Not Google: How Covid-19 Kills, How to Beat it Back

Everything below is from Uncommon Descent, On the trajectory of Covid-19 (and similar diseases)

—<Quote on>—

As a FYI, we need to understand the pattern of such diseases, so courtesy Yandex Image search (Google did an obvious results suppression):

This leads to the simplified U/L trajectory description. If a vulnerable patient catches, things tend to get worse over several days, potentially leading to a crisis from immunity system over-reaction and/or secondary infection (“complications”). That can lead to flat-lining, the L, death. But if one makes it through the trough, a recovery period extends the disease process, the U trajectory. BTW, to see the U/L, invert the black line that rises with severity on the chart. Shouldn’t a deterioration lead to sinking?

The chart shows that the viral phase comes early, and leads to onward phases, which would be where flat-lining vs recovery happens. An effective antiviral would reduce rate of descent, giving time for the normal immune response to trigger a recovery without life threatening crisis.

Of course, a bad sign of going towards crisis is needing to be hospitalised. Hence the problem that antivirals will tend to have reduced effect on the hospitalised. As the chart suggests. Of course, by the time one is in ICU and/or on a ventilator, one is in serious trouble.

Therefore, signs of an effective antiviral will be reduced hospitalisation in vulnerable population segments (co-morbidities, age, reduced immune system effectiveness etc). As a result, too, reduced death rates. This would be due to suppressing the viral cell-hijack replication cycle.

A mechanism proposed for Covid-19, has been propping open cell pores allowing higher Zn concentration. Where, there seems to be a reasonable body of evidence that Zn is able to suppress that replication. Similarly, pH shifts may derange key-lock fitting for target points for corona viruses. At least one mentioned drug, Azithro, may be destroying receptor cells, which are tied to senescence. Obviously, there is much more out there.

So, let us attend to the trajectory. END

—<Quote end>—

I don’t think that there is anything medically controversial about this at all… except the last paragraph.

Which is why we get issues like the comments below:

kairosfocus August 9, 2020 at 6:59 am

On the trajectory of Covid-19 (and similar diseases)

–> Working around a bit of Google censorship . . . why would something like the above come up blank on Google search (with suggestions on “love” of all things)? Yandex gave an instant, multiple match. Of course, the original image I found was at Todaro’s Medicine UNcensored. (Todaro is an MD in his own right and is using a journal article per fair use.


kairosfocus August 9, 2020 at 7:08 am

The article:
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY
COVID-19 illness in native and immunosuppressed
states: A clinical
?
therapeutic staging proposal
Hasan K. Siddiqi, MD, MSCR, and Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSc

–> context is, in China heart transplants were proceeding apace, epidemic or no.

I despise it when our exceedingly broadminded, profoundly free thinking Masters tell me what I may or may not see, what I may or may not say, what I may or may not think.

Consider this post a vote against Our Leaders.

Pious Evil

From He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry Jr

Pages 230-231:

—<Quote begins>—

It is true that racial Jews in great mass will be saved later in the development of the kingdom in history (Rom. 11:11-25), per postmillennialism.[1] The hermeneutical rub comes with Jews’ being exalted over and distinguished from saved Gentiles, and the turning back of the redemptive progress to “the weak and beggarly elements” of the sacrificial system. As mentioned above, Isaiah 19: 19-25 expressly alludes to pagan nations that will be brought into the kingdom on a basis of equality with righteous Jews: “In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth” (v. 23). Here the former enemies are seen receiving an equal share of God’s favor. In Zechariah 9:7, God speaks of His future favor upon other enemies of Israel. He refers to Ekron, one of the five chief cities of Philistia: “I will remove their blood from their mouth, and their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, and be like a clan in Judah, and Ekron like a Jebusite.” This Philistine enemy is to become like “a clan in Judah.”

Israel’s demise from dominance is directly related to her ethical conduct. Israel crucified the Messiah. Jesus makes this the point of His Parable of the Householder mentioned above (Matt. 21:33ff). The constant apostolic indictment against the Jews pertained to this gross, conclusive act of covenantal rebellion. Although it is true that the Romans were responsible for physically nailing Christ to the cross (John 18:30-31), nevertheless, when covenantally considered, the onus of the divine curse fell squarely upon those who instigated and demanded it: the Jews of that generation. The Biblical record is quite clear and emphatic: the Jews were the ones who sought His death (Matt. 26; 27; John 11:53; 18; 19). This most heinous sin of all time, committed by the Jewish nation, is a constant refrain in the New Testament (Acts 2:22-23, 36; 3: 13-15a; 5:30; 7:52; 1 Thess. 2: 14-15).

The New Testament-era Church is not a distinct body of people for a time. Rather, it is a newly organized fulfillment of the old body for all time. This Church is one with the Jewish forefathers, being grafted into the Abrahamic root and partaking of its sap (Rom. 11: 17-18). Because of the redemptive work of Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek… for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

In Ephesians, Paul is quite emphatic on this matter. Though in the past the Gentiles (Eph. 2:11) were “strangers to the covenants of promise” (2:12), Christ has brought them “near” (2:13) by breaking down the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile “through” redemption (2:14-15). This makes one people of two (2:16-17), who worship one God (2:18), making the Gentiles “fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (2: 19), being built upon one foundation (2:20-22).


[1] See Chapter 12, below.

—<Quote ends>—

The leader of a nation is the lawful covenantal head of that nation. He has the lawful right to represent you in many political matters. Just as a good father naturally leads to a happy and secure family, a bad father leads to a dysfunctional, unhappy, and insecure family.

Be careful who you choose to be your national leader.


It’s a very bad decision, to put blood and heritage above ethics, and the Tradition of the Elders overrules the Law of God.

But the Jews of Jesus’ time are far from the only group who unified deep piety and deep evil. As McDurmon documents, the Christians of the American South were the loudest voices for the promotion and expansion of slavery.

The pious Jews paid the price, with the destruction of their temple and their land, long ago. And so did the pious Southerner, with the South losing 1/4 of her manhood, remaining poor for about a century after the Civil War… and is still run from New York & Washington, just like the rest of the Union.


The Jews have returned to their land: but this has nothing to do with Christ, for or against. It does have something to do with being the target of genocidal violence, by a group of European men who exalted blood far above ethics, and placed Race and Nation above the Law of God.

(But hey, at least the NonPious Evil loons didn’t play-pretend to worship anything besides the Race, the Party, and the Leader. Perhaps that counts as progress…)

Moreover – seeing the Pious Evil neighbourhood that they are located in – there is no guarantee that the State of Israel will exist a century from now. “And America won’t always and forever be there for you….”

(But there is a decent chance Israel will survive another century. Israeli-Jewish demographics are better than any in the entire Christian Secularist West: at least they can reproduce themselves!)


There is no independent South, and there probably won’t be for at least a century. (And even then, it’s far more likely to be an informal semi-autonomy than full-on political separation.)

I’m quite confident that any such political entity, if it comes to being (a HUGE if), will not be flying the Stars and Bars. Some other symbol, that can be wholeheartedly supported by all Southerners, will be chosen.

Ephesians: The Anti-Dispensationalist Book

From He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry

The Building of the Kingdom

In light of the above, Christians now rule and reign with Him in the world. Ephesians 1:3 declares we are blessed “in heavenly places.” Ephesians 2:6 specifically teaches: “And He hath raised us up together, and made us sit [aorist tense] together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” We are, in the eyes of God, seated with Christ in heavenly places (which, in essence, is the idea of Rev. 20:4-6), i.e., in regal position.

As an interesting aside, we should note that the epistle to the Ephesians is virtually an anti-dispensational polemic by the Apostle Paul! Notice the teaching in Ephesians regarding matters anti-thetical to dispensationalism: Christ is held as presently in His position as a kingly Lord (1: 19-22) and, as just pointed out, we are presently seated with Him (1 :3; 2:6). Paul applies the application of “the promises of the covenant” (literally) to Gentiles in the Church (2:10-12). He emphasizes the removal of the distinction of the Jew and the Gentile (2:12-19). He refers to the building up of the Church as being the building of the temple (2:20-22). The New Testament phase of the Church is said to have been taught in the Old Testament, although not with the same fullness and clarity (3:1-6). Christ’s kingly enthronement is celebrated by the pouring out of gifts upon His Church/kingdom (4:8-11) with the expectation of the historical maturation of the Church (4: 12-14). Paul mentions the kingdom in a way that indicates its spiritual, rather than political, nature (5:5).

Tu summaize:

Christ is King today,

God’s people – on earth and in heaven – reign with Him today;

The promises of the covenant applies to the Church today;

There is no distinction between Gentile and Jew;

The Body of Christ – individually and corporately – IS the temple;

The New Testament era was seen in Old Testament times, although vaguely;

Christ pours out His gifts on His people, His called-out ones, today;

The Church will grow in maturity;

The Kingdom is grounded in spiritual realities:
Godly ethics, not Darwinian-materialist power.

“The victory of life over death”, you may say.

And doubly so, after reflecting on the Crucifixion, Resurrection & Ascension!

Reparations for Segregation

While a case can be made for reparations for slavery, I believe that it would be difficult to trace responsibility and the financial/damages debt.

In contrast, after reflecting on The Color of Law, I am confident that a much stronger case can be made for liability due to federally-mandated segregational policy. The time of the crime is closer, there’s much more documentation, and you can find many, many people willing to speak on their losses – living people, and the dead who left records and testimonies to their children.

With slavery, the victims are largely mute, and all are dead. But with segregation, you have plenty of testimony, and plenty of them are alive. Moreover, you can actually and fairly easily trace the benefits white people got (with cheap housing, good federal programs, more higher education), while documenting the oppression black people faced (higher taxes, cut off from the best opportunities, no helping hand with education).

Moreover, one does not preclude the other. Black American can both get compensation for damages inflicted by segregation, and continue to pursue compensation for slavery as well.

Opportunities Missed

We all know that the White American Christian conservative churches – if they chose – could give strong assistance to Blacks Christians (and, secondarily, Black unbelievers. “Care for your own first.”) And we can be confident that this would smash the Democratic hold on the Black electorate. (See: What Democrats Would Really Hate.)

We can also be confident that White American Christians will not do this, because “they are not our people“.

Blood first. God second… well, maybe third, after the job. Ummm… fourth, after the nation.”

As I know that 1) God exists 2) God acts 3) He hates those who cause His name to be blasphemed, I am confident that there will be a series of curses to follow, placed squarely on the shoulders of White American Christians.

It’s not even the sin, repulsive as it is.

It’s the utter lack of repentance.

Opportunities Waiting

Monetary Compensation

Now, if an aggressive and creative Republican wanted to, it would be quite easy to paint segregation as an initiate of Nation-wide Sophisticated Progressive Democratic Darwinians Racists (because it was), and himself as the man who will finally provide justice to Black America.

Planned and implemented by all levels of American government, residential racial segregation impoverishes and disempowers African Americans by confining them to ghettos and blocking them out of homeownership. And this segregation continues well into the 21st century.

Jennings, Rohan. “The Color of Law Plot Summary.” LitCharts. LitCharts LLC, 27 Jan 2020. Web. 27 Jul 2020. Link here.

(A truly ruthless Republican would insist that every federal department pay for segregation-inflicted costs out of its own budget, with the damage assessed by Black Americans with access to the records.

And regarding all those scientist and professors who justified the discriminatory government policies? The men themselves are long dead: but the Darwinian universities they were affiliated with, and gained legitimacy from, can help pay for the theft, pain, and oppression that they backed to the full, right to the 1960s.

I can hear the screams wails from here…)

[Correction: I had to change the exact word, as “screams” sometimes imply torture, which is always wrong when men do it, be he the President, a Soldier, or a Policeman.

Only God has the right to torture His enemies.]

Some of us remember how discriminatory lending destroyed the wealth of Black America – again – under the beloved Obama Administration.

Banks like Wells Fargo steered blacks and other minorities into the worst subprime loans, giving them less favorable terms than whites and foreclosing on countless homes.

The Crisis in Black Homeownership, by Jamelle Bouie

An aggressive Republican could make a good deal of hay out of this… IF he had a better program than anything the Democrats could offer.

Some cash on the barrel would be good, especially to the older Black Americans (and definitely those who survived segregation!) But what the younger set need is opportunity. However, I am fairly certain that the government will be basically bankrupt by the 2030 mark.

After Reparations Study Suggests $151 Million for Each African American, Experts Say Money Alone Isn’t Enough

This isn’t going to happen. Not even a million is going to happen.

I was considering an actual program to build (provide restitution for damages) for Black America would be closely based on 30s-50’s government programs used to build up White America, as detailed in The Color of Law. Not welfare payments that reward broken families, but less welfare, for united families, sent to the main wage earner.

But even this isn’t going to happen. The United States of 2020 is far more aged and exhausted than the United States of 1940. Sure, Sure, Black America can push for the money in hand: they are lawfully owed it. But you are not going to get blood out of a turnip.

Much of the actual work will have to be on the face-to-face level. But a great deal of harm was inflicted – not by White Americans…

(and you’ll need to fix liability for a specific crime on a specific White American)

…but by a culprit with a name and a location: The Federal Government of the United States of America.

A particular criminal, who can pay specific restitution to a specific (and large!) group of victims.

Actual justice. Victim’s Rights, you might say.

Non-Monetary Compensation

But compensation need not be only money sent from the government coffers, justified as they may well be. I’m more thinking of not only tax-free status (federal and state) for Black Americans, all of their property, and all of their businesses, but also regulatory-free status for black-owned businesses and associations.

(Not true court immunity – if they harm someone, they still must pay – but liberty from the regulatory state.)

This would be quite an encouragement for entrepreneurial Black Americans. Call it compensation for the crippling effects of the welfare state, but also for the destruction (and lynching) of numerous successful Black Americans, their businesses, their communities, and (last but not least) the torching and massacres involved with the destruction of Black Wall Street.

Free homeschooling for all Black Americans, using any curricula of their choice (from hard core Christian to hardcore Black Nationalist), also must be on the table.

So Black Americans will finally become where they should have been, really from ~1680, but at least from 1865.

A free people. Finally.

The Model Christ Established for Our Lives and Our Nations… The Law

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Matthew 5:13-14)

This is the quote that Chapter 7, The Righteousness of God, starts off with in Gentry’s He Shall Have Dominion. (Podcast here.) Seeing how Christians – most of who loathe and despise the Law of God – are quite effectively and efficiently trampled into the earth, I find the quote quite appropriate.

Two Losers, One Winner – Redux

Broadly speaking, there have been three approaches to culture in Christian history. These approaches may be identified as the Identificationist Model, the Separationist Model, and the Transformationist Model.[1]

Three Models for the Christian Worldview

The Identificationist Model essentially represents the position of the left wing of Christianity. It sees the Church’s role as flowing alongside of and sanctifying the evolutionary changes in culture, and adapting to them. It is wholly this-world in orientation. It adopts the contemporary worldview. Consequently, an unchanging ethic based on Scripture is deemed anathema. The ethic of the Old Testament and the ethic of the New Testament are seen to be but stages in evolving culture, phases in the religious self-awareness of man. Liberation theology and main line denominations are contemporary representatives of this view. This approach is sometimes called situation ethics.

The Separationist Model is representative of the right wing of Christianity. It sees the Church’s calling as keeping itself wholly separated from contemporary culture. The focus of this view is on heavenly citizenship, seeing the Church as but a pilgrim community passing through this world to a greater world above. It is essentially retreatist, recognizing the power of sin at work in the world and seeking to avoid staining itself with such tendencies. It concentrates on what it calls a New Testament ethic. Fundamentalism is a notable contemporary representative of this view.

When contrasted to the two views above, the Transformationist Model may be seen to be represented in the truly centrist wing of historic, orthodox Christianity. It sees the Church’s calling as that of leading human culture to the unfolding of God’s creation according to the directives of the Word of God. Such is done with a view to the ethical and spiritual transformation of every area of life. The Transformationist Model sees the significance of this world in light of the world above and seeks to promote God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. It promotes godly culture in the stead of an ungodly culture. It concentrates on a whole Bible ethic, including God’s Law, as opposed to a truncated, separationist, “New Testament only” ethic. Confessional Presbyterianism has been representative of this view. Machen was typical (note 4, above).

Realizing these varying approaches, let us turn to a biblico-theological consideration of the question of the continuing validity of the Law of God in the New Covenant era. Has God changed His covenantal demands in the New Covenant era so as to abolish the Law as the normative standard of Christian ethics? Approaching the question of ethical righteousness from a covenantal perspective, we can discern a transformationist ethic know as Theonomic Ethics.[2] Such an ethic works hand-in-glove with a Bible-based postmillennial eschatology.


[1] After I had completed this chapter, I came across J. Gresham Machen’s article, “Christianity and Culture,” Princeton Theological Review 11 (1913) 1-15; reprinted in What Is Christianity? He also identified these three views: subordination to the prevailing anti-supernatural culture, destruction of culture, and consecration of culture.

[2] For fuller information, see: Greg L. Bahnsen, By This Standard: The Authority of God’s Law Today (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1985). See also: R. J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (Nutley, NJ: Craig, 1973) and Law and Society (Vallecito, CA: Ross House, 1982). See also: Gentry, God’s Law in the Modern World (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, forthcoming).

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 123-125

Or, to summarize:

Identificationist: Kneel to the Power-class and obey the God-haters!

Separationist: Run away to our prayer closets and spiritual retreats!

Transformationist: Teach them to kneel to God, follow Christ, and obey His Law-Word!

God expects those who love Him, to go with the third group.

(Regardless of what our pious – and profoundly irrelevant – religious leaders teach.)

The Source of the Law
is Righteousness and Justice Incarnate

The Ultimate Source of Ethics

As I emphasized in the last chapter, the Lord God is a covenant God, and the covenant idea necessarily involves social structure. The Law-word of God, therefore, mandates what a moral person and a moral society should be like. Man has both a personal and a corporate responsibility before God, according to the covenantal structure of God’s Law-word. This ultimately is traceable to the very being of God, for He is a tri-unity (hence the Trinity). As the One-in-Three, God is equally interested in individuals (the many: diversity) and in social life (the one: unity).[1]

Our primary concern in this chapter is to concentrate on the matter of formal obligation in ethics: to consider the normative perspective of ethics in our inquiry into the substance of godly morality. What is the ultimate source of moral authority? From whence may we derive a just and defensible moral authority which is at the same time relevant and practical? Is the Christian ethic (what ought to be) practical in light of the Christian eschatology (what will be)?


[1] R. J. Rushdoony, The One and the Many: Studies in the Philosophy of Order and Ultimacy (Fairfax, VA: Thoburn Press, [1971] 1978).

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, page 125

Or, put in another way: what is the Source of the Law?

Right now, five Supreme Court judges make up the Source of the Law in the United States. This may shift more to the President within the next generation (40 years), as the health of the nation withers and more raw force & power is needed to keep things together.

It is the duty of Christians to persuade and convince their fellow citizens that the nation should have Christ and His Law-Word as the Source of the Law. This is going to be a long, tough haul: but with our submission and obedience to God, and the recognition of the authority of the Law in our own lives, families, churches, businesses, and associations, it will get easier as the decades roll on.

Christ commands us to make disciples of all the nations of the world. Whenever possible, it should start with our own.

The Ultimate Standard of Righteousness

The Christian ethic is a theistic ethic that traces the ultimate source of ethical authority to the transcendent yet also immanent, self-contained ontological Trinity.[1] He alone supplies man with valid law. Consequently, only Christianity can provide universal statements of moral obligation, on the basis of the being of this God. This truth is fundamental to a transformationist ethic and a Reconstructionist postmillennial eschatology.

If there is any moral attribute of God that might be considered a controlling attribute, that attribute is holiness. Considering the extreme ends of the spectrum, God’s love and His wrath are both controlled by His holiness. Indeed, there are systematic theologians who deem holiness not to be a moral attribute at all, but rather the consummate perfection of all His moral attributes. The Scripture teaches that our God is a thrice-holy God (Isa. 6:3) who cannot look favorably upon iniquity (Hab. 1:13). Because God is such a holy God, ethics is of fundamentally importance for us as Christians. Not only is it the case that we ourselves must “prove what the will of the Lord is” (Rom. 12:2) in order to please Him, but also that we might be a testimony to the nations, a light for all the world (Matt. 5:14). Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 summarizes man’s ethical obligation well when it states: “The conclusion, when all is heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. Because God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” Furthermore, “the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it” (Psa. 24:1, 2a). Consequently men owe it to God to seek His good pleasure.


[1] Cornelius Van Til, Christian Theistic Ethics (n.p.: den Dulk Foundation, 1974). R. J. Rushdoony, By What Standard? (Tyler, TX: Thobum Press, [1959] 1983). Greg L. Bahnsen, Theonomy in Christian Ethics (2nd ed.; Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1984), Part III.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 125-126

Everything we do — in secret or openly… at home or in the office… on the street, in the court, or on the battlefield — will be brought up to judgement. And there will be only one standard of law used to determine the reward or penalty.

Next to justification by the grace of God, that which is most needful to man is sanctification by the Holy Spirit of God, “for without holiness, no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). And sanctification necessarily involves the question of ethics.

Next to justification by the grace of God, that which is most needful to man is sanctification by the Holy Spirit of God, “for without holiness, no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). And sanctification necessarily involves the question of ethics.

In addition, Reformed Christians are not interested in “ethics in general.” We believe in a supernatural God to Whom we must answer on Judgment Day. Autonomous, neutral ethics is a myth; it must be renounced, as we will see momentarily. But neither are we concerned ultimately with a merely theistic ethic. We believe in the one true God Who has created all things and has graciously revealed Himself in Scripture and in Christ. The God we believe in is the Triune God of Scripture. Theistic forms of non-Christian ethics are as useless and dangerous as atheistic ethics. Our ethical concern, therefore, is with Christian theistic ethics.

As Christians, we necessarily have a distinctive metaphysics. We understand all of reality on the basis of the Creator God of Scripture “Who works all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). Given our distinctive metaphysics, it must follow that we also have a distinctive meta-ethics. Our ethic is rooted in our theology. It is impossible to have a “neutral” meta-ethic, contrary to what most secularists have claimed. Ethics is either autonomous (based on self-law) or theonomous (based on divine law). Meta-ethics deals with the principles or philosophy behind ethics. It gives the ultimate justifications for ethical theory. Van Til has stated that “the key motif in humanistic ethics is away from the True God.” As Van Til argues, all unbelieving systems posit false dichotomies: unsolvable contradictions.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 126-27

I would replace the first sentence with “In addition, believing Christians are not interested in ‘ethics in general.'”

There is no such thing as ‘ethics in general’.

There is only ‘ethics grounded on…’: in the case of the West, ‘ethics grounded on the arbitrary, changeable, unpredictable and unrestrained will of certain men.’

Without the Trinity, men push to either a comprehensively unified Tyrant-State, or for lawless anarchy, or some mix of this. (“Anarcho-tyranny”).

Without the Trinity, men are divided between those who think everything should stay just as it is, or everything to change: no one can decide which is better.

Three is no peace, no progress, no growth without the Trinity. Just a trend towards a frozen state (see: Islam, North Korea) or endless revolution (this does not last: the masses – and the power-elite! – will long tolerate tyranny, but not anarchy.)

The absolute, infinite, eternal God of Scripture has a character of infinite moral goodness, perfection, and purity. Summarily stated, God is infinitely holy,[1] good,[2] and righteous.[3] He is such in and of Himself. His own intrinsic being is the standard of “holiness,” “goodness,” and “righteousness.” If He were not the standard, there would be a principle independent of and more ultimate than God; God would cease to be God. Thus, God sovereignly determines right and wrong from within His own moral being. Good is good because God says so autonomously.


[1] 1 Sam. 2:2; Isa. 57:15; Psa. 99:9; John 17:11; Rev. 15:4.

[2] Psa. 145:9-16; Matt. 5:45; Mark 10:18.

[3] Ezra 9:15; Psa. 145:17; Jer. 12:1.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 127

God is autonomous: He does not depend on, or is subject to, anything at all.

Men are dependent on a lot of things, most notably the will and power of God, second by second.

The Law Rules Inwardly, THEN Outwardly

The Proximate Standard of Righteousness

A fundamental theological assertion of orthodoxy is this: the unity of God. Consequently, there is no reason flowing from this unified God that either compels us or predisposes us to expect that His one creation has two plans operative in its historical progress. We should reject all ethical systems that propose two systems of law or two decrees of God. I have in mind here the dualistic theory of a universally logical natural law for non-Christians (Gentiles) and Bible-revealed law for Christians.

Man’s sanctification (moral restoration) is definitive, progressive, and final. One God, one covenant law: through time and across borders. The successive covenants of Scripture really record for us a gradual historical unfolding of one overarching covenant, rather than the successive, compartmental establishing of distinctively different capsule covenants. This is clearly expected in the initial covenant directive of God for history that flows out of the Genesis 3:15 curse, which mentions only one basic struggle between two seeds, the Satanic and the Messianic.

This also is clearly asserted in Paul’s argument in Ephesians, chapter 2. In this passage, Paul speaks not of the establishing of a new and distinct community separate from Israel, but of God’s annexing of additional people – the Gentiles – into His one people. He speaks in verse 12 of “the covenants of the promise” (Greek), which defined His singular purpose. In verses 14-16, he speaks of the removal of the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile, so that the Gentiles might be included in God’s one redemptive purpose. In verses 19-22, he speaks of the merging of these two peoples into one, indivisible temple.

Thus, the very unity of God’s covenantal dealings with man flows out of the unitary being of God, as well as the explicitly revealed plan of God. These truths should predispose us to assume continuity, as opposed to discontinuity, in the ethical dictates of God.

It may be summarily stated that God’s Law is binding (in that we are obliged to obey it for our sanctification), relevant (in that all our Lord does is governed by all-wisdom and all-knowledge, thus making His Word practical for all times and applicable for all situations), when properly interpreted (taking into account the full significance, purpose, and situation of the original intent of the various laws individually considered) and properly applied (the unfolding of redemptive history must be taken into account and the New Testament precepts and principles must be given their full significance). Thus, the details of the Law are essential to law-keeping (they form an essential part of the Law, as parts to the whole), and are meant to be equitably observed by man on the personal, social, and civil levels of human existence. In short: “One covenant, one law!”

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 128-129

The Law of God should shape our civilization. Not just the State, not just our hearts.

That is, if we seek blessings, not curses.

Today’s Masters don’t mind curses, as the economy is designed to shift costs (monetary and otherwise) from the Right Sort to the Wrong Sort. But the reason why the Masters stay in their seats of power is because most Christians — including the priests and pastors and the seminary professors — deeply loathe the Commandments.

Quite literally, most Western Christians would rather be ruled by men who publicly despise God and spit in their own pious faces, than demand the public authority of the Law be upheld… and be held accountable to that Law themselves.

But evil and faithless slaves are to be left to die in the desert.

My attention is on those believers – especially the young! – who have faith in God, will uphold His Law in private and in public, and insist on taking the Promises and the Blessings for themselves.

Those who hold to the Covenant, will be bless by God, In time and on earth, as well as eternity.

(1) The Law represents the presence of God. God’s Law is the revelational expression of His holy character and the moral representation of His presence to man. The summary statement of His Law, the Ten Commandments, was written by the very finger of God, as no other portion of Scripture was.[1] Consequently, bearing His own divine imprint, it necessarily shares His moral perfections. This truth is underscored by the fact that the Ark of the Covenant, which was housed in the Holy of Holies in the center of Israel, contained within it the summary of the Law of God, the Ten Commandments written on stone.[2] At the most holy place of Israel, where the Shekinah glory of God was resident, God’s Law was housed as an expression of God’s holy presence among and will for His people.

(2) The Law reflects the character of God. The Law which He has given to His people is a transcript of His holy character, possessing the very moral attributes of God Himself. God is good,[3] holy,[4] perfect,[5] righteous,[6] just,[7] and spiritual[8] Likewise, His Law is good,[9] holy,[10] perfect,[11] righteous,[12] just,[13] and spiritual.[14]

(3) The Law expresses the legal relation between God and His people. The Law of God is described in Scripture as the Book of the Covenant (Heb. 9: 19). Because of this, the Law of God lies at the heart of the New Covenant, which has been in effect since the crucifixion of Christ.[15] “I will put my law[16]in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts (Jer. 31:33). The biblical ethic, therefore, is constituted as a covenantal theonomy. The normative center of Christian ethics and morality can be nothing less than the whole law of God as revealed in Scripture, including the Mosaic Law. In short: “One covenant, one law!”


[1] Exo. 31:18; 32:16; Deut. 4:13; 9:10; 10:4.

[2] Deut. 10:5; 31:25ff.

[3] Psa. 143:10; Mark. 10:18.

[4] Isa. 6:3; Rom. 7:12; Rev. 15:4.

[5] 2 Sam. 22:31; Psa. 18:30; Matt. 5:48.

[6] Deut. 32:4; Ezra 9:15; Psa. 116:5.

[7] Deut. 32:4; Psa. 25:8,10; Isa. 45:21.

[8] John 4:24; Jer. 31:3.

[9] Deut. 12:28; Psa. 119:68; Rom. 7:12, 16.

[10] Num. 15:40; Rom. 7:12.

[11] Psa. 19:7; Jms. 1:25 (cf. 2:8-12).

[12] Deut. 4:8; Psa. 19:7; Rom. 2:26; 8:4.

[13] Prov. 28:4, 5; Zech. 7: 9-12; Rom. 7:12.

[14] Rom. 7:14; I John 3:24; Rom. 8:4.

[15] Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:7ff; Heb. 8:6ff.

[16] The Law of Moses is identified time and time again as the Law of Jehovah: e.g., Deut. 30:10; Josh. 24:26; 2 Kgs. 10:31; 17:13; 21:8; I Chr. 22:12; 2 Chr. 6:16; 31:21; Ezra 7:6, 12, 14, 21; Neh. 8:8, 18; 9:3; 10:28, 29; Psa. 78:1; 81:4; 89:30; 119:34, 77, 92, 97, 109, 174; Isa. 1:10; Jer. 6:19; 9:13; 16:11; 26:4; 31:33; 44:10; 22:26; Dan. 6:5; Hos. 4:6; 8:1.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 129-130

The Law represents the presence of God. God goes to – and blesses – where His Law is upheld.

The Law reflects the character of God. To obey the Law is to better reflect the nature of the Creator.

The Law expresses the legal relation between God and His people. We are not Muslims, where the deity they exalt can do whatever he pleases, purely arbitrarily, and bound by no ties or limits.

(Interesting, how Islamic governments resemble the arbitrary deity they worship.

And how Secularist governments resemble the arbitrary nature of their deity.
Usually the Great God Power: but sometimes Popularity, the Masses, the Leader, the Elite…)

Anyways…

The God that actually exists establishes a covenant, a legal agreement with His people, where He promises to bless the obedience of the nation (family/man) that covenants with Him, and to curse the disobedience of that nation (family/man) that breaks its word.

Jesus and the Law

The Continuing Validity of God’s Law

It is important to recognize that the Law continues as the moral standard of righteousness into the New Testament and throughout the New Covenant era. In broad evangelicalism today, as in the past, there is a tendency to reduce or deny the role of the Mosaic law in discussions of social righteousness. In fact, there is widespread antipathy to the Mosaic law. Yet a strong and compelling case may be made for the use of the Mosaic law today.

In Matthew 5:13-16, Christ calls His Church to exercise cultural significance.[1] He sovereignly declares that His followers are to be “the salt of the earth.” Salt is both a preservative and a flavor-enhancer. The imagery here is of the Church’s calling to preserve the good of human culture and to enhance life. We are not called to be wholly separate from the world in the sense of avoiding involvement in it. Rather, we are to be a vital and distinctive aspect of it, just as salt is distinctively present in the flavoring of food. Indeed, He says that if we do not do so we are “good for nothing” (v. 13). In short, Christ has denied the moral legitimacy of the Separationist Model.

In verses 14-16, we are called to be “the light of the world.” Light, the first aspect of the original Creation, is a positive and penetrating energy that dispels darkness and brings things into clear focus. The Christian light exhibits the glory of God (v. 16). Light is essential for life itself and for direction. Paul reflects this idea in Ephesians, chapters 4-5. In Ephesians 5:11, he calls us to “expose the works of darkness.”

But these are general exhortations to holy living before God and to the glory of God. The pair of specific normative questions remain: (1) How may we properly be the salt of the earth? (2) How may we properly be the light of the world? Jesus gave answers. Immediately following upon these general directives, the Lord provides the specifics needed, when He directly affirms the Law’s validity in Matthew 5:17-19.

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

In the context of this statement, Jesus is speaking of ethical conduct and urging righteousness in order to glorify God (cf. Matt. 5: 16, 21ff). In this regard, He specifically says He has not come to “destroy” the “law or the prophets.” The word “destroy” (kataluo, v. 17) means to “do away with, abolish, annul, make invalid.”[2] Instead, He has come to do the very opposite, for He employs the strong adversative “but” (alta, v. 17) to set up a contrast. He has not come to destroy but “to fulfill” (v. 17). Jesus here contrasts “fulfill” with “destroy.”

“Fulfill” cannot in this context mean “to live out” or “complete” the Law, so as to do away with it, for it is contrasted with “destroy.” It provides strong contrast, as in Matthew 10:34, which exactly parallels the Matthew 5: 17 structure. There Jesus says, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Just as sending a sword is the opposite of sending peace, so fulfilling is the opposite of “not abolishing!’

The fulfillment in view here, then, must mean either one of two things: (1) It may mean Christ came to “confirm” or “establish” the Law.[3] If this is the meaning (and it certainly fits the context), it parallels Romans 3:31: “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Rom. 3:31). And surely Christ would not be contradicted by Paul. Or: (2) it may mean “fill up to full measure.”[4] This would indicate restoring it to its true meaning, in opposition to Pharisaic distortions (Matt. 5:20[5]). Both of these interpretations are compatible, as well as contextually justifiable.

“For” (gar, v. 18) introduces an explanation of verse 17. Christ here emphatically declares the continuing validity of the Law, for it will last until “heaven and earth pass away” (v. 18). This indicates a comparison of the stability of the Law to that of the world (cf. Eccl. 1:4).

His reference to the ”jot” and “tittle” (v. 18) is important. This statement emphatically declares that the smallest aspects of the Law will not be annulled. “Till all be fulfilled” (v. 18) parallels “heaven and earth pass away” and may literally be translated: “Until all things be accomplished.” His prohibition against any tampering with the “least commandment” (v. 19) repeats the emphasis of the small aspects of the Law in order to show its binding significance.

Following this strong statement of the Law’s validity, Christ rebuts scribal distortions of the Law: their adherence to oral tradition (Matt. 5:21ff). He is not criticizing adherence to the Law. Note: (1) The contrast drawn in Matthew 5:21-47 is between that which is “said of old” or “said by the ancients” (ekousate hoti errethe tois archaiois) and that which Christ says (ego de lego). The contrast is not between what “is written” (gegraptai, which is the normal manner of speaking of God’s Word[6]) and what Christ says. The contrast is between Christ’s words and rabbinic tradition (cf. Matt. 15:1-8). (2) He had just made a strong statement as to the Law’s continuing validity. Exegetical consistency requires that Matthew 5:21ff not be viewed as undermining His teaching on the permanence of the Law of God.

Christ emphatically taught the Law’s continuing relevance. Even the little tithes are important (Matt. 23:23). The Law is the Golden Rule of service to God and man (Matt. 7:12; 22:36-40). He even upheld the Law’s civil function (Matt. 15:3-6).


[1] For a detailed exposition of the passage, see: Bahnsen, Theonomy in Christian Ethics, ch. 2, and Bahnsen, No Other Standard: Theonomy and Its Critics (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1991), Appendix A: “The Exegesis of Matthew 5.”

[2] W. F. Arndt and F. W. Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), p. 415.

[3] Dalman gives the meaning “confirm,” according to Arndt and Gingrich, Lexicon, p. 677.

[4] Under the “fulfill” nuances in the pleroo entry, Arndt and Gingrich note of Matthew 5:17: “[D]epending on how one prefers to interpret the context, pleroo is understood here either as fulfill = do, carry out, or as bring to full expression = show it forth in its true mng., or as fill up = complete.” Arndt and Gingrich, Greek-English Lexicon, p. 677.

[5] Cf. Matt. 15:3-9; 23:23.

[6] Matt. 2:5; 4:4, 6, 7, 10; 11:10; 21:13; 26:24, 31.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 131-134.

Jesus is not interested in ‘setting aside’ the Law. He expects us to uphold it, in a manner that is suitable for our time, our society, our technology, our mode of government.

In an era where the Church includes many nations – not just one – and the spiritual significance of the Land, the City of Jerusalem, and the Temple is gone with the wind.

The New Testament Confirmation of the Law

The broader New Testament confirmation of the Law may be illustrated from a number of angles.

The New Testament expressly confirms the Law. Christ based His teaching on the Law.[1] Even the details of the Mosaic case laws are cited by the Apostles as binding directives.[2] Paul, the Apostle of Faith, declares that faith confirms the Law (Rom. 3:31). He even speaks of the perfection of the Law for the New Testament people (Rom. 7:12, 14).

Christian conduct is based on Law obedience. Law obedience defines the Golden Rule of social conduct (Matt. 7:12) and characterizes the conduct of love.[3] Keeping God’s commandments is deemed important to holy living,[4] in that it promotes spirituality,[5] and evidences holiness, justice, and goodness.[6]

Gospel preaching depends on the relevance of the Law. The Law of God has a multiple usefulness for the Christian today. It defines sin[7] and then convicts men of sin,[8] condemns transgression[9] drives men to Christ,[10] restrains evil,[11] guides sanctification,[12] and serves as the standard for Judgment Day.[13] Consequently, he who is not subject to the Law of God in the New Covenant era is at enmity with God (Rom. 8:7).


[1] Matt. 7:12; 12:5; 19:4; Luke 10:26; 16:17; John 8:17.

[2] 1 Tim. 5:17 (Deut. 25:4), 2 Cor. 6:14 (Deut. 22:10), Rom. 10:6-8 (Deut. 30:11-13), Acts 23:1-5 (Exo. 22:28; Lev. 19:15; Deut. 25:2); 1 Cor. 14:34.

[3] Matt. 22:36-40; Rom. 13:10; Gal. 5:14; Jms. 2:8.

[4] 1 Cor. 7:19; 1 John 2:3,4; 5:3.

[5] Rom. 7:12, 16; 8:3-4.

[6] Rom. 2:13; 1 Tim. 1:8-10; Heb. 2:2; 1 Tim. 1:8-10; Reb. 8:10.

[7] 1 John 3:4; Rom. 5:13; 7:7. Cf. Matt. 7:23; Titus 2:14; Rom. 3:20 (“iniquity” is literally “lawlessness”).

[8] Matt. 19:16-24; John 7:19; Acts 7:53; Rom. 7:7, 9-11; Jms. 2:9; 1 John 3:4.

[9] Deut. 11:26,28; Rom. 4:15; 7:10; Gal. 3:10; Jms. 2:10.

[10] Rom. 7:10; Gal. 3:24.

[11] Psa. 119:11; 1 Tim. 1:8-10.

[12] Lev. 20:8; Psa. 119:105; Prov. 6:23; Rom. 8:4; 1 Cor. 6:21.

[13] Matt. 7:23; 13:41; Rom. 2:12-15; Jms. 2:10-12. For the Final Judgment, see: Chapter 13 below.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 134-135.

This section just hammers the point home: Christians must treat the Law seriously, and strive to uphold the moral and behavioral standards it establishes, in public and in private; for the nation, the courts, the family, and the heart.

The Law is a Model for the Nations

The Universality of the Law of God

A frequently heard objection to God’s Bible-revealed Law today is that the Law was expressly designed and intended for use only in Old Covenant Israel. Its relevance therefore was only for the special redemptive nation in pre-Christian times, and for no other. This view is inherently dispensational, even when argued by Reformed theologians.

Dispensationalists argue: “The stipulations of Sinai were not for the nations in general but to a people under grace…. Since the nations around Israel were not called to adopt the Mosaic Covenant, it seems evident that the pagan nations would not be judged by the law of Moses.”[1] Even some reformed theologians suggest that: “Israel as a nation was chosen by God ‘out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession’ (Dt 7:6). No other nation of the ancient or modern world is like Israel in its place in redemptive history…. Before applying a case law from the Old Testament today, therefore, we must consider not only cultural adaptations but also discontinuities that result because of the difference in redemptive status between Israel and any modern society.”[2]

The dispensationalist objection (above) confuses moral commandments and covenantal form. Theonomists have always insisted that the moral commands are distinguishable from the covenantal system in which they are found. For example, in both the New Testament and the Old Testament, we are commanded to love father and mother (d. Deut. 5:16 and Eph. 6:2). This does not mean that the Old Covenant and the New Covenant are the same! The Old Covenant form, which included the sacrificial system and such-like, which was established only with Israel, encoded numerous divinely ordained moral requirements, which are the perpetually obligatory commandments of God. Moral requirements must be distinguished from the historical and redemptive trappings in which they are found. Moral commandments (justice-defining) are distinguishable from distinctive ceremonial laws (redemption-expounding).[3]

It should be noted that a prima facie reason may be urged to insist upon a continuity between God’s expectations for Israel’s rulers and for pagan rulers outside of Israel: (1) God created the whole world and has a right to its governance (Gen. 1; Psa. 24:1). Thus, Scripture represents Him as the King of all nations.[4] (2) He is one God, with but one holy will (Deut. 6:4ff; Isa. 46:10ff). (3) He is specifically said to be no respecter of persons in terms of His justice.[5] (4) The Scripture is silent on any other ethical standard being applied to the nations beyond Israel. But, as before, the matter is not one left solely to prima facie considerations.

God’s Law was, in fact, designed to be a model for the nations: “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people: For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?”[6] The Law was a model for the nations beyond Israel (Deut. 4:5ff). It must be spoken before kings (Psa. 119:46; cr. 2:9ff). It is a “light” to the whole world (Isa. 51:4), despite the fact the entire earth has transgressed it (Isa. 24:5).[7] Were not the Canaanites judged for its breach (Lev. 18:24-27; Deut. 12:29-31[8])? By it are not all the wicked condemned (Psa. 119:118-119; Rom. 3:19)?

God is said to judge the world in righteousness, the fundamental ethical quality of God’s Law (Psa. 9:7-8; 98:9; Amos 1:3-2:3; etc.) Interestingly, the rulers of Babylon were condemned on the same basis as those of Israel by the prophets (e.g., cf. Hab. 2:12 with Mic. 3:10). This indicates a parity of standard employed in the judgment of both nations. As a matter of fact, God’s judgment upon the pagan nations of the Old Testament was rooted in the universality and equity of His Law. Often the prophetic condemnations were applied to whole pagan cultures due to their disobedience to God (Isa. 14:4-20; 19:1, 13, 14, 22; 30:33). Sodom was a city that was destroyed for its “unlawfulness” (2 Pet. 2:6-8). Thus, Sodom serves as a paradigm in Scripture for God’s just judgment upon unlawfulness (Deut. 19:23; Isa. 1:9-10; Jer. 23:14; Lam. 4:6; Ezek. 16:46-56; Amos 4:11; Zeph. 2:9; Matt. 10:15;Jude 7; Rev. 11:8). Nineveh was threatened with God’s judgment for its wickedness in God’s sight (Jon. 3; Luke 11:30, 32). His righteous standards applied to it.

In their better moments – under the influence of God’s Spirit – pagan rulers acknowledged the just rule of God’s Law. Cyrus of Persia commanded all the nations to serve God (Dan. 6:25ff). Nebuchadnezzar told the nations that God rules over all and demands righteousness from kings (Dan. 4:1, 25ff). Artaxerxes commanded Ezra to appoint magistrates “beyond the River” which would enforce God’s Law (Ezra 7:25ff). Ezra then praised him for this (Ezra 7:27).

Most importantly, the moral justification for Israel’s expulsion of the Canaanites from the land rests upon the Canaanites’ breach of God’s Law (Lev. 18:24-27). In this passage, Israel is threatened with the same punishment as the Canaanites if they commit the lawless acts of the Canaanites. Again, we clearly see a parity of standard employed in the judgment of pagan nations, as in the judgment of Israel.[9] This comports well with the universal call to submission to God’s will in Psalm 2.

Thus, we have seen that the spiritual, temporal, and geographical separation of pagan states from Israel did not effect a separation of moral obligation. Because of this, the nations around Israel were often judged for breaching God’s moral standards, but never for breaching the Mosaic covenantal form.[10] The same truth may be seen earlier in Abraham’s day in the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19:15 (2 Pet. 2:9).

Are the Ten Commandments obliged upon pagans, despite the Decalogue’s beginning with a distinct reference to Israel’s redemption from pagan bondage (Exo. 20:1-3; Deut. 5:6-7)? Dispensationalists answer: no. Are the Ten Commandments, then, expressly for the covenant community? They answer: yes.

People from all nations are under obligation to God’s Law today: Romans 1:32 (this speaks of the complex of sins preceding, not anyone particular sin); 2:12-15; 3:19; 12:19-13:10; 1 Timothy 1:8. This is expected in light of the coming of the Messiah (Isa. 2:3-4). God’s Law in our era is considered to be “just” (Rom. 7:12; Heb. 2:2) and “good” (Rom. 7:12; 1 Tim. 1:8).


[1] House and Ice, Dominion Theology, pp. 128, 129.

[2] Tremper Longman III, “God’s Law and Mosaic Punishments Today,” Theonomy: A Reformed Critique, William S. Barker and W. Robert Godfrey, eds. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990), pp. 47, 48.

[3] Hos. 6:6; 1 Sam. 15:22; Psa. 51:14-17; Prov. 21:3; Isa. 1:10-17. See: Bahnsen, in Bahnsen and Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., House Divided: The Break-up of Dispensational Theology (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), ch. 3. See also: F. F. Bruce, Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), pp. 28ff.

[4] Psa. 47:2, 7ff; 22:28; 83:18; 99:2; 113:4; Mal. 1:14.

[5] Psa. 119:118; Rom. 2:11,12. See also: 2 Chr. 19:7; Job 34:19; 37:24; Eph. 6:9; 1 Pet. 1:17.

[6] Deut. 4:6-7. See also: 1 Kgs. 10:1,8-9; Isa. 24:5; 51:4; Psa. 2:9ff; 47:1-2: 97:1-2; Psa. 94:10-12; 119:46,118-119; Prov. 16:12; Eccl. 12:13.

[7] E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969), 2:156-157.

[8] P. C. Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy (NICOT) (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1976), pp. 219-220.

[9] See also: Deut. 7:5-6, 16,25; 8:11-20; 9:4-5; 12:1-4, 29ff.

[10] They were judged for such things as slave trade, loan abuse, witchcraft, and other non-ritual sins. Lev. 18:24-27; Deut. 7:5-6,16,25; 12:1-4; 19:29-32; Amos 1:6 (Exo. 21:16; Deut. 24:7); Nah. 3:4 (Exo. 22:18; Lev. 19:21); Hab. 2:6 (Exo. 22:25-27; Deut. 24:6, 10-13); Hab. 2:12 (cf. Mic. 3:10).

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 134-139

Remember the direct commandment of Jesus after His resurrection, to disciple the Nations?

This is what He was talking about: one true standard of public justice, for all mankind.

The Civil Magistrate and God’s Law

Church and State were separate under the Mosaic Law. There was a distinction between the civil ruler, Moses, and the priestly head, Aaron; between the offices of priest and king (not with Melchizedek: unique); between the temple and palace: 1 Samuel 13:11; 2 Chronicles 19:5-11; 26:16-21. Yet the Law was the standard of civil justice. The same is true in the New Testament era, as an analysis of Romans 12 and 13 shows.

In Romans, Paul speaks to the problem of evil in society: “Repay no one evil [kakon] for evil [kakou]” (Rom. 12:17). He urges them: “Beloved, do not avenge [ekdikountes] yourselves, but rather give place to wrath [orge]” (Rom. 12:19a). Why? “For it is written, ‘Vengeance [ekdikesis] is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19). Thus, he urges the Christian not to take the law into his own hands: “Be not overcome of evil [kakon]” (Rom. 12:21). He then engages a discussion of the God-ordained role of the civil magistrate as God’s avenger.[1]

In Romans 13, the matter of the civil magistrate is approached prescriptively, rather than descriptively.[2] As such, he has been “ordained of God” (Rom. 13:2) so that “he does not bear the sword in vain. He is, in fact, God’s minister, an avenger [ekdikos] to execute wrath [orgen] on him who practices evil [kakon]” (Rom. 13:4). Clearly, then, the magistrate is to avenge the wrath of God against those who practice evil (Rom. 13:4, 6).

As he continues, Paul makes express reference to the Law of God, citing four of the Ten Commandments (Rom. 13:9a) and a summary case law from Leviticus 19:18 (Rom. 13:9b). Finally, he concludes the thought regarding personal vengeance, which he began in Romans 12:17-19: “Love does no harm [kakon, “evil”] to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13: 10). This involves appropriate social conduct that is incumbent upon all men, especially Christians – conduct that avoids “carousing and drunkenness” and “sexual promiscuity and sensuality” (Rom. 13:13).


[1] The very contextual flow (Rom. 12:17ff leads directly to Rom. 13:1ff) is validated by lexical similarity between the two chapters.

[2] Gentry, “Civil Sanctions in the New Testament,” Theonomy: An Informed Response, Gary North, ed. (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1991), ch. 6.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 139-140.

It is the Law that is the standard of civil justice, in all times: the standard Israel, Rome, and nations today must uphold.

And not the will of a dying, sterile culture. Not rotting and rebellious Israel, not rotting and pagan Rome, and not rotting and sterile Secularity.

His reference to God’s Law[1] in this context is most important. Ultimately, God’s eternal vengeance is according to His holy Law (cf. Rom. 2:3,5-6, 12-15), which is encoded in the Mosaic Law. Proximately and mediatorially, however, God’s temporal “minister,” the civil magistrate, must mete out the “just reward” (Heb. 2:2; cf. Rom. 7:12; 1 Tim. 1:8) for those for whom the penalties of the Law were designed: evil-doers. Paul specifies this even more particularly elsewhere: “The Law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”[2] And all of this was “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust” (1 Tim. 1:9-11), not according to a passé example.

The theonomic position is that God’s Law is the standard for justice in all areas of life, including criminal penology (if supported by careful exegesis of the text of each penal sanction). This can be legitimately deduced from the Romans 12-13 passage. In fact, a self-conscious refusal to comment on this passage is a common failure on the part of those who criticize theonomy’s view of civil government. They refuse to discuss the civil magistrate as a minister of God (Rom. 13:4). They need to.


[1] Earlier he deemed this Law “established” (Rom. 3:31) and called it “holy, just, and good” (Rom. 7:12).

[2] A case may be made for Paul’s generally following the order of the Ten Commandments. H. D. M. Spence, “I and II Timothy,” Ellicott’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Charles John Ellicott, ed., 8 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, rep. n.d.), 7:180. At the very least, it may be said that “the apostle now gives a summary of the law of the Ten Commandments.” William Hendriksen, I and II Timothy and Titus: New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1957), p. 67.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 140-141.

When it comes to the application of God’s Law today as a civil magistrate, I would cede the floor to Joel McDurmon and his works, The Bounds of Love and A Consuming Fire.

That being said, the basic principle Gentry outlines is correct: it is the Reliable Law of God – and not the Arbitrarily Will of Powerful Men – that must shape and direct society. That determines what is good and right (and leads to blessing, life, and salvation), and what is wrong and evil (and leads to cursing, death, and damnation).

Conclusion

Given the fact that God is Creator and man His creature, the very fact that God has uttered the Law makes man obligated to it. God’s Law is ethically self-attesting and cannot be questioned, appealed, ignored, or replaced. The sanctity of the Law is underscored by the covenantal warning (sanctions) attached to the Law prohibiting its alteration by addition or subtraction (Deut. 4:2; 12:32). It is the covenantal Word of God, not of man; it must be kept inviolable.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 141.

You can tell if the Law of God has been replaced if the blessings your society received has turned to curses.

“In time, and on earth.”

In short, the Christian is obligated on the basis of the fact of God and His covenant to keep the whole law of God because it is a pattern for both personal sanctification and social righteousness. The call to follow the biblical pattern of ethics must be to follow it in its all of its far-reaching details. Obedience must not be arbitrarily cut short by personal desire, preconceptions, or complacency, or by ecclesiastical, traditional, cultural situation, or emotional appeal. There is one covenant and one law.

God loves us in a specific and extensive fashion; He is concerned for the details of our lives (Matt. 10:24-33). He expects us to respond with an all-encompassing devotion to Him by loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:33). We believe in the ubiquity of ethics: every word or deed is a moral action, whether we eat or drink or whatever we do (1 Cor. 10:31). This is because these are done in God’s world either for or against Him.[1] All words and deeds are subject to judgment (Matt. 12:36; 2 Cor. 5:10).


[1] Matt. 12:30; Luke 9:50; 11:23.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 141.

God hold us to account, for our words and actions.

Also, for the words and actions we didn’t say or do.

Lying by omission isn’t going to cut it. Regardless of the behaviour of the press or the academics or the scientists or the politicians or the pastors.

Consequently, God did not deliver to us some broad, general, vague moral principles. Rather, He revealed to us in His Law very extensive, specific, and all-encompassing commands. The Law is explicit in regard to moral directives and correctives. Man is given concrete standards possessing ultimate authority over man’s ethical guidance in personal and social ethics. Non-Christian ethics has long since divided between facts and values. But such cannot be the case in Christian ethics. The Creator God of all facts is also the Righteous God of all values. There is no divorce between metaphysics and ethics in Christianity.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 141-142.

The problems that many men – including most Christians of my era – have with God is not so much that He exists. Not even that He created the heavens and the earth… and therefore owns them (and us).

It’s that He has eyes to see, and that He opens His mouth.

And His Law-Word does not say what we want to hear.

It is the well-known Law of God that the prophets saw as established in the future Messianic Kingdom (a consequence of the work of Christ and the spread of the gospel). In Isaiah 2:2-4, we read of the glory of the Messianic future:

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

In Jeremiah 31:33-34, we discover the spiritual application of that righteous Law to the very heart of man, as a vital aspect of the saving work of God:

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days,” says the LORD, “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

The postmillennial kingdom in history grows on the basis of the God-blessed – positive sanctions – proclamation of the gospel of God’s saving grace. God’s Word does not return to Him culturally void. As God’s kingdom expands in history, it produces an explicitly Christian and biblical culture – Christendom – by means of the comprehensive application of biblical law. In this sense, the kingdom of God is a true civilization, one which rivals all other civilizations in history. It is a kingdom that has three aspects: heavenly, spiritual, and institutional.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 142-143.

God’s Law-Word does not return to Him culturally void.

  • Sometimes, it is accepted, and saves a soul, a family, a nation, a civilization.
  • Sometimes, it is rejected, and damns a soul, a family, a nation, a civilization.

But God’s Word is not powerless, and does not return to Him in vain.

When God says something, results are on their way, one way or another. If they haven’t already arrived!

The defenders of the various humanist kingdoms deny both the heavenly and the supernaturally spiritual aspects of civilization, while pietism denies the institutional aspect (outside of family and church). As Rushdoony has said, humanism denies God but affirms history, while pietism affirms God but denies history. Theonomy affirms both God and history. It is in this sense a creationist worldview. It proclaims Calvin’s view of history: the Creator God of the Bible decrees all that comes to pass in history. The connection between God and history is judicial: God’s law-based, sanctions-governed covenant. This covenantal view of history can be summarized as follows:

The absolutely sovereign Creator God governs every historical fact in terms of His authoritative revealed Word in history, the Bible, which declares His comprehensive, specially revealed law, with its judicially mandatory sanctions (both positive and negative), in order to implement progressively His universal kingdom (civilization) in history: Christendom.

It is difficult to say which group hates this covenantal view of New Testament history most of all: humanists, dispensationalists, or the disciples of Meredith G. Kline.)[1]


[1] Gentry, “Whose Victory in History?” Theonomy: An Informed Response, ch. 8.

He Shall Have Dominion, by Kenneth L. Gentry, pages 143.

I have always felt that apostates hate God more than natural-born pagans do, and a distastefully large selection of churchmen and church leaders hate God with a white-hot – but highly disciplined – fury, a great deal more than even the most hardened atheist does.

Postscript:
The Need for Literacy Among God’s People

Note the heavy use of Scripture and long chains of logic in the quoted passages.

To step aside for a moment, the increasing illiteracy of American society – first shown with the Great Awakening, where our emotions were held to be of greater importance than the Law and the Testimony – is now declining to actual Biblical illiteracy, right in the church.

When I was a young Christian in my early 20s I was regularly encouraged to burn my books by my more spiritual charismatic friends, who insisted that my interest in reading was hindering the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. But at least people read and took their Bible’s seriously, even if they often misinterpreted it and insisted that all they needed was themselves, the Bible—which they read only in translation and seemed oblivious to the throng of translators surrounding them—and the leading of the Holy Spirit

Today, 40 years on, the Bible has almost been dispensed with altogether. People claim they are Bible believers of course, but it means very little in practice, except in Reformed Churches, where things are different and Scripture is still given lip service. Otherwise people increasingly rely merely on “pictures” for guidance, not what the Bible teaches. These pictures pop into people’s minds. They may say things such as “I had a picture. I don’t know what it means but I think it’s for you.” In house groups people will ask “Has God spoken to you this week, have you had a picture?”

The important thing about these pictures is that they must be rationally exogenous, since it is believed that the Holy Sprit does not use our minds but rather bypasses the mind. If the Bible is consulted it is used as a source of proof texts for the “pictures,” a sort of Bible bingo, where texts are taken out of context, and the purpose is not to understand the message of Scripture but to justify and back up the “pictures,” which have primary importance. Though, to be honest, even this pretence of a commitment to Scripture is no longer common. Use of the mind in this perspective is unspiritual and necessarily something that is incompatible with being led by the Holy Spirit. It is like being in a preliterate society sometimes. I have heard Christians insist that the understanding is a serious hindrance to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and it is believed that the Holy Spirit cannot work with people who use their minds.

This, to my knowledge, has not happened before in the history of Christianity except among heretical sects and cults. It is a complete rejection both of what the Bible teaches, because we are commanded to worship, i.e. serve, God with our whole being, including our minds, and a rejection of the historical faith that portends serious problems for the Church and the Great Commission. It seems like the Church, in particular evangelicals, are determined to enter their own bespoke dark age in which the faith becomes a socially irrelevant mystery cult.

The New Christian Dark Age—Just What The World Didn’t Need! by Stephen C. Perks

I don’t think my readers need to worry too much about this, personally: such people would never get past the wall of quoted text (and Bible verses!) this post has turned into. Never mind follow the chains of logic.

But we do need to encourage literacy and logic within our own families and churches.

God expects – demands – it.

(Hint: You won’t be getting that from the public schools. As any variety show, asking ordinary adults simple ‘common knowledge’ questions, will prove.)

OK, we can now return to the main theme: knowledge of the Law, and application of the Law.

In your life, and in mine.

Salvation, and Damnation, From the Same Hand

From the Foreward by Gary North, in He Shall Have Dominion, pages ix-

[My words are bracketed.]

Time to Decide

—<Quote begins>—

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55: 11, KJV)

The gospel message of personal salvation is this: eternal life is by God’s grace through saving faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ. When a Christian shares this gospel message with anyone, he sends out God’s holy Word. This Word never returns to God empty. Sometimes it saves. Sometimes it damns.

What is the legal basis of this message of eternal life? It begins with history. Jesus Christ, who was both a perfect man and the incarnate son of God, came down from heaven into history, perfectly met God’s standards of righteousness, suffered injustice at the hands of unrighteous men, was crucified, dead, and buried. On the third day, He rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. Any objections so far? I hope not.

Then what about eternal life? It also begins in history. Those people who believe and publicly confess in this life that Jesus Christ’s representative legal work of redemption is their only legal claim to mercy before God, both now and in eternity, are saved, assuming that they continue in this profession of faith until their physical death. Once a person is saved by God’s judicial declaration of “not guilty” (i.e., justification), he remains saved, but the internal and external evidence of the legal fact of this salvation is the person’s continuing belief in the gospel message. Those who refuse to believe this message are lost. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). God’s grace and wrath both begin in history.

This means that Jesus’ work of redemption in history is two-fold: reconciliation and condemnation. Same work, two effects. Same gospel, two effects. This two-fold aspect of the gospel reflects the two-fold aspect of God’s judgment: blessing and cursing (Lev. 26; Deut. 28).[1] This means that whenever a Christian shares the message of God’s reconciliation through Jesus Christ, he is also sharing the message of God’s condemnation by Jesus Christ. There is no escape from God’s two-fold judgment.

The threat of condemnation is unavoidable. Jesus said: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34). If the recipient of the gospel message fails to respond in faith, he is worse off than before he heard the gospel. As in the parable of the two evil servants, the one who knew better will receive greater punishment. “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:47-48). As surely as there is a heaven and a hell, Christ’s gospel reconciles some and condemns others.


[1] Ray R. Sutton, That You May Prosper: Dominion By Covenant (2nd ed.; Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), ch. 4. Sutton is president of the Philadelphia Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church.

—<Quote ends>—

[God demands that you – and I – make a choice.]

The Consequences of Choosing Well

—<Quote begins>—

The Gospel’s Effects in History

When a person is legally reconciled to God, this changes the kind of person he is. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). This transformation is both

judicial and moral. It happens all at once. But its effects do not happen all at once. As in the case of a newborn baby, it takes time in order for the new person in Christ to mature spiritually. It takes time, as the Bible says, to work out the salvation that is ours in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). It is all sanctification – God’s sovereign act of setting us apart from the world morally – but there are three aspects of this sanctification, even though they constitute one process. Theologians speak of definitive sanctification – the complete moral perfection that we receive by grace at the moment when we are saved – and progressive sanctification: the working out in history of the moral perfection that is in principle ours already by grace. There is also final sanctification: the perfection that we receive by grace after the resurrection at the end of history. It is all sanctification. It is all by grace, ordained from the beginning, including our good works:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:8-10).

We can see this “definitive-progressive-final” process in operation in the first chapter of Genesis. God created the world in six days. At the end of each day, He pronounced His work good. “God saw that it was good” occurs repeatedly in the chapter. God’s daily work was good in the morning; it was good all day long; and it was good in the evening. At the end of six days, His work was complete. It, too, was good. More than good: very good (Gen. 1:31). Work completed is better than work just begun. If there were not sin in this world, everything we do would be like that: all good, but getting better all the time. Forever. This is what life will be like after the resurrection for all those saved by grace through faith. From the first things (creation) to the final things (judgment), and everything in between: it would all be good.

—<Quote ends>—

[Choosing life, instead of death, is only the start of our labours on this world. We must be sanctified. The evil in our hearts must be crippled, crushed, killed. The good that the Holy Spirit bring into our hearts must be nurtured, protected, fed, increased.

And, while the expansion of the Kingdom of God begins in our hearts, it cannot end there. It MUST grow outside of our hearts and our heads, to direct and shape our lives, our studies, our families, our businesses, our towns and cities and nations.

The Kingdom of God must fill the earth. And every inch of land, every way of thinking, every action, every dime and dollar that the thieving and lying snake holds must be ripped from his grasp.

All of it.

Fortunately, it need not all be done immediately. Just like the purification of our lives and our civilization, it is a gradual process. Step by step, day by day, man by man, word by word, the Kingdom grows.]

Might makes Right?
No: Right Makes Might!

—<Quote begins>—

Of course, there is sin in this world. There is perpetual conflict in history between good and evil: God vs. Satan, angels vs. demons, covenant-keepers vs. covenant-breakers, eternal life vs. eternal death. The question that we need to get answered correctly is this: Is the principle of evil more powerful in history than the principle of good? Christians know that Satan is surely no match for God in terms of power. History is not some sort of cosmic arm-wrestling match between God and Satan. If it were, God would win ten rounds out often. But the primary issue in history is not power; the primary issue is ethics. This does not mean that history does not involve questions of power. It does mean that questions of power are subordinate to questions of ethics. Might does not, in and of itself, make right. Agreed?

—<Quote ends>—

[Quite a lot of people disagree, actually. Aging Marxists and young Woke Liberals – well on their way on purging their Liberal elders – believe that power in their hands make right. Just as Darwin’s philosophy naturally directs us to. (See: Critical Theory is Certainly Correct and Does Darwinism help produce anarchic nihilism?)

But I will assume that my readers are Christians, not Secularists, and therefore do agree that Might does not make Right.

Therefore, even if Christians have power in a given society, their power does not, by itself, make their actions right. If they use their power unlawfully, in violation of the Laws of God, God Himself will strip those Christians of their power…

(directly/supernaturally, or – more likely, nowadays – by using some handy tool like “logical consequences”, “unforeseen events”, “regrettable miscalculations” or “delusional arrogance”)

…and punish those “powerful” lawbreakers.

Obedience to God, coupled with responsibility discharged well, brings blessings and authority and power.

Disobedience to God, which naturally ties in with irresponsibility, incompetence, and some form of bloated pride (secretly or openly), brings curses and disgrace and powerlessness.]

—<Quote begins>—

But there is this nagging question: Is might in some way an outcome of right, or an aspect of right? Put another way, is might always actively opposed to right? Put yet another way, must right eventually produce might? Or does right eventually produce weakness? By eventually, I do not mean “overnight”; I mean over long periods of time. Put in language of modern economics, do the good get richer and the bad get poorer over time? Or is it the other way around? The Bible has an answer:

But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that Howeth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people. (Lev. 20:24)

And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it (Deut. 31:7)

His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. (Psa. 25:13)

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. (Psa. 37:9)

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psa. 37:11)

For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. (Psa. 37:22)

Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. (Psa. 37:34)

And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. (!sa. 65:9)

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5).

This process of inheritance culminates in final judgment: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). The biblical principle is easy to state: righteousness is the foundation of inheritance. The point is, this process does not apply only to final judgment; it is definitive, progressive, and final. It is therefore historical.

—<Quote ends>—

[The good guys – with “good” defined by God, and not by powerful men – are going to win.

And the bad guys are going to lose.

In general (but increasingly so, with the occasional setback), in time and on earth.

Two steps forward, one step back.

And – later – three steps forward, one step back.]

Victory in History?
To the Law and the Testimony!

—<Quote begins>—

The Link Is No Longer Missing

Dr. Gentry has already defended exegetically the comprehensive implications and applications of Jesus’ Great Commission.[1] In doing so, he has offered the culturally retreatist and defeatist theology of pietism its most detailed exegetical challenge in the twentieth century. He has also documented in exhaustive detail the dating of the Book of Revelation: before A.D. 70.[2] This has removed the most significant criticism of the preterist (past tense, i.e., historically completed) interpretation of the Book of Revelation. The preterists argue that all the prophecies regarding the Great Tribulation were fulfilled with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.[3] The preterist interpretation was easily criticized by those who argued that the Book of Revelation was written in A.D. 96. This counter-argument can no longer be easily sustained. Gentry demolished it in Before Jerusalem Fell. So far, there has been no detailed published refutation.

Now Gentry comes with an explicitly theonomic case for postmillennialism. No longer is the question of ethical cause and effect stripped out of postmillennialism. God’s Bible-revealed laws and their appropriate sanctions in history lie at the very heart of his discussion of postmillennialism. The reader needs to understand that this book is the first detailed, exegetical presentation of covenantal (theonomic) postmillennialism. It is not just that Gentry argues for the continuing authority of God’s law – what might be called barebones theonomy. It is not just that he argues for postmillennialism – what might be called barebones postmillennialism. What is significant about He Shall Have Dominion is that it links together these two positions by means of a covenantal doctrine of God’s predictable historical sanctions in history.[4] Gentry defends the continuation of God’s sanctions in history as a theologically necessary component of postmillennialism’s doctrine of the comprehensive triumph of the kingdom of God in history. Without this link, there can be no ethics-based Christian philosophy of history. Paraphrasing the philosopher Immanuel Kant, “Theonomy without post-millennialism is impotent; postmillennialism without theonomy is blind.” Theonomic postmillennialism is a unified system.

This is why He Shall Have Dominion is so important. From this point forward, this book will represent the position known as theonomic postmillennialism. All future expositions in the name of this position will have to build self-consciously on He Shall Have Dominion. As the old advertisement used to put it, ”Accept no substitutes!”


[1] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Greatness of the Great Commission: The Christian Enterprise in a Fallen World (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1990).

[2] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989).

[3] David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1987); Chilton, The Great Tribulation (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1987).

[4] Chapters 6 and 10.

—<Quote ends>—

[God acts in history.

God acts predictably in history, in the manner that He has already spelled our for us in His law. “As handed down to Moses, and modified by Jesus Christ.”

We now know HOW to win: as a man, as a family, as a nation.

And, we now know HOW to avoid losing: turning away from defeat, disgrace, damnation.

The way of life is open.

So, what are we waiting for?

Let’s win!]

Uni vs. Students: Financial Corruption in the Academy

I generally don’t go into the financial side of university corruption, but The self-destruction of the academy by John Sheldon gets into the ugly nitty-gritty.

[If you want to shave off two expensive years of this moral morass, search for “CLEP Gary North”. He also has a nice set of low-cost, accredited distance learning universities to offer, alloying you to save even more money and get that job license.]

University Loyalty Oaths

I just have to mention just how highly today’s modern, intensely secular (…or at least anti-Christian…) universities value the conscience and intellectual liberty of the students.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal by a U. C. Davis mathematician described a kind of  “Inquisitorial Manual” now used for vetting prospective University of California faculty. As she points out, the Berkeley manual requires a sort of “loyalty oath,” like the one that disgraced the university during the McCarthy era.  The Berkeley Manual resembles the “39 Articles” of the Church of England, although admittedly shorter (1100 words, to 4000 or so) and with a more questionable pedigree.

This unpleasant document, an inquisition for admission to the insidious religion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), asks questions about a candidate’s Knowledge about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Track Record in Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Plans for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Unsatisfactory answers include: “Seems uncomfortable discussing diversity-related issues. May state that he or she ‘just hasn’t had much of a chance to think about these issues yet,’” “Participated in no specific activities, or only one or two limited activities (limited in terms of time, investment or role),” and “Vague or no statements about what they would do at Berkeley if hired. May even feel doing so would be the responsibility of someone else.”

These questions are even more intrusive than the 39 Articles in that they require not just belief but action, by prospective faculty whose proper interests should be elsewhere, in teaching and their field.

* * *

Cracks in the Ivory Tower usefully emphasizes the economic costs and benefits of university practices. But absent from the book is any consideration of the intrinsic value of the academic endeavor. Remaining is a vacuum that is filled by two things: the university as a business; and the university as a social activist.  Both are destructive of the proper purpose of a university.

The self-destruction of the academy by John Staddon

I recommend that you go with the universities following the business model: but be sure to check them out first like any smart customer, including accreditation, graduation rates, and employment rates.

And a business knows whose boss: the customer. Unlike the “higher social cause” universities, which set themselves up as People Who Know Better, ready to take your child’s mind and your money, to benefit themselves and their ideology.

Even in medieval times, universities were there for three reasons: to provide a gateway to good jobs in the church and the state bureaucracy; to provide an avenue for young elite men to go a’whoring and a’drinking together (bonding together the ruling class); and to preserve assorted Greco-Roman flavours of statism, pagan mysticism/demonism and perversion behind an exalted air of intellectual superiority.

(The one good thing Darwinism did for humanity: it destroyed the power of the classics and their delusion of “natural law” and “superiority”.)

Christians should not bother with the university (“state-licensed elitist guild”) model. Especially as many forms of decentralized, results-oriented learning and apprenticeships are now doable.

(Not available, not yet. Christians need to get of their butts, and build the future.)

Danger Comes From the Left…

…and not from those powerless Christians from the Right.

A copy/paste from Uncommon Descent’s A Darwinian biologist who has debated ID folk describes getting Canceled

—<Quote begins>—

Remember Colin Wright?:

Of course, it’s absolutely true that wealthy cancel-culture targets such as J. K. Rowling get enormous attention. But that’s not just because of their wealth and fame: It’s because their stories act as a stand-in for the many other, more obscure, figures who’ve been mobbed in the press, on campuses, on social-media forums, and in arts and literary subcultures. The vast majority of cancel culture’s victims are people you’ve never heard of, who don’t have the means to fight back, or who have learned to keep quiet so they don’t lose whatever reputation or job security they still have.

I know, because I was once one of them…

In 2008, I decided to pursue a career as an academic biologist. Science in general, and evolutionary biology in particular, had been a passion from a young age. Even as an undergraduate, I maintained a blog that I used to debunk pseudoscience, and critique creationism and Intelligent Design. I was outspoken, and sometimes launched headlong into debates with Christian conservatives. Creationists and IDers frequently told me I was wrong or stupid, but my critics never called me a bigot.

This changed, however, when I started graduate school in 2013. This was an environment where I didn’t have to worry about right-wing creationists. Rather, the pseudoscience I observed was coming from the other side of the political spectrum—especially in the form of “Blank Slate” proponents who argued (falsely) that sex differences in human personality, preferences, and behavior are entirely the result of socialization.

It was also during this time that I started to take an interest in what many now call “gender ideology.” This ideology not only invites compassionate treatment for trans individuals (which I support), but also promotes the scientifically inaccurate claims that biological sex exists on a continuous “spectrum,” that notions of male and female may be mere social constructs, and that one’s sex may be determined by self-declared “identity” instead of reproductive anatomy. When I pushed back against these claims, I was smeared as a transphobic bigot. Fearing professional harm, I stopped engaging, ceding the field to those who champion fashionable fictions.

Colin Wright, “Think Cancel Culture Doesn’t Exist? My Own ‘Lived Experience’ Says Otherwise” at Quillette

Then, seeing nonsense metastasize, he foolishly published an essay challenging it. Eventually, trolls forced him out of academia.

Meanwhile note this article at Wired:

The NIH research connecting anatomy and sex chromosomes could shed light on mental disorders. But the topic is sensitive, and such findings are easy to misuse…

“I got my fingers burned when I first started,” Raznahan says. As a PhD student, he published a study that examined structural differences between men’s and women’s brains and how they changed with age. “We observed a particular pattern, and we were very cautious about just describing it, as one should be, not jumping to functional interpretations,” he says. Despite his efforts, The Wall Street Journal soon published an article that cited his study in a defense of single-sex schooling, under the assumption that boys and girls must learn in distinct ways because their brain anatomy is slightly different. “That really threw me,” he says. “The experience has stayed with me.”

Nevertheless, Raznahan has continued to study sex differences, in the hope that they could help us better understand neurodevelopmental disorders.

Grace Huckins, “A Study Finds Sex Differences in the Brain. Does It Matter?” at Wired

If Raznahan is serious, no matter what his research turns up, he may be the next one who either recants or gets canceled.

Over time, science in many areas is likely to wither as it comes more and more under the domination of trolls with agendas. And the trolls have an incentive to expand the territories in science in which they are active.

Notice, by the way, how being a Darwinist is no longer a form of protection.

See also: Veteran Journalist Leaves Major Paper Before Anyone Cancels Her She talks about Debra Soh, another scientist forced out by the Woke trolls.

—<Quote ends>—

It took the Darwinists quite some time, to shift the focus from evidence, reason and a reliance on truth, to social approval, appeals to emotion and authority, and fundamentally to power.

Now, the Darwinians – and the older Liberals & Progressives – can lie in the bed they have made.

As for those powerless Christians? Let the Left get more focused on ideological purity, on truly savage infighting, to grounding all on immediate power and the will of the masses, right now.

We have work to do, work that must stand after the antichrists have finished corrupting, delegitimizing, and destroying the institutions they have corrupted and taken over, to feed on for a season.

The Temples burns, but the future beckons.

How to Fight Lies, Academically

From the Preface of He Shall Have Dominion, by Gary North

—<Quote begins>—

Take a look at the book’s contents. There are a lot of Bible verses cited: thousands. There are a lot of footnotes to books and articles. It had to be this way. Dr. Gentry is arguing for an ancient and respected view of eschatology: postmillennialism. This places him at a disadvantage. There have not been many theologians in the twentieth century who have held this view of the comprehensive future success of the gospel. This was not the case a century ago, but it is the case today. Thus, he comes before an audience that is disinclined to believe him. He has to overcome this resistance. Like a conservative college student taking an exam from a liberal professor, he has to outperform the liberal students in the class in order to get the same grade.

He is also doing his best to overcome a lot of misinformation that has been taught in conservative seminary classrooms for many decades. He knows; he attended two of them: one dispensational, the other amillennial. Although Dr. Gentry has made the postmillennial position clear in previous books, and although the Institute for Christian Economics has sent out copies of these books free of charge to offending faculties, the same misinformation continues to be presented in the class- room to vulnerable, trusting students. (I much prefer the word lies to “misinformation,” since this gets across to the reader what is really going on in seminary classrooms, but I am trying to be a Christian gentleman, since Dr. Gentry is.[1])

By carefully documenting everything that he says about the Bible, Dr. Gentry does his best to gain the reader’s confidence in what he is saying. In documenting with footnotes what he says that other theologians have written, he is doing the same.

Any reader who thinks Dr. Gentry is exaggerating has been given proof of the truth of what he is saying. The critic can read the verbatim citation in the text, or check the original source, whether it is a Bible verse or a quotation from a book or an article. This will not persuade many contemporary critics of postmillennialism – the price of conversion is high – but it will silence those with any integrity. Dr. Gentry has followed my long-term strategy: stuff the critics’ mouths with footnotes.

He has expended considerable effort to accomplish the following goals: (1) to persuade the reader that his analysis is correct; (2) to provide supporting evidence for every statement; (3) to avoid exaggeration; (4) to present a positive case for what he believes; (5) to summarize accurately the arguments against his position; (6) to refute the major critics of postmillennialism; (7) to present the implications of his position; and (8) to state the implications of rival positions. This is why the book is long. I know of no book that presents the case for any view of eschatology that is equally painstaking. He covers every base.

Notice, too: his book has a positive aspect and a negative aspect. As with the gospel, this book has a two-fold goal: reconciliation and condemnation. There is no escape from these goals. When we share the gospel, we are bringing God’s covenant lawsuit, just as Jonah brought it before the people of Nineveh. This lawsuit offers blessings and cursings. Therefore, He Shall Have Dominion is designed to achieve the following results: (1) to give confidence and greater information to those who already believe its general position; (2) to persuade those who have not yet made up their minds; (3) to persuade those who are still open to new evidence; (4) to silence the critics.


[1] Here is an example of this systematic, deliberate misinformation. Three students at Dallas Theological Seminary came to Tyler to videotape me and Ray Sutton in 1985. The very first question that the interviewer asked was this: “Why do you say that Israel is identical to the Church?” We replied (approximately): “We don’t. We believe that Israel will be brought to Christ prior to the millennium. This has been taught by Robert Haldane, Charles Hodge, and John Murray. It is the view of Scottish Presbyterianism. The Westminster Larger Catechism instructs us to pray for the Jews: Answer 191.” The interviewer was so stunned that he had his partner shut off the video camera. (I kept my audio cassette recorder running.) He then told us that they had all been taught in class that Christian Reconstructionists believe that Israel is identical to the Church. I had argued against this view in my 1981 book, Unconditional Surrender: God’s Program for Victory (Tyler, TX: Geneva, 1981), p. 199. They had never been told of the traditional Scottish postmillennial interpretation of Romans 11. This is unconscionable. It is also typical. It is this lack of both integrity and scholarship that is toppling dispensational seminaries one by one.

—<Quote ends>—

It’s rather shocking, to see the standards of first-rate secular institutions collapse as badly as fourth-rate Christian seminaries and colleges.

But I suspect that it was inevitable.

After all, modern secular movements have no interest in marshaling evidence and conducting extensive research: it’s much faster and easier to use the mob, social media, and the mainstream media to just silence dissent and drive out heretics, via mob action, political maneuvers or judicial action.

That’s because – just like the seminaries – these secular concerns don’t have the evidence on their side.

And, like any good Darwinian (discreetly in the seminaries, openly elsewhere), they are primarily concerned with power, not objective reality.

…and finally…

Spiritual Bypassing

A sister in Christ approached me on social media recently concerned that I am falling prey to humanism and legalism with my “narrative” on “racial reconciliation.” She expressed multiple concerns, but the heart of them boils down to a problem I have encountered in many shapes and forms: “all you need is the Gospel!”

Various versions of this view are used to sweep aside every Christian and biblical appeal to social reform or call for change—especially sacrificial changes in behavior, but also repentance or even sometimes acknowledgment.

“Spiritual Bypassing” on Racial Reconciliation by Joel McDurmon

I wish White Americans would just owe up to the debts they and the government they run has incurred – mainly debts-by-injustice, but also financial debts – and pay up, so we can just get on with life.

But only (some) White Americans – generally liberals – are interested in (partially) obeying God in this matter. Preferably paid for by ‘society’, and not personally.

White American Conservatives aren’t interested at all in getting right with poor blacks: and thus, getting right with God, who is represented by the weak and powerless.

White Americans won’t give legal restitution by money. Not by time in service. Not by reforming the legal system. Not even with lip service.

Not with anything at all.

I am implored to preach only Christ as the foundation, “the beginning and the end,” because my own alleged narrative “collapses on itself.” I must instead, “Offer the solution.”

The truth is, I do offer Christ from foundation, beginning to end. And I do offer the solution. The problem is that it is just not the solution many conservative Christians want to hear. Many seem to prefer an easy “gospel”-only solution. It is an abstracted Christ who does not command us to pick up a cross and follow him afterward. It is an easy spiritual experience in which we preach reconciliation to others and then watch the minorities scrape and crawl to achieve it without our participation.

It’s almost like one assumes the white parties actually have no role in racial reconciliation, despite the history and despite our dominant social position. It’s as if when the subject comes up, the assumption is that those who are appealing for racial reconciliation (generally, by default, the persons of color themselves) are the ones who need to come to Christ and get reconciled to him. Once reconciled to him, they will obviously see the error of their critical race theory and cultural Marxist ways, and drop all that nonsense about reconciliation. When they finally shut up about all that, they can then be reconciled to the rest of us in our tidy white Reformed, Baptist, or Evangelical spaces.

“Spiritual Bypassing” on Racial Reconciliation by Joel McDurmon

“Powerful people don’t need to carry crosses.
Only the poor and the weak need to carry crosses.”

That’s not the way it’s going to work.

In my case, it was suggested that since I think we should use biblical standards for social justice and social change, I was accused of ignoring the gospel and preaching works. I think everyone involved in social Reformation has encountered this.

The phenomenon overall is, of course, called “spiritual bypassing.” It is when people use spiritual-sounding catchphrases or pat answers to avoid the conversations difficult for them. (Of course, this phrase itself was coined by a Buddhist, so now I am really in hot water!)

“Spiritual Bypassing” on Racial Reconciliation by Joel McDurmon

Truth is truth.

Even when a Buddhist says it.

Spiritual ByPassing on Racism Has  Deep History

This phenomenon, when applied to race, slavery, or racism, has a deep history in the United States. It was used in various ways by Bible-believing Christians to keep slavery legal, stop pulpits from preaching against these and related evils, to hold at bay white Christians who would have made changes, to keep blacks oppressed, etc., etc. I wish white Christians today could see how much their behavior parallels this, what we all now see to be evil.

In The Problem of Slavery in Christian America, I devote considerable space to how “Two Kingdoms” theology was used to suppress any official church criticism of racism or slavery for a long time. This was effectively a church sanction in favor of keeping these institutions and social conventions legal. There are countless examples of this in official church declarations, comments and writings from individual ministers, and from various individuals.

[…snipped grim string of examples…]

“Spiritual Bypassing” on Racial Reconciliation by Joel McDurmon

It just goes on and on.

But, the White Christians who wanted to preserve slavery (and then segregation) lost. Despite their power and position and wealth.

And, they are going to lose again.

And again.

And again.

Until they repent, and start personally upholding the Law.

And get the government they run to obey the Law, too.

There is only One Law, and all – men and nations, corporations and churches – are accountable to it.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:28-20, King James Version

The nation must obey the Law of God, and thus restore what it has stolen from blacks. Note that many of the victims of this systematic theft are alive today, as the book The Color of Law indicates.

This includes all the government oppression, from both the race-driven, hateful Progressive Democrats in the first half of the 20th century…

(who offered government-funded ladders up for whites, and only for whites)

…and the race-driven, fearful Republicans from the 1960s onwards, who demanded a heavy hand on blacks smashed by Democratic policies (both by denial of opportunity given to whites — especially in the 40s-60s in “The Golden Age in America” — and by the poisoned chalice of the welfare state from the late 60s onwards).

Aside: the welfare handouts that Democrats give to Black Americans today is an intensely cynical, contemptuous echo of the truly massive educational and housing subsidies Democrats gave to White Americans.

In Chapter Ten, Rothstein explains why many black people simply cannot afford to move to white neighborhoods. This, too, is a result of policy: for instance, the government prevented African Americans from accessing employment in the decades after slavery, excluded them from New Deal and post-World War II work programs, and failed to enforce nondiscrimination laws against racist companies and labor unions. Local governments systematically overtax African American communities, who often pay several times what they legally should in property taxes. And housing has always been overpriced in African American ghettos: throughout the 20th century, landlords knew black tenants would pay several times more in rent, compared to white tenants.

Jennings, Rohan. “The Color of Law Plot Summary.” LitCharts. LitCharts LLC, 27 Jan 2020. Web. 4 Aug 2020. LInk here. My post on the book here.

This is chapter 10 of the book: nine chapters of legalized injustice before, two more chapters and an epilogue after.

All this government-backed robbery of poor blacks by the rich whites will be paid for.

Why? Because God demands it.

Better to provide actual justice and restitution, even in part, than just rebelliously refuse to lift a finger, and bluntly challenge God to do a thing about your refusal to uphold His law.

To be sure, what kind of “works” did James have in mind immediately here? They were works of overcoming class and social distinctions, prejudice, and sacrificial, material giving across those lines:

“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Dead. Dead, I tell you. A professed faith in Christ, at the foundation and from beginning to end, that does not have social outworkings following it, is not true faith. It is dead.

[…]

For some reason, however, when it comes to specific applications, particularly social applications, of the law in this regard, Christians short-circuit, get defensive, and retreat to pious platitudes and pat answers. With such means they engage in spiritual bypassing. It is as if our Christianity is an easy Christianity that ends with a profession of faith and church attendance. Anything that calls for the slightest uncomfortable change in behavior is condemned as a legalism and bypassed. It is like we want easy justification without sanctification. But sanctification follows a pattern—the pattern of God’s law—and it necessarily means good works, which he has prepared for us to walk in.

“Spiritual Bypassing” on Racial Reconciliation by Joel McDurmon

Perpetual Work Ahead

A lived faith is a real faith.

Pay restitution to those you wronged, and do it early. If your government did what is evil, get your government to repent, and restore what was stolen.

“There is only one law: the same laws apply to a man, as to a business, as to a nation.”

“You get less interest on the debt, and you gain more goodwill – from those you have wronged, and from On High as well.”

What’s the relevant theological problem here? It is the fact that racial reconciliation and “wokeness” (or awareness) is not about justification, or getting saved. It is not a hamster wheel of alleged works-righteousness. No. Properly conceived, it is simply an aspect of sanctification. Put in this light, it is so simple to understand in terms of classic theological orthodoxy.

We could even agree that there will be a lifetime of works and sacrifices still ahead of us in the area of racial reconciliation. So? This is not an indictment of the genre or the cause; it is an indictment of our failures heretofore and of our total depravity.

A lifetime of “perpetual” works ahead of us is not an argument against the potential truth or need for those works. Look at the parallel theological concept: After all, every single orthodox theologian in the world will admit that we will never be fully sanctified in this world before we die and go to be with Christ. Every one, without exception. This means that as far as sanctification is concerned, this life is one of perpetual good works, perpetual repentance, perpetual repair (including of personal relationships). Does this mean we should condemn and jettison the doctrines of sanctification and the third/moral use of the law as “endless grievances” or “endless works”? God forbid!

Well, racial reconciliation is one of those many areas of good works and sanctification out there on the table—and it will be for a while. Are there folk who abuse it and create actual objectionable legalisms out of it? Sure; just as there are preachers who make legalisms out of every other area of doctrine: worship, family, sex, and a hundred others. Do we completely ignore all of these other areas because some abuse them? No, we work all the harder to correct them and move ahead.

This is exactly what we should be doing on race, racial history, racial reconciliation, friendship, works of mercy, charity, hospitality, education, business, insurance, finance, and countless more.

[…]

Too often, we come across the bruised and bloodied, or just naked and hungry bodies of our brothers and sisters of color lying in the road to Jericho, and we do everything we can to spiritual-bypass to the other side of the street. From the opposite curb we may call out, “Christ is our hope!” as we do what is most comfortable, safe, and inexpensive for us, and do it as quickly as possible.

[…]

We are specifically told, for instance, to make the cross of Christ an ethic by which we treat others (Rom. 15:1–3; 1 Cor. 10:24, 31–33; 2 Cor. 5:14–15; Eph. 5:2, 25; Phil. 2:1–11). This means acting like the Good Samaritan ourselves, too. If Christ is the Good Samaritan, then you can read these Scriptures, and where Christ is either stated or implied, replace his name with “the Good Samaritan,” and at some point you must realize that the Good Samaritan’s cross-racial good works must become part of the good works to which we are called as well.[4]

That is not denying the Gospel. It is realizing the full extent of the life to which the Gospel calls us, and in fact, to which our faith demands, lest our faith be judged dead.

“Spiritual Bypassing” on Racial Reconciliation by Joel McDurmon

White America – and the government they run, liberal and conservative alike – might has well get started now on restitution for goods and liberties stolen, or the debt load will only get bigger, and the price for payment rises from harsh to crushing, and on to overwhelming.