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Legal Foundations: The Framework of Law
by Gerald R. Thompson
In Search of LONANG
Next: The Sources Of Law
Law, having its source in God, is a means by which God sustains and governs the universe. It permeates existence, guiding the course of all things and affecting the behavior of every creature. Directly or indirectly, God’s law governs every area of life. It is what connects us with our Creator, the world we live in, and each other. There are no ears where the voice of law is not heard, nor any place which escapes its presence. No one is immune from the operation of this law.
The Need for Legal Absolutes. In today’s climate of moral and legal relativism, people are once again seeking moral and legal absolutes. The more relativism permeates our culture, the more every aspect of life becomes uncertain. Relativism asserts that the only absolute rule is, "there are no absolute rules." So, in spite of the quest for ultimate values, many are no longer sure where those values lie. Society has so long lost sight of its ultimate legal foundation that few people would recognize it when they stumble upon it. Yet, without a sure legal foundation, society cannot remain intact for long.
- The foundation of a republic is the virtue of its citizens. They are at once sovereigns and subjects. As the foundation is undermined, the structure is weakened. When it is destroyed, the fabric must fall. Such is the voice of universal history. Trist v. Child, 88 U.S. 441 (1874), quoting from 1 Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws.
A Higher Law. In the search for absolute ethical standards and fundamental legal rights, there is no hope unless there is a "higher law" of divine, not human, origin. As long as people still believe in the perfectibility of man, they will cling to the hope that humanity can eventually solve its own problems. But, many have already seen the futility of this position and recognize that perfection from within the species will never come. Humanity has repeatedly demonstrated that it cannot adequately govern itself apart from God’s law. If we are the only ones who can give ourselves guidance then we might as well despair, because no one among us can rise above the human condition to show us a way out of the misery we have created for ourselves.
- To arrive at absolute legal standards, one would have to disengage himself from the world and its limited standards and go "outside the world" to a "transcendental" realm of values. J. W. Montgomery, The Law Above the Law (1975).
- How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. . . . For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Ps. 1:1-2,6.
The Creator’s Authority. The understanding of legal absolutes embraced in the formative stages of Anglo-American jurisprudence is based on the revealed laws of God. According to the revelation of God expressed in the Bible, God has absolute authority over all the nations of the world because He is the uncreated Creator. Biblical history reveals that when a nation denies God’s authority, it leads to national judgment. On the other hand, an acknowledgement of God’s authority leads to national restoration and prosperity. Thus, the biblical message is that people have a limited authority to rule others, the right to rule ultimately comes from God, and no person is above the law.
- Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Rom. 13:1.
CHOOSING A LEGAL SYSTEM
The future of any nation, whether prosperity or destruction, lies in its choice of legal systems. The task each people has is to discover the legal system which best conforms to reality and to institute it as the basis for public and private life. This was the choice given to ancient Israel, and by implication, is the choice each nation has today.
- "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish." Deut. 30:15-18.
The Big Questions.
Jurisprudence is the study of the philosophy of law. The concern of jurisprudence is the nature of the foundation upon which any given legal system is built. It is concerned with the origin and nature of law, the framework of rules which shapes the construction of the whole legal system, and the compatibility of specific legal rules with the overall system and with reality. Initially, every legal system must investigate, or at least presume answers for, these three questions:
What is law? Every legal system makes implicit assumptions about the nature of law: either that law is created or it evolves, that it binds everyone or only those who choose to submit to it, that it reflects what is truly right or merely reflects the choice of the powerful, that it reflects the interests of the few or the many.
Where does law come from? Does law originate with God, nature or people? Are there any pre-existing laws which constrain us, or are we free to recognize any laws we wish? If there were no statute books, would there still be law? This area of inquiry is of preeminent importance, for once we know the ultimate source of law recognized by society, we know what is the ultimate power, or god, of that society.
What are the terms of the law which governs us? This aspect of inquiry asks how we are to ascertain what legal rules apply to us, and how we know what those rules are. Are laws self-evident in nature? Is law whatever our conscience tells us is right or wrong? Is there any form of reliable revelation of laws which transcends our own opinions?
The Big Problems.
There was a time in America when the answers to these fundamental questions were widely known and held in common among lawyers, jurists and laymen. This common understanding of law was based on a jurisprudence which acknowledged that a transcendent Creator was the ultimate source of law, and that He revealed those laws in the physical creation and the Holy Bible. Today, that form of jurisprudence has been rejected largely by those who believe that a Creator God does not exist, that if He exists He does not concern Himself with governing people or nations, or that no one can sufficiently discern the laws of the Creator with any certainty so as to actually govern society on that basis. The modern rejection of a discernable and definite God-based jurisprudence has far-reaching consequences.
Unless a transcendent God exists, all law is arbitrary. If God does not exist independentof our own observations or reasoning, then there is no ultimate authority or giver of law to whom we can look. There would be no one to declare absolutely what is right and what is wrong, or why. All we have left is humanity, either one of us, some of us, or all of us, but ultimately there is no one among us who has the final, incontrovertible, unexaminable word. Accordingly, without God, all law is, strictly speaking, arbitrary.
- In order to discover the rules of society best suited to nations, a superior intelligence beholding all passions of men without experiencing any of them would be needed. This intelligence would have to be wholly unrelated to our nature, while knowing it through and through; its happiness would have to be independent of us, and yet ready to occupy itself with ours; and lastly, it would have, in the march of time, to look forward to a distant glory, and, working in one century, to be able to enjoy in the next. It would take gods to give man laws. Jean Jacques Rousseau, 2 Social Contract, Ch. 7.
Unless God is immanent in human affairs, His laws are irrelevant. If God is not active in the governing of humanity, His laws would be of no effect. The existence of law presumes not only a rule of conduct, but also a mechanism of enforcement. God must actively enforce His laws as the great Sustainer of the universe, or else the rules He prescribes for our conduct need not be obeyed. God must be our Supreme Lawgiver, Governor and Judge (all three), or He is none at all.
- Man, in whatever situation he may be placed, finds himself under the control of rules of action emanating from an authority to which he is compelled to bow in other words, of LAW. The moment that he comes into existence, he is the subject of the will of God, as declared in what we term the laws of nature. T. Sedgwick, A Treatise on the Rules Which Govern the Interpretation and Application of Statutory and Constitutional Law, 1857.
Unless God has revealed His law authoritatively, all law is uncertain. If people are entirely dependent upon the will of the Creator, then all human law is obliged to conform to God’s law. However, unless God has revealed His law authoritatively, no one can be certain what His will is. If this were true, even all human laws would be of uncertain authority, because the extent of their conformity with God’s law must remain unknown. Consequently, God must have clearly and authoritatively revealed His law to us for the governance of society, otherwise He could not hold us accountable for its obedience.
An Implicit Legal Faith.
Notwithstanding contrary claims, every legal system or philosophy of law inherently makes assumptions about the nature, origin and morality of law which shape the entire legal framework based on those assumptions.
No legal system is morally neutral. The purpose of every legal system is to declare what is right and wrong, and to establish a means of enforcing those declarations. Hence, every form of jurisprudence has an inherent morality and an intrinsic belief about the nature and existence of God and His law and its relation to us.
- Questions about justice are fundamentally religious. This is naturally denied by those who think that the separation of church and state is a doctrine providing them with the means to structure the political order to the exclusion of Christian belief. But there is no such thing as law that does not assume a particular configuration to reality, which does not at least pretend to tell what kind of values are to be considered ultimate. Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction (1984).
All legal education is morally biased. All education involves the communication of ideas about reality and purports to convey a sense of what is true. To the extent education does not purport to be grounded in reality, it has no usefulness. To the extent education purports not to be morally biased, it merely advances the belief that no moral absolutes exist, but this is itself an assertion of moral bias. Legal education is no exception.
- The "ordinary religion of the law school classroom" . . . includes not only the more or less articulated value systems of law teachers, but also the unarticulated value assumptions communicated to students by example or by teaching methods and by what is not taught . . .. The essential ingredients of the ordinary religion of the American law school classroom are: A skeptical attitude toward generalizations; an instrumental approach toward legal tasks and professional roles; and a faith that man, by the application of his reason and the use of democratic processes, can make the world a better place. Roger Cramton, The Ordinary Religion of the Law School Classroom, 2 NICM Journal 72-73 (1977).
One legal system conforms to reality better than all others. Since no legal system or belief about law can exist in a moral vacuum, the purpose of jurisprudence is to develop a legal system which best conforms to reality, that is, the legal principles God has imbedded into His creation and His word. The interests of jurisprudence are not served by defending a view of law which denies the existence of God and the governance of His authoritatively revealed law, because such a jurisprudence is based on mere imagination, not reality. Nor is jurisprudence advanced by merely describing the current practice of society, for to do so offers no means of evaluating current practice. Merely describing current practice or the current state of the law ignores the possibility (and probability) that society has attempted to mold social environments to suit human desires, rather than to conform human behavior to fixed legal norms. Only a legal system grounded in the reality of God’s existence and revelation of law can hope to advance the interests of jurisprudence and society. The pursuit of such a well-grounded
jurisprudence is what is sought here.
FORM OF INQUIRY
This jurisprudential inquiry will consider, with respect to each topic that follows, the applicable biblical record, the parallel historic understanding, and some modern views.
Biblical Record. A primary impetus for writing this work is to discover whether the Bible has anything to say about the substantive rules of law. If the Bible is generally silent on such matters, that will consequently be determined. The effort to discover legal principles from the biblical text will be guided by interpretive principles following the grammatical-historical-literal approach. This approach will be employed to document or infer legal rules from case histories, examples, teachings, commandments, wisdom literature, or whatever else may suggest a legal principle or application.
Historic Understanding. In reviewing the vast amount of historic legal writings, the question generally to be answered is whether legal thinkers have ever searched the Bible forsubstantive legal content, and if so, to determine what they found. Concurrently, an attempt will be made to ascertain whether any legal writers have reached a legal position consistent with inferences suggested by the biblical record, whether or not such positions were explicitly based on biblical texts. The historic sources will focus on the writers who were most influential in the shaping of Anglo-American legal thought, particularly those who were influential in relation to the founding of the United States of America.
Modern Views. It is an understatement to say that modern legal scholarship has departed from the biblical and/or historic understanding of law in many significant respects. The question to be generally answered is: How has modern jurisprudence departed from the biblical and/or historic legal positions, and why? It appears that many such departures ultimately rest on two tenets of modern jurisprudence, namely: 1) God does not exist; and 2) the Bible cannot be an authoritative revelation of divine laws in verbal form. Consequently, the questions of God’s existence and the authority of the Bible are addressed next.
BASIC APOLOGETIC ARGUMENTS
An historic perspective of law is based on the existence of a God who has verbally and authoritatively revealed His laws in the Bible. The historic understanding of God is of an uncreated Creator, a Being who is both transcendent (that is, one who is not part of the creation itself, because He is uncreated) and immanent (that is, one who is not completely detached from the creation, but who actively participates in its governance). Thus, the God of history is one who caused the world and its most foundational laws to come into being quite apart from any human action, and who still actively enforces those laws today. The following "apologetic," or rational defense, is offered for those who may not as yet have embraced this historic understanding of God and His revelation, or their importance to modern jurisprudence.
All a posteriori proofs for the existence of God and the authority of the Bible are based on inductively derived inferences. That is, an observation is made of a large number of things which evidence a common trait, and an inference is drawn that all similar things have the same trait. Of course, it is also possible that God has made declarations concerning Himself, or has appeared in history, and for the witnesses of these things no inductive proof is necessary. The same is true for those who accept such eye-witness accounts. For those who doubt the validity of such eye-witness accounts, however, inductive proofs are necessary. Thus, whether a person is predisposed to accept or reject any such eye-witness accounts, some form of proof of the existence of God and the authority of the Bible is available.
The foundational assumption of modern jurisprudence is that God does not exist, or that if he does exist, he is irrelevant to modern legal considerations. However, this is merely an assertion of philosophical preference. It is not the only, the necessary, or even the most reasonable, starting point for legal inquiry. There are many logical, and even necessary, reasons why God’s existence should be presumed for jurisprudential purposes. If the existence of God is not presumed, the consequences for jurisprudence are far-reaching.
- It is of the utmost importance to see why a Godgrounded system has no analogues. Either God exists or He does not, but if He does not, nothing and no one else can take His place. Anything that took His place would also be Him. . . . Given what we know about ourselves and each other . . . if all men are brothers, the ruling model is Cain and Abel. Neither reason, nor love, nor even terror, seems to have worked to make us "good," and worse than that, there is no reason why anything should. . . . As things now stand, everything is up for grabs. . . . God help us. Arthur Allen Leff, Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law, DukeLaw J. (1979)
The argument from initial creation or "first cause." Since there is a universe, it must have been caused by something beyond itself. According to the law of causality, every limited (finite) thing is caused by something other than itself. This law is inductively derived from a repeated observation of the world that nothing creates itself. Thus, if the universe began with a "big-bang," someone or something external to the universe, the "first cause," must have caused it to happen.
The possibility of the "spontaneous generation" of things was disproved many years ago. Further, the First Law of Thermodynamics holds that the universe contains a constant total quantity of matter and energy. In other words, no new physical thing can be added to the universe, because it would have to be created from nothing. If these beliefs are accurate, then only someone or something external to the universe (a spiritual rather than a physical being) could have initially caused the universe to exist, and this first cause was God.
The argument from continuing existence, or "sustaining cause." All finite things are subject to change. Something is sustaining the existence of all finite things in the universe which prevents their non-existence. No finite cause can both cause its own existence and be a continuing effect of that cause at the same moment. Therefore, there must be an infinite uncaused cause of every finite, changing thing that exists, namely, God.
The argument from design. All designs require a designer. The greater the complexity of the design, the greater the intelligence which must have produced it, and the more compelling the implication of a designer becomes. An observation of creation evidences that there is great design in the universe, not only as to scope, but also as to complexity. This gives rise to an inference that there must be a Great Architect of the universe, namely, God.
The argument from purpose. Of all the things the universe contains, not one of those things can invest itself with a transcendent purpose for its own existence. The aggregation of everything in the universe does not provide this purpose either, for the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. Therefore, if anything in the universe is to have a transcendent purpose, it must have been given such a purpose from some transcendent being, namely, God.
The flip side of this argument is that some people have concluded the universe has no transcendent purpose, and that life is therefore meaningless. Yet, even those who deny the universe has a transcendent purpose have come to that conclusion only after searching for it. A further observation of humanity confirms that all people search for transcendent meaning. This infers that people do have a transcendent purpose, for if they truly did not have any such purpose, no one would search for it.
The argument from conscience. The nature of the universe is not only physical, but moral. An observation of human experience demonstrates that all people are conscious of a moral law, that is, everyone has an inner sense of right and wrong. Further, this inner sense of morality has universal rules, such as knowing that murder is wrong. The existence of universal human morality implies a moral lawgiver. Therefore, there must be a Supreme Lawgiver who gave the universe its moral rules, namely, God.
The argument from superintending Providence. Both the physical universe and human society are governed by rules prescribing the behavior of all things. The stars and planets are not free to wander aimlessly in the heavens, but must follow prescribed patterns of orbit. People are also bound to follow certain behavioral patterns. However, inductive observation indicates that no law is truly self-enforcing as an abstract concept. The enforcement of rules and patterns requires the existence of an enforcer. Therefore, there must be a Great Governor of the universe who enforces and superintends all laws, namely, God.
The argument from judgment for wrongdoing. Inductive observation confirms the existence of a universal human understanding that some things are good, while others are evil. The universal human experience of guilt implies that those things which are evil will be judged, whether discovered by other people or not. However, the only way anything can be judged is if there is a judge. And, the only way evil can be judged with justice is if there exists an unevaluated evaluator who is not himself guilty of breaking the law. Therefore, there must be a Supreme Judge of the universe, namely, God.
The Bible Is the Most Authoritative Revelation of God’s Law.
The historic understanding of fixed rules of law which bind all people is based on the idea that such rules of law come from God. The Bible claims to be the most authoritative verbal revelation of God and His laws. Thus, an acceptance of the Bible’s authority is central to historic jurisprudence. If the Bible’s claim is true, then it is not a book which speaks truth merely to those who accept its teachings, but governs everyone, for all people have the same Creator. Therefore, it is important to establish the authority of the Bible as a revelation of God’s law.
Arguments from internal evidence. There are many internal evidences concerning the Bible which demonstrate the consistency of its claims and teachings, etc. Such proofs give rise to an inference that extraordinary internal consistency implies a divine author. Critics often contend that such proofs are circular arguments which use the Bible to prove the validity of the Bible. However, the Bible is not actually one book, but many. It was written by many authors over a period well in excess of 1,000 years. Therefore, it is not "circular" to use a book written by one author to validate a book written by someone else 500 years earlier, and such internal proofs have validity.
The argument from document reliability. The laws of evidence contain a number of rules for determining the validity of ancient documents submitted as evidence in judicial proceedings. These rules of evidence can be applied to the books of the Bible to demonstrate that they meet the requirements for an ancient document to be admitted as competent evidence. Cf., Simon Greenleaf, The Testimony of the Evangelists.
The argument from archaeology. One of the primary means of "proving" the authority of the Bible is to archaeologically verify the existence of events, nations and cultures mentioned in the Bible. People have claimed that many of the people and places mentioned in the Bible are merely fictitious, not historical. The fact is, it is not possible to prove the existence of every person named in the Bible, nor to verify every conversation, transaction or event described. Yet, at the same time, it is possible to archaeologically verify the existence of many ancient kings, nations and cultures scholars once thought were fictitious. Many of the battles or other events described in the Bible have been verified by ancient writings from non-Hebrew cultures. Significantly, modern archaeology has not disproved any of the Bible’s history, but has only confirmed it. The inference to be drawn from this is if the Bible cannot be shown to be false in any of its historic facts, then it may be true and accurate in other respects as well.
In the course of preparing this work, some recurring questions arose in terms of how to understand or apply the Bible in legal terms, which questions were not resolved by the grammatical-historical-literal interpretive method alone. These questions and the method for dealing with them are discussed below.
People have long understood that the way the Creator relates to us is the pattern for how we are to relate to each other.
Man is made in the image of God.
- Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" . . . And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Gen. 1:26-27.
God has, at various times and in various ways, given patterns to men.
- "According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it." Ex. 25:9.
God’s patterns include human behavior patterns.
- Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. Phil. 3:17.
The behavior patterns given to us by God include the manner in which people are to exercise the right to rule over others.
- But Jesus called them to Himself, and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant . . .." Mat. 20:25-26.
No Implied Authority.
When God’s Word expresses a delegation of human authority, a presumption exists that one who receives such authority may exercise only what is expressly authorized, not that he may do everything except what is expressly forbidden. In other words, in construing biblical grants of authority, there is a presumption against inferred or implied authority.
The application of this principle has far-reaching consequences, especially when construing the extent of civil authority. Civil authority is generally described as extending to the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. See, 1 Pet. 2:14. Whether civil authority also extends to performing charitable functions (that is, public welfare legislation), greatly depends on whether authority may, or may not, be implied.
If authority may generally be implied, then the express terms of any particular grant of authority are not controlling. That is, if authority can be implied beyond the express language of any grant of power, the express language is not a limitation on the authority conferred. In fact, any express grant of authority itself becomes somewhat superfluous. In the absence of an express prohibition, any authority can be implied or inferred at any time, for any purported good reason. Accordingly, every express grant of authority is unnecessary – a person can do whatever he likes until expressly restrained, even before the "grant." However, if God’s Word demonstrates a pattern of expressly conferring authority, an inference can drawn that a presumption in favor of implied authority is not correct.
The biblical pattern. God’s Word demonstrates a pattern of expressly conferring authority.
- God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it." Gen. 1:28.
- And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . .." Mat. 28:18-19.
Capital punishment. In the case of capital punishment, for example, God delegated theauthority to execute murderers after Noah’s flood.
- "Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man." Gen. 9:6.
We might well ask whether this grant of authority was necessary, that is, whether people already had the authority to execute murderers before Noah’s time. The case of Cain would seem to suggest that such authority did not exist before Noah’s time, because God did not permit anyone to execute Cain for murdering his brother Abel. Thus, Cain’s example infers that a presumption against implied authority is correct.
- So the Lord said to him, "Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold." And the Lord appointed a sign for Cain, lest anyone finding him should slay him. Gen. 4:15.
Israel’s census. Similarly, in the time of Moses, God had commanded that a census be taken of the men of Israel. See, Num. 1:1-2. This authority to number the army of Israel apparently did not extend to king David, because when he took a census in the absence of God’s express authorization, it was regarded as wrong.
- And the king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, "Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and register the people, that I may know the number of the people." . . . Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, "I have sinned greatly in what I have done." 2 Sam. 24:2,10.
In the garden. The example of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden seems to suggest that God expressly defined certain prohibitions on human conduct, but left open other courses of conduct with respect to food, etc.
- And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food . . . And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat." Gen. 2:9,16-17.
However, two considerations mitigate against such a reading. That is, there are two reasons why the above narrative does not infer that man’s authority to act can be generally implied.
First, God did not expressly prohibit murder prior to Noah, yet He held Cain accountable for murdering Abel. This means that the prohibition of murder must have existed when Adam and Eve were in Eden even though it was not expressed.
Second, although God expressly delegated the authority to eat plants, He did not give Adam and Eve any right to eat meat. That express delegation came, again, only in Noah’s time. The inference is that no authority to eat meat could have been implied before Noah’s time.
- "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant." Gen. 9:3.
Hence, the presumption operating in Eden was the same as it is elsewhere in the Bible: human authority must originate in an express delegation from God, not merely implied.
CAVEAT. It should be observed at this point that the idea people cannot imply authority in the absence of an express grant is not antithetical to the concept of liberty. Liberty is the freedom to choose the means by which an express grant of authority is carried out. The choice of means people are to employ is not prescribed by God. Yet, the purposes for which authority is to be exercised is prescribed by God. Consequently, the means of carrying out any delegated authority may be implied or inferred, but the purposes may not. The idea of no implied authority does not result in legalism. Legalism results when people prescribe the means of exercising authority which God has left to each person to choose for himself. When the idea of no implied authority is limited to purposes, not means (as it is used herein), liberty is preserved.
Human rationality, including logic, is part of the image of God which we reflect. That is, God made us to be rational beings and to think logically. The inference is that since we are logical, God is too, because our nature reflects His. Therefore, we should expect not only that God is logical, but that his laws are logical, and that He has expressed His laws to us in a way which is not illogical or self-contradictory.
God does things in an orderly and rational manner.
- For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. 1 Cor. 14:33.
God’s law is expressed in the very nature of the created order (see infra). The fact that the entire universe was perfect in its creation implies that God’s laws do not contradict themselves.
- And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. Gen. 1:31. "The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He." Deut. 32:4. The law of the Lord is perfect . . .. Ps. 19:7.
If God’s word is everlasting, perfect, true and never forgotten (faithfully performed), God could not ever say anything which would contradict Himself.
- "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" Num. 23:19. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations. Ps. 100:5.
God is neither irrational nor "super-rational" (using a logic which completely transcends human logic). Although we cannot fully know the mind of God (for He is infinite, we are finite), His behavior nevertheless conforms to His revelation of Himself to us. Since God’s word is logical, his behavior is logical, and His laws (which are an expression of His word) are also logical.
- In order to say that logic doesn’t apply to God, you have to apply logic to God in that very statement. So logic is inescapable. . . . Logic can tell us some things about God. For instance, since God is truth, He cannot lie. (Heb. 6:18,) Logic is a valid tool for discovering truth . . .. Geisler and Brooks, When Skeptics Ask.
Next: The Sources Of Law