Sunday, February 27, 2011

Returning with a series on "The Law".

I will resume blogging with a series on the law. This is in preparation for a Sunday School class on this topic that I will offer in the fall.

This is a difficult topic. It has been proposed, and I agree, that the three most vexing theological questions are:
  1. The antinomy of God's sovereignty vs. Man's free will.
  2. Eschatology.
  3. The role of the Old Testament law in the life of the Christian living under the new covenant.
Of these, the third has the most practical impact. From the simple question of whether it is proper to mow the lawn on Sunday, to questions regarding the amount of political engagement we should accept.

America's greatest theologian, Jonathan Edwards, wrote
There is perhaps no part of divinity attended with so much intricacy, and wherein orthodox divines do so much differ as stating the precise agreement and difference between the two dispensations of Moses and Christ.

So very true.

One piece of advice I will surely give my class--advice that I think clarifies many (but certainly not all) passages, is to replace the phrase "The Law and the Prophets" or "The Law or the Prophets" with "The Old Testament." That is what those phrases refer to--the Old Testament before it was called the Old Testament.

For example when Jesus stated:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matt. 5:17)

We read it, accurately and probably more clearly, this way:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Old Testament; I have not come to abolish it but to fulfill it.

Much more to come.


  1. this is amazing timing. i've been doing personal devotions in leviticus and have found it all a bit hazy. looking forward to your postings

  2. jfn,

    Thanks--I hope you find them useful.