Other Law-Attitudes" PDF. I have not read the book yet, but the title really intrigues me as it communicates to me what I think is really at the root of whether or not one is willing to call himself a theonomist. It goes beyond academics, hermeneutics, epistemology, or any other scholarly pursuit. Those things are all great tools for establishing responsible arguments to hold any certain position, including theonomy, but when all is said and done, we are either going to submit to the standard of God or we are not. It is more of a heart attitude. It is the way we grasp the reality of what we have control over and what we do not. Does our attitude permit us to constantly give the microphone over to God? Or is their a constant battle in our minds between what is practical and pragmatic, over and against what God has revealed in His word?

Another way to look at it is, what are we invested in? If we have invested a lot of time and energy with our thoughts trying to explain away our responsibility as New Testament believers to God's law, especially as it deals with politics and civil government, then our concern is no longer so much the protection of the truth, but in the protection of our investment. This is now an attitude bent on protecting oneself instead of the truth of God. In other words, a "selfish" attitude. Or, in light of this post, a "bad" attitude.

This is not to accuse anyone who is not a theonomist as having a bad or selfish attitude, as I realize there are many who are opposed to theonomy based on honest conclusions and pure, unselfish motives. But I'm talking about those who perhaps have not studied the issue at all, and have based their conclusions on nothing other than practicalities. "God's law is just not practical in our modern society." Stuff like that. These people are not honestly seeking the truth, they are seeking to protect their own way of life…their investment. However, this attitude can extend over into those who have started studying this topic and have become quite knowledgeable. They find it easier to resist their findings then to correctly submit themselves to God's authority and will bend over backwards writing thesis after thesis trying to explain why God's law is not applicable to anyone but the Christian. In my opinion, these learned scholars are developing a refined and educated "bad attitude".

But who am I to talk? I'm sure I have lots of bad attitudes myself, and I certainly can't compete in many of the mental gymnastics that I see going on in the ivory towers of Christendom…yet. But until I can get there, like a Greg Bahnsen or a Gary North, I am content to check my attitude at every step of the way with a view to let the authority of Jesus Christ be exactly what and exactly where He wants it to be, regardless of what is being expressed from the minds of men, be they Christian authorities or civil authorities.

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