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#57570 Sun Mar 27, 2022 8:13 PM
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Tom Offline OP
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I moved this to this forum, over from the book forum where I gave a book recommendation called ‘Ruler of Kings’, by Joe Boot. I did this mainly because, the conversation started taking on a more theological flavor. I hope that is ok?

Other than what a friend told me about this book and Joe Boot, my knowledge of him was very limited.

Pilgrim mentioned a few things, that made me think I better try to understand where Joe Boot actually stands on theonomy, and even if he believes in Postmillennialism; the later of which I still do not know.

Joe Boot has a ministry called ‘Ezra Institute’. Here is what he believes on the subject.https://www.ezrainstitute.com/resource-library/podcast/answering-listener-questions-on-theonomy/

As I listened to it, I found myself to be confused at what this podcast was actually saying. Was he supporting the same kind of Theonomy that Bahnsen and Rushdoony talk about?

Theonomy basically means “God’s Law”; which all Christians should believe and embrace.
Joe Boot says that basically the real issue is either “theonomy”, or “autonomy”.

The podcast talked about how the critics of Theonomy do not actually understand Theonomy, because they keep saying theonomy gives the impression of being like the Taliban. He says this is actually the opposite of what it means. He also says contrary to what critics say, it also does not mean taking over the government.

They go further to say that, this is not about “coercion”, rather it is transformation starting in the Church and going into the world transforming the people.

He talked about “sphere sovereignty”, which I believe means that God rules over all the world. But He does so in different spheres, mainly in the Church and in the State.

My understanding is what is usually called: The Threefold Use of the Law.
1. Ceremonial
2. Judicial-Civil
3. Moral- natural
I am definitely not an expert on this, but I believe (correct me if I am wrong) only number 3. Moral-natural remains. Which I think is written on our hearts.
Numbers 1. & 2. however, are laws concerning OT Israel, that are not transferred into the NT.
Going back to the podcast, perhaps he seems to be saying that all three still around, yet how they say it seems to say the first two, are done in a different manner. However, again I am not completely sure I understood.

Joe Boot said something that I am not sure about. He said that Theonomy is not a relatively new concept. In fact, it is clear that people like William Wilberforce and CH Spurgeon believed in it. Spurgeon (quoting from a Spurgeon book) said he longed for the day that God’s law was taken into the political arena. Those comments surprised me, because Spurgeon was Historic Premillennialist and my understanding of that position was Theonomy does not mix with it. It makes me think Joe Boot misunderstood Spurgeon.

One thing I do appreciate about Joe Boot, is he recognizes that Romans chapter 13 does not give the state the right to right to tell the Church they can not meet to worship. Unfortunately, too many Churches have taken the position that Romans chapter 13, does indeed give the government the right (especially with Covid) the right to do what they are doing and to resist is to disobey God. I heard one such pastor say that if the government tells us we must wear pinwheel hats, then we should wear pinwheel hats.

I am thankful to sermons I have listened to in the last few years my people like Samuel Waldron and James Coates on Romans chapter 13, that helped me with this issue.

If anyone think they have something to say, that might help to clarify some issues. It would be appreciated.

One of the reasons, I want to understand the issue more, is because the person who recommended the book to me, has become a very close friend over the last few years; especially since Covid.

I thought I would add one more question to this.

Is Theonomy something that is only Postmils believe; or are there Amils who believe in it? Explain

Tom

Last edited by Tom; Sun Mar 27, 2022 8:48 PM.
Tom #57573 Mon Mar 28, 2022 6:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom
The podcast talked about how the critics of Theonomy do not actually understand Theonomy, because they keep saying theonomy gives the impression of being like the Taliban. He says this is actually the opposite of what it means. He also says contrary to what critics say, it also does not mean taking over the government.

They go further to say that, this is not about “coercion”, rather it is transformation starting in the Church and going into the world transforming the people.

He talked about “sphere sovereignty”, which I believe means that God rules over all the world. But He does so in different spheres, mainly in the Church and in the State.
1. Many of us DO understand "Theonomic Reconstructionism" or just plain "Theonomy" as it is being promoted by its small group of adherents.
2. Theonomy and Amillennialism are NOT compatible, for Theonomy is based upon Postmillennialism which believes there will be a literal 1000 years in which the world will be evangelized and the majority of people will be converted to Christianity and the government(s) will be ruled by believers or at least those who adhere to biblical law (OT civil law).
3. re: "different spheres" was first introduced mainstream by Abraham Kuyper and latter by Herman Dooyeweerd. Kuyper wrote about these various "spheres" in his work on "Common Grace" which was embraced by the Christian Reformed Church and later by other Dutch Reformed Churches and is now taught in other "Calvinist" churches, e.g., the OPC, PCA, and others. The problem that I have had with Kuyper's "sphere sovereignty" is that biblical Christianity is said by Kuyper to be the "Queen of the Spheres" of which all the other spheres have their independence and are not 'ruled' by Christian thought. My reading of the Bible to the contrary is that all things are determined by God and anything that contradicts His Word is false. There is no co-mingling of true and false, good and bad, holy and evil, light and darkness, right and wrong, etc.

So, based solely upon what you have shared here about the views of Joe Boot, I am initially skeptical and somewhat confused. scratch1


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Pilgrim #57586 Tue Mar 29, 2022 11:25 PM
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Tom Offline OP
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Pilgrim

Not sure if you went to the link I provided; but I was somewhat confused as well. Although, I know a bit about Theonomy, I am not sure if his Theomony is the same as Bahnsen's and Rushdoony's; even though he quotes them.

I get the feeling my friend is attracted to his ministry, because he stands against the tyranny and overreach of the Canadian government.

Tom

Tom #57589 Wed Mar 30, 2022 7:23 AM
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Any Christian ought to object to lawlessness on the part of governments, especially when it extends so far as to promote the spiritual corruption (e.g,. LGBTQP or public "education"), robbery (COVID lockdowns), enslavement (imprisoning pastors who teach biblically on these subjects) and/or murder (abortion and COVID death shots) of those whom they are supposed to minister to in God's stead.

It would be hard to fully obey both such a government, and God (Acts 5:29) and it should be clear to everyone Whom we must choose in that event.

That need not imply that the totality of Old Testament Law ought to be enforced by civil governments today.

Having said that, I am quite skeptical that man is capable of coming up with a better law than God's. Although I am skeptical that any unregenerate person would be able to understand it well enough to apply it.


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