Artisan Publishers

The Institutes Of Biblical Law
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Author: Rousas John Rushdoony

The author's position is that the law was never "done away with" and labels this anti-law position on the part of modern preaching and Biblical teaching as "antinomianism". He explains that the antinomian believes that faith frees the Christian from the law so that he is not out-side the law but is rather dead to the law. Rushdoony on the other hand insists there is no warrant whatsoever in Scripture for antinomianism. He acknowledges the fact that the expression "dead to the law" is indeed in Scripture (Gal. 2:9; Rom. 7:4) but holds the opinion this has reference to the believer in relationship to the atoning work of Christ as the believer's representative and substitute; the believer is dead to the law as an indictment a legal sentence of death against him Christ having died for him but the believer is alive to the law as the righteousness of God.

Mr. Rushdoony expands on his view of the law still-in-effect as follows:
. . .The purpose of Christ's atoning work was to restore man to a position of covenant-keeping instead of covenant-breaking to enable man to keep the law by freeing man "from the law of sin and death" ( Rom. 8:2) "that righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us" (Rom. 8:4). Man is restored to a position of law-keeping. The law has a place of centrality in man's indictment (as a sentence of death as against man the sinner) in man's redemption (in that Christ died Who although the perfect law-keeper as the new Adam died as man's substitute) and in man's sanctification (in that man grows in grace as he grows in law-keeping for the law is the way of sanctification).

. . . Lawless Christianity is a contradiction in terms: it is anti-Christian. The purpose of grace is not to set aside the law but to fulfill the law and enable man to keep the law. If the law was so serious in the sight of God that it would require the death of Jesus Christ the only be-gotten Son of God to make atonement for man's sin it seems strange for God then to proceed to abandon the law! The goal of the law is not lawlessness nor the purpose of grace a lawless contempt of the giver of grace.

The increasing breakdown of law and order must first of all be attributed to the churches and their persistent antinomianism. If the churches are lax with respect to the law will not the people follow suit? And civil law cannot be separated from Biblical law for the Biblical doctrine for law includes all law civil ecclesiastical societal familial and all other forms of law. The social order which despises God's law places itself on death's row: it is marked for judgement.

. . . [T]here can be no tolerance in a law-system for another religion. Toleration is a devise used to introduce another law-system as a prelude to a new intolerance. Legal positivism a humanistic faith has been savage in its hostility to the Biblical law-system and has claimed to be an "open" system. . . . Every law-system must maintain its existence by hostility to every other law-system and to alien religious foundations or else it commits suicide.

. . . There is no contradiction between law and grace. The question in James 's Epistle is faith and works not faith and law. Judaism had made law the mediator between God and man and between God and the world. It was this view of law not the law itself which Jesus attacked. As Himself the Mediator Jesus rejected the law as mediator in order to re-establish the law in it's God appointed role as law the way of holiness. He established the law by dispensing forgiveness as the law-giver in full support of the law as the convicting word which makes men sinners. The law was rejected only as mediator as the source of justification. Jesus fully recognized the law and obeyed the law. It was only the absurd interpretations of the law He rejected.

Without a doubt this is one of the finest books available on God's Law and all of its amplifications. Not only does it cover every minute detail of the Ten Commandments but it expounds on The Promises Of Law The Law In The Old Testament The Law In The New Testament The Church and Notes On Law In Western Society. Includes Appendices three by Gary North.

Rushdoony firmly believes If Christianity is ever to become strong again in America it will be necessary for its leaders to change their convictions regarding the laws of God.

890 pages

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