Reformed Theological Resources
Jeff Waddington and Camden Bucey roundup the entire Christ and culture series with a single episode overview of the issues.
Participants: Camden Bucey, Jeff Waddington
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on Friday, July 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 am and is filed under Biblical Theology, Christ and Culture, Featured, Systematic Theology, Worldview.
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I don’t understand why advocates of the American Confession characterize the 17th-century Confession as “merging” church and state. I would expect that from Baptists, but not here.
And don’t we lose a Reformed view of vocation if we ditch the older 23.3? This (and Belgic 36) is the only location in the Confession in which at least a precis is given of Bible-driven view of vocation: the civil magistrate is to follow the Word of God as he performs his duties. (Why *shouldn’t* Hezekiah be a model magistrate?) (“The Bible is authoritative on everything of which it speaks, and it speaks of everything. . . .”–Van Til)
The problem with the old form of the Westminster Confession is that it assumed a Christendom model of the relationship of church and state. Neither Camden or myself are opposed to Christians actually thinking, speaking, and acting like Christians in the political arena. But we live in a pluralistic age like it or not. So if we have a situation where the magistrate looks out for the peace and purity of the church, we would be in serious trouble.
Now I grant that the Word of God ought to govern the unbeliever, but I hardly expect the unbeliever to go along with me on this. And which denomination of the Christian faith would reign in this circumstance. I am just wondering.
I do appreciate your concern even if I differ from you at points.
Blessings and thanks for your feedback.
I’m just wondering, too: what would the Reformed confessions have looked like had the been written prior to Constantine? That makes me think that the options are not Christendom vs. pluralism. I understand that it is nearly impossible to avoid being the product of one’s time period, at least in some sense. So in an age when nobility and emperors were Christians and established a particular church, it makes sense that Christians of that time would have theocratic tendencies.
Of course, I’m also convinced Kline was right. So I think we must pay attention to the covenant-historical situation of any particular passage (and our own). And if the canon is a covenant document, then in what sense can we speak of the Bible governing the unbeliever? Certainly, the unbeliever is guilty of violating the covenant of creation because of Adam. And the unbeliever knows the Law he has violated because the Law is the expression of God’s character, and all human beings – believer and unbeliever – are made in the image of God. But that is different than saying that all human beings are members of the New Covenant and therefore governed by the New Testament.
Regarding “Christian Architecture”. As far as I can tell, this is simply a general vs special revelation issue – the principles that an architect utilises so that a building will not fall down are based on what is revealed by general revelation.
On the puzzle of the week . . .
If a translation were done in picture based languages, could the translator not create a new and original word for the name of God? The Jews of course do this with substituting adoni for the name Yahweh. Instead of a picture for God’s name in such a language, how about a new and original word which is not pictorial in nature? Of course, all language is in some respect pictorial. So . . .
On the puzzle of the week: This was a helpful conversation and I look forward to future segments. However, may I suggest a different name? To me “puzzle” connotes a game or pastime. Referring to an important unresolved question of truth and praxis as the “puzzle of the week” makes it sound as if theology is a something one plays around with for mental stimulation. Critics of the reformed faith caricature us in this way. I know you brothers are blood earnest about truth and theology, so I’d exhort you to consider a more suitable title for the hard questions you wish to tackle.
Thank you again for your helpful program.
Thanks for the reminder that unresolved questions in theology are not fodder for entertainment.
On judging music as â€œobjectivelyâ€ good or bad: this lecture by Ken Myers addresses this exact thing a bit, and I think he does it justice by saying that there is a big downside to saying â€œbeauty is in the eye of the beholder,â€ and leaving aesthetics at that. http://www.wordmp3.com/details.aspx?id=8290
This might be something to spur you to keep up the series on the Arts.
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve.
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