John MacArthur is true to American evangelical form as he is quoted in Theonomy on the Monergism website…. [I will give three quotes from the Monergism website, one by John MacArthur, one from Van Til and one from Greg Bahnsen, with some commentary of my own.] “Reform is no answer for a culture like ours. Redemption is what is needed, and that occurs at the individual, not societal level. The church needs to get back to the real task to which we are called: evangelizing the lost. Only when multitudes of individuals in our society turn to Christ will society itself experience any significant transformation.” Rhs: This is one of the most grave errors of Evangelical theology and is the fundamental reason for what Stephen Perks calls the Great Decommission. This is one of the main reasons that Christianity has lost the West. Most of the West is now a loyal follower of modern Baalism, Baal being the god of natural forces.
Dr. Cornelius Van Til taught us that “There is no alternative but that of theonomy (Rhs: theos + nomos= law of God) and autonomy” (Rhs: αὐτός – autos + νόμος – nomos = self law or a law until your self. This is the blasephemy of Satan as found in Genesis 3:5 )(Christian-Theistic Ethics, p. 134). Every ethical decision assumes some final authority or standard, and that will either be self-law (“autonomy”) or God’s law (“theonomy”). While unbelievers consider themselves the ultimate authority in determining moral right or wrong, believers acknowledge that God alone has that position and prerogative. The position which has come to be labeled “theonomy” today thus holds that the word of the Lord is the sole, supreme, and unchangeable standard for the actions and attitudes of all men in all areas of life. Our obligation to keep God’s commands cannot be judged by any extra-scriptural standard, such as whether its specific requirements (when properly interpreted) are congenial to past traditions or modern feelings and practices.
Greg Bahnsen from What Is “Theonomy”?
Theonomy can be defined simply as adherence to God’s law, which would make all Christians, especially Reformed Christians, into theonomists. Here I define the term more narrowly as a school of thought within Reformed theology which prefers literal, specific, and detailed applications of Mosaic civil laws to modern civil government. The word “prefers” gives us some leeway. At points, the theonomists, like the rest of us, apply the law only in general and non-literal ways. But they tend more than the rest of us to prefer the specific and the literal.
I am taking it in a more general way as adherence to God´s law-word.(Isaías 2:1-4) So what is the Great Commission and what is it´s relationship to law? The great commission has five parts
- 1) The transcendent and resurrected King calls his disciples to meet Him on the mount where he had ordained them. Quite possibly Tabor, the mount of the transfiguration, also. He says “All authority is given unto me in heaven and in the earth…” This is the principle of Heaven and Earth established in Genesis.
- 2) Go ye therefore or going therefore and make all nations my disciples (this really gets to the heart of what the greek is saying). The King James is not too bad: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations (Mat 28:19 KJG). In both cases the direct object of the verb matheúsate – μαθητεύσατε (1) to be a disciple of one 1a) to follow his precepts and instructions 2) to make a disciple 2a) to teach, instruct ) is nations (panta ta ethne -πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ). It is nations that receive the action of the verb. The King delegates to his trusted leaders his disciples, now apostles the charge of putting this rebellious world under his sovereign dominion. The nations should come under His disciple, his yoke, and learn of Him. The should learn His law-word (Isaiah 2:1-4) He does this from His position of absolute authority and rule. This is the covenantal principal of hierarchy established in the book of Exodus (many leaving the lands and peoples of our father going our in His name to make disciples) and the teaching of the law is seen in Leviticus.
- 3) Baptizing them (the nations) in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Mat 28:19 KJV). the “the” refers to the antecedent direct object. All nations should be initiated into the covenental messianic kingdom. How? well of course, ultimately through individual regeneration, conversion, repentance and faith. And yes each person should be baptized. But as they are are they form the messianic community, the visible kingdom of God on the earth. They are an eschatological community in virture of their new birth and salvation: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13 ) The church is God´s baptized community. We become a new nation and subject to God´s blessings and curses. Covenantal sanctions as seen in the book of numbers.
- 4) Teaching them (whole nations) to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: (Mat 28:20 KJV) What are they to teach? They are to teach the nations to obey (Romans 1:6; 16: ) God´s law-word, the Torá which will become the whole word of God; the law, the prophets, the gospels and writings of the apostles All 66 books as were prophesied through the 66 parts of the Almond flower in Exodus. After quoting from the Law and the prophets Paul says: “According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” (1 Timothy 1:11). This is the law and instruction principle of the covenantal community. The nations are to be instructed to obey and put all areas of life and thought under the authority and dominion of the King. Now there is the slow and arduous task of teaching them to obey ALL THINGS. To do that all of life and thought must be brought in to obedience. See Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Proverbs 3:1, 2 Cor. 10:4-6. Nothing short of TOTAL OBEDIENCE is the goal.
- 5) And lo I am with you always even to the end of the age. Covenantal succession and continuity… Deuteronomy 34:9; This process is finished basically when the Kingdoms of the world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his King.