Faith for All of Life |
September/October 2013 www.chalcedon.edu
uch o Scriptureis given to us intypes and metaphors.These images teach be-cause they are o power-ul, oten violent scenes which our cartoonish Sunday schoolimages oten avoid. The Exodus, Noah’sood, and Jonah’s deliverance all teachus o God’s salvation, but they involvehorrifc scenes.The use o lordship, kingdom,and law also once carried very negativeconnotations, or the experience o the ancient world with these things was almost universally a negative one.Law was arbitrary and served theinterests o the ew. Political order wasto serve the king; individuals matteredlittle. When God by grace rescued theHebrews rom Egyptian despotism, oneo His frst provisions or their utureblessing was the giving o the law. Itconstituted a grace in itsel, the git o a law that represented not the arbitrary and abusive will o a political-religiousoligarchy, but the justice system o a merciul God.Biblical revelation oten replacesnegative connotations with superlativeones. God restores by making all thingsnew. He oers us a Kingdom, “not o this world,” with Himsel as King andcommands us to pray that this Kingdomcome in its ullness.
Having this command to recognizeHis Kingdom, we must address the issueo the law o the king. A king withoutauthority is a fgurehead. No kingdom is
Kingdom Men and Kingdom Law
By Mark R. Rushdoony
From the President
without law. Chalcedon has requently used the term
.These terms describe more theology than political philosophy.
means, literally, “the rule o God.” Itrecognizes that God reigns through Jesus Christ, to Whom “all power” wasgiven “in heaven and in earth” (Matt.28:18).
, on the other hand,means “God’s law,” as authoritativein His Kingdom. The alternative to
as God’s law is either a denialo theocracy and the “rule o God” orto propose that Christ’s Kingship is as a fgurehead or at best a spiritual one. Thefrst position renders the image o theKing misleading, as there were no suchmonarchs in the ancient world; the laterrenders it weak because it means theKing and His Kingdom are limited in jurisdiction.
I we accept that Christ is now King (theocracy) and that His law isauthoritative (theonomy), then we will view it as man’s rules o Kingdomcitizenship. When we travel abroad, we assume each nation has laws orits jurisdiction which bind citizen andoreigner alike. They also bind the law-abiding citizen as well as the rebel. They are, in act, most obviously needed tocontrol “the lawless and disobedient” (1Tim. 1:9). There can be only one law in a kingdom, and this is particularly true in the Kingdom o God because allGod’s laws are, by virtue o their source,moral laws. We must also ask ourselves whereGod’s Kingdom is located. The pietistictradition o subjective dispensationaleschatologies suggests that it is insuspense until the return o Christ andthat the “church age” has no part inthe Kingdom. A popular trend in somecircles is to limit the Kingdom o Godto the church, the secular world actually reerred to as a separate kingdom.
Church versus Family?
Amongst those who hold to thepresent rule o Christ (theocracy)and the law o God (theonomy)as the authoritative codifcation o the Kingdom law, there has been a dierence o opinion as to the relativerelationship o administrative duties.The question has centered on whetherthe amily or the local church is theprimary human sphere o and authority over Kingdom activities. Neitherposition denies the legitimacy o theother sphere, but how one answersthis question dictates the emphasisand means whereby Kingdom work ispursued.Though Chalcedon has historically come down on the side o the amily onthis question, it has never intended to weaken the church, but to strengthenthe emasculated amily.The weakness o the church in ourday is, aside rom the general decline inaith in the West, largely due to its ownretreat rom the world into that o merespiritual solace. Those modern churchesthat encourage dominion actively fndtheir impact is pronounced.The aithul church, moreover,has demonstrated that it can survivepersecution. Oten, in such troubled