Monday, August 08, 2011

Amaziah vs. Jehu - Sample Rebuttal of the "Intrusion Ethic" Idea

There is a remarkable contrast to be found between Amaziah and Jehu, and one that is significant in undermining a faulty "intrusion ethic" view of the Old Testament era.

I. Jehu

First consider Jehu:

2 Kings 10:30
And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.
God clearly rewards Jehu (quite generously) for killing not just Ahab's reigning son, but also Ahab's entire family. There is a reason that God rewards Jehu for doing this. God had appointed this punishment as a specific punishment that God applied to the families of Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab.

Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to Sin:

1 Kings 14:10
Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone.
Baasha, who departed not from the way of Jereboam

1 Kings 16:1-4
Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins; behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat.
Ahab, who exceeded Jeroboam and Baasha by introducing Baal-worship:

1 Kings 21:20-24
And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.
And Jehu was specifically commanded to execute this judgment against the entire house of Ahab:

2 Kings 9:1-10
And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead: and when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not. So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead. And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain. And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel: and I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah: and the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.
So, you see, Jehu obeyed God and killed the whole family of Ahab for the sins of Ahab, and God rewarded Jehu for this obedience. In contrast, consider Amaziah.

II. Amaziah

Amaziah provides an almost opposite example. Amaziah does not wipe out someone's family, and the reason given is God's law.

2 Kings 14:1-6
In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel reigned Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah. He was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like David his father: he did according to all things as Joash his father did. Howbeit the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places. And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants which had slain the king his father. But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
2 Chronicles 25:1-4
Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart. Now it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, that he slew his servants that had killed the king his father. But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.
The law referenced is Deuteronomy 24:16: "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin."

There's no explicit praise of Amaziah, but it should be apparent that Amaziah is doing what the Lord commanded.

III. Comparing Amaziah and Jehu

Each of these kings was following the command of the Lord, yet each was doing the opposite. Jehu carried out the judgment of God against Ahab's entire family, whereas Amaziah carried out the judgment of God against only the murderers.

The reason is that Jehu's case was exceptional. Jehu had a specific command from God to kill certain people. Ordinarily, the family of Ahab would not have deserved the civil punishment of death. However, they did deserve the punishment of death in God's sight, and God sentenced them to death and appointed Jehu to be executioner.

Amaziah, on the other hand, had no special command from God. Therefore, he properly limited the civil punishment of death for murder to the murderers themselves.

This difference shows us an interplay of two rules for judgment. One rule is absolute, springing from God's direct revelation. The Canaanites provoked God's anger because of their sins, and God sent the Israelites to wipe them out entirely. However, God did not authorize the Israelites to wipe out all unbelievers at all times.

There was no general civil law against unbelief in Israel. Indeed, the law of God for Israel (both the moral and the civil law) recognized the fact that there would be "strangers" and "aliens" living in the land with the Jews. These are people who are not worshipers of God, but who are nevertheless not under civil sentence of death.

Thus, it is a mistake for people to assume that because the genocide of the Canaanites and the mini-genocide of the Ahabites was commanded, there was a general "intrusion ethic" at play in the civil law. Instead, the civil law stands in contrast to the special execution of God's wrath on Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab.

It should be noted, however, that these judgments of God were righteous. While the civil law is just and good - it does not measure up to the standard of God's justice in every respect. Instead, in God's mercy, God limits the civil law. For example, every sin deserves death from God, but God did not appoint in the civil law that every sin would be punished with death.

Likewise, God permitted divorce with few restrictions (in the civil law), even though God hates divorce and even though divorce is (generally) contrary to the moral law. Some might argue that a similar point could made with respect to God's permission of slavery, but we need not argue that divisive point here.

The summation of this comparison is to see that Jehu's actions were commendable only in that they were the execution of God's just judgment upon Ahab and his family. They were not commendable as an example of proper civil law at work. On the other hand, the mercy inherent in Amaziah's restraint in killing only the murderers and not their children is commendable as an example of proper civil law at work.

There is a gospel point to draw from this. We men all deserve death from God, both for the sins of Adam and for the sins of our other fathers. If we were judged simply according to our federal heads according to the flesh, we would all richly deserve death, as did the family of Ahab and Baasha and Jeroboam.

But God extends mercy, both in the civil law, and in allowing us time to repent. If you, dear reader, have not repented of your sins: seize the day. Death is coming. You can try to put it off for a while, but in the end you too are mortal. The only way of escape is to repent of your sins and trust in Christ.

Remember what was written of Ahab:

1 Kings 21:25-29
But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, "Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house."
If God showed mercy even on the outward repentance of the most wicked Ahab, how much more will he show favor to those who truly repent from their sins wholeheartedly? So, this day repent of your sins and trust in Christ for salvation from the judgment of death (both physical and spiritual), which will otherwise certainly befall you.

-TurretinFan

22 comments:

Dan said...

Hi TF,
There is a remarkable contrast to be found between Amaziah and Jehu, and one that is significant in undermining a faulty "intrusion ethic" view of the Old Testament era.

Are you implying that the "intrusion ethic" view is faulty, or that there is a faulty version of the "intrusion ethic" view (alongside a non-faulty one)?

The only idea of "intrusion ethics" I'm familiar with comes from Kline, and it seems to me that your distinction between "the civil law" and "the special execution" is harmonious with Kline. There are aspects of God's law the enforcement of which is ordinarily mercifully withheld. We have "intrusion" in the non-ordinary or special cases.

Turretinfan said...

It would be problematic (i.e. wrong) to treat the Mosaic civil law as being an instance of an eschatological intrusion into redemptive history. Are you suggesting that Kline didn't assert that?

Dan said...

As far as I'm aware, Kline did not assert that the Mosaic civil law is an instance of eshatological intrusion. He did assert that aspects of that law are.

For example (pp. 166-167 of The Structure of Biblical Authority, 2nd ed.): In the area of penal sanctions against offending covenant members, the Intrusion principle again manifests itself. It is especially significant that among the offenses for which the death penalty was prescribed are violations of the first four laws of the Decalogue (see, e.g., Exod. 31:14f.; 35:2 [cf. Num. 15:32ff.]; Lev. 24:16; Deut. 13:5ff.; 17:2ff.). In the present age such violations are subject to ecclesiastical discipline, but the sword may not be wielded by either church or state in punishment of such offenders, according to the principle of common grace. In the consummation, however...

I don't see how your remarks on Jehu and Amaziah pose a problem for this view. You distinguish between (1) the general civil law and (2) exceptional cases. Perhaps your thinking is that there is "intrusion" (if at all) only in the case of (2)? If so, why think that? It seems to me that one could agree with the quote I've provided from Kline while also admitting the distinction you draw; admitting that in the case of Jehu certain moral requirements were created for the magistrate, by virtue of special divine command, over and above the requirements laid down in the civil law(s).

Thus, it is a mistake for people to assume that because the genocide of the Canaanites and the mini-genocide of the Ahabites was commanded, there was a general "intrusion ethic" at play in the civil law.

This isn't Kline's argument (from anywhere I know of), and I can't imagine anyone relying on this argument. It doesn't make sense to infer, on the basis of God's commanding the extermination of certain people, that a general intrusion ethic is at play in the civil law. We need some sort of additional premise here =). For Kline, such episodes provide examples of intrusion ethics in the Old Testament.

Turretinfan said...

Perhaps this is a sufficient response for now:

"In the area of penal sanctions against offending covenant members, the Intrusion principle again manifests itself."

The example in the post above is a counter-example, and a particularly strong counter-example, since the death penalty is the most severe civil law penalty.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Lest that be deemed insufficient, let me add another instance:

"As is shown by the sharp distinction between this holy, theocratic, Sabbath-sanctified kingdom of Israel and the kingdoms of the common grace world around it, the special Israelite manifestation of the kingdom of heaven was indeed an intrusive phenomenon in the common grace order. Appropriately, in connection with the symbolic kingdom-intrusion under the old covenant there were also in-breakings of the power of eschatological restoration in the physical realm and anticipatory applications of the principle of final redemptive judgment in the conduct of the political life of Israel, notably in the deliverance from Egypt, the conquest of Canaan, and the restoration from exile, though also throughout the governmental-judicial provisions of the Mosaic laws." (Kline, Kingdom Prologue, p. 158, emphasis added)

Perhaps you would be willing be to concede that Kline's claims are rather far-reaching?

Dan said...

An instance where the death penalty is enforced is not a counterexample to what Kline said, because (if you read the rest of the quotation), he illustrates his point by bringing up the first four laws of the decalogue. Hence when he says that the "Intrusion principle" reveals itself with respect to "penal sanctions," he seems to have in mind, not the nature of sanctions (such as death) as such, but rather the scope of crimes for which there are sanctions (violations of the first four words).

Further, Kline maintains that the death penalty for murder is not an element of intrusion, but part of "common grace" civic morality. For example, he thinks that the death penalty is taught in Gen. 9, where God (re-)institutes the state (see, e.g., Kingdom Prologue pp. 252-253).

And even if Kline had said that the death penalty as such is an element of intrusion ethics, I don't see how you have provided a counterexample. I'm wondering if you thought that if God introduces special exceptions to a laid-down civil law (as with Jehu), then this somehow precludes the view that some aspects of that laid-down civil law were themselves exceptions to His will for "common grace" civil morality. In other words, perhaps the idea was that there cannot be multiple layers of "intrusion" (using 'intrusion' loosely, not necessarily in the precise way Kline did)?

Regarding the quote from KP you provided, I concede that Kline makes some rather far-reaching claims; but I don't think any reason has been given to think he made false claims there. What does he have in mind regarding the governmental-judicial provisions? On the next page (159) he mentions civil enforcement of the first words of the Decalogue.

Turretinfan said...

"An instance where the death penalty is enforced is not a counterexample to what Kline said, because (if you read the rest of the quotation), he illustrates his point by bringing up the first four laws of the decalogue."

It's a counter-example regarding the 6th law of the decalogue - or more specifically regarding the civil law related to the 6th commandment.

"Hence when he says that the "Intrusion principle" reveals itself with respect to "penal sanctions," he seems to have in mind, not the nature of sanctions (such as death) as such, but rather the scope of crimes for which there are sanctions (violations of the first four words)."

a) There's nothing particularly eschatological about the first table as opposed to the second table.

b) I think you may be mistaken in assuming that Kline is limiting the intrusion to the enforcement of the first table.

"Further, Kline maintains that the death penalty for murder is not an element of intrusion, but part of "common grace" civic morality."

He very well may. That misses the point of this post, though. The point of this post is that the just, eschatological (if you will) punishment for murder includes the death also of one's family. The civil law falls short of the eschatological. There are, however, various "intrusions" if you like where God gives a specific command that would not be consistent with the civil law.

"And even if Kline had said that the death penalty as such is an element of intrusion ethics, I don't see how you have provided a counterexample."

Possibly you didn't follow the force of the argument. The argument is that God's own sovereign wrath is displayed through a more extensive penalty of death than the penalty of death set forth in the civil law.

"I'm wondering if you thought that if God introduces special exceptions to a laid-down civil law (as with Jehu), then this somehow precludes the view that some aspects of that laid-down civil law were themselves exceptions to His will for "common grace" civil morality."

I think the category of "common grace civil morality" is itself a flawed category. That aside, there's always a way to try to avoid counter-examples through an ad hoc approach. The point of counterexamples is to show that an ad hoc approach has to be employed to avoid their force.

"In other words, perhaps the idea was that there cannot be multiple layers of "intrusion" (using 'intrusion' loosely, not necessarily in the precise way Kline did)?"

There's not really a reason to think that there's a layer of intrusion beyond the exceptions to the civil law that God himself provided in the cases of the conquest of Canaan, the case of Jehu, and the like.

"Regarding the quote from KP you provided, I concede that Kline makes some rather far-reaching claims; but I don't think any reason has been given to think he made false claims there."

I don't think there's a good reason to think that his claims are true - and I think the burden is on him to show that they are true. Of course, he's dead now - but hopefully his disciples will pick up where he left off.

"What does he have in mind regarding the governmental-judicial provisions? On the next page (159) he mentions civil enforcement of the first words of the Decalogue."

I'm not aware of him specifically limiting himself to the first table.

-TurretinFan

Dan said...

It's a counter-example regarding the 6th law of the decalogue - or more specifically regarding the civil law related to the 6th commandment.

Kline says that the death penalty for murder is part of the "common grace" morality, that is, part of the moral order into which the "intrusion ethic" elements "intrude." So this is not a counterexample to Kline's view; it is part of his view.

b) I think you may be mistaken in assuming that Kline is limiting the intrusion to the enforcement of the first table.

I haven't assumed that. I've just not made any assumptions beyond what I've seen (and remember) from his text. However, I have argued that, for Kline, the death penalty for murder in the Mosaic civil law is not an element of intrusion.

The point of this post is that the just, eschatological (if you will) punishment for murder includes the death also of one's family.

And I think that this is a very interesting thesis (one I definitely need to think more about). But you also make a point about "intrusion ethics," and it isn't clear how this point is inconsistent with Kline's view. You never define (that I see) the "intrusion ethic" view you are criticizing, and the only time 'intrusion' occurs in the body of your post (not counting the first sentence) is where you describe an argument for "intrusion" ethics in the civil law that I can't imagine Kline or anyone else employing.

Based on various remarks in this post of yours, I gather that you are making (approximately) the following argument. We see "intrusion" with God's commands in the case of Canaan, Jehu, and the like (specifically, the application of “eschatological” standards of justice); and nowhere else. But Kline's view implies that there is such “intrusion” somewhere else (such as in aspects of the civil law). So Kline's view is false. Is this (approximately) right?

I don't think there's a good reason to think that his claims are true - and I think the burden is on him to show that they are true. Of course, he's dead now - but hopefully his disciples will pick up where he left off.

Of course, the passage you quoted comes from a sizeable book, and he touched on similar issues in other books (such as the one from which I quoted). So it isn't as if he didn't attempt to shoulder the burden you speak of. Perhaps you think he did so inadequately. But, clearly, your quoting that passage and drawing attention to the claims therein does nothing to suggest that he did not in fact provide cogent reasons for such claims in that book or his corpus more generally.

Dan: "What does he have in mind regarding the governmental-judicial provisions? On the next page (159) he mentions civil enforcement of the first words of the Decalogue."

TF: I'm not aware of him specifically limiting himself to the first table.


If you claim to criticize a certain individual's view, the burden is on you to establish that he held to the view being criticized. And as regards the death penalty and the 6th word, I've already documented a place where Kline denies that this is part of intrusion ethics (implicitly, by maintaining that it is an aspect of common grace ethics)

Turretinfan said...

Dan:

That summary is close, but not quite there. The point is that there is a distinction between the civil penalties under the civil law and the penalties under the exceptional (if you like, eschatological) law.

The way this undermines the "intrusion ethics" position is that it decreases the significance of the death penalty for blasphemy and sabbath-breaking (for example). The eschatological (if we want to call it that) remedy for those sins would not be the limited punishment of the civil law, but the extermination of the entire family of the sabbath-breaker or blasphemer.

The fact that - in this case - the sinner/criminals violated the 6th commandment is incidental to the applicable civil limitation on punishment. That limitation applied (within the civil law) to all death penalty cases, not just murder.

The way that this issue cashes out is something that may need to be explored in further posts.

"If you claim to criticize a certain individual's view, the burden is on you to establish that he held to the view being criticized."

Since I didn't even mention the "certain individual" in my post, that might somewhat reduce my burden. Additionally, I have already produced evidence for the expansive view that Kline seems to be expressing.

As for whether Kline shouldered his burden in any of the items of "The Structure of Biblical Authority," or in the Kingdom Prologue or elsewhere is perhaps something that can be explored more at a later date.

Here I'm just laying a foundation that begins to undermine Kline's arguments. Lord Willing, we will eventually see a more complete rebuttal of what I perceive to be his significant errors in terms of Old Testament hermeneutics, particular in relation to his hypothesis of an eschatological intrusion as an explanation for part, most, or all of the Mosaic civil laws and/or penalties (isn't that broadly worded enough to avoid controversy that I'm misrepresenting him?).

-TurretinFan

Dan said...

Since I didn't even mention the "certain individual" in my post,

Hence my first question in this thread.

[Kline’s] hypothesis of an eschatological intrusion as an explanation for part, most, or all of the Mosaic civil laws and/or penalties (isn't that broadly worded enough to avoid controversy that I'm misrepresenting him?).

Yes. But unless I misunderstood some of your earlier remarks, you seemed to think that the penalty of death for the law against murder is, for Kline, generated or explained by intrusion. I don’t think this is so, both because he explicitly says that such a penalty and law are part of the common grace civil law, instated both before and after the Flood (Gen. 4 and 9) long before the theocracy (and persisting long after); and because when he mentions intrusion in the case of the Mosaic civil law, at least in two places we’ve mentioned so far, he only gives the first four Decalogue words as examples.

The point is that there is a distinction between the civil penalties under the civil law and the penalties under the exceptional (if you like, eschatological) law.

The way this undermines the "intrusion ethics" position is that it decreases the significance of the death penalty for blasphemy and sabbath-breaking (for example). The eschatological (if we want to call it that) remedy for those sins would not be the limited punishment of the civil law, but the extermination of the entire family of the sabbath-breaker or blasphemer.


I think I’m seeing more clearly. In the cases of Jehu and the invasion of Canaan (and others, such as Achan), we see an “eschatological intrusion” (if we want to call it that) of justice, where penalties are applied to more people than the immediately guilty parties. So here may be an argument against Kline: whenever “eschatological” standards of justice “intrude” into OT ethics, they involve a special kind of penalty (namely, judgment not merely of the immediate offender but of those for which he is a head). However, for Kline, there are instances of “intrusion” where this is not the penalty (for example, death for a Sabbath-breaker alone). So Kline mis-identifies instances of “intrusion.” Cases of “intrusion” are bound up with the special kind of penalty, a kind of penalty not enshrined in the Mosaic civil laws.

c.t. said...

Kline's intrusion ethic is mainly describing a proto-type of the final judgment. It is eschatological in that it is a breaking in to time, or history, by God, kind of like a miracle. It's not meant to explain particular transgressions and punishments of the Mosaic law.

Dan said...

c.t.,

It's not meant to explain particular transgressions and punishments of the Mosaic law.

Kline has actually been quoted twice in this thread so far (once by me, from Structure of Biblical Authority, and once by TF, from Kingdom Prologue); and both quotes seem to contradict your assertion here. Kline clearly connects intrusion to the Mosaic civil laws (though, I've argued, only to aspects of it, not the civil law in toto).

natamllc said...

Not having considered the comments, yet, I would proffer a view of God I have been considering in these days that touches on the uniqueness of God's Ways by His Righteous Judgments as you do with this article looking at two perspectives keying off those verses you have cited from 2 Kings 10:30 "...thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. ...":

Here's one:

Exo 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Exo 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
Exo 20:6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.



Here's the other:

Jdg 3:1 Now these are the nations that the LORD left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan.
Jdg 3:2 It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before.
Jdg 3:3 These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath.
Jdg 3:4 They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.
Jdg 3:5 So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.


And so it is for us today that the solution to all this human pollution in the world because of our disobedience to the Word and Person of God, is not dilution, it's absolution, the only thing God has ever consistently offered in Scripture:

Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

The one thing that seems clear enough in the Scripture for me about God's Righteous Judgments distinguishing between "who" is going to be forgiven and "who" is not, comes from understanding the two rocks of Moses' song:

Deu 32:15 "But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked; you grew fat, stout, and sleek; then he forsook God who made him and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.

...

Deu 32:30 How could one have chased a thousand, and two have put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had given them up?
Deu 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves.
Deu 32:32 For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter;
Deu 32:33 their wine is the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps.
Deu 32:34 "'Is not this laid up in store with me, sealed up in my treasuries?
Deu 32:35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.'
Deu 32:36 For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free.
Deu 32:37 Then he will say, 'Where are their gods, the rock in which they took refuge,
Deu 32:38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you; let them be your protection!

c.t. said...

Dan, find the word 'particular' in my post. Of course God judges based on His law.

Dan said...

I already "found" it. I quoted it, and responded to the sentence containing it. Apparently, at least one of us does not understand what the other is saying.

c.t. said...

Generally speaking, theonomists (current or ex) hate Kline because Kline confronted them, but theonomists generally don't understand Federal Theology or the discipline of biblical theology, so their critiques of Kline tend to be off if not empty.

Turretinfan said...

I bet that is the first time you've been referred to as a theonomist, Dan!

c.t. said...

I was referring to the original post because I vaguely associate Turretanfan, with his Triablogue connections, as being vaguely ex theonomist (probably not current, but to some degree ex).

Dan said...

Phew. He apparently didn't accuse me of bein a theonomist (or ex); that would have been a first for me. Isn't it obvious he was talking about you, given all the hatred towards Kline displayed in the opening post?!

c.t. said...

Kline was not a theologian that was authoritatively attempting to rewrite or redirect Reformed Theology. He didn't consider his work as something that demanded to be submitted to due to its obvious biblical warrant, etc. That's not to say he didn't consider it able to withstand the tribunal of Scripture, but just that he didn't see himself or his work as possibly even being able to be authoritative because he was really excavating raw material in biblical theology fashion and working it in his own unique fashion (the coining of words and phrases being evidence of this here). He was self-consciously thinking out of the box, and demonstrating very impressive insight into the word of God and orthodox Reformed theology in general. He didn't bat a thousand but really wasn't trying to the way a theologian who writes a systematic theology atttempts to bat a thousand.

He annoys theonomists because he was a rather cutting and able defender of the word against them. He annoys various false teachers associated in one way or another with Federal Vision types because he was a biblical theologians miles above anyone they can produce and thus a ever-present reminder of their own mediocrity. They don't like Geerhardus Vos either for this same reason.

c.t. said...

God, Heaven and Har Magedon is the best book by Kline to get an overview of what he was doing and his approach as a whole to Scripture and Reformed Theology. I'm not saying necessarily that it is his most valuable book but that it's the one he consciously wrote to give an overview of his work. It incorporates the material from Images of the Spirit, for instance, and in a very quick overview way much of his other works which are parts, and puts it into a whole. Kingdom Prologue can't really be gleaned in a quick overview, but will be better understood if you get GHH down first. It is classical covenant theology (and Federal Theology is classical covenant theology systematized) so if you don't have those basics down Kline will be more onion layers of difficulty for you.

c.t. said...

I should have mentioned also that if you don't yet have the distinction between biblical theology and systematic theology down in a practical way in understanding then Kline will be difficult.

There is a lot of criticism of Kline that is frankly just silly because the person doing the criticizing simply doesn't yet have understanding of, for instance, the basics of Federal Theology. I'm not saying that's the case on this blog, but just generally. People pick up on the hate from the theonomy and Federal Vision camps towards Kline, not understanding the politics, and start gunning away on their own.

And there seems to be a fervent piousness involved in it all (usually because with the false teachers in the mix justification by faith alone is at stake) that makes it very difficult to disabuse people of their most basic errors or general confusion. You see this for instance in discussion on the Mosaic Covenant.