The Staunch Calvinist

"Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God." - Jonathan Edwards


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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 19: Of the Law of God - Commentary

...hout the written revelation of God people did sin and violate God’s law and brought God’s judgment upon themselves. Therefore, there is certainly “a law of universal obedience written in [our] heart” which God demands that we obey and every falling short to obey that law is a transgression and sin.

The Threefold Division Of The Law

This is an awkward place to argue for it, but I must, since the Confession goes on in the following three paragraphs to talk about the moral, ceremonial and Judicial Law. Basically, the threefold division of the law stresses the superiority of the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments above the ceremonial and judicial/civil, which were abrogated and fulfilled by the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord of Glory. I have benefited from:

It has been a classic Christian doctrine to divide the Law of Moses or the law of the Pentateuch into three divisions, which are 1) the moral laws, 2) the ceremonial laws, and 3) the judicial or civil laws. This does not mean that we have neat categories and we know to which category every law belongs, because some laws are difficult to discern or are a combination. But we do believe that the Bible gives us such a division to understand the abiding validity of the moral law and the abrogation of the ceremonial and Judicial Laws. The question that we need to answer is: Does the Bible make a distinction between the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) and the other laws? If the answer is positive then a division of the law is established. If not, then the threefold division would be proven false.

For those wanting a detailed, exhaustive and interactive treatment of this subject, I recommend Philip S. Ross’ From the Finger of God. The book is technical containing a lot of Hebrew and Greek, and interacting with a lot of pro and con literature. It is not a book for the average reader, but it is a very detailed book. What is to follow is not a detailed case for the threefold division, but this is what convinces me of the validity of the division.

That the threefold division is not neat and exact is acknowledged by the Confession. In paragraph 3, it is said that “God was pleased to give to the people of Israel ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship…partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties”. This means that just because there are ceremonial laws does not mean that they do not have moral aspects. In fact, the ceremonial laws were moral as long as they were binding on the people of Israel and had not yet been fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. They were positive laws for only a limited time, unlike the Decalogue which is moral law for all time and rooted in the nature of God.

The Division Of The Law In The Old Testament

The Division in the Pentateuch

From the beginning, the Decalogue is distinguished from the other laws which God gave. Most of the Pentateuch contains laws given by God to Moses. Although the Pentateuch is often called the Law of Moses, this does not refer to the origination of the laws, but rather the way in which they were communicated to Israel. The Decalogue alone was spoken and delivered dire...

1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead - Commentary

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Postmillennial Problems

My problems with Postmillennialism are not much nor are they like my criticism of Premillennialism. The main issues have to do with Preterism, Theonomy, and its optimism. I simply cannot interpret the book of Revelation in a Preteristic fashion. I’m an idealist with the progressive parallelism view, therefore, I argue strongly that the Revelation was very relevant to the Church of old as it is relevant for the present time. Neither do I see support for Theonomy in the Confession. Obviously, we must take note and learn “the general equity” of the Judicial Law, but I do not believe that the New Testament teaches us to implement the laws given to Israel in our land, rather, we should submit to the laws of the land unless they’re contrary to God’s Law (see here). But I admit that Theonomy is not a field in which I have any interest at the present time nor that I have studied, but this is based upon my general knowledge.

I am optimistic because I firmly believe that God is absolutely sovereign and Christ is reigning over all the world, not just in the hearts of believers (as is so popular in Churchianity) and that His reign is one which is in the midst of His enemies (Ps. 110:2) and in which He will destroy all His enemies (1 Cor. 15:25-28). Therefore, this means that the rule of Christ is a hostile one. It is a rule for His Church and against His enemies. I believe that the Bible gives us a dose of both optimism and pessimism about the future. Amillennialists like to call themselves “realists,” haha. Amillennialists appeal to passages as Matthew 13:24-30 where it is said, “Let both grow together until the harvest” (v. 30) to show that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan will both grow together, side by side, until the harvest, which is at the end of the age. As each Kingdom grows, so the clash between the two will be greater and Christians should expect persecution from the world.

In my opinion, the problems with Postmillennialism that I see are compared to nothing with the problems with Premillennialism that I see.


And now we move to the last and Biblical position (haha) commonly called Amillennialism. The “a” is a negative, like Atheism which is a denial of the existence of God. Therefore, literally, Amillennialism means no-millennialism. But this wouldn’t be true. We don’t believe that there is no millennium. This name was given to us and not made by us. Though in a sense we agree with the name since we deny any idea of an earthly millennium, so in a sense, Amillennialism is the denial that there would be an earthly kingdom of God in the present world. But we do actually believe in a Millennium, we do not ignore Revelation 20. We believe that the Millennium and millennial reign is from heaven, not on the earth. Moreover, this Millennium is longer than a literal thousand years. Some have called Amillennialism Realized Millennialism and Present Millennialism. These latter two designations point to the present reality of the Millennium, and not to a future earthly millennium which we deny. Amillennialists hold to Covenant Theology or New Covenant Theology (i.e., the oneness of the people of God), and we are strong upon the hermeneutic that the NT should interpret the OT, and the Analogy of Faith.

The Church is the Israel of God and the subject of Old Testament prophecies. The Old Testament prophecies are f...