Why did Bahnsen shave his beard?

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KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Lev 19:27:
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Shouldn't all theonomists have a beard like Rushdoony? How does the theonomist interpret such an OT law?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Lev 19:27:
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Shouldn't all theonomists have a beard like Rushdoony? How does the theonomist interpret such an OT law?
I have an answer, but it calls into question the usefulness of the whole Reformed tri-partite division of the law.
 

clstamper

Puritan Board Freshman
Lev 19:27:
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Shouldn't all theonomists have a beard like Rushdoony? How does the theonomist interpret such an OT law?
Judaizers, Anabaptists and legalists worry about things like this. Orthodox Christians take the hint and realize that this law expired with the Hebrew state and was fulfilled in Christ. This should be easy stuff.
 

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
What expired?

Lev 19:27:
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Shouldn't all theonomists have a beard like Rushdoony? How does the theonomist interpret such an OT law?
Judaizers, Anabaptists and legalists worry about things like this. Orthodox Christians take the hint and realize that this law expired with the Hebrew state and was fulfilled in Christ. This should be easy stuff.
CL, Are you saying that this particular law "expired", or that all law has expired?

In 1 cor 9 Paul used this as an example:

8Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?

9For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?

10Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

11If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

Here he used this as an example,but then He said this:
20And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

21To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

What law does he refer to here? -under the law to Christ? Yes, we are told that animal sacrifices are not
required since the cross, but Paul also says in romans 13:10
8Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

What law is this? You are not saying we are "law-less" are you?:candle:
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
And let's also keep this in mind: Bahnsen is not alive to answer this question. I do think that in itself would make a difference. I think there would be a lot more humility on the theonomy question if he were here. Remember how many people were bold enough to debate him in public (like three, maybe).

It is a good question. And no doubt some theonomists have good answers. We shall see what they are.
 

k.seymore

Puritan Board Freshman
That's actually a poor translation. This is better:
Thou shalt not hinder the foaming of your brew's head, neither shalt thou stop the frothing of thy beer.
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Would this not be considered a case law that did in fact separate Israel (as God's people) from other nations? Today, the application has changed as society has changed, but the principle remains the same. The Church (as God's people) are to be separate from the world.
 

Devin

Puritan Board Sophomore
Off topic: This thread reminds me of Joe Morecraft telling the story of being at a conference that served pork chops and telling Rushdoony that if he felt convicted, Joe would be happy to take them of his hands.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Seriously,
This is a *psychological* question, and one in the nature of the case can't be answered. We can theologize and speculate all we want, but the most sensible thing is to email David Bahnsen and ask him.
 

clstamper

Puritan Board Freshman
Lev 19:27:


Shouldn't all theonomists have a beard like Rushdoony? How does the theonomist interpret such an OT law?
Judaizers, Anabaptists and legalists worry about things like this. Orthodox Christians take the hint and realize that this law expired with the Hebrew state and was fulfilled in Christ. This should be easy stuff.
CL, Are you saying that this particular law "expired", or that all law has expired?
You bet. Christ is the end of the law. The old statutes have passed away. We are not the ancient Hebrews. The NT repeatedly reminds us of this. Any other position is legalism of the worst sort.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't know that we can simply say that "Christ is the end of the law". The WCF clarifies this statement (see part V) as well as the question in the original post:

III. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;[4] and partly, holding forth divers instructions of moral duties.[5] All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament.[6]

IV. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging under any now, further than the general equity thereof may require.[7]

V. The moral law does forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;[8] and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it.[9] Neither does Christ, in the Gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.[10]
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
Seriously,
This is a *psychological* question, and one in the nature of the case can't be answered. We can theologize and speculate all we want, but the most sensible thing is to email David Bahnsen and ask him.
Jacob, why dont we do this. Do you know of anyone who knew him that the question could be asked? ASk his wife Cathie or his son's...I know he was divorced, but perhaps she can answer..
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Seriously,
This is a *psychological* question, and one in the nature of the case can't be answered. We can theologize and speculate all we want, but the most sensible thing is to email David Bahnsen and ask him.
Jacob, why dont we do this. Do you know of anyone who knew him that the question could be asked? ASk his wife Cathie or his son's...I know he was divorced, but perhaps she can answer..
Why don't we do this? I can think of a million more pressing issues. As to asking Cathie, to put it very politely, that would be a very biased against Bahnsen source.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Judaizers, Anabaptists and legalists worry about things like this. Orthodox Christians take the hint and realize that this law expired with the Hebrew state and was fulfilled in Christ. This should be easy stuff.
CL, Are you saying that this particular law "expired", or that all law has expired?
You bet. Christ is the end of the law. The old statutes have passed away. We are not the ancient Hebrews. The NT repeatedly reminds us of this. Any other position is legalism of the worst sort.
Telos can also mean "goal," not just termination. Did the statute against kidnapping pass away?
 

Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't know that we can simply say that "Christ is the end of the law". The WCF clarifies this statement (see part V) as well as the question in the original post:

III. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;[4] and partly, holding forth divers instructions of moral duties.[5] All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament.[6]

IV. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging under any now, further than the general equity thereof may require.[7]

V. The moral law does forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;[8] and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it.[9] Neither does Christ, in the Gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.[10]
:amen:
 

Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
Sheesh, I hope you are not one of these "worst sort" of legalists who still think that rape and murder should still be against the law.





Judaizers, Anabaptists and legalists worry about things like this. Orthodox Christians take the hint and realize that this law expired with the Hebrew state and was fulfilled in Christ. This should be easy stuff.
CL, Are you saying that this particular law "expired", or that all law has expired?
You bet. Christ is the end of the law. The old statutes have passed away. We are not the ancient Hebrews. The NT repeatedly reminds us of this. Any other position is legalism of the worst sort.
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Judaizers, Anabaptists and legalists worry about things like this. Orthodox Christians take the hint and realize that this law expired with the Hebrew state and was fulfilled in Christ. This should be easy stuff.
CL, Are you saying that this particular law "expired", or that all law has expired?
You bet. Christ is the end of the law. The old statutes have passed away. We are not the ancient Hebrews. The NT repeatedly reminds us of this. Any other position is legalism of the worst sort.

Is that why Jesus said in Matthew 5, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it." Whatever meaning the word fulfil takes on it can't mean destroy or abrogate because he just got through saying he didn't come to do this. Further proof of that is the fact that he says, "Whosoever breaks the least of these (commandments from the Old Testament) shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven."

As Bahnsen notes, surely you don't think sexual relations with animals is not breaking God's law. But you won't find that stated anywhere in the New Testament. So then are we not to consider it sinful? The problem is not legalism. The problem is autonomous man picking and choosing which laws from the Old Testament he thinks he should follow. Following out that logical sequence, autonomous man becomes the ethical standard of life as opposed to the Word of God.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Off topic: This thread reminds me of Joe Morecraft telling the story of being at a conference that served pork chops and telling Rushdoony that if he felt convicted, Joe would be happy to take them of his hands.
:lol:

Pity there weren't more like Rush in my family, then I would get all the good food.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Lev 19:27:
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Shouldn't all theonomists have a beard like Rushdoony? How does the theonomist interpret such an OT law?
Don't know if Rushdoony's beard would have counted; it was neatly trimmed.

This may have been a cultural stipulation, just like greeting one another with a holy kiss was in the New Testament.

Perhaps the pagans attached some superstitious value to shaving or something.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Judaizers, Anabaptists and legalists worry about things like this. Orthodox Christians take the hint and realize that this law expired with the Hebrew state and was fulfilled in Christ. This should be easy stuff.
CL, Are you saying that this particular law "expired", or that all law has expired?
You bet. Christ is the end of the law. The old statutes have passed away. We are not the ancient Hebrews. The NT repeatedly reminds us of this. Any other position is legalism of the worst sort.

Here is an example of believers who are members and ministers in good standing in Confessionally Reformed churches being described as legalists. Could the moderators please confirm that describing other Reformed people as "leaglists" and "Pharisees" is persona non gratia.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Would this not be considered a case law that did in fact separate Israel (as God's people) from other nations? Today, the application has changed as society has changed, but the principle remains the same. The Church (as God's people) are to be separate from the world.
Excellent quote brother:up:; the circmustantial application has expired, but the moral principle remains the same.
:cheers2:
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
Seriously,
This is a *psychological* question, and one in the nature of the case can't be answered. We can theologize and speculate all we want, but the most sensible thing is to email David Bahnsen and ask him.
Jacob, why dont we do this. Do you know of anyone who knew him that the question could be asked? ASk his wife Cathie or his son's...I know he was divorced, but perhaps she can answer..
Why don't we do this? I can think of a million more pressing issues. As to asking Cathie, to put it very politely, that would be a very biased against Bahnsen source.

So can I. I didnt think this thread was pressing at all. I just thought it would be better to ask someone who may know. ITs not like you are getting married or anything, you have a lot of time on your hands. Go find her email..

Plus a biase against Bahnsen would be perfect...:lol:
 

Amazing Grace

Puritan Board Junior
People. Does this thread have to digress into another theonomy thread again? I thought the OP was in jest. Perhaps I am wrong again...

Now let me go, I have to fix the mezuzot on my door post. Then go kill a pure unblemished Lamb, get my fresh Hyssop, dip it in the blood and sprinkle it on my lintel. Becasue we are to observe these commands for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

I also hear Bahnsen did this in lieu of the beard. And he also had long ringlets for sideburns.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I had no intention of bringing Bahnsen into this discussion as a person. Perhaps it would have been better to just stick to the real question, "What does the theonomist do with laws such as these?"

The reason I struggle with Theonomy is because theonomists themselves cannot seem to agree on which laws are binding today. If Jacob and Morecraft and Weaver and Einwechter etc. were elected into public office, how would they agree on which of the OT laws would be placed on the American people? Who gets to decide if shaving is illegal? I don't see how theonomy can be God's Will for us today simply because it seems to be impossibly impractical.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I had no intention of bringing Bahnsen into this discussion as a person. Perhaps it would have been better to just stick to the real question, "What does the theonomist do with laws such as these?"

The reason I struggle with Theonomy is because theonomists themselves cannot seem to agree on which laws are binding today. If Jacob and Morecraft and Weaver and Einwechter etc. were elected into public office, how would they agree on which of the OT laws would be placed on the American people? Who gets to decide if shaving is illegal? I don't see how theonomy can be God's Will for us today simply because it seems to be impossibly impractical.
Whether it is practical or not in no way affects the truth-value of the proposition. Christ told me to be perfect. That's impossible. Therefore, it is not true. If I were elected--perish the thought!--what would I do? (in no particular order)

1) Ban abortion
2) Ban Sodomy
3) Ban Income tax
4) Get rid of most Federal departments.
5) Call the military home so they can defend America in case of invasion.
6) Get the Federal Government out of the lives of Americans.
7) Reinstate indentured servitude.
8) Ban pop culture music because it is terrible

Yep, all of those seem impracticle and impossible; therefore, let's not worry about them.
 

clstamper

Puritan Board Freshman
Here is an example of believers who are members and ministers in good standing in Confessionally Reformed churches being described as legalists.
One of the people involved here lost his ordination in the 1970s and carried on for another quarter-century anyway. At any rate, we have a government of laws, not of men. Church governments are human institutions made of fallible men who make mistakes. We can't put our trust in princes, even princes of the Church. I am concerned that this issue of cutting one's beard is taken seriously.
 
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