Sunday, August 31, 2008

Thesis 30: As With All Angelic Activity, No State Action Is Coincidental or Random

Officers of the Egyptian court derived their power from fallen angels.[1] Like pestilence, famine, and storm, acts of "the State" are attributable to personal angelic forces.[2] Like pestilence, famine, and storm, the State is ordered by God[3] often for the judgment of other statists.[4] Joseph's enslavement into Egypt was predestined by God[5], as were the acts of the Pharaoh who "knew not Joseph.[6] Stars are associated with both the State[7] and other forms of pestilence and storm.[8]

1. Exodus 8:19; Luke 11:20
2. Ezekiel 1; 10; Psalm 18:9-12; 104:2-4; Exodus 19:6 + Hebrews 2:2; 2 Samuel 24:16; Psalm 78:49
3. Romans 13:1ff.
4. Habakkuk 1:12; 1 Samuel 8:11-20
5. Genesis 50:20
6. Exodus 1:8; Acts 7:18; Romans 9:17
7. Isaiah 45:12-13; Jeremiah 10:1-16; 8:1-2; Amos 5:26; Zephaniah 1:5; Isaiah 24:21; Judges 5:20; Acts 7:42-43. Joseph: Genesis 37:9
8. Job 38:7; Isaiah 14:13; Revelation 12:4

The Story of Joseph in Egypt

Who Hardened Pharaoh's Heart?

On stars and angels, see James B. Jordan, Judges: God's War Against Humanism, p. 102.

Along these lines, see also, Baalism vs. Predestination. Pagans worship the star-demons, Christians understand them to be controlled by God. This was the irony of the "natural" plagues in Egypt.

Stars and Idolatry

65 Theses til Election Day

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thesis 29: Patriarchy and Resistance to Tyranny in the Early Days of the Old Testament

God blesses the Families of those who stand against the lawless State.[1]

1. Exodus 1:17-21; cp. #78; James 2:25

In Tactics of Christian Resistance Gary North writes:

Confronted by Tyrants:
Abraham deceived Pharaoh, and God blessed him (Genesis 12).
Jacob wrestled with Laban, and God prospered him (Genesis 29-31).
Joseph performed outstanding slave service, and became ruler of Egypt (Genesis 39-41).
Moses said, "Let my people go," and God gave deliverance (Exodus 1-14).
Ehud presented Eglon with a gift: a hiltless sword in the gut (Judges 3).
Jael lured Sisera to sleep, and drove a tent-peg through his skull (Judges 4-5).
David cut off the corner of Saul's robe, and then repented of it (l Samuel 24).
Jehosheba and Jehoiada concealed prince Joash from Athaliah (ll Kings 11).
Obadiah worked quietly for the LORD at Ahab's court, while Elijah prophesied against Ahab's sins (I Kings 18).
Azariah rebuked King Uzziah for trying to make the church a department of the state (II Chronicles 26).
Jeremiah counseled submission to Nebuchadnezzar, while Hannaniah counseled rebellion (Jeremiah 26-28).
Daniel and his friends served Nebuchadnezzar faithfully, but refused to worship his gods (Daniel 3-6).
Jesus Christ answered not a word to the charges of the High priest and to the questions of the Roman Governor (Matthew 26:63;27:14).
Paul made full use of his rights as a Roman citizen in arguing his case (Acts. 23-26).
The Early Christians paid their taxes, but went to the lions rather than turn in scrolls of the Bible.
Thomas Becket was slain in a cathedral rather than let King Henry II lay taxes directly on the Church.
Andrew Melville told King James VI of Scotland that he was not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but only a member in Christ's Church.
The Founding Fathers declared that George III had broken covenant with the Christians of America.

66 Theses til Election Day

Friday, August 29, 2008


Thus far, from the Garden of Eden to the end of the book of Genesis, God has not commanded human beings to form "the State." Some commentators differ, of course, seeing the formation of the State in some incipient form in Genesis 9, or elsewhere. Certainly God hasn't yet commanded an institution as socially pervasive as the modern Leviathan State. Other commentators, who disagree with our "anarchist" theories, still agree that "the State" does not enter Israel until after the Judges (in 1 Samuel 8).

In this next section we look at history from Moses to the Judges.

Under Moses the Levitical Priesthood came into being. Many verses pertaining to this priesthood have been erroneously applied to justify the existence of the State, as well as to buttress the power of modern priests and ecclesiastical institutions -- centuries after Christ ended the Levitical priesthood.

The existence of “elders” pre-dates Sinai, and have been carried over in Christian times into the ecclesiastical institutions we call “churches” (not the political institution we call "the State").

Although God commanded Moses to form an ecclesiastical institution, God did not command Moses to establish a “political” institution.

The ecclesiastical (sacerdotal) institution established at the hand of Moses was not to have perpetual existence.

That leaves "Patriarchy." We will argue that Moses revealed a remedial system which was designed to restore fully-functioning families ("Patriarchy") who functioned as priests and kings in a priesthood of all believer-kings (Exodus 19:6; 1 Pet 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6; 5:10).

John Frame writes:

Was there, at this point in history, also a divinely appointed "state?" I would say no if, again, "state" refers to something above and beyond the natural authority of the family. As far back as Gen. 9, as we have seen, God called the family to execute vengeance for bloodshed, and so no new order was needed to administer capital punishment. [17] There was, of course, in Moses' time, a national army to be commanded, but even that has its precedents in tradition (Gen. 14). [18] New machinery, of course, was put in place (by some combination of tribal tradition and Mosaic appointment) to resolve disputes, but that too was essentially a family function.

Moses himself should not be seen as the occupant of a new "perpetual office" in Israel. He was a "charismatic" official, one with a direct appointment from God. Joshua did succeed Moses and inherited Moses' powers; but Joshua, also, was directly appointed by God (Num. 27:18-23, Deut. 31:1-8, Josh. 1:1-9), and no one after him had such comprehensive authority over the nation. Apart from his prophetic and priestly functions, Moses was essentially the chief of the clan leaders, the head of the family of God. Had God not selected him directly, the people might well have selected him or someone else as a chief of chiefs, without violating the overall family structure. Such a choice would merely have been a natural continuation of the movement toward greater complexity as the nation increased in size. Indeed, there was popular ratification of Moses' rule. When Moses returned to Egypt from the desert, the elders "believed," indeed "bowed down and worshipped," Ex. 4:31. And after God, from Mount Sinai, appeared to the whole people, the people requested through their elders that God not again speak to them directly, but that Moses serve as mediator (Exod. 20:19, Deut. 5:5, 23-33, 18:16).

During the period of the judges, no new institutions were added. God raised up judges, new charismatic leaders, to deliver Israel from its enemies (Judges 2:16). These judges were not only military leaders, but they had broad authority to command obedience within Israel (Judges 2:17).
[19] One of them, Deborah, was also a prophet (Judges 4:4), as was, of course, Samuel (I Sam. 3:19-21). Samuel, though an Ephaimite rather than a Levite (at least on his father's side, I Sam. 1:1), exercised priestly functions (probably implied in I Sam. 2:35f; cf. 3:1, 7:9, 17, 10:8), recalling the unity of prophet, priest and king in the patriarchs and Moses, and foreshadowing Christ. Again, however, this charismatic leadership did not produce any new, continuing institution in Israel. Government by tribal elders continued as during the time of Moses. Indeed, in the case of Jephthah, the judge receives his authority, humanly speaking, by the appointment of the elders (Judges 11:1-11). Under Samuel, the elders continued to command armies (I Sam. 4:3) and to determine such courses of action as the recovery of the sacred ark (4:3).

Thesis 28: Salvation is Political

"Salvation" is political.[1]

1. Genesis 49:17-20
17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way,
A viper by the path,
That bites the horse’s heels
So that its rider shall fall backward.
18 I have waited for your salvation, O LORD!
19 “Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him,
But he shall triumph at last.

This is one of the earliest occurrences of the word "salvation" in the Bible.
It has to do with military victory.
The overwhelming majority of occurrences of the word "salvation" in the Bible do not point to "heaven" after death. They describe social, political, military, economic, and medical health. In this world.

This Thesis is not intended to deny any other-worldly or next-worldly meanings for the word "salvation" or "save." It is simply intended to affirm something most Christians never think about. See Thesis #88.

Politics as Salvation

A Political View of Life

Cultural Salvation

Salvation as Sanctification

67 Theses til Election Day

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thesis 27: Patriarchy, Precious Metals, and Money

Gold and other precious commodities were placed in The Garden of Eden.[1] After the Fall, they were the most marketable commodities, and therefore functioned as the Biblically preferred medium of exchange.[2] Debasement of precious commodity-monies with baser substances is an abomination to God.[3] Inflationary money transfers wealth from the weak and struggling to the debt-ridden polis and its minions.[4] A debased currency can exist only under an Imperial monopoly: a Central Bank.[5] A debased currency is the machinery of revolution: the institutionalization of a debased heart.[6]


1. Heaven: Ezekiel 1:22:26-27; 10:9; 2 Corinthians 12:2,4 + verses below;
The Eden-Model of Heaven: Ezekiel 28:13-16; cf. Genesis 2:11-12;
The Temple-Model of Heaven: Exodus 25:3-8 et passim; 28:8-9,12,17-20; 39 passim; 1 Kings 6 passim;
The New Jerusalem/New Earth: Isaiah 54:11-12; 60:5-6,9,11; Revelation 21:11,18-21, Malachi 3:17; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

2. Genesis 23:16; 43:21 + Leviticus 19:35-37; Genesis 44:1,8; Ezra 8:25-30; 11:2-3 + 12:35-36 + Psalm 105:37; Ezekiel 7:19; 28:4; 1 Chronicles 21:24-25; Job 28:12-20; Jeremiah 32:9-10; 1 Peter 1:18. Cf. Job 31:24; Psalm 19:10; 119:72; Proverbs 8:10-11,19; 16:16; Isaiah 60:17; 2 Timothy 2:20. Cp. Matthew 10:9; Acts 3:6.

3. Leviticus 19:35-37; Deuteronomy 25:13-16; Proverbs 11:1; 16:11; 20:10,23; Amos 8:5-6; Micah 6:10-12; Zechariah 11:12; cf. Psalm 119:119; Proverbs 25:4; 26:23.

4. Isaiah 1:23; Amos 8:6; Micah 6:10; James 5:1-6.

5. Genesis 10:7-12; cf. #19, #20; Revelation 13:16-17.

6. Jeremiah 6:28-30; Ezekiel 22:18-20; Isaiah 1:25; Proverbs 17:3; 27:21; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3.

On the various models of heaven, see James B. Jordan, Through New Eyes. Notice that gold and similar commodities are precious (price-ly) in places where most folk would think them irrelevant: the Garden of Eden and the New Jerusalem.

On money as the most marketable commodity, see Gary North, "Gold: Is It Just Another Commodity?," Mises on Money, and Honest Money: Biblical Principles of Money and Banking.

On debasement, see Banking and Money.

On violence and the transfer of wealth from poor to polis, see How Fractional Reserve Banking Oppresses The Poor.

On the need for a state-enforced central bank to preserve debased currency, see Gresham's Law in "Gold: The Sovereign Power of the Veto," and Ron Paul's suggestion to Legalize Competing Currencies.

On a debased heart, see R.J. Rushdoony, Larceny in the Heart.

This thesis could be placed in the section "A. PATRIARCHY BEFORE THE FALL." It is placed here rather arbitrarily because it came chronologically in Genesis 23:16:

And Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out the silver for Ephron which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, currency of the merchants.

Debased currency is the lifeblood of the institution of violence (the State).

68 Theses til Election Day

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thesis 26: The Myth of The “Separation Of Church And State”

Priest and prince have always been united.[1] The “separation of church and state” is a myth which allows the polis to rationalize its hatred and evasion of God’s Law.

1. Genesis 14:18; 41:43-45; Judges 17:10; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10

Priests have always been instruments of the State.
The "palace" and the "temple" have always been united.
The polis is religious to the core.
The "separation of religion and state" privatizes the Christian religion whenever the religion of the State is the religion of Secular Humanism. The State then becomes its own god, and its own law.

69 Theses til Election Day

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thesis 25: Patriarchy and “Sacraments”: Circumcision

The “sacrament” of circumcision was administered by the head of the Family, not an institutional “church.”[1]

1. Genesis 17:23; Exodus 4:24-26

Gary North and James Jordan (neither of whom agree with all of these Theses)have written interesting articles on circumcision. Jordan's article is "Proleptic Passover," Appendix F in Law of the Covenant. North's essay is entitled, "The Marriage Supper of the Lamb," in Christianity and Civilization No. 4: The Reconstruction of the Church. North's earlier views are in "Family Authority vs. Protestant Sacerdotalism," in the Journal of Christian Reconstruction symposium on the Family, Vol. IV, No. 2, Winter 1977-78, reprinted in Vol. XVI, "The 25th Anniversary Issue" available at The Chalcedon Store.

Gary North denies this Thesis in his book Baptized Patriarchalism, pp. 44ff. He says,

Asa household priest, the father may have circumcised his sons. But if he did, he did so a delegated agent of the Levitical priesthood.

The Levitical Priesthood did not exist when Abraham began circumcizing his sons. Abraham tithed to the Melchizedek Priesthood. The "priesthood of all believers" is certainly more likely through Christ and the Melchizedek priesthood than the Levitical.

This Thesis and future Theses will argue that "sacraments" were originally and rightfully administered by families (in the pages of the Old Testament and in the pages of the New Testament, during "the last days" of the Old Covenant), that "the church" was a remedial organization for the family, and that both "church" and "sacraments" were part of the Old Covenant, and did not remain after the coming of Christ in A.D. 70.

70 Theses til Election Day

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thesis 24: Patriarchy, “National Defense,” And Military Socialism

Godly Patriarchies need not worry about defending themselves against any political State.[1] God blesses Christian Patriarchy with security.[2] Those who violate Biblical Law are subject to the Curse (#9); they cannot defend themselves against God’s avengers.[3] Reliance upon carnal weapons of war is forbidden,[4] as well as the international alliances and trade agreements which further such arms build-ups.[5] The end result of the quest for “national security” through strengthened “national defense” is the centralization of power in the State, producing military socialism.[6] An economy dependent upon the production and threatened use of arms is idolatry.[7]


1. Genesis 14; Genesis 23:6; Exodus 14:14,24-25; Deuteronomy 20:1; Psalm 46:9; 76:6; Zechariah 9:10,15; Joshua 24:7; 2 Kings 7:6-7; Proverbs 21:31; Hosea 1:7; 14:3; 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 16:8; 20:15; 18:31.

2. #42; 1 Samuel 12:11; Psalm 78:53; Proverbs 1:33; 3:23; Isaiah 32:17; Jeremiah 23:6; Ezekiel 34:28; Hosea 2:18

3. Isaiah 10:5-6; Leviticus 26:14-17,25,33,36-37; Deuteronomy 28:25,52; Nahum 2:13; Haggai 2:22; Zechariah 9:10; Isaiah 22:7; 30:16; 31:3; Jeremiah 4:13; 6:23; 21:4-5; 50:42; Ezekiel 38:4; Amos 2:15; 4:10; Micah 5:10; Zechariah 12:4; Ezekiel 26:7-11

4. Deuteronomy 17:16-17; Psalm 33:16-17; 147:10; Zechariah 4:6; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Psalm 20:7

5. Ezekiel 17:15; 23:6-7,12,23; Isaiah 31:1; 36:9

6. 1 Kings 10:26 - 11:14; 12:11

7. Isaiah 2:7-8


Patriarchy and National Security

A Theonomic Defense of Pacifism

Swords Into Plowshares

71 Theses til Election Day

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thesis 23: Evangelism In The Old Covenant

Abram expanded his household through hospitality, evangelism and domestic apprenticeship.[1] Evangelism expands the dominion of Patriarchy. Biblical evangelism is Patriarchy (#71, #75). The “Gospel” is the “good news” that Christ is King and is going to turn back the curse and bless all nations. The Scripture preached this good news (“Gospel”) to Abraham,[2] saying that God would build and bless all the Families of the earth[3] through his Seed.[4] The Gospel promise to Abraham is being fulfilled in Christ and His Church.[5]

1. Genesis 12:5, #20
2. Galatians 3:8
3. Genesis 12:3; 18:18-19.
4. Galatians 3:16; #36
5. Acts 13:32-37; 3:25-26; #69

"Patriarchy" is defined on this blog as a family-centered society with no "church and no "state." Our definition would therefore include something that might be called a "matriarchal" society, if that family structure is the sole social structure. Our word is derived from patria, family, not pater, father. It's a separate, historical argument as to whether there is any such thing as a "matriarchal" society. We're not arguing for or against a particular relationship between husband and wife (for the most part); we're arguing against non-familial institutions.

On "blessing":
The Meaning of "Blessing"
Christmas: A Celebration of Paradise
Deuteronomy 28 - God's Blessings upon Obedience

On hospitality, evangelism and domestic apprenticeship:
• James B. Jordan: "God's Hospitality and Holistic Evangelism"
cf.: Sacred spaces and places
• Gary North: "Family Authority vs. Protestant Sacerdotalism"

Abraham and Government.
Government without the State
Public Service

The take-home point here is that "New Testament Christians" should not be less evangelistic and less hospitable than Abraham, and there is more power from the Holy Spirit under the New Covenant to bring order to society through families and the businesses and associations created by families.

72 Theses til Election Day

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thesis 22: The Division of The Nations

God divided and separated the Humanistic nations, which were followed by the demonic powers[1] called the “sons of God”[2] or “sons of the mighty.”[3] Thus each nation had demonic “guardians” generally associated with it.[4] All the Humanistic kingdoms of the world were the happy hunting ground of Satan and his political appointees.[5]

1. Deuteronomy 32:8,43 LXX [NIV]; 29:26; 4:19; cf. Acts 17:26-30
2. Job 2:1
3. Psalm 89:6; cf. Jude 8-9; 2 Peter 2:10-11
4. Daniel 10:13,20; Judges 11:24
5. Luke 4:5-7; Acts 14:16; cf. Genesis 10:9-10 (#19)

This Thesis lends credence to the idea of demonic presence in Genesis 6. See: Thesis 16: The Demonic Roots of Violent Tyranny. But it is not the purpose of this Thesis to appeal to or to support such writers as Alexander Hislop or Henry Morris (not that I rate Morris that low). The purpose is simply to note (as we go through the Bible chronologically) that there is a connection between "the State" and "the powers" (Epheisians 6:12; Romans 13).

Stars and Idolatry

If Hislop is too literal or fanciful, Walter Wink is too liberal. There is a more "literal" reality to "the powers" than Wink allows. Our purpose is not to describe this reality exhaustively, but simply to connect it to "the State."

R.J. Rushdoony, "Tyranny," Revolt Against Maturity, 129-133. See also "The Demonic City" in Death Penalty Debate - Appendix B.

73 Theses til Election Day

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thesis 21: Demonic Activity At Babel

Babel, the epitome of the State, was a demonic and Humanistic effort to preserve the unity of the godhead of Man.[1] This temple “unto heaven” was evidence of the quest for godhead (#13) by both men and demons, and a belief in the “Chain of Being” which denies the un-bridgeable gap between Creator and creature[2] (#56).

1. Genesis 11:1-9; Revelation 17:5
2. Romans 1:25

On political godhead, see R. J. Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System, "The United Nations," chap 7, and "The Religion of Humanity," chap. 6. More.

74 Theses til Election Day

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thesis 20: Patriarchy vs. Political Slavery

Nimrod built his city by slavery, and the relationship between the polis and slavery is an inescapable symbiosis.[1] The Biblical alternative to slavery to the State is domestic (household) apprenticeship.[2]

1. Genesis 10:8; 9:25-27; 47:21 (LXX [NIV])
2. Proverbs 17:2 + Genesis 15:2-3; 17:12; 14:14; Exodus 21:2-11; Deuteronomy 15:12-18; Jeremiah 34:8-17; Leviticus 25:39ff.

Nimrod: The "Hunter" Of Men

The commentators are fairly agreed that Nimrod was a violent enslaver of men. Slavery, however, is inescapable, at least in non-Christian cultures. Abraham is the Christian anti-type of Nimrod, building his household by evangelism and domestic apprenticeship. Secular Humanists would say Abraham's "servants" should have been "emancipated" -- that homeless autonomy is better than working in a Christian household.

Abraham as a Model of Community and Government

See Thesis #23

75 Theses til Election Day

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thesis 19: Nimrod: The First Politician (Post-Flood)

Nimrod, following Cain’s error, left the Godly Family to form a “State.”[1] His name means “let us rebel.”[2]

1. Genesis 10:8-12
2. cf. 1 Samuel 15:23; Revelation 18:23

Nimrod: Old Testament Hebrew -

By the time we get to the account of Nimrod, God has not said to man, "Form the State." Formation of the State is the act of rebels, not saints.

Nimrod: The First Politician

76 Theses til Election Day

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thesis 18: The Patriarchal Power Of “Capital Punishment”

After the flood, the command to shed the blood of capital criminals (and not to eat blood) was given to the Family, not a “State.”[1] Thus (cf. A), even after man’s Fall and expulsion from the Garden of Eden, neither a political (“State”) nor an ecclesiastical (“church”) institution was needed to supplement the Family.

1. Genesis 9:1,4-6

John Frame writes:

Some have found divine warrant for the state in Genesis 9:6, where God commands Noah’s family to return bloodshed for bloodshed. But this is a command given to a family. There is no indication here of any new institution being established. And in the law of Moses, the execution of murderers was carried out, not by the state as such, but by the "avenger of blood," kin of the murder victim (Num. 35:19,21; Deut. 19:12). The family, here, is the instrument of justice. We have no reason to believe, therefore, that any special institution beyond the family for the establishment of justice was created in Genesis 9:6.

We began the previous section (A) with these words:

In the Garden of Eden there was no State, nor was there an ecclesiocracy (institutional church). Biblical Society consisted of the Family. Every sociological function necessary for the smooth (shalom) and Godly (“righteous,” “just”) operation of a society (e.g., health, education, welfare, etc.) can be provided by Godly Families.

We repeat the same claim here as we look at the next period of time, the time immediately after the Flood, looking specifically at what we now call "capital punishment." We referred to :

Appendix A of our "Death Penalty Debate," which also applies here.

Genesis 9:5-6 is always cited with reference to "capital punishment" -- verse 4 is not:

4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

A few verses earlier we had read:

8:20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

In all of this the subject is blood: dietary blood, "civil" blood, and "religious" blood.
• Everyone agrees that the laws which directed Noah concerning religious blood shed on the altar are fulfilled only in Christ.
• Many also agree that the laws regulating blood and other dietary concerns are also fulfilled.
• Very few will see that the shedding of the blood of criminals also served an atoning function.

Numbers 35:32 And you shall take no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the priest. 33 So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it. 34 Therefore do not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.’”

In all three cases, Noah served as a kind of priest. In the personal, civil, and churchly spheres, the common denominator was blood.

In Deuteronomy 21, Moses commanded that in cases of an unsolved homicide, the blood of a heifer must be shed to make atonement. Nobody (well, almost nobody) believes that the civil magistrate is obligated to apply Deuteronomy 21 literally, and shed blood in the case of an unsolved homicide. Reason: only Christ's blood can make atonement. But if the homicide is solved, these same Christians go back to Genesis 9 and Numbers 35, which say that

no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.

and they demand that the murderer's blood be shed (well, they ignore the blood part; they just want death).

We will return to this idea in Thesis #54, concerning war.

77 Theses til Election Day

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thesis 17: The Post-Flood Absence of The Institutional Church

After the Flood, there was no “church”; “religious” activities were carried out by the Family.[1] The Church (the Body of Christ’s believer-priests) is not to be equated with the institutional “church.”

1. Genesis 8:20 - 9:4-6

The Family in Its Civil and Churchly Aspects B.M. Palmer

Capital Punishment in Genesis 9 -- surprisingly, a "churchly" aspect, not a "civil" one, but still an aspect of the Family.

78 Theses til Election Day


The world was destroyed by the Flood because it was covered with violence (Genesis 6:11,13). Many commentators have suggested that this violence was the result of demonic influence.

After the Flood, we see increasing evidence that the formation of the State was demonic in its impetus.

But just like the Fall of Man did not result in God's command to form "the State," we see no evidence that the violence judged by the Flood prompted God to command men to form “the State.” Noah built an altar ("church") and what we call “capital punishment” was also given to the Family -- “to Noah and his sons” (Genesis 9:1,8) -- not to a “Civil Magistrate.”

If God ever commanded men to form "the State," He hasn’t done so up to this point.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thesis 16: The Demonic Roots of Violent Tyranny

The growth of political kingship[1] was demonic in power,[2] and was rooted in violence.[3]


1. Genesis 4:19-24
2. Genesis 6:1-4; cf. Jude 6; #22
3. Genesis 6:11-13


R.J. Rushdoony, "The Song of Lamech," Revolt Against Maturity, 97-101.

Many have debated the identity of the "sons of God" in Genesis 6. Many respectable scholars have claimed that they were fallen angelic (demonic) beings. [#22] Even if this theory proves incorrect, the central message is clear: those who grasped for power and greatness also embraced violence. The genealogy in Genesis 5 is surrounded by violence in Genesis 4 and 6 which is political in nature. [#15] The demonic nature of political power will be seen elsewhere, even if it's not to be found in Genesis 6.

Don't be an Archist!

(Readers of this blog are encouraged to extend the debate by posting references either in support or in opposition to the Thesis.)

79 Theses til Election Day

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thesis 15: Cain’s City: The Autonomy of the State

Cain’s polis was an attempt to escape the Presence of God,[1] and was an “autonomously creative” act of rebellion.[2] Apostate man has ever since been characterized by the City/State[3] (polis - a deified, fortified political system). Enoch was first to build a "city," but believers will eventually build a better city.[4] Unbelievers tend to take greater risks than believers, and in many cases "get there first" in their rebellion against God or their quest to get something for nothing.


1. Genesis 4:16
2. Genesis 4:17 (as distinguished from an “analogically re-creative” act, thinking God’s thoughts after Him [“Enoch” = “dedication,” “creation”])
3. Numbers 13:28; Deuteronomy 1:28; 3:5; 1 Kings 4:13
4. Revelation 21-22


R.J. Rushdoony, "The Cainite," Revolt Against Maturity, p. 91-96.

Jacques Ellul - The Meaning of the City

"The Enoch Factor" - Introduction James B. Jordan

Biblical Horizons » No. 37: The Case Against Western Civilization, Part 2: "The Enoch Factor"

Biblical Horizons » No. 38: The Case Against Western Civilization, Part 3 February, 1998

If we realize that human beings are the images of God, and that man hates God, then we realize that all non-Christian political philosophy is founded on a fundamental hatred of other human beings, a hatred manifest in contempt. All non-Christian political philosophy embraces the idea that most people are to be slaves of the elite. Non-Christian political philosophy inevitably thinks nothing of going to war and killing thousands, even millions, of images of God in order to advance some scheme. Think of the thousands of teenaged Iraqi soldiers slain by Americans in Mr. Bush’s Gulf War, which was fought, he himself insisted, merely to keep down the price of oil! They inconvenienced us, so we slaughtered them!

Biblical Horizons » No. 39: The Case Against Western Civilization, Part 4 The Nephilim Factor

80 Theses til Election Day

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thesis 14: The Purpose of Cain’s “Suspended Sentence”

Cain rebelled against Godly Patriarchy.[1] Cain’s murder of his brother was worthy of death,[2] but the Lord by Divine mandate had Cain’s life spared.[3] Cain was thus free to establish “the State”[4] (#15), which eventually executed Christ[5] -- the only way His Blood could have been shed for our sins.

1. Genesis 4:5-8; 1 John 3:12; Jude 11
2. Genesis 4:10; 3:19,21; 4:11-12; Romans 1:32
3. Genesis 4:14-15
4. Genesis 4:17.
5. Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:2; 1 Corinthians 2:8; Acts 2:23; 3:17; 4:26-28; #47


The Patriarchal Power of "Capital Punishment"

How else could a sinless Savior be put to death but by a lawless institution like “the State?” There was no lawful way Christ could be put to death. Cain was spared to set it in motion.

81 Theses til Election Day

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thesis 13: The Fall of Man

Satan’s temptation of man involved denying God’s Word and promising evolution into political godhead.[1]
Because of this rebellion, the descendants of the First Adam experience
• a curse in nature: genetic disorder in plants,[2] animals,[3] and humans,[4] shortened lifespans,[5] non-sabbatic metabolism,[6] and in weather;[7]
• and spiritual darkness: this “original sin” is passed to subsequent generations sociologically (dysfunctional, compulsive urge to sin and death[8] in children and grandchildren[9]) and genetically (e.g., chemical imbalances associated with deviant behavior).[10]
The victory of the Second Adam
reverses the curse (overcoming entropy[11] and restoring longevity[12])
• and dispels the darkness (victory over sin[13]) with effects passing to descendants for a thousand generations.[14]
Descendants of the Second Adam reject the Tempter’s promises of political godhead.[15]

1. Genesis 3:5 [elohim]; 3:22; 11:6 #41, #30
2. Genesis 3:18
3. Romans 8:22
4. from inbreeding (Leviticus 18:6ff.)
5. Genesis 5; Psalm 90:10
6. need for meat in diet (Genesis 9:3)
7. termination of stable “greenhouse” effect (Genesis 2:5-6; 7:4)
8. Proverbs 8:36
9. Exodus 20:5; Leviticus 20:5; 26:39; Numbers 14:18
10. Proverbs 14:30; 17:22; Psalm 32:3; 2 Corinthians 7:10
11. Isaiah 55:13; Deuteronomy 29:5; Romans 8:19-23.
12. Isaiah 65:17-20,22; #89
13. Romans 8:1-4; #88
14. Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10; 7:9; Jeremiah 32:39; Acts 2:39
15. Luke 4:1-13; Romans 5:15; 1 Corinthians 15:22; #77.

On political godhead, see R. J. Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System, "The United Nations," chap 7, and "The Religion of Humanity," chap. 6. More.
On "non-sabbatic metabolism," see Arthur Custance, Sweating of Fallen Man, and Modern Methuselahs.

82 Theses til Election Day

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thesis 12: The Fall Of The Angels

Satan, a chief angel,[1] was filled with pride[2] and led a rebellion with a major part of the stars (angels) of heaven.[3] (Angelic beings are often described in terms of celestial phenomena [#30; #53].) Satan tempted man as a serpent,[4] but his head would eventually be crushed.[5]

1. Ezekiel 28:14,16
2. Isaiah 14:9,12-21; 1 Timothy 3:6; Ezekiel 28:11ff.
3. Revelation 12:9
4. Genesis 3:1-5, 13-15; Exodus 4:1-4;
Rahab: Job 26:12-13; Psalm 87:4; 89:10; Isaiah 30:7;
Dragon: Psalm 91:13; Exodus 7:8-12; Jeremiah 51:34; Isaiah 51:9-10; 27:1; Revelation 12-13
Leviathan: Ps 104:26; Ps 74:13-14
Behemoth: Job 40:14-25
5. Genesis 3:14; Judges 4:21; 5:26-27; 9:50-57; 1 Samuel 5:1-5; 17:49-51; 2 Samuel 18:9; 20:21-22; Psalm 68:21; Habakkuk 3:13; Psalm 110:6; John 12:31-32; Colossians. 2:15; Hebrews. 2:14; Revelation. 12:5-10; 20:1-3, 7-10; Romans 16:20; Isaiah 65:25 [#59]

David Chilton, "The Garden of the Lord," Paradise Restored, chapter 5.

83 Theses til Election Day


We have seen that before the Fall, God gave no human being a command to form "the State."

Even after the Fall, God issued no commands to form a State. Yet one of the most oft-heard justifications for the State is that, after the Fall, man’s will is depraved. He is prone to sin, and there needs to be some force that will keep man from committing crimes and to keep society from becoming lawless and chaotic.

Unfortunately, these theorists always nominate fallen, sinful men to occupy this seat of power. It’s as though all citizens are thought to be on the verge of committing all manner of serial murders, rapes and robberies, and are easily bribed and corrupted, but not once they become politicians. Do we really believe that if some of these depraved citizens are armed with weapons (and a legal monopoly on the use of these weapons, with no competitors) and given a new name (transforming them from “voters,” to “public servants,” “officers,” or “ministers”) they will then be sanctified, undepraved, uncorruptable human beings who will magnanimously keep the rest of their fellows from committing these crimes?

If human beings are fallen and prone to sin, a small minority of them should not be given a monopoly of violence. Or as someone has put it, “If man were not sinful, we would not need to have a State; if man is sinful, we dare not have one.”

Both before and after the Fall, God did not command men to form a State. The formation of the State is evidence of the Fall; the State is an expression of man’s original sin, the desire to be as gods (Genesis 3:5).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thesis 11: Patriarchy and the Mountain

The Garden of Eden was on a Mountain.[1] Our sin caused us to be cast out of the Mountain.[2] When God reveals His Edenic Grace through Redemptive acts on mountains,[3] He symbolizes concretely what the Prophets foretold by speaking of this Mountain: the future Edenification of the Earth.[4] These prophecies are now coming to pass.[5] The vision of the “Vine & Fig Tree” is a vision of the restoration of Patriarchal society and Edenic conditions.[6]


1. Genesis 2:10-14; Ezekiel 28:13-14
2. Genesis 3:24; Exodus 19:12
3. Genesis 22:2; 2 Chronicles 3:1; Exodus 24:9-11; Matthew 5:1; Mark 3:13f.; 2 Peter 1:16-18; Matthew 26:30; 28:16-20; Acts 1:9-12
4. Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:9; 25:6-9; 56:3-8; 65:25; Daniel 2:34-35,44-45
5. Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 2:7; Matthew 5:14 + Isaiah 60:3; #89
6. Micah 4:1-5

See David Chilton, "The Holy Mountain," Paradise Restored, chapter 4.

Don't think "Mt. Everest" when you see "mountain" in the Bible; just think "elevated plateau."

Text at note 5 says mountain prophecies "are now coming to pass." The Bible speaks of days when God's Holy Mountain is elevated above the hills. In a sense, that elevation took place at the first Christmas, when Christ was resurrected and ascended. This is called the "preterist" view. In another sense, there is still future fulfillment. The Bible never posits a time when human beings do not act. Human action is purposeful behavior; action aiming at an end or goal. This means there is always building, development, or perfection. [This in itself is an extraordinarily controversial thesis, if you think about it.] As an example, in "the New Heavens and New Earth" of Isaiah 65, when people are living in God's Holy Mountain (Isaiah 65:25), they are described as building houses and planting vineyards (v.21). The Prophet Isaiah would say that with the coming of Christ, this New Heavens and New Earth has been inaugurated, and we are on God's Holy Mountain. But not all the houses that will be built have been built. There are infants (v. 20) being born (v. 23), who eventually need houses built.

See Gary North, Millennialism and Social Theory, chap. 5.

Since there is Growth and Progress even in the New Heavens and New Earth, we need to start Thinking Like Adults.

84 Theses til Election Day

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thesis 10: The Priority of Agrarianism

Man was created in a Garden, with the basic command to dress, cultivate, and guard the land.[1] Meaningful work was given to man in the pre-Fall Garden of Eden;[2] food was plentiful but required harvesting.[3] Economic scarcity is not a product of the Fall in a vague, ubiquitous, automatic, “natural” sense, but is a product of deliberate human action (laziness, theft, price controls, war), and less frequently, the direct judgment[4] or testing[5] at the hand of God through angelic agency (#30).


1. (Genesis 2:15 ) And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

2. Cult: Genesis 1:26
(Genesis 1:26) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Culture: Genesis 1:28 ; 2:12 ; 2:19 .
(Genesis 1:28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
(Genesis 2:12) And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
(Genesis 2:19) And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

3. Cultivation:
Genesis 1:29; 2:5; 2:9; 2:15 ; 2:16
(Genesis 1:29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
(Genesis 2:5) And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
(Genesis 2:9) And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
(Genesis 2:15-16) And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. {16} And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

4. cf. Thomas Jefferson, "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest. -- But it is impossible to be temperate and to pursue this subject through the various considerations of policy, of morals, of history natural and civil. We must be contented to hope they will force their way into every one's mind. I think a change already perceptible, since the origin of the present revolution. The spirit of the master is abating, that of the slave rising from the dust, his condition mollifying, the way I hope preparing, under the auspices of heaven, for a total emancipation, and that this is disposed, in the order of events, to be with the consent of the masters, rather than by their extirpation."

5. Job 2:3
(Job 2:3) And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

This is a controversial Thesis. The human race was initially agrarian. This Thesis is not necessarily intended to imply (though one might infer it) that the human race should have remained agrarian.

On the one side in this debate might be found writers like Wendell Berry and Christians in the Anabaptist (e.g., Amish) tradition.

On the other side are writers like Gary North, who suggests that Old Testament law actually intended cities to take priority over farms.

Revelation 21-22 suggests that "the City of God" is the goal;
but there are multiple trees of life in the New Jerusalem.

Even farmers despise the Kingdom (Matthew 22:5).

The "cult-culture-cultivation" triad is Peter Maurin's.

The following items are from the "food for thought" department:

"The Presbyterian Magazine," May 1852, says of True Blue Presbyterianism:

A true-blue Presbyterian is never found advocating the abolition of capital punishment, resisting the law of the land, affording new facilities for divorces, encouraging agrarianism in any shape. Conservatism, as opposed to extravagance, is the law of his life; the first and second nature of the inner man. HT

Here's another item:

Farm pregnancy 'cuts asthma risk'

Clearly, human beings need agriculture. No food, no life. Are the motivations that move human beings to a "Star Trek" future where food is created by computer-assisted molecular re-arrangement Godly motivations? Are the motivations for moving from rural to urban Godly motivations? I'm not saying there's only one right answer, only that they are interesting and potentially illuminating questions, which can prevent an "unexamined life." (In addition to the c-c-c triad, above, Peter Maurin also advocated "round-table discussions" for "clarification of thought.")

85 Theses til Election Day

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thesis 9: Patriarchy and the Sanctions of the Covenant

Cultural prosperity will be given only if Families will do their duty;[1] obedience is blessed under the terms of God’s Covenant with man[2] while disobedience is cursed.[3] The terms of God’s Law as revealed by the Holy Spirit to Adam and subsequent generations,[4] recorded by Moses and applied by the Prophets is written on the hearts of believers in the New Covenant,[5] and they follow these statutes and ordinances in every area of their lives[6] (#68)

1. Luke 17:10; Micah 6:8
2. Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Leviticus 26:3-13
3. Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Leviticus 26:14-39
4. Law before Sinai
5. Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:7-13.
6. Ezekiel 36:25-27; Romans 8:1-4.

This Thesis is just a statement of what's known as "Theonomy."

Note 4 will contain references from James B. Jordan, "The Law Before Sinai," in The Law of the Covenant: An Exposition of Exodus 21-23, pp. 50-52.

Law is "The Third Archetype" of the seven Vine & Fig Tree "archetypes."

86 Theses til Election Day

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thesis 8: Patriarchy and "the Extended Family"

In the Bible the Godly “Family” answers to our “extended” Family.[1] While it is the basic legal unit of society,[2] the “nuclear family” is culturally sub-Biblical.

[1] Genesis 6:18; 14:14; Joshua 7:18
[2] Genesis 2:24

We'll see more on this subject when we get to Thesis #39 on Education, where grandparents are commanded to have a role. Extended families are usually broken up over "financial opportunities" (e.g., a "better" job away from family).

87 Theses til Election Day

Friday, August 8, 2008

Thesis 7: The Dominion Mandate

Man was created to exercise “dominion” over the earth.[1] This mandate is sometimes called “The Cultural Mandate,” both to signify its comprehensive scope (#68), and to distinguish a Godly stewardship from an unGodly and selfish domination of the creation.[2]

[1] Genesis 1:26-28; 9:1-3,7,10; Psalm 8:5-8
[2] Deuteronomy 20:19; 25:4; Proverbs 12:10


The Dominion Mandate
The Godly Quest for Unlimited Wealth

88 Theses til Election Day

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thesis 6: The Biological Basis of Patriarchy

God creates people in Families.[1] No one is born autonomously[2]; every human being is born into a Family of at least a mother and a father. That Home is either a Godly Home or a dysfunctional (broken) home. “Individualism” is an inadequate sociological paradigm.[3]

[1] Genesis 1:27; Ephesians 3:15; Genesis 9:1; Genesis 29:31; Genesis 30:22; Psalm 127:3; Psalm 128:3-4; Isaiah 8:18; Malachi 2:15
[3] Genesis 2:18

The point of this thesis is that biologically speaking, human beings are created familialy. The family is self-replicating in a way other institutions are not.

. .

I've made room for more verses at [2]. When this Thesis was written in the 1980's, "cloning" was about as real as StarTrek. Now it appears that extra-familial birth is more of a reality. That renders this Thesis suspect, or at least requiring additional defense. Does cloning prove that the Family was a historical stage, no longer necessary? It certainly could become easier for human beings to be cloned than to reproduce them the old-fashioned way. Can this prove the superiority of the institutions of church and state through their ability to clone their own new members to compete with the Family and render the Family irrelevant? Does the Bible anywhere suggest the biological or moral superiority of the Family over church and state?

89 Theses til Election Day


The first five Theses set forth the basic theological foundation for the rest of the 95 Theses.

From now on we'll be going through the Bible -- its history and its commandments -- in more or less chronological order.

Our overall purpose is to discern the Biblical pattern for human social organization. This is bigger than figuring out the "Biblical form of Government." That question is usually answered with such terms as "monarchy" or "democracy" or "republic." We're asking whether human beings are required to have a "form of government" at all.

We frequently use the term "patriarchy" to describe a Biblical society. The emphasis is on the family, which is how God created human beings. The emphasis is not on some domineering abuse of women by men. "Patriarchy" is simply is the best word we've been able to come up with to describe a society where the Family is the central unit of society, and there exists nothing we would call "the State" or "the Church."

The other phrase we use to describe such a state of "anarchy" is just "Vine & Fig Tree."

When people hear the idea of a society with no government, they are as scandalized as people were in 1776 when they heard the idea of abolishing the rule of the British monarch in the colonies and setting up a new system of social order with no king at all. Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, upon hearing of Locke's rejection of the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings, said:

Never before had I heard the authority of kings called in question. I had been taught to consider them nearly as essential to political order as the sun is to the order of our solar system.

America's Founding Fathers would never have dreamed of creating a society with no order, but they didn't believe social order required a king. They believed in "self-government" -- but they were also the product of their times, and believed that some form of representative civil government was necessary, even if it didn't require a king.

Their system failed.

The United States today is by every measure an atheistic dictatorship. Taxes are 20-30 times greater than those that sent tea into the Boston Harbor. And George III would never violate the liberties of the people as George W. has, and would never think of using tax revenue to fund abortions, pornography, offensive ("preemptive" as opposed to "defensive") foreign wars, or the removal of copies of the Ten Commandments from public places.

This means the Constitution of 1787 has failed its most fundamental task. America's Founders, separated by 200 years, would see this instantly, even though we have grown accustomed to it, and we think we are free.

If they were here today, America's Founding Fathers would be utterly outraged and indignant over what has happened to their "novus ordo seclorum" (new order for the ages). Our government is not in any meaningful sense adhering to their Constitution. The Founders would unquestionably take immediate steps to abolish the government they created, with more resolve and urgency than they abolished the British monarchy in the colonies.

What would they put in its place? In creating the Constitution, they deliberated for months, based on the study and reflection of a lifetime, to create a system of government which would protect ordered liberty, and preserve a nation of "Liberty Under God." But their best efforts to bind the state down by the chains of a well-deliberated Constitution were unsuccessful. It's impossible to imagine the dreary "statesmen" of our day writing a better Constitution.

It's time we admitted what they would admit.

Our claim is that America's Founding Fathers would now see the need to go beyond eliminating a king, to eliminate altogether the institutionalization of violence and plunder; that is, to organize society without any "civil government" at all. Rather, to let society organize itself spontaneously under the "Invisible Hand" of a Free Market, which is to say, with "Liberty Under God."

In the Garden of Eden there was no State, nor was there an ecclesiocracy (institutional church). Biblical Society consisted of the Family. Every sociological function necessary for the smooth (shalom) and Godly (“righteous,” “just”) operation of a society (e.g., health, education, welfare, etc.) can be provided by Godly Families.

But if there was no State in the Garden of Eden, when did it arise? Did God command its creation, or is the creation of the State an act of Humanistic rebellion?

As we go through the Bible, we will be asking, "Is this where God commanded human beings to set up a monarch, or a parliament, or an Internal Revenue Service?" At the end of each chapter, we will see the answer is No.

The next few theses will cover the period of human history from Creation to the Fall.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thesis 5: “Self-Evident Truths”

Human beings are created in the Image of God.[1] Man is therefore receptive to the character of God evident in creation,[2] and in himself.[3] Knowledge of God’s character implies duties on our part.[4] Man’s moral activity displays the work of the law of God written on his heart.[5]

1. Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 9:1-6; Psalm 8:4-8; Psalm 104:20-24; Job 5:23; Jeremiah 27:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Hebrews 2:6-9; Genesis 5:1; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Acts 17:26,28,29; 2 Corinthians 4:4; James 3:7-9;
2. Psalm 19
3. Romans 1:18-32
5. Romans 2:15


Gary T. Amos, "Self-Evident Truths," Defending the Declaration, pp. 75-101. Historical discussion.

Gary North, "Reason, Social Utility, and Social Cooperation," Cooperation And Dominion: An Economic Commentary On Romans, ch. 1., and "The Work Of The Law And Social Utility," chap. 2.

90 Theses til Election Day

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thesis 4: Omniscience, Predestination, and Providence

God knows everything, everywhere, at all times, throughout history: past, present, and future. The actions of all creatures are predestined by God.

Notes and References
Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, 2nd rev. ed., p. 184-191 has a nice list of verses.

John M. Frame, No Other God: A Response to Open Theism

John M. Frame, The Doctrine of God (A Theology of Lordship) pp. 483ff. More good proof-texts.

"Omniscience," excerpted from Biblical Predestination by Gordon H. Clark

The importance of this Thesis will be seen when we deal with Romans 13, but we'll see the importance many times before we get there. See:

Predestination and American Liberty

Capitalism: Astonishing Providence

Calvin's America


The primary objection to predestination is that it negates human free will.

There is no logical syllogism that can prove this; it's simply an emotional objection.

"Free will" is a term used by non-Calvinist laymen to speak of the human capacity to plan, reason, sing, forecast, make choices and decisions, engage in creative work analogous to God's creative work, and to exercise dominion over the earth. All of these human capacities are the result of man being created in the Image of God, not a result of God being unable to intervene in history, or unable to determine the outcome of history in advance, or unable to predestine all of these actions.

"Free will" is also a term used by philosophers to deny the sovereignty of God and affirm the autonomy of man. It leads to atheism.

Laymen are confused by the philosophers, and believe that the philosophers have proven that if God predestines, man is a "robot." There is no logical connection between "predestination" and "robot" -- the loss of the Image of God. If God predestined me to type every single letter than I am now typing, and you to read those words, I am still created in the Image of God. I am not a rock, robot, or rottweiler. God's predestination does not in any sense require that we are no longer created in the Image of God -- with the capacity to think, plan, program software, type sentences, and read them. It simply means that God predestined human beings to exist as His Image-Bearers, and to act accordingly.

"God predestined each one of us to be created in His Image."

There is nothing self-contradictory or non-rational about that sentence.

If we substitute "free will" for "created in the Image of God, we have:

"God predestined each one of us to have 'free-will.'"

And if we understand "free-will" to be "created in the Image of God, not like the plants and animals," the sentence is logical and Biblical.

Man can program computers and robots; they are less than man.
God can "program" human beings created in His Image; they are less than God but more than man's creations. Man can create robots, but man cannot create beings in the image of God. God can, and can do so while retaining full sovereignty over them, without destroying the Image of God in them.

Being created as rational creatures in the Image of God with dominion (which some speak of as "free will") has nothing to do with man being "free" (autonomous) from God, and God being powerless to exercise His Lordship over the creation, including man.

91 Theses til Election Day

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thesis 3: Creation, not Evolution

According to the Bible, the world is less than 10,000 years old.[1] During the first six days of planetary history, the earth, all life on earth, all the stars, and the sun, were directly and supernaturally created by God.[2] They did not come into being through a random, impersonal “natural” process, but were intentionally designed and created by an intelligent, rational, personal, and loving Creator.[3]

[1] Obviously this is an interpretive claim. Some Christians believe the Bible is not attempting to teach this.
[2] Those in note 1 above believe that the "days" in this sentence are not 24-hour days. The foundational question is, "Why do they believe this?" If they lived 4 centuries ago and everyone believed the world was less than 10,000 years old, would they still teach that the Bible does not teach a young earth? Or do they teach that the Bible does not claim the earth is only 10,000 years old because that would subject the Bible to embarrassing ridicule? Does the Bible make any claims that many scientists, philosophers, journalists, and bloggers reject? Should we re-interpret the Bible based on the fact that these people reject the Bible's claims?
[3] All sides agree the Bible claims this. But some people believe this claim is false. Should we teach that the Bible actually claims that God did not create the world so that influential atheist commentators don't ridicule the Bible any more?

The Embarrassment of Biblical Chronology

A Biblical Confession on Creation - Vision Forum Ministries

I'm always looking for more resources to post on each Thesis. Your suggestions are appreciated.

92 Theses til Election Day

Thesis 2: Christ the Creator

The Bible says that the universe was created by Jesus Christ[1], and He continues to govern the earth.[2]

1. Genesis 1:26; John 1:3,10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2
2. Genesis 11:7; Colossians 1:17

Is Jesus Christ the Creator God?

93 Theses til Election Day

Thesis 1: Christ the Word

The Bible is the Word of God.[1] The Word of God is Divine.[2] Every Word of God is sovereign over us.[3] We Worship God’s Word.[4] Christ is the Word.[5]

1. 2 Timothy 3:15-16
2. See the verses here.
3. See the verses here.
4. See the verses here.
5. John 1:1, 14; 1 John 1:1; 1 John 5:7; Psalm 33:6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:15-18; Philippians 2:6-8; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-17; 10:5; Revelation 19:13.

The Deity of Christ
The Incarnation
Deity of Christ: Case Closed
Who Is Jehovah? Who Is Jesus?
Jehovah is Jesus

The purpose of posting Theses is to foment debate. Comments, questions, and criticisms are always welcome.

I must confess, however, that I am not interested in long drawn-out debates over the deity of Christ. That debate is over, as far as I'm concerned. This Thesis, and a couple that follow, are foundational for future Theses, and are posted as premises for upcoming arguments, rather than an invitation for debate on these initial Theses.

If you're looking for answers, or have a comment, that's great, but if you're looking for detailed, protracted debate on this subject, you probably won't find it here.

It is as necessary to accept that the Bible claims that Christ is Divine to understand the message of the Bible as it is to understand that Aesop claims that wolves are dangerous to understand Aesop's story about The Boy Who Cried "Wolf!" The deity of Christ is just a part of the Biblical story. (Not a perfect analogy, I admit.)

94 Theses til Election Day.

Introduction: Taking the Bible Seriously

As I explained, these Theses constitute a survey of the Bible, going through in chronological order. Chronologically and theologically, I'm putting John chapter 1:1 ahead of Genesis 1: "In the beginning was the Word."

This verse tells us two things: Christ is divine, and the Word is divine.

Many don't believe that such a claim is true; they say, "I don't believe it's true that Christ is divine, and I don't believe it's true that the Bible is divine. But that's a completely different issue from the question, "What does the Bible claim?" Does the Bible claim (whether falsely or truthfully) that Christ is divine?

As we go through the Bible in these 95 Theses, I ask the unbelieving reader to suspend disbelief in order to accurately understand the claims made by the Bible. Just ask, "What is this book trying to assert," rather than "Is it true?"

If you believe that the Bible claims that priests have a right to molest you, you will never agree that the Bible is true. And well you shouldn't. Understanding what the Bible really claims will make it easier for you to accept it as divine and true, I believe.

The Bible is a story. If you want to say it's a "fairy tale," that's fine for now, as long as you make an honest effort to understand the plot of the fairy tale. Nobody believes that Aesop's Fables are literally and historically true, but there is still a literary science to understanding their moral message.

If millions of Christians believe that the Bible claims that George Bush has a divine right to declare martial law and suspend the Constitution, it's in your own interest to be able to convince them that the Bible makes no such claim. You can believe that the Bible is a fairy tale, and that the world is just a heap of random chemicals, and all meaning is illusion, but you may live longer if you can help me persuade millions of Christians that the Bible is libertarian in its moral message.

The Origin of These 95 Theses

I'm very bad with memory, but here's how these Theses came about. (I call it "a kitchen table of contents.")

It was somewhere between 1980 and 1983. I think.

Sometime during this period I was personally tutored through Van Til's Defense of the Faith by R.J. Rushdoony (along with David Chilton, in David's home). My first article for Chalcedon had appeared in 1979, but within a couple of years, I was no longer with Chalcedon [pdf, see note 7]. In a 12-month period sometime during these years I read through Human Action by Ludwig von Mises and the Bible, both from cover-to-cover. More importantly, in subsequent months I read the Bible through two more times in succession.

The reading of Mises and once through the Bible took place daily before breakfast at the kitchen table of Trent and Carol Wilson. Carol had met Mises, Murray Rothbard and George Reisman in New York at the Mises seminars.

My grandparents came out to California for the winter, and for my grandfather to get back surgery in Palm Springs. I drove them back to Missouri in the Spring, and spent a few months swinging an ax and turning woods into pastures. The drive back to Missouri included some time in New Mexico. During the drive back to Missouri, and in New Mexico, I read through an un-highlighted NIV and underlined every verse that had anything to do with law, government, politics, etc.

At the kitchen table of my Aunt Doris I completed a third reading of the Bible and wrote the seven "archetypes" of Vine & Fig Tree, and when I returned to California, at the kitchen table of David and Layla Gibson (I think they were gone, and I was just house-sitting, or maybe baby-sitting Faith and Caleb), I went through my Bible and picked out what I thought were the 95 best highlighted passages (among the ones relating most to "the State"), and summarized them as "95 Theses on Patriarchy."

These months turned out to be the most important of my life. Here's my "Third Time's a Charm" Theory of Bible Study:

• The First time through, a number of verses registered "subconsciously."
• The Second time through, I consciously recognized these verses, usually saying, "I've seen that before; what does it mean?"
• The Third time through, the pieces come together. A puzzling verse in Genesis is explained by later verses. What once seemed to be an isolated and obscure verse is now seen to be part of a collection of verses, and the pattern becomes clear.

I'd like to think that anyone who read through the Bible three times cover-to-cover in succession would come to the same conclusions I have, but it helps to have Mises and Rushdoony under your belt as well.

I have introduced this blog on my campaign blog:
Kevin Craig For Congress Blog: New Blog: "95 Days til Election Day"

The Importance of Luther's 95 Theses

Actually this post should be entitled, "The Importance of the Protestant Reformation," for this post and this blog go well beyond Luther's Theses on Justification.

I refer the reader to John W. Robbins essay, "Civilization And The Protestant Reformation." The Protestant Reformation led to important advances in law, government, economics, as well as religion.

The best thing that could be said about the Protestant Reformation is that it was a great leap forward in the progress that had been made ever since the coming of Christ. And by "progress" I don't mean strictly theological progress, but also "secular" progress, in the areas mentioned above (law, government, economics, etc.). Another good essay for an overview of this progress is Christ and Civilization, again by John W. Robbins. (It's not that I'm a Robbins groupie, but these are good introductions. I doubt that Robbins would think I'm even a Christian.)

Sure, I vainly imagine that these new 95 Theses could prompt some big reformation and great progress in civilization. But that will probably come at the hands of some monk or university scholar (like Luther was), not an outsider like me.

What is needed is another "paradigm shift," which is what I'm trying to create through these Theses. More on that idea here.

Welcome to "95 Theses til Election Day"

It's about 95 days until the 2008 Election. That affords me an excuse to post something I've been working on for a few years: an updated version of Luther's "95 Theses."

Actually, it's not an updated version of Luther's Theses, which were primarily about the doctrine of Justification by Faith; it's a completely new set of Theses.

The Theses undergird my motivation for campaigning for political office, or should I say, campaigning against political office. My campaign blog is here. It's mainly about political stuff. This blog is a journey through the Bible in chronological order, looking at passages that have a political impact.

I greatly appreciate intelligent comments, questions, complaints, or denunciations. After all, the purpose of a public posting of Theses is to inaugurate debate. An older version of these Theses is here. This will be the newer version, until I get started on another version called "The 95 Days of Christmas." That's another month away. Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments.