The solemn league and covenant

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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Can you explain what you mean by "covenanting roots"? I am not necessarily trying to bait you here, I am genuinely curious.

I suspect he's referring to the roots Presbyterians have among the Covenanters in Scotland - in the "Killing Times", etc. , when to argue that the king is NOT the head of the church and must submit himself to God's Law and that Christ alone is the ultimate authority was effectively a capital offense. This time period is extremely fascinating, and is worthy of study. You can check out the well-known history of the Scots Worthies by John Howie (available umpteen places on the web) and others like "Fair Sunshine" by Jock Purves, etc. I'm sure our friend the Virginia Huguenot can point out many other sources :)


Who can say anything but a hearty amen to those that would argue that the king is not the head of the church. Sounds great. Those Scottish Covenanters (a particular people at a particualr time) were right to say the Jesus was King and that Charles had no ultimate authority over doctrine or worship.

However, many folks like this document immensely in our times...which do not seem to fit those Killing Times.

Are these afraid that George Bush thinks he is the head of the church?

I don't think there has ever been an environment better in the history of the world than this modern era in America for freely worshipping as one's conscience dictates and not being dictated to by intrusive kings who usurp their authority.

What is motivation for posting the SL and C here besides merely being neat history?
 

ADKing

Puritan Board Junior
The covenanting roots to which I was referring are not roots unique only the covenanters of the killing times and the Cameronians, but are the common heritage of all professing Presbyterians. The great work of the Westminster Assembly was made possible by the Solemn League and Covenant but had antecedents in the National Covenant(s) of Scotland. I think one reason, I for one, find the SL&C to be something noteworthy for our attention today is that so many who love (parts of) the Westminster Standards (such as the Confession and Catechisms) have lost sight of the fact that the great goal of that body was to bring the churches of Scotland, England and Ireland into a uniformity of doctrine, worship government and discipline. Too many pick and chose but miss the central heart of what Westminster was all about. Not only is this a biblical desire but one that, in my humble opinion, is sorely needed in the fragmented presbyterian bodies of our day. There is not even much unity or uniformity in these areas within specific Presbyterian denominations and too often every man does what is right in his own eyes.
 

ADKing

Puritan Board Junior
For example, this desire for uniformity could have effects on creedal subscription. In many denominations the question is usually how much can one reject and still be within the system of doctrine and so minister. This is alien to what should be driving Presbyterians who understand what their movement was at one time all about. The Westminster standards should be the bond that unite us because we actually believe what they say is the basis on which unity may be had.
 

RTaron

The Grandpa (Affectionately Called)
The Solemn League and Covenant was so crucial in the formation of the tradition and documents that many of us hold dear. .

I agree Adam, it was by means of swearing to God and binding themselves to the words of this document that they were kept on track as they deliberated in meeting during the Westminster Assembly.
But we must not forget however the great work of the Holy Spirit during the 100 years of reformation that preceded the days of the Assembly.
I don't know how you can compare it to now days. Was there a greater measure of Godly fear poured out at the grass roots back then? I think so. I think we are weak in the duty of prayer and we are entertaining ourselves to death.

May the Almighty bring about a godly fear at the grass roots level of the church and that we would learn to pray.
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Thankfully my pastor does! Even mentions the propositions. But I see your point....


I am interested, and perhaps this would be a good forum to mention this.

Our session has been thinking of reasons why the church no longer has a voice in society. For instance, why don't the newspapers ever publish "election day" sermons?

Perhaps another question: who ever PREACHES "election day" sermons? (I mean REAL ones - not simply generic sermons that have appended to them, "Do your duty as a good citizen and vote on Tuesday")
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Pergamum,

First, if you associate modern baptists with the anabaptists of the early reformation, you are doing modern baptists a great disservice. There are some similarites (such as a latent dislike of the Bible's plain teaching on civil righteousness), but I would not say modern baptists are as consistent or "radical" as the anabaptists Zwingli had executed.

Second, man DOES NOT have any pretense to a right to worship God "according to the dictates of his own conscience". What if my conscience dictates that I should marry several women, or that I should practice child sacrifice, or that I should smoke marijuana while worshipping "God"? What if my conscience believes that murder is justifiable for higher ends, or that adultery is some times a good idea? Should the magistrate protect such a right?

Man is commanded to worship God according to the dictates of God's Word, and in no other way. This is the radical failure of the Baptist culture in America (ala Roger Williams). Once man makes a claim that his conscience is lord, and not that Jehovah is Lord, he opens the door for pluralism.

If the colonists are to blame for a civil penalty being imposed on an ecclesiastical offense, what shall we say against Moses, who (in God's name) commanded idolaters, sabbath breakers, adulterers, blasphemers and other notorious and high-handed sinners to be executed? Was that a mistake? Do the 10 Commandments no longer apply to one of the most basic institutions of life: the civil realm?

Anabaptist theology cannot have a consistent understanding of civil law, except in total lawlessness: pluralism. Every man having the right to do what is right "in his own eyes." This is the same thing as every man "worshipping God according to the dictates of his own conscience." It is lawless, and this is why the Puritans rejected it. NOTE, I am not saying that you, personally are lawless. What I am saying is that this idea is lawless, and I am bound to assume that you do not practice it yourself.

Hence the abiding example of the SL&C. It is an historic bulwark against tyranny, oppression, and false ideas about the civil realm and its relationship to the church.

To answer your question about how many churches would be required to subscribe to such a covenant: God is not concerned with numbers. He won't take a vote to see if such a covenant is lawful or valid. Basically the SL&C was merely the positive expression of duties already lying on the three kingdoms which took it, and on all men within them. Though its terms are not inspired, yet insofar as they agree with the teaching of Inspiration, ALL of such terms are still binding on all nations to this day.

Hope that helps to explain.

Cheers,

Adam







So, if not theocracy what is it?

I am FAR from the political left and yet I do not want to go back to the days of Zwingli drowning baptists or the days of Roger Williams when a man could suffer a civil punishment for an ecclesiastical offense.




Serious questions here:

What exactly would it look like if churches adopted this document?

And why would it apply anyhow since it seems only to concerns Scotland, Ireland and England I think.

What is the use of this document today exactly besides a quaint historical relic?

If we had to "convince the American churches" of the need to sign this, what would that do? And what is your definition of "the American Churches?" A small segment of micro-presbyterians or the "American Church" as a whole to include baptists, bible churches, and even some pentecostals? How broad of a cross-section of a country needs to approve such a document such as this before it goes into effect ot before God honors it?
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The covenanting roots to which I was referring are not roots unique only the covenanters of the killing times and the Cameronians, but are the common heritage of all professing Presbyterians. The great work of the Westminster Assembly was made possible by the Solemn League and Covenant but had antecedents in the National Covenant(s) of Scotland. I think one reason, I for one, find the SL&C to be something noteworthy for our attention today is that so many who love (parts of) the Westminster Standards (such as the Confession and Catechisms) have lost sight of the fact that the great goal of that body was to bring the churches of Scotland, England and Ireland into a uniformity of doctrine, worship government and discipline. Too many pick and chose but miss the central heart of what Westminster was all about. Not only is this a biblical desire but one that, in my humble opinion, is sorely needed in the fragmented presbyterian bodies of our day. There is not even much unity or uniformity in these areas within specific Presbyterian denominations and too often every man does what is right in his own eyes.



Thanks for the great summary.


Since the presbyterian bodies are so fragmented now, how do you propose that greater unity (which I am for) be accomplished? I fully support boards like the PB where broad segments of reformed Christianity are involved and I am a member of FIRE and also I like the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. But there is one WCF and many, many bodies that all claim to hold to this one WCF.

How can greater unity be achieved.

Also, the SL and C..was it a political or an ecclesiasitcal docuement, or is my baptist background tainting my interpretation.

Thanks again for the overview.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Pergamum,

First, if you associate modern baptists with the anabaptists of the early reformation, you are doing modern baptists a great disservice. There are some similarites (such as a latent dislike of the Bible's plain teaching on civil righteousness), but I would not say modern baptists are as consistent or "radical" as the anabaptists Zwingli had executed.

Second, man DOES NOT have any pretense to a right to worship God "according to the dictates of his own conscience". What if my conscience dictates that I should marry several women, or that I should practice child sacrifice, or that I should smoke marijuana while worshipping "God"? What if my conscience believes that murder is justifiable for higher ends, or that adultery is some times a good idea? Should the magistrate protect such a right?

Man is commanded to worship God according to the dictates of God's Word, and in no other way. This is the radical failure of the Baptist culture in America (ala Roger Williams). Once man makes a claim that his conscience is lord, and not that Jehovah is Lord, he opens the door for pluralism.

If the colonists are to blame for a civil penalty being imposed on an ecclesiastical offense, what shall we say against Moses, who (in God's name) commanded idolaters, sabbath breakers, adulterers, blasphemers and other notorious and high-handed sinners to be executed? Was that a mistake? Do the 10 Commandments no longer apply to one of the most basic institutions of life: the civil realm?

Anabaptist theology cannot have a consistent understanding of civil law, except in total lawlessness: pluralism. Every man having the right to do what is right "in his own eyes." This is the same thing as every man "worshipping God according to the dictates of his own conscience." It is lawless, and this is why the Puritans rejected it. NOTE, I am not saying that you, personally are lawless. What I am saying is that this idea is lawless, and I am bound to assume that you do not practice it yourself.

Hence the abiding example of the SL&C. It is an historic bulwark against tyranny, oppression, and false ideas about the civil realm and its relationship to the church.

To answer your question about how many churches would be required to subscribe to such a covenant: God is not concerned with numbers. He won't take a vote to see if such a covenant is lawful or valid. Basically the SL&C was merely the positive expression of duties already lying on the three kingdoms which took it, and on all men within them. Though its terms are not inspired, yet insofar as they agree with the teaching of Inspiration, ALL of such terms are still binding on all nations to this day.

Hope that helps to explain.

Cheers,

Adam







So, if not theocracy what is it?

I am FAR from the political left and yet I do not want to go back to the days of Zwingli drowning baptists or the days of Roger Williams when a man could suffer a civil punishment for an ecclesiastical offense.




Serious questions here:

What exactly would it look like if churches adopted this document?

And why would it apply anyhow since it seems only to concerns Scotland, Ireland and England I think.

What is the use of this document today exactly besides a quaint historical relic?

If we had to "convince the American churches" of the need to sign this, what would that do? And what is your definition of "the American Churches?" A small segment of micro-presbyterians or the "American Church" as a whole to include baptists, bible churches, and even some pentecostals? How broad of a cross-section of a country needs to approve such a document such as this before it goes into effect ot before God honors it?


Thanks for your comments.

I will back out of any theonomy arguments.

I do, however, think it a healthy characteristic of most modern Western states that they allow for some tolerance in religion that surpasses some of the tolerance shown in some parts of colonial america. I do not think that civil fines should be doled out for ecclesiasitcal offenses such as was done by many ardent supporters of the unrevised WCF.

Why was it deemed necessary to revise the WCF anyway in 1788? Perhaps because Presbyterians recognized that the writers were also children of their time and that greater civil tolerance was needed? Or because they fell awy from the glorious truths of the Reformation?

Your bringin up Moses is curious. You do see some differences in civil punishments as they were doled out by Moses and such as were doled out by the colonial Puritans don't you? You cannot pull Moses into this argument to support your case.

Even though our abidiing hermeneutical framework is one of continuity, even the WCF speaks of the state of Israel as now being over and some of those duties as having ceased with that Civil State and now only applying insofar as that tricky "general equity" phrase calls for.



Yes, you are right that modern baptists share some similarites and some dissimilarities with the ol' Anabaptists. But many of the drowned Anabaptists were peaceful groups. Cases such as Munster were not common and many evils were perpetrated against those anabaptists. How errant does a theology need to be before it is forcibly put down by the civil state?

When I read the NT, Jesus was largely uninterested in matters of state and civil laws. He turned aside brothers trying to tell him about inheritances and such. I do not see the focus on civil gov't in the NT such as I see among some (mostly micro-presbyterian) groups today who seem to focus more on civil gov't issues than they do on evangelism and the Great Comission.


Again, let's not slide into a theonomy debate. And don't accuse me of being willy nilly and believing in autonomous self-will. One need not be a theocrat to see that God's laws ought to influence society. We just need not cane Sabbath breakers or advocate situations like in 1691 when in the Massachusetts Bay Colony church attendance was compulsory by civil law, and church membership a qualification for voting and holding office.


Let me ask you: Is it just a bunch of lies that early American Baptists and even those that agreed much with the 1689 met some persecution for their beliefs? Were American baptist persecuted in New England? And did this stem from a theocratci persuasion on the part of the colonists (mostly Presbyterian in early America)?


An Outline of Baptist Persecution in Colonial America

Protestant Persecution of Baptists in Early America
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Pergamum,

Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I will try to steer clear of a theonomy debate, although I think it might be rather difficult. Let me see if I can respond to your queries below:


Why was it deemed necessary to revise the WCF anyway in 1788? Perhaps because Presbyterians recognized that the writers were also children of their time and that greater civil tolerance was needed? Or because they fell awy from the glorious truths of the Reformation?


Good questions! As you are probably aware, the British targeted the "puritanical" and Preby churches, since they were the seedbed of the War for Independence. Documents such as the SL&C, the Puritan Justification for Taking up Arms, the Dutch Declaration of Independence of 1581, and the Huguenot Vindication for Resisting tyrants, as well as other historic statements of resistance theory were foundational in these churches. Therefore, the Brits burned these churches, slaughtered their pastors, etc.

From the time of the War for Independence (OH, happy Independence Day!) onward, puritanism was in sharp decline. As witness the amending of the WCF after the war. So, yes, I think there was a hermeneutical shift from covenantalism to individualism. In many ways, this can be seen as a result of the "new school" thought of the Great Awakening.


Your bringin up Moses is curious. You do see some differences in civil punishments as they were doled out by Moses and such as were doled out by the colonial Puritans don't you? You cannot pull Moses into this argument to support your case.


Indeed, I do see differences between the Mosaic penalties and those administered under certain colonial magistrates. However, the point I was making is that the argument against the treatment of Williams may be made against Moses. That's all.



Even though our abidiing hermeneutical framework is one of continuity, even the WCF speaks of the state of Israel as now being over and some of those duties as having ceased with that Civil State and now only applying insofar as that tricky "general equity" phrase calls for.

Hey, I thought you didn't want a theonomy debate :lol:



Yes, you are right that modern baptists share some similarites and some dissimilarities with the ol' Anabaptists. But many of the drowned Anabaptists were peaceful groups. Cases such as Munster were not common and many evils were perpetrated against those anabaptists. How errant does a theology need to be before it is forcibly put down by the civil state?


Good question. Can't say that I could answer this with absolute certainty, but it appears to me that Scripture requires the magistrate to punish idolatry and propagating a false God. If I'm not mistaken, this was the charge made against the Anabaptists by Zwingli. Whether he was right or not, I am not competent to answer (having not studied this in detail), but the principal I would agree with.


When I read the NT, Jesus was largely uninterested in matters of state and civil laws. He turned aside brothers trying to tell him about inheritances and such. I do not see the focus on civil gov't in the NT such as I see among some (mostly micro-presbyterian) groups today who seem to focus more on civil gov't issues than they do on evangelism and the Great Comission.


I believe that you are mistaken in your assessment of Jesus teaching. However, even if I grant you the point, this does not bear on this discussion. The role of the Messiah in being the savior of the world is not the same as the role of a magistrate. For instance, when a magistrate is attacked by an enemy, is he to turn the other cheek? Is he to allow himself to be captured, and offer no resistance? Jesus was not appointed as a civil magistrate:

Luke 12:13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?

Jesus was not a magistrate, and the magistrate is not to ask in all of his decisions, WWJD, unless he acts as a private person, in matters affecting only himself. Otherwise, when acting as a magistrate, he should ask "WWMD?"

Again, it appears that you have a certain idea in mind, and therefore your appeal to the Great Commission as different from civil activity is, as I will show, somewhat misleading:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


The Greek grammar indicates rather clearly that the nations are to be made into Christ's disciples: panta ta enthnae. All of the nations of the earth. It is not make disciples from people among the nations, but make disciples of the nations themselves. Anything short of this is a disobedient form of evangelism.

It is my (perhaps naive opinion) that everyone is a theocrat. In other words, everyone's view of civil society is determined by the god or God that he worships. I would not call the position you are representing "willy nilly", but I would call it inconsistent. Either God is King, or someone else is. Either Christ is King of kings, and Lord of lords (an overtly political term) or someone else is. Either the civil law of God determines what is good and evil, or it doesn't. The puritans understood this, and sought to implement it.

Let me ask you: Is it just a bunch of lies that early American Baptists and even those that agreed much with the 1689 met some persecution for their beliefs? Were American baptist persecuted in New England? And did this stem from a theocratci persuasion on the part of the colonists (mostly Presbyterian in early America)?


No, I think you are right on. It is not a bunch of lies, but it did in fact take place that civil penalties were imposed on baptists in the colonies. This is not a fact that I am ashamed of, nor do I think it requires justification. If someone joins a colony that has an established form of religion, should he find it strange that he is required to follow the laws of the colony once he moves there? This line of reasoning is the same used by illegal immigrants in our day: I don't need to obey the laws of the land.

If I'm not mistaken, weren't some of the punishments imposed on the Baptists due to sabbath breaking?

If you have a chance, I would encourage you to read or listen to George Gillespie's "Wholesome Severity Reconciled with Christian Liberty" for a puritan's view of these things:

Wholesome Severity Reconciled with Christian Liberty, by George Gillespie

SermonAudio.com - Wholesome Severity 1/2


This might help to shed a little bit of light on what the "general equity" clause in the WCF is getting at. Or, if you're interested, I have a booklet of quotations by the Divines, Scottish Commissioners and Reformers on these topics, which helps to explain this term "general equity" in more detail.

God bless, and happy theocratic resistance to tyranny day :lol:

Adam
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
When I read the NT, Jesus was largely uninterested in matters of state and civil laws. He turned aside brothers trying to tell him about inheritances and such. I do not see the focus on civil gov't in the NT such as I see among some (mostly micro-presbyterian) groups today who seem to focus more on civil gov't issues than they do on evangelism and the Great Comission.


I believe that you are mistaken in your assessment of Jesus teaching. However, even if I grant you the point, this does not bear on this discussion. The role of the Messiah in being the savior of the world is not the same as the role of a magistrate. For instance, when a magistrate is attacked by an enemy, is he to turn the other cheek? Is he to allow himself to be captured, and offer no resistance? Jesus was not appointed as a civil magistrate:

I agree wholeheartedy with Pergamum's point here.

I also do not really agree with Adams very reasoned and logical response (in all other respects) to this point as the vast majority of us are not civil magistrates either. Therefore we are in the same position as Jesus or Paul in this respect. They lived under a horrible government that was hostile to the Gospel and the repeated message is to obey the law and build the Church.

If we were to see building a civil government based on biblical principles as an aim let alone a priority we would have been told to do so, but in the New Testament such a message can only be drawn at best by inference or in other places it is specifically denied.

I think that rule by God would be marvelous, the problem being that at this time all we could have would be rule by people thinking that they know what God wants. This has certain potential problems.
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Mike,

Thank you for your response!

I want to ask if you believe that the New Testament is at odds with, or contains a somewhat higher level of inspiration than the Old Testament.

If this is so, then I think we should discuss why you think this is so. If not, then I'm not sure I follow where you're going with this point.

If the Old Testament clearly establishes a form of civil government which was intended to be an example for all of the Gentiles nations, then why does all of that teaching need to be repeated in the NT? The NT does not need to repeat everything the OT says. In fact, it is my understanding that much of what we find difficult to understand in the NT is because we do not read it in the light of the OT (the book of Revelation, e.g.).

That said, I don't believe it's valid to argue from silence that Jesus intended to do away with theocracy, simply because He didn't teach very much on it. Now, I believe He did teach on it in some very pointed ways, which confirm its abiding validity. However, even if I grant the point that He said nothing for or against it, would He need to say anything about it in order for us to believe that it still binds all civil bodies? I would deny this. This is part of what it means to be "reformed", and especially part of what it means to be "puritan": we believe in continuity.

For a Puritan interpretation of Romans 13, you may consult Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex, in which he demonstrates the right to resist a tyrant, rather than a blanket call to obey in every situation. The title clearly displays Rutherford's theocratic commitment to the supremacy of God's Law over man's supposed authority.

As for being ruled by men who think they "know what God wants", this is a very real danger. However, as this thread began, so I will continue. The driving motivation in the Solemn League and Covenant was so that it could be determined what God wants, rather than what man wants. The deliberations by the Westminster Assembly were seeking to ascertain the mind of God, not the will of man.

Also, I'm arguing that God has made known "what He wants" and does not leave us guessing. Scripture is filled with information about what God wants, and God promises to give wisdom to apply it, if we will obey His voice. Also, this is the blessing of checks and balances, established in Christendom to prevent tyrants from seizing unlawful power (such as the Magna Carta, and other historic declarations against tyranny). The Swiss and Americans, for instance, established three branches of government for just such a purpose.

I'm not advocating rule by Muslim Imams, nor was Moses. Moses was talking about wise and godly men, chosen by the people to represent God's laws to the people, and to rule under God.

Christ says nothing against this, but rather reinforces the rules Moses laid down. Even if He had not done so, it would make no difference, as He did not need to. Scripture is God's Word (in fact, it is all Jesus' Word), and therefore, it still abides, whether written by Moses, David, Samuel, or Luke.

Cheers,

Adam




I agree wholeheartedy with Pergamum's point here.

I also do not really agree with Adams very reasoned and logical response (in all other respects) to this point as the vast majority of us are not civil magistrates either. Therefore we are in the same position as Jesus or Paul in this respect. They lived under a horrible government that was hostile to the Gospel and the repeated message is to obey the law and build the Church.

If we were to see building a civil government based on biblical principles as an aim let alone a priority we would have been told to do so, but in the New Testament such a message can only be drawn at best by inference or in other places it is specifically denied.

I think that rule by God would be marvelous, the problem being that at this time all we could have would be rule by people thinking that they know what God wants. This has certain potential problems.
 

Hippo

Puritan Board Junior
Mike,

Thank you for your response!

I want to ask if you believe that the New Testament is at odds with, or contains a somewhat higher level of inspiration than the Old Testament.

If this is so, then I think we should discuss why you think this is so. If not, then I'm not sure I follow where you're going with this point.

I agree with your approach in principle, as you suggest any other would necessitate some form of dispensationalism that is at odds with covenantal theology.

There is a real difference in context though with the Old Testament concerning political Israel, an aspect that largely disappears in the New Testament when the old promises turn from physical (land) to spiritual (salvation).

I think that Theonomic thought is important as it illustrates how serious sin is. Our reaction against theonomy often reveals our own lack of understanding as to what is in fact a just punishment for rebellion against the will of God and how terrible the judgment will be for sinful man.
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Mike,

I think that we are basically on the same page, with some difference, as you stated, in our understanding of the relationship between political Israel and spiritual Israel.

I guess the point of departure is that I consider the "commonwealth" aspect of Israel to be continuous into the New Covenant. I believe that the Commonwealth of Israel expired, but that, in my estimation, does not mean that God does away with the Holy Commonwealth: He merely extends the boarders to (one day) include all nations of the earth. This is one aspect of Puritanism that gets left behind, while other aspects are more heartily embraced.

You are right in discerning that the Reformed approach to civil law is based on a conviction of God's holiness, and an ardent desire to see Him lifted up and glorified. The point of a theonomic system of government is not to prove how wise men are, but how holy God is. His Name is to be hallowed on earth.

Godspeed, and sorry about the July 4th thing. I guess you guys don't recognize it as a "holiday" :lol:

Adam



I agree with your approach in principle, as you suggest any other would necessitate some form of dispensationalism that is at odds with covenantal theology.

There is a real difference in context though with the Old Testament concerning political Israel, an aspect that largely disappears in the New Testament when the old promises turn from physical (land) to spiritual (salvation).

I think that Theonomic thought is important as it illustrates how serious sin is. Our reaction against theonomy often reveals our own lack of understanding as to what is in fact a just punishment for rebellion against the will of God and how terrible the judgment will be for sinful man.
 
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