Apologetics - III - RR103B3
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Our Lord and our God, we thank Thee that Thou art our God, and that Thou art upon the throne. Teach us so to walk, our Father, day by day, that mindful of Thy government we may take hands off our lives, and commit them into Thy keeping. Knowing that Thou doest all thing well. Bless us as we give ourselves to Thee and the study of Thy word. In Jesus name, Amen.
Now first of all, how many of you were in the class this last hour? Anyone? Would you bear with me then, since you’re the only one, if I repeat just a few things, because I feel that it will help set the temper for what we are going to do this hour. I’ll try to pick up a few pieces and put them together this hour, as a kind of, ah, pulling some things together.
So that I’ll start where I did the last hour, since there’s only one person who heard me, by repeating an illustration I also used yesterday. Because it was a very disturbing thing to me.
A nurse here in the emergency hospital, as some of you heard me say yesterday afternoon, reported that, during the time she has worked there, she has had only one person, that they’ve been brought in from an accident or a serious condition, actually think of the Lord and pray as they went to the table. To surgery.
Now as I indicated, I would have expected this kind of reaction in New York, or Chicago, or San Francisco, but in Jackson I would have expected more than that, because there is a stronger church life here. What it means is, that for these people, to all practical intents, God is dead. They do not have a Christian mind. They may have some sort of faith, but God is a kind of life insurance for them, a policy to take care of the hereafter. But not the living God. So that in a crisis, they do not think of Him. This presents us with a very serious problem. [00:03:00]
Then again, in the last hour, I pointed out, I’m just
Then again, in the last hour, I pointed out, I’m just summarizing a few things from what I said, the one serious point of view at the Reformation which did not have a powerful state behind it, was the Reformed faith. Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism, had powerful rulers behind them. Even Anabaptism for a while occupied important areas. And militarily had a force. But the Reformed faith, apart from a small city-state, Geneva, had nothing. And yet it was the faith that passed fear before long in the hearts of all rulers. It had a power, because it had a world and life view. It provided the answer in every area of life in terms of Scripture. Men were desperate then for such faith, as they are now. I cited also the fact, in some detail, how when scholasticism arose, there was a parallel rise in another kind of faith among the common people. All though there had been, on a limited basis before, the use of images and candles and the blessing of fields and so on, as scholasticism arose and it eroded the Biblical faith and presented an abstract religious concept that meant little to the people, so that God became remote, they felt desperately on the local level, on the everyday level, the need of having something that made God real in everyday life. So the blessing of the field before they planted, the blessing of their boats before they sailed, bring God down to the world. This was their feeling. Man needs God in his everyday life. The Church finally had to accept that kind practice; although early it was against it, simply because people had to have something. Today as people have nothing, they are again turning to something that will give meaning to everyday life. Occultism, the witchcraft movement. Because they feel the need for an overall answer on the practical, everyday level. [00:06:11]
Now the only philosophy, theology and faith that has
Now the only philosophy, theology and faith that has consistently provided this in the past has been the Reformed faith. And we cannot be truly Reformed if we limit the Bible to the Church. And I said in the last hour, it is not just a Church book, it is the Book for the state, it is a Book for the school, for the family, for vocation, for every area of life.
The point of this, of course, is, let us continue, that no piece-meal defense of the faith is possible. In the Reformed faith we must begin the totality of the sovereign God and His Word, or we end up with nothing. We presuppose the whole. We do not begin by saying, well, I’m going to begin by trying to defend the idea of God, that there is a God, and then I will go on from there and try to build up the doctrine of the Trinity, and then I will go on from that to Creation, and then to the Word and so on. An Apologetics which does this will get nowhere. Instead you begin with the whole of the faith. It’s a seamless garment. You defend the totality of the Sovereign God, His infallible Word, the essentials of the doctrine, the claim of God on every area of life, on church, state, school, home, everything. But God is a total God, and he has a totalitarian claim on the whole of life. It is only this way that we can have a consistent Apologetics. Presuppose the whole truth.
Nothing else can answer the needs of man. Nothing else can give anything to man. Thus it follows that the best defense of the faith is to take the offensive. Now historically Apologetics is called the defense of the faith, and Van Til has given that title to his book. But by the time that you read it, you will very clearly understand that he is not defensive in the defense of the faith, he is taking the offensive. And the essence of his position is that he is out to cut out the ground from the claims of fallen man in every area of life. And to establish the crown rights of Christ in every area of life. We do not allow to the natural man anything. We say that only the man in Christ is sovereign lord over every domain under Christ. Covenant man is lord of all creation, Wycliffe said. [00:09:55]
One of the fallacies that some people have is that
One of the fallacies that some people have is that, if a man denies God, he still has the rest of life to himself. But what the doctrine of Hell tells us is that when a man denies God, he ends up with nothing but the little close circle of his mind. Nothing else exists for him. So that, in taking the offensive, what we do is to push the fallen man into recognizing that without Christ he can have nothing. There is no community possible, there is no philosophy possible, his epistemology collapses, there is no doctrine of the state possible, it collapses in to anarchy, that in every area of life, in terms of his faith, he winds up with nothing. Nothing.
Our approach then cannot be anthropological, that is, man-centered. It cannot be love centered, it cannot be church centered, it must be theological.
Yesterday, when the ledger reporter was interviewing me, for about forty-five minutes, she went back to my Indian missionary experiences because of the wounded knee episode, to ask me about Indians, a great many questions. What about their religion? And I said to her, well, the thing that we must avoid doing is to look at the Indian and his religion in our terms. Why? Well, I said, there are two kinds of religions basically among the American Indians, but you have not described the Indian’s religious life with these two. I said, anthropologists can classify the Indian religions first in terms of those tribes that were agricultural tribes. They worship the sun and the moon, the stars, because weather was important to them. And they were aware that the sun, and the moon, has some kind of relationship, apparently, to weather. So, since they were concerned with agriculture, they were concerned with worshipping the forces in nature that were oriented to the weather. But, I said, the hunting tribes were concerned with hunting. And therefore they worshipped the wolf and in some cases, the coyote, because the wolf was the great hunter, and the coyote was a good hunter, and for them, these particular animals were important, and they worshipped their spirit, and felt very, very strongly about the wolf in particular. And where I was, the wolf was very prominent. But, I said, this was not basic to their lives. They recognized that these spirits had a lot to do with things, but, I said, their basic concern was anthropocentric, man centered. What kind of a religion did they have? Why, not by going to what the anthropologists said, and classifying these two types of religions and all the variations. This was secondary. Because first and foremost, in the mind of the Indian, was healing. Healing. His position had become so completely man centered, that for him the beginning and end of religion was healing. And the medicine-man there had a tremendous power on him. It was very interesting to me that before I ever heard about Oral Roberts, these Indians, many of whom could speak very little English, knew a great deal about Oral Roberts, who was just beginning then. And it was only because I suddenly began to hear a lot of Indians in broken English ask excited questions about Oral Roberts that I first started to investigate who he was. I hadn’t heard of him. [00:14:57]
And they were amazed
And they were amazed. Why, doesn’t every white man follow him? Doesn’t every white man believe in Oral Roberts? And for them it was obvious. He was a man who was supposedly a great healer, and healing was the essence of religion. Therefore, Oral Roberts certainly, if he was what they had heard he was, was the man every white man was following. This was the essence of religion to them. It had become totally anthropocentric. Totally man centered. Well, what had happened with that. Healing, in the old Indian life, in the days when the white man first came, still was very important. But the more Indian life collapsed, the more humanistic it became. It went from humanism, to even greater humanism. So that the culture of the Indian was totally broken. There was nothing in life for him that had any meaning, except at this point. Healing. And as a broken culture, he was unable to do anything for himself. Indian family life was broken, Indian community life was broken. The Indian was a broken person, an alcoholic. If he wasn’t an alcoholic, he was almost inevitably taking peyote, a narcotic, and was a member of the peyote cult. The only ones that weren’t on one or the other were the Christians. And the whole reason for this was, that there was no longer any kind of faith which could man to man. There was no world and life, world and life view. There was only a piece-meal faith. And a piece-meal faith ultimately revolves around the individual and his faith. And this is the be all and end all of his life. If the salvation of man is made central, we take the beginning of the road to the Indians. The Indians, therefore, felt close not only to Oral Roberts, but they could feel that Billy Graham was on the right road. You see. These were non-Christian Indians talking. Now, it wasn’t that they wanted to accept Christ, or ever believe what Billy Graham had to offer. In fact, none of them ever did. Not those people. But they liked it that the total concern was about their own soul. Their own light, their own help, ultimately. This was everything. [00:18:24]
And a piece-meal Apologetics ultimately puts us on
And a piece-meal Apologetics ultimately puts us on the collapse level of Indian culture. And the only way these people could be saved was by saying, whether you are healed or not, whether you live or die, now that you are ill, is not the important issue. The world is bigger than you; it’s bigger than I am. It’s bigger than your problems and bigger than mine. Because I have problems too. There is a God, and He has a claim upon us. And His claim upon us, and His judgment upon us, must occupy our mind before we think about our sickness, or our problems, or our troubles, or anything else. The sovereign claim of the Sovereign God. This was the only way the Indian could be shaken out of this total isolation in his own world of need. You see, if we follow the course, we end with the Indian, and on the other hand, we end up with Puerbach. Puerbach said, in his day, early in the last century, that all theology is disguised anthropology. This was his indictment of Christianity. In his day it was true, because pietism ruled the scene. And pietism was concerned, essentially, with man. Pietism did not want to hear about the sovereignty of God. Or about predestination. Or about God’s judgment on man. And certainly Pietism regarded with horror such statements as ‘the chief end of man is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever’. Pietism made a concerted assault upon all of this as irrelevant. And so Puerbach said, theology is disguised anthropology.
As a consequence, since then the world has drifted from one crisis to another, because it has not had a true Apologetics. And Apologetics that begin with God and sets forth the sovereign claims of God. That shakes man out of this self-hypnotism, this concern endlessly with himself. Now there were some Puritan theologians, in the period from about seventeen fifty to about eighteen fifteen in the United States, who recognized this trend as it was coming in. it made them lean over backwards to be a little more aggressive and hostile against it, and they formulated a test question, as a kind of, something to wake up people with. This nurse who told me about the hospital, said, we get a lot of people come in who are in such hysteria and shock, that what we must do immediately is to put ammonia under their nose. And she said, they come to with a jerk. It snaps them out of their hysteria, and she said, they will be babbling wildly, and she said, it’s no different than the tongues manifestations I have seen in some churches. But the ammonia just brings them to like that. And then you can talk to them and they’re calm and rational. [00:22:32]
Well this was the purpose that Hopkins and Bellamy
Well this was the purpose that Hopkins and Bellamy among others of our American theologians devised this question. They knew the answer was impossible, but in effect, the answer was like this ammonia under the nose. They would ask people who had become converts, are you willing to be damned for the glory of God? Now in a sense, they knew that no man can, and God doesn’t ask us to do that, but in a practical sense, are you ready to take what God gives you and say, it is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth good. Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. In other words, the point of the question, however phrased for shock purposes, was, the Sovereignty of God. And it did have something of a healthy impact. Now, Hopkins and Bellamy, two of the most important of American theologians, extremely well worth knowing, but I’m not saying everything they said I would agree with. And I cite this to indicate that they realized something of the problem that was coming in. They had to cope with some of the very ego-centric, antinomian evangelists like Davenport, who was going around saying that, believe in Jesus Christ and do as you please, and he himself to prove that he was free from the Law, left his wife and took up with several women. And he made his theology a total vindication of everything a man wanted to do, he was now under grace, he could do as he pleased. And of course you had a whole string of movements, like a little later, John Humphrey noised his sexual communism that arose out of this type of thing. So this is what you have to understand when you read Bellamy and Hopkins, was their ammonia under the nose technique. But they’re beautiful reading, in spite of the fact that there is this shock element in them.
This is why the Reformed faith, as it confronted the Renaissance, was so emphatic in its Apologetics about the sovereignty of God.
The great statement of Luther, which if he had been true to in all his writings would have made Lutheranism stronger, was The Bondage of The Will. That’s Luther’s great classic.
Now the Renaissance was the main target of the Reformation, even more than the Church of Rome, because it was the Renaissance, humanism, that captured Church and State, philosophy, every area of life at the time of the Reformation. And so they were waging war against the principles of the Renaissance, in religion as well as in society. And they did this in the name of the Sovereign God and the doctrine of predestination. The Bondage of The Will, if you have not read it, read it. It is marvelous reading, it was the answer of Luther to Erasmus. [00:26:11]
So that the three great classics of the Reformation
So that the three great classics of the Reformation are, Luther’s Bondage of The Will, Calvin’s Institutes, and third, The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. And all three are Reformed. The Book of Common Prayer was written in consultation with Calvin during Edward the Sixth’s reign, and with John Knox having a hand in it too.
You may not know this, but John Knox was one of the Fathers of the Church of England. So he, in a sense, had a great deal to do with both the Church of Scotland and the Church of England. There’s a very beautiful book on Knox, which is very fair to both his virtues and his faults. Jasper Ridley, John Knox. Published by the Oxford University Press. Just off the press just recently. Marvelous reading. Just a joy to read.
But what their emphasis was the doctrine of the sovereignty of God and predestination. Now they had two things to contend with as they emphasize this in their Apologetics. They had on the one hand, doctrines of freewill to a radical degree, and on the other hand the doctrine of determinism. And their disagreement was with both. They could not agree with either. The doctrine of determinism holds that a temporal process of cause and effect governs all things. Whereas the doctrine of free will say that a temporal will governs all things. In other words, determination in both is in time. It is in this world, it is in history, not in the sovereign God. Whereas predestination says, there is an establishment of all temporal processes and beings from all eternity by the sovereign God.
To give you an idea of how these two can be reconciled in humanism, and often are, and why it is that the Reformers stood against both of these, let me read to you a passage from a book which is a very blunt statement of just what its title describes. Humanistic Ethics. By Gardner Williams.
Incidentally, this is totally irrelevant, but it has always tickled me so, Calvin of course argued the matter of predestination with Pighius or tried to. Pighius, who was very much against Calvin’s position, wrote a nasty back-biting attack on the doctrine and on Calvin. And Calvin set down to answer Pighius, and to tell off Pighius too for his ungodliness, and the whole thing, because it was an outrageous document, but to Calvin’s annoyance, Pighius died before he could write the thing. So, Calvin, who had a temper, although he usually controlled it, wanted to tell off Pighius, and here he was dead. And if he attacked a dead man, it just would not look good. But he wanted to say something about Pighius. So on the first page of his, The Eternal Predestination of God, he starts out and says, that he had intended to say something about Pighius, but since Pighius is now dead, he said, I will not do so, lest I be accused of kicking a dead dog. Sometimes I think someone ought to write a book on controversy at the time of the Reformation, because I think it would be a lot of fun to read. Because there was a lot of very heated give and take, and they weren’t afraid to dish it out or take it, and sometimes their sense of humor in so doing was really superb. [00:31:29]
I cite that because sometimes Calvin is portrayed as
I cite that because sometimes Calvin is portrayed as though he were a very humorless person, and he wasn’t. He was a quiet, scholarly man, but he had a good sense of humor and he knew that people would read that and laugh, and that’s exactly what he wanted to do, he got his point across, his opinion of Pighius, but he did it in a humorous way so that all Europe laughed when they read that. Which was what he wanted.
Now, to get onto Gardener Williams and what he has to say here about ethics. First I’m going to read what he says about ethics so you get the framework of the man.
“This axiological theory is also in the tradition of the interest theory of value. The essential truth of which is, that the chief intrinsic good of any individual is the satisfactions involved in, and resulting from the fulfillment of his major interests or desires. Such as love, ambition, and the desires for truth, for beauty, and for sensuous enjoyment. We come now to the definitions of right and duty. These are equivalent terms. One always has a duty to do what is right. And it is always right for one to do his duty. Meanings of these terms are to be derived from the meaning which we have already found for good and value. An individual always has a duty from his own point of view to attain as nearly as possible, his highest good. Which is, what is most deeply satisfactory to him in the long run. An equivalent statement is that he always ought to do what will meet his deepest needs. This duty is the categorical imperative. It is unconditionally binding upon every individual who is capable of experiencing satisfaction or dissatisfaction. It is universal and absolute. In other words, what you really want to do, you have an absolute requirement to do. I think that we ought to adopt this definition because it is the only one which will help us the most in understanding man’s moral experience. It is the meaning which men use when they speak most intelligently of right and wrong. Whatever the ultimate right principle of duty is, it is categorical. [00:34:16]
Any act that is right is so on condition that it conforms
Any act that is right is so on condition that it conforms to this absolute principle. Also, all that conform are right. If incest, sadism, matricide, bigamy and arsine were in accordance with it, they would be right. Whatever the principle actually is, whether the principal actually is Kant‘s, Paley’s, St. Thomas’s, Calvin’s, J.S. Mills, (Myme’s?), or some others. These sins and vices, like all sins and vices are wrong only because they violate the correct principle of duty, whatever it is.”
(In other words, it’s what you say it is, and if you don’t do what you say you want to do, that’s wrong. Now, incidentally he has a doctrine of God. God is the sum total of men as they find themselves and realize themselves. Now he comes out very strongly in terms of determinism. But also winds up identifying it with free-will.)
“Some make the mistake of thinking that if the future is all predetermined, than human effort is futile. Actually, the future is unalterable. But still men can probably make further progress by exerting his will, courage and intelligence. It is fundamental that the past cannot be made different from exactly what it was. But the present cannot be made different from exactly what it is. And that the future can never be made different from exactly what it will be. This is due essentially or formerly an Aristotelian terminology to the determinism of being. And only efficiently, not essentially to ordinary causal determinism. The latter has of course, in fact made everything just what it is at the time that it is it. But even if everything were partly or wholly uncaused, still past, present and future, could never be different from exactly what they are, were, and will be. All past crimes and all past social injustice has been one hundred percent causally inevitable. The criminals could have acted virtuously if they had preferred, but hereditary and environment caused them not to prefer. The people who voluntarily set up social law, customs and institutions, involving social injustice could have set up other laws, etc. if they had preferred to. Laws etc. which would have involved other forms of social injustice, and perhaps much less of it. But hereditary and environment cause them prefer to set up just the laws etc. they did. Among those which they had the power to establish. In the same sense, all present and future crime and injustice are and will be one hundred percent causally inevitable. This may make it look futile to attempt to prevent criminal violation of just laws and to renovate unjust ones. We are not permitted to break the laws of natural causation in order to enforce or to reform our man made laws. Still, moral and social reform is not really futile. When the causes of crime are in accordance with the inextricable laws of nature, cause to be removed the non-occurrence of crime will be just as causally inevitable as the crimes of history have been. When the causes of social justice are caused to occur, social justice will be equally inevitable. It is a matter of education and wise social leadership, and possibly a bit of negative eugenics to wipe out some of the bad hereditary strains. This education in leadership and eugenics will not occur unless they are caused.” [00:38:35]
Now, do you get the point of it? He very definitely
Now, do you get the point of it? He very definitely recognizes that free will and determinism are both in the area of time, of history. And therefore, he says, things that happen, happen because they were caused. And causality is here, and it’s through the right kind of social leadership, the scientific socialist elite, we can control the lever. The lever is time. We can get rid of those with a bad heredity, we can, what is it, have bisectomies for them, so that they won’t reproduce their kind, we can remove the causes of crime through legislation, so we will have determinism, and we will also have free will, because both of these are determined from within history and therefore the lever for the control of history is right there available, if only we produce a society or an elite group of philosopher kings take control. But, the whole point of our faith, that we must stress in our Apologetics is, that the lever is not here. The lever is in eternity, and predestination means that the eternal counsel of God from all eternity governs all things, and it is not of man. And therefore, the kind of tyranny that is inevitable with this kind of view, which is kind that is dominating our politics today, the kind which is planning our future, where men like Skinner actually dream of having a lever over all of us, in the form of a electrode implanted inside of our brain, so that the whole world can be predestined in terms of an elite group of scientific socialists. You see. Then this impossible.
Well, I went into that last night, and I simply refer you to, if you were there, were you? No. Well, I refer you to the section in my By What Standard, in which I quote Hans Erinburgh, with regard to Karl Barth. There is no God that is beyond the world in my estimation, and in the estimation of many others, including Van Til, except as a limiting concept. And Bruner was honest enough admit it. So, his god is timeless, space-less, and being-less. So he’s not real.
Dr. if this Gardner Williams had just spoken in this classroom, and you now had the chance to answer him, how would you begin, let’s say, in one minute, (?), what would be your starting point? [00:42:12]
I would say to him, the inevitable conclusion of your position, Dr. Williams, is, that you want to be god over me. Now, let me be the god over you and Skinner, and let me put the electrodes in your brain. How does that set with you?
I don’t think it would set very well. In other words, they are all for this because they believe they are the ones who know what’s best for you. But if we were to turn tables on them, and say, a very good idea, but you’re the one who should have the electrodes put into your brain, I think they’d have different idea of things, especially if you had the power to do it. Now that’s a very nasty answer, but I think it gets to the grips of the issue. You are saying you’re god. But in your world I can then play god, and make you the creature.
How does the difference between your eschatology and Van Til’s effect the way you would like to reconstruct the world and take back what is ours. (?)
Well, Van Til has never said about his eschatology, and in Jerusalem in Athens, Gregg Singer, one of your very fine southern Presbyterian scholars, and a good friend of mine, said to Van Til that his position was quite implicitly post-mil. And in the answers, Van Til never criticized Gregg Singer for that. Van Til has never wanted to get into the area of eschatology, he has concentrated just on his area. But I think it’s interesting how many of his followers and students are post-mil. I think that says a great deal about his position. So that, it is implicitly post-mil. So that whether it’s Gregg Singer or myself, or Gary North, or Dr. Smith here, we have seen these implications in his position.
(Audience) I have a question, it’s a little off base, I was concerned about how we use words. And do not (?) even small words. And Christ, today, you have quoted the answer to the first question of the Catechism, that man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever. Would you mind defining man? In that answer?
Yes, man is that creature who is created in the image of God. In knowledge, righteousness and holiness.
(Audience) And that is the redeemed creature.
It is the duty of every man to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. And men who will not do so are judged by God. No, you see, every man is summoned to obey God, to glorify God, and men who will not do so are judged. The Bible is for all men. The Word of God is spoke unto all men, and therefore the judgment of God applies to all who will not hear.
So the Word is man’s universal.
(Audience) …(?)… (Dr. Rushdoony) no, go ahead (Audience) There’s something about what you said at first, about a Christian view of everything, politics, and I have a real problem with Christianity in politics. It seems to me like governments, all governments are formed on a humanistic basis, what’s best for the mass of the people, and all. How, how can you get Christianity into government, it’s like saying what’s the Christian view of running a gambling joint or something like that. It just seems worldly, the government is worldly. I have a real problem with that.
Yes, that’s a very good question. Very good. No, it is very good. It’s an important question, because there are many who feel that the, well, first of all, let me call for a precision in the use of government. We use the word loosely, and I fall into the habit myself often. But our Puritan fore-bearers were very meticulous about the use of it. When they said government, they didn’t mean Washington or the State House, or anything like that. They meant the self-government of the Christian man. The basic government. They meant then, the family, they meant the Church, the school, they meant a man’s calling, they meant the community which had a governing effect because you’re sensitive to what people around you say, and that governs you to a degree. And civil government, their term for what we call, the state. Now, your question is about civil government, and it is important. There have been a number of views with regard to the role of civil government. And this has been a very, very significant aspect of our history. First, there has been the Manichean view. The Manichean view holds that the world is hopelessly corrupt and evil because it belongs to the material world of the evil god. And so, the attitude of the Manichean is that government like a cesspool, civil government like a cesspool is one of those things which in this life we put up with. [00:48:48]
But the further away it is, and the less we have to
But the further away it is, and the less we have to do with it, the better off we are, because we no more want to be involved in rolling into a cesspool than we do to government. Civil government. Now that idea, which is heretical to the core, which comes out of Paganism, has none the less very deeply affected the Church. Then, second, and there are a number of ideas here, I’m just hitting some. There is the classical view, in terms of which, there is a spiritual domain which religion can concern itself with, but the material world is under the realm of the State. And the State as the main institution of man has also the duty of governing this, because this is not as important. The important area is the world. And the State governs the world. And the pagan doctrine of the State was that the State had sovereign sway in every area. Rome was ready to allow any church, any religion, that is, to exist, provided they got licensed, you see. And the process of licensing meant that you recognized the priority of Caesar, and offered incense at his altar. So that, the church was just an aspect of the life of the State, and recognized the priority of Caesar of God, of the State over Christian faith. And the problem with the early Church was, they refused to apply for licensing. And as an illegal cult, the Church was prosecuted. [00:50:51]
Then third, now the classical view heavily influenced
Then third, now the classical view heavily influenced Aquinas and passed into the Christian tradition very heavily. Then a third view is the Lutheran. Now, I call it the Lutheran rather than Luther’s, because although it’s based on a saying of Luther’s, I don’t think it does justice to Luther. But the Lutheran view is that the state is God’s hang man. It has a purely negative function, it’s a nasty job, but it’s one you’ve got to have in society. But the state must simply eliminate the criminals and act as the policemen, and do the nasty dirty brutish work. Because otherwise society falls apart. Then, fourth, we have the Reformed view. In which the State is an aspect of the kingdom of God, and is required to work for the establishment of God’s order, God’s righteousness upon earth. Now, it is this kind of view that the Puritans held emphatically. It was in terms of Reformed view that the pilgrims felt that the state had a positive obligation to serve God. To set forth the Godly law order. To recognize the validity of Scripture. For example, they simply enacted, as much as the British government would permit them, the Bible as their law. And as late as the eighteen thirties and forties, I have found decisions of courts that were based purely on a verse of Scripture. Because the common law of the land was Scripture. And the, well, laws like the incorrigible son. This was enacted. It ended delinquency overnight, by the way. Once they passed the law that delinquent children could be executed, they certainly behaved well after that. Now, in terms of the Reformed view, what we must state is that the civil government has a positive duty to be godly. The point I made yesterday, before the house that the Legislator was that, all law is a form of theological order. Every law structure is a theological establishment. Because all law rests on morality, it is enacted morality. And all morality is an aspect, the relational aspect, of religion. So every law order is an establishment of religion. Our problem today, of course, is that, from a Christian law order, we are moving to a humanistic law order. [00:54:31]
And let me close with this word
And let me close with this word. Not only as a word of warning, but as a word to urge you to intensive action, as you go out into the pastorate. In the last year, our Supreme Court has made it clear that we are no longer a Christian law order, that the religious foundation is humanism. In the two recent decisions on abortion, because there were two decisions that they ruled on at one and the same time. And I have both of those decisions at home on my desk. I intend to write on them soon for our Chalcedon Report. In those decisions, they made it clear that in coming out for abortion, they were using religion as their authority. But it was pagan. Ancient paganism. So they’ve made it clear that the foundation of law for us now is no longer Christianity, but paganism, ancient humanism revived and modernized. Now, in the death penalty decision, they made it virtually impossible to execute a guilty man. In the abortion case, they said that innocent life can be taken. If it can be taken seven months after conception, why not sixty years after conception? So that you can eliminate everyone at the age of sixty-five, no problem with social security then if it goes bankrupt. Or you can eliminate all blacks, or all whites, or all Christians. And don’t think that they won’t try it unless you turn it around. You are fighting for the life of Christendom, and for the life of your people, because humanism will do what Rome did. Having now a pagan religion through a religious basis for its law, it will use that law against any other religion ultimately, unless you re-establish the foundations. As a result, it is very important for us to stress the Reformed doctrine of the state, to have an Apologetics that is a world and life view, and to go out as conquerors, because we’re either going to conquer, or be conquered. I look for very rough days in the immediate future. Very rough days. A really hard battle. But I also look to the certainty of victory. And may God bless and prosper you in that battle, because it’s going to be one. Thank you. [00:57:30]