Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thesis 31: Ceremony, Ritual, Liturgy, And The “Pedagogical Law”

Before the Coming of Christ, the path to reconciliation with God was taught through ceremonial rituals which pictured the atonement and cleansing which Christ made in His death. Together with the priests who administered these laws, this liturgical system served as our Pedagogue.[1] After the Coming of Christ, the path to reconciliation with God is taught to us by the Holy Spirit;[2] ritual cleansings and sheddings of blood (which only prefigured the work of Christ) have no place in this age,[3] and the terms of the Old Covenant itself made this explicit.[4]

1. Galatians 3:23 - 4:3
2. 1 John 2:27; Hebrews 10:15
3. Galatians 3:25 - 4:7; Hebrews 5:13 - 6:6; 10:4
4. Psalm 51:16; Hosea 6:6; 2 Chronicles 30:18-20; 1 Corinthians 7:19; Hebrews 7:12,18,28; Micah 6:6-8; Psalm 40:6-8 (Hebrews 10:4-9); Psalm 50:8-9; I Samuel 15:22; Proverbs 15:8; 21:3; 28:9; Isaiah 1; 58:6-7; Jeremiah 7:22; Hosea 6:6 (Matthew 9:11-13; 12:6-7); Amos 5:21-24; 2 Chronicles 30:18-20; (cf. Mark 12:33); #59

This is a fairly straight-forward statement of the Bahnsenian "Theonomic" position. Of course, nobody who used to be known as a "Theonomist" is a Theonomist any more. All of those Theonomists who are no longer Theonomists will agree that these Theses are not Theonomic, especially since they place "capital punishment" among the "ceremonial" laws.

Theonomy in Christian Ethics

By This Standard

No Other Standard

Theonomy: An Informed Response

Was Calvin a Theonomist?

Covenant Enforced: Sermons on Deuteronomy 27 and 28

The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments

Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus

Leviticus: An Economic Commentary

Boundaries and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Leviticus

Sanctions and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Numbers

Inheritance and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Deuteronomy

Beyond Theonomy
I give credit to Jim Jordan for being a very stimulating writer. I gather he would disagree with this post's claim that "ritual" has no part in the Christian life any more:

Ritual Versus Christianity « Biblical Horizons

We will be discussing the New Covenant ritual Jordan mentions -- from a consistent preterist perspective.

Here is a link to a time-management guru who speaks of "ritual" in the business world:

WakeUpProductiveBlog: How To Manage Yourself And Your Time (And How To Dramatically Increase Your Personal Productivity)

This is a completely different meaning (in my opinion) from what Jim Jordan is talking about. The way I used the word "ritual" in this blog post describes a ceremony prescribed by God which has some atonement value, or else has some kind of "religious" value, as opposed to a "ritual" habit or practice in business. Ritual in this last sense is an extension of the precept laid down by Paul, "Let all things be done decently and in order." Peter Maurin "was the kind of teacher who believed in repetition, restatement, and the continual return to first principles." It might be a good idea to schedule a regular time of day to re-read a question from the Larger Catechism. One might speak of this as a "ritual." But it is not the type of ritual described in this Thesis.

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