By This Standard: The Authority of God's Law Today

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God's Law is Christianity's tool of dominion. This is where any discussion of God's law ultimately arrives: the issue of dominion. Ask yourself: Who is to rule on earth, Christ or Satan? Whose followers have the ethically acceptable tool of dominion, Christ's or Satan's? What is this tool of dominion, the Biblically revealed law of God, or the law of self-proclaimed autonomous man? Whose word is sovereign, God's or man's?

Millions of Christians, sadly, have not recognized the continuing authority of God's law or its many applications to modern society. They have thereby reaped the whirlwind of cultural and intellectual impotence. They implicitly denied the power of the death and resurrection of Christ. They have served as footstools for the enemies of God. But humanism's free ride is coming to an end. This book serves as an introduction to this woefully neglected topic.

 God's Law or Chaos
God's Law or Tyranny
God's Law or God's Judgment
For over a century, most conservative Christian social thinkers have denied all three of these assertions. Some of them have even gone so far as to argue that God's law is inherently tyrannical. But God's law is not only just and sufficient, it is obtainable and ideal for civilization. Christianity has the opportunity to overcome all evil with good, and the basis for all good is in the richness of God's law.

Table of Contents:

  • Prologue by David Bahnsen
  • Part I: The Authority of God's Law
  • A. The All Encompassing Standard of Scripture
  • B. Cardinal Doctrines of the Faith
  • C. Motivational and Consequential Perspectives
  • D. Old Testament Law in the New Testament Age
  • E. Summary of Old and New Testament Views on God's Law
  • F. The Functions of God's Law
  • Part II: Application of God's Law to Political Ethics
  • Part III: Antagonism to God's Law
  • Conclusion: The Authority of God's Law Today

"But that's what the OLD Testament said! We live in New Testament times." Whether spoken out loud or not, this is the reaction that many Christians have to any suggestion that we should conform to some requirement of the law of God. Throughout the history of the Christian church, believers have asked what their attitude should be toward the commandments of God that are revealed in the Old Testament. A common working assumption is that New Testament believers are not expected by God to live according to Old Testament stipulations. The question then is this: by what standard are moral judgements to be made? How do we determine in any particular case what godliness requires of me or of society? What yardstick are we to measure by? From what do we form our opinions, beliefs, actions and morals? 

The late Dr. Greg Bahnsen, one of the original pillars of the Christian Reconstructionist movement, dedicated his life to the notion that Christianity was more than a personal religion but also one of culturally transformational impact. His prayer was that his books would convince Christians of the wisdom and authority of God's commandments, learning to say from their hearts "O how I love thy law!" (Psalm 119:97). In his book By This Standard: The Authority of God's Law Today, Dr. Bahnsen provides a principled, systematic and consistent approach to the question of whether and how the Old Testament law constitutes a standard for making moral decisions when dealing with issues facing us today. 

Addressing the authority of God's Word, the words of Christ and the New Testament apostles and overall ethic standards, Bahnsen defines in common language the application of God's law in everyday life. Studying the validity of the Mosaic law and the validity of its penal sanctions simply points out that these are aspects of Biblical teaching - indeed aspects which serve a beneficial purpose and as such are included in God's revealed word and should not be misunderstood or ignored in deciding what the whole of Bible has to day to us about our lives, conduct and attitudes. By paying attention to the question of God's law in Christian ethics, we are simply being consistent with the conviction that our Christian beliefs should be guided only by Scripture and by all of Scripture!

Will your life be founded upon the sure rock of God's word or in the ruinous sands of independent human opinion?

About the Author: 
Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen (1948-1995) was once described as "the man atheists fear most." He was a distinguished scholar, author, and Christian apologist. He was an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and the author ofTheonomy in Christian EthicsNo Other Standard: Theonomy and Its Critics, and co-author with Kenneth Gentry of House Divided: The Breakup of Dispensational Theology.

Specifications: 265 pages

© The American Vision, Inc.

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