Interrogating Dr. Stephen Wolfe & His Book, “The Case For Christian Nationalism” IV

I.) “Since Scripture contains the natural law (in scripturated form), Scripture can and ought to inform our understanding of the natural law, the common good, proper determination for civil laws, and the means to heavenly life.”

Dr. Stephen Wolfe
The Case for Christian Nationalism — p. 262

Ummm… if Scripture contains natural law then why do we need natural law? In brief, if Natural law agrees with Scripture it is un-necessary. If Natural law disagrees with Scripture it is un-true.

I would like to take credit for that simple but brilliant insight but I learned it from the  Zacharias Ursinus;

“Furthermore, although natural demonstrations teach nothing concerning God that is false, yet men, without the knowledge of God’s word, obtain nothing from them except false notions and conceptions of God; both because these demonstrations do not contain as much as is delivered in his word, and also because even those things which may be understood naturally, men, nevertheless, on account of innate corruption and blindness, receive and interpret falsely, and so corrupt it in various ways.”

Zacharias Ursinus
Commentary on Heidelberg Catechism

II.) “Put differently, God has ordered man by a rule which he discerns what he must do and must avoid in order to achieve his ends.”

Dr. Stephen Wolfe
The Case for Christian Nationalism — p. 245

And here is all we need to read to realize that Wolfe’s worldview cannot be entirely trusted. This sentence demonstrates that the Natural Law types do not comprehend the noetic effect of the fall upon reason. It is true that Natural Law proclaims the will of God but what is also true that what the Natural Law types like Wolfe don’t get is that man’s reason is fallen and fallen man has an agenda to read wrongly what God is making known by General Revelation as contained in Natural Law.

Better to listen to Rushdoony on this score;

“Now, what does the Bible have to say on the subject? As we saw at the beginning, the Bible says nothing from cover to cover about a law of nature. It speaks about God’s law, for men and nations, God’s requirement in every area. Hs moral law, his civil law, his law for the church, his law for the family. It’s all God’s law, directly from God.”

Or, if one prefers Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer;

“Law is rooted in God’s essence. Apostasy means forsaking justice. For atheists, there are only natural inclinations, no natural law. Conscience and moral inclinations are merely weak reverberations of God’s Law, and wherever the latter is done away with, duty is replaced by pride and selfishness.”

Now some from the Natural law school will warn us here that. “we have to be careful here lest you accuse the entirety of Protestantism of never taking the effect of sin seriously.” However there is a proper response to this well intended warning and that is to note that historically Protestantism embraced a Natural law concept that could work in the context of a Christian people. Protestantism in its origins never paused to consider if Natural Law would work per their theories in a culture that was no longer described as Christendom.

We must keep in mind that there are as many Natural laws as their are different schools of philosophies. Can Natural law tell me which one of those contending Natural law theories is the right Natural law theory?

Nope … I’ve done my work here. Natural Law is a wax nose driven by the unstated presuppositions of those who are reading Natural Law.

God’s world does shine forth Natural Law but fallen man suppresses the truth (all truth) in unrighteousness except when convenient. This is what the Synod of Dordt teaches when it notes;

Article 4

“There remain, however, in man since the fall, the glimmerings of natural light, whereby he retains some knowledge of God, of natural things, and of the differences between good and evil, and discovers some regard for virtue, good order in society, and for maintaining an orderly external deportment. But so far is this light of nature from being sufficient to bring him to a saving knowledge of God and to true conversion, that he is incapable of using it aright even in things natural and civil. Nay, further, this light, such as it is, man in various ways renders wholly polluted and holds it in unrighteousness, by doing which he becomes inexcusable before God.”

Rev. Spurgeon and Rev. McAtee Chit Chat on Natural Law

Dear Pastor Bret,

“Couldn’t your criticism  (of natural law) be lobbed at scripture and the fact that different people interpret it differently? The fact that there are (Creedo)Baptists and paedobaptists both arguing from scripture could be used to argue against it (Scripture) being the highest authority. It seems the problem to me is not natural law any more than the problem would be scripture. God’s revelation whether in nature or in scripture is clear. We sinful humans twist it.”

Rev. Joseph Spurgeon
Sovereign King Church
Jeffersonville, Indiana

Rev. Spurgeon,


Before I answer your question I want to make it clear to people my support of your work there in Jeffersonville. Were I not in the ministry and were I living in your area I do believe I could find a home in attending your Church (as long as you kept me away from the Baylys.) According to everything I hear you are doing a good work in Jeffersonville. So, even though we disagree on this matter I would not have people thinking that I do not appreciate your labors for Jesus Christ.The answer to your opening question is definitely, “No.”

1.) You seem to think I deny the reality of Natural Law. I do not. What I deny is that fallen man has the ability to create a proper working social order by usage of only the means of Natural Law, apart from special revelation. This conviction is consistent in what we read and what I affirm confessionally from the Canons of Dordt;

“There remain, however, in man since the fall, the glimmerings of natural light, whereby he retains some knowledge of God, of natural things, and of the differences between good and evil, and discovers some regard for virtue, good order in society, and for maintaining an orderly external deportment. But so far is this light of nature from being sufficient to bring him to a saving knowledge of God and to true conversion, that he is incapable of using it aright even in things natural and civil. Nay, further, this light, such as it is, man in various ways renders WHOLLY polluted and holds it in unrighteousness, by doing which he becomes inexcusable before God.”

2.) If even Christians can’t agree on God’s special revelation at points how much more will it be the case that non-Christians will not agree on general revelation and Natural law? The problem with putting forth Natural Law for social order regulation among a pagan people, as Dr. Stephen Wolfe advocates, is that such a position does not take seriously the noetic effects of the fall.

3.) Natural law can only be consistently read aright and understood properly when read through the prism of special revelation, or at the very least, when read through the presuppositions that arise out of special revelation.

4.) With the Scriptures I have the text right in front of me to appeal to. With Natural Law all there is are impressions and insistence. For example, Yuval Noah Harai, via appeals to Natural Law, can argue for the fittingness of sodomy. Start @ the 2 minute mark.

Therefore I would not say the fact that Christians disagreeing on biblical texts is no different from people disagreeing on the interpretation of Natural Law. In point of fact, to make that argument suggests a putting of Natural Law on the same level of special revelation in terms of clarity. The doing so only has the effect of lowering the importance of Scripture vis-a-vis Natural law.

5.) Of course people disagree regarding Scripture but unlike Natural law the argument is made from the text and not some ephemeral esoteric “out there-ness.”

It is the case that if people disagree while arguing from Scripture that would impress people with the idea that even if there is disagreement at least all believe in the Scripture as being the authoritative source for all truth.

6.) You might counter that “Natural law as a vehicle for social order arrangement was supported by many Reformers throughout history.” And to that I can only concur while offering at the same time that the difference between then and now is that the Reformers (and other Christians) could appeal to Natural law as a vehicle for social order because the culture(s) in which they already were living were largely organized around Christian premises. A people living and saturated in Christendom in the 16th century are going to see Natural Law as teaching Christian principles as more obvious because they have borrowed worldview capital from Christianity without even realizing it. But we in the 21st century no longer live in Christendom, no longer begin with Christian presuppositions, and no longer are living off of the borrowed capital that is necessary to make Natural law work among non-Christian people living in a Christian social order context.

No, Joseph, I might wish you were correct, but the Scriptures and confessions are against such thinking as well as the existential moment in which we live.

So, we see your objection, while understandable, is not well founded.

Thank you for the inquiry.

p.s. — Spend some time investigating Alfred the Great and his book of Doom and see how Alfred relied on special revelation to organize the social order of his day.

Baptist Prof Analyzes Theonomy … McAtee Analyzes Baptist Prof

“Theonomy is a facile hermeneutic that channels an eschatology of triumph. Historically undesirable, it instrumentalizes religion, blurs church-state relationships, and jeopardizes religious dissent. And it proves unnecessary because of how other covenants showcase the benefits of common grace and natural law.”

Andrew T. Walker
Associate Prof. – Christian ethics @ Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center
The Gospel Coalition Article

1.) If the Bible teaches a eschatology of triumph (and it does) then there is no problem with having a hermeneutic that channels an eschatology of triumph

2.) Historically undesirable according to whom? According to Satanist or Humanists or Baptist? But I repeat myself.

3.) Any religion that isn’t instrumentalized is useless as a religion.

4.) Only a Baptist would complain about the blurring of Church and State relations since the Baptist religion requires the Church and State be divorced. As such anyone who disagree with the idea that the Church and State must be divorced is someone, per the Baptists, who are guilty of blurring Church and State relations.

5.) The jeopardizing of religious dissent is a good thing when that religious dissent is dissenting against Christianity. The jeopardizing of religious dissent is only a bad thing when it is Christian dissent against false religions like Baptistianity that is being jeopardized.

6.) Common grace and natural law are myths in the way Walker wants to define them.

7.) Walker is an over educated not wise man.

McAtee Contra Dewey Roberts in Defense of Bahnsen and Theonomy

What then are Bahnsen’s fundamental flaws with respect to the law? His emphasis on being obedient to the law in exhaustive detail brings about a possible conceit that such obedience is actually possible for the believer…. The moral law is the rule for the obedience of the believer, but no Christian can perfectly fulfill it. To the unbeliever, the law is a fearful threat of impending doom.”

Dewey Roberts

Federal Vision and Historic Christianity — p. 196

Roberts really jumps the shark in this chapter titled, “Federal Vision and Theonomy,” from his book “Historic Christianity and the Federal Vision.” In this chapter Roberts seeks to tie Federal Vision to theonomy and in doing so Roberts reveals that he is a clown, who on this subject is NOT to be taken seriously.

Keep in mind that I write all of the below as a adamant opponent of Federal Vision.

Regarding the quote above,

1.) Bahnsen never taught the necessity of obedience to God’s law in exhaustive detail. Bahnsen taught the necessity of obedience to God’s law in exhaustive detail in the context of the law’s general equity. Roberts is wrong.

2.) Would Roberts have clergy so emphasize the inability of God’s people to honor God’s law that it becomes possible that God’s people no longer bother even paying attention to God’s law?

3) Bahnsen never came close to teaching that the believer could keep God’s law in its exhaustive detail so that the believer ended up conceited. Bahnsen understood the necessity of the law to convict and expose as well as the necessity of the law as a guide to life.

4.) If I were to avoid preaching on every subject wherein my hearers might possibly come to carnal conclusion I would never preach a word. The same was true for Bahnsen. What people might possibly do upon Bahnsen emphasizing the truth is not the same as what Bahnsen (or anybody) intends for them to do.

5.) Is Robert’s desire that we preach the law in such a way that all believers say to themselves, “Well, since I can never keep God’s law perfectly therefore I shall never try to keep God’s law.” Clearly Roberts preaching on the law so emphasizes the believers inability to keep the law perfectly that it is possible that some people will hear that they shouldn’t ever bother seeking to honor God’s law.

6.) Bahnsen never denied that to the unbeliever God’s law is a fearful threat of impending doom.

Elsewhere Dewey Roberts writes,

“Second, he (Bahnsen) emphasized obedience to the law so strenuously that he often comes close to the dangerous Pelagian spectrum of errors. Pelagius, as we have seen, taught that mankind could live in obedience to God’s requirements. ‘Theonomy in Christian Ethics’ often makes it seem that the believer can fulfill all of God’s laws. There is very little emphasis on the threatening aspect of God’s law…. Concerning the law, Pelagius taught;

‘But we do praise God as the Author of our righteousness, in that He gave us the law, by the teaching of which we have learned how we ought to live.’


Pelagius, likewise, almost completely discounted the threatening aspects of God’s law and saw the law as a gracious act of God which revealed the way the righteous should live.”

Dewey Roberts
Historic Christianity & The Federal Vision — p. 197

1.) Look Dewey, just as a woman is either pregnant or not pregnant so someone is either a Pelagian or he is not a Pelagian. The whole idea that someone is “close to the dangerous spectrum of Pelagian errors” is like a woman being close to being pregnant. Either she is or she isn’t. Either Bahnsen is Pelagian or he is not. If he is not then shut your ignorant trap. I mean if you don’t your close to committing libel. (Did you get the joke in that last sentence Dewey?)

2.) I read Theonomy in Christian Ethics. I did not put it down upon finishing it, thinking, “Wow, now I can go out and perfectly fulfill all God’s laws.” So, I guess we should say Dewey, that when YOU read “Theonomy in Christian Ethics” that YOU wrongly came away from it thinking that it SEEMED to teach that the believer could not fulfill all God’s laws.

3.) Now, about that weasel word “seemed.” Seemed to whom? Seemed to whom by what standard? It seems to me that on this score you’re an idiot. But it only seems that way. In reality it might not be that way.

4.) There is little emphasis on the threatening of God’s law in ‘Theonomy in CHRISTIAN Ethics,’ because Bahnsen was writing to Christians. Christians have already been delivered by Christ’s work on the Cross from the threatening of God’s law and so arise as a people who are zealous for good works. Bahnsen in his book is instructing the believers who are zealous for good works as to what those good works look like. As the Heidelberg Catechism teaches Dewey;

Question 91: But what are good works?

Answer: Only those which proceed from a true faith,5 are performed according to the law of God,6 and to His glory;7 and not such as are founded on our imaginations or the institutions of men.8

Tell me Dewey, is the Heidelberg Catechism here, because it does not threaten with the law here, “close to the dangerous spectrum of Pelagian errors?”

5.) I don’t care who talked about “the law as a gracious act of God which revealed the way the righteous should live.” whether it was Pelagius, Socinius, or Fosdick, if they were talking about the law in its usage as a guide to life they were or would have been absolutely correct and for anybody to deny that makes them a full blown antinomian.

6.) And speaking of Antinomianism, honestly Dewey, these criticisms sound to my ear to be the criticisms of someone close to the dangerous spectrum of Tobias Crisp or John Saltmarsh errors.

The Stranger & the Alien/Foreigner in Israel

“I came across this quote from Gillespie in Aaron’s Rod Blossoming. It is actually from another author, John Seldon, in a book that I cannot find translated into English yet. If any one knows of a copy in English I would love to get it. The title is De jure naturali et gentium juxta disciplinam Ebraeorum.”

Online Friend

“In respect of members’ for, as Mr. Selden hath very well observed concerning that sort of proselytes who had the name of Proselyti Justitiae.” They were initiated into the Jewish religion by circumcision, baptism and sacrifice; and they were allowed not only to worship God apart by themselves, but also to come into the church and congregation of Israel, and to be called by the name of Jews, nevertheless they were restrained and secluded from dignities, magistracies and preferments in the Jewish republic, and from divers marriages which were free to the Israelites, even as strangers initiated and associated into the church of Rome have not therefore the privilege of Roman citizens.”

Aaron’s Rod Blossoming, pg 4

It is easy to see that Selden and Gillespie both rejected the “open borders” “easy citizenship” ideas that so permeate our culture, especially the church. No matter the religious standing in Israel, a “stranger” remained that in the civil realm, no matter their religious affiliation. Even “divers marriages” were kept from these “strangers and aliens.”

This quote tracks well from a portion of a sermon I did in 2015

So, what we see here, in this examination of the Hebrew word “ger” is that this idea of stranger, alien, sojourner requires context in order of us to understand how it is being used. Clearly in this Dt. 28 passage the word is being used in more of a discontinuity sense. We know this because God is saying that disobedience will bring the result that the alien — the one not belonging to the Israel as Israel — will rise higher and higher over them. A clear demarcation is being made between the immigrant and the native son.

The resident alien (ger) in Israel was never so integrated and assimilated into the Israeli social order that the distinction between citizen born and alien evaporated. The resident alien (ger) was held to the same law, could become part of the worship cult BUT they were always known as distinct from Israeli born. Hence they are continuously referred to as ger (stranger).

Having said this we should realize that clearly there is a immigrant class that is living among the people of God. This people are not to be oppressed. They are to be treated with justice according to God’s law and they are to be able to find a way in the land. However, they are clearly the “tail” of the social order.

We know this because the text teaches that the roles will be reversed for disobedience. They who were once the head will become the tail and those who were once the tail will become the head.

Some one judgment of God upon Israel’s disobedience is that God’s people will become strangers and aliens in their own land.

We should note here also that this text does away with notions of egalitarianism. All peoples in all settings are not equal. God speaks here of one people being a tail and one people being a head and says that He is the one that makes that to be the case and in here we learn that obedience to God’s Law results in being the head.

It is not Christianity that teaches egalitarianism but rather it is Liberalism as Machen noted,

“… one thing is perfectly plain—whether or not liberals are Christians, it is at any rate perfectly clear that liberalism is not Christianity. And that being the case, it is highly undesirable that liberalism and Christianity should continue to be propagated within the bounds of the same organization. A separation between the two parties in the Church is the crying need of the hour… The modern liberal doctrine is that all men everywhere, no matter what their race or creed, are brothers.”

J.Gresham Machen
Christianity and Liberalism, p.133 

Of course we have come to the point that we no longer think in terms of categories like stranger, alien, foreigner, and sojourner which means we no longer think in terms of family. If we take Deuteronomy 28 seriously and see our delight with the stranger being lifted above us we must at least ask ourselves if we are under God’s just punishment for our disobedience.

When we think of our own immigration issues we see that the result here is also that the head is becoming the tail and that the tail is becoming the head