This is part V of one of the dumbest articles ever written by a Seminary prof. His name is Andrew Walker. The reason it is so dumb is that all of this has been answered in the past and yet he puts pen to paper to recycle all this again. This article is posted on “The Godless Coalition” Platform.
As J. Budziszewski writes, “Government enforces those parts of the divine law that are also included in the natural law, such as the prohibition of murder.” The argument for overcoming moral lawlessness is not Theonomy, but arrangements that better accord with the creation pattern God has ordered and continues to uphold in the Noahic covenant, natural law, and Scripture (2 Tim. 3:15–17).
1.) Really? Government does that? Does our government enforce the part of divine law that is also included in the natural law, such as the prohibition of murder committed against babies in the womb? Or is murder not a crime according to natural law? Or maybe, natural law doesn’t cover that because there is no such thing as the kind of natural law that Walker is championing since all natural law is, is the projection of the presuppositions of those who champion their versions of natural law? If governments followed God’s law instead of natural law then people guilty of murdering unborn babies would receive capital punishment. So much for natural law.
2.) How can we interpret the creation pattern God has ordered unless we interpret it through God’s Law-Word? Fallen man, left to himself, apart from God’s inscripturated law will misinterpret the creation pattern God has ordered and make laws that are grounded in a humanist theonomy. When natural law worked in Christendom it worked because those who were “reading” natural law were reading it through their Christian presuppositions. Natural law doesn’t work now because pagans are reading natural-law through pagan presuppositions. Walker expects that if fallen men in the West just give muscle to natural law again that all will be fine. That is ridiculous on steroids. As long as social orders are comprised of men with different faith commitments (religions) the best natural law can do is to be fought over in terms of which faith commitment will be in charge in order to read it the way their faith informs them. We will never have a workable social order/legal order until men are converted, own Christ, and engage the politicus usus of God’s law to make law in their societies.
God’s Word is indeed supreme—every person and culture owes it ultimate allegiance. To make that declaration, though, we must understand how God’s Word functions in the civil sphere outside the church’s direct jurisdiction. Rather than the Mosaic covenant, a better starting ground for political reflection is the covenant of creation and the Noahic covenant as upheld in the full witness of Scripture. And given what these covenants offer, Scripture highlights the intelligibility of nature and reason as self-attesting witnesses to God’s authority in the structure and design of his world. This necessarily includes the moral law (Ps. 19:1–3; Rom. 1:32; 2:15).
1.) Understand that Walker is introducing a dualism here. God’s inscripturated law functions as normative in the realm of grace (Church) but in the realm of nature (Civil) where God’s jurisdiction does not apply we use a different law (natural law). In the civil realm, it is wrong to appeal to God’s word as the norm that norms all norms. Instead, we appeal to the generic norm of natural law to norm all norms. Now Walker may respond with his nonsense that natural-law, eternal law, and inscripturated law all contain the same content but if they all contain the same content then why do we need any of them except the law that is written down in Scripture? In order for Walker’s system to work, he has to introduce a dualism between the realm of grace and the realm of nature. I wonder where in Scripture dualism is taught?
2.) Walker insists that going by God’s inscripturated law in the civil realm would be the “church’s jurisdiction.” This is nonsense. Theonomy never argues for ecclesiocracy. Theonomy merely insists that God rules over all and that if God rules over all then the civil realm should be ruled by God’s inscripturated Law-Word.
3.) Scripture teaches that the magistrate is God’s servant (Romans 13:1). If the magistrate, as serving in the civil realm, is God’s servant then the magistrate should rule by God’s law and not an amorphous “pin the tail on the donkey” natural law.
4.) Walker talks about the intelligibility of nature. Nature is indeed intelligible. However, fallen man works his damnedest to suppress in unrighteousness the intelligibility of nature and succeeds in doing so because of the noetic effects of the fall. See installment IV and the Belgic Confession of faith.
Fallen reason, however, obscures our understanding of the moral law and obscures God’s creation ordinances—which is why revelation is required for true moral righteousness to surface in society. What’s necessary is special revelation in the form of understanding creation ordinances, not the application of the Mosaic covenant.
Here Walker appeals to special revelation in the creation ordinances. However only special revelation as it pertains to the creation ordinances. Application of the Mosaic covenant is not allowed.
1.) There is nowhere in Scripture where God says the civil law found in the Mosaic covenant does not apply in principle. The Westminster Confession teaches that the judicial law does apply in its general equity. So, Walker has the Westminster Confession against him.
2.) Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Matt. 23:23
Here the Jews are not living in their OT social order and yet Jesus himself states the requirement in the civil law to tithe on all the produce from the land (Lev. 27:30). Jesus says the civil law did apply.
Jesus also said,
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:18)
Sounds like Jesus and the Church Fathers thought differently about the civil law then Andrew Walker thinks about it.