Law and Religion – Reclaimed!
by Gerald R. Thompson
I. IGNORING LAW TO OUR PERIL
“We’re under grace, not law.” The false dichotomy between law and grace.
The gospel does not trump/dispel/replace law – nothing Jesus did altered law in general, or the law of nature.
The purpose of all law is not to be a tutor to lead us to Christ. That may have been the purpose of the Mosaic sacrificial law. But the Mosaic law is not all law. The laws of nature and nature’s God are much more comprehensive than the Mosaic covenant. So stop trying to warp all of law into an aspect of redemptive theology. And stop ignoring the non-redemptive aspects of God’s law.
II. LOOKING FOR LAW IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
Jesus did not come as a civil ruler. The apostles and biblical writers were not acting as legislators. How to tell when God is, and is not, in rule-making mode.
What to make of church “ordinances” and “sacraments.” Comparison with Jewish (O.T.) feasts, festivals and holy observances.
The Regulative Principle of Worship. A thousand “approved examples” do not a single rule make. The real effect: the man-made institution of a new ceremonial law, New Testament style. But weren’t all ceremonial laws abolished?
III. THE GOSPEL OF LAWLESSNESS
The utter failure to communicate and comply with God’s law among his people.
Judgment begins with the household of faith.
The next generation of failure: what isn’t taught in seminaries. A legacy of shame.