Monday, March 15, 2010

Gordon Clark and Theonomy

Gordon Clark was theoretically a theonomist. Greg Bahnsen recognized this, and cites Clark favorably in "No Other Standard: Theonomy and its Critics."

In defending the abiding validity of the Older Testament civil code Bahnsen quotes the following from Clark:
"The correct principle of interpretation is not the Baptist one of discarding everything in the O.T. not reasserted in the New, but rather the acceptance of everything in the Old not abrogated by the N.T. teaching"

(Gordon Clark, "First Principles of Theology," unpublished ins., pp. 763-764. Cited in Bahnsen, "No Other Standard," footnote on page 69).
(This of course does not apply to Reformed Baptists, who at least in theory agree with Clark.)


Tony said...

I wonder if Clark's comments on a "Baptist" view on the OT is more a product of his time than from an historical view of Baptists on the OT. One could probably say the same about many Presbyterians and Evangelicals as a whole today when it comes to the law so I am not certain the view of the OT he speaks of is presently restricted to any one group but is a faulty hermeneutic of the times. There are even Reformed Baptists today that would have the view he speaks of(NCT) so again the issue is a faulty hermeneutic that sadly infiltrates the professing church today.

GentleDove said...

Discarding everything in the OT not reasserted in the NT is not a Baptist principle of interpretation. It is a dispensationalist principle of interpretation. Paedo-baptists such as Clark have their reasons for casting the credo-baptist view that way; however, they are incorrect to do so because baptism was not an ordinance in the OT. There are credo-baptists who are dispensationalist, and there are credo-baptist who are covenantal. Paedo-baptists who cannot understand this (how a baptist could be reformed and covenantal) would do well to listen (carefully) to Mr. Einwechter's lectures on The Great Debate over Baptism and the Covenant.