Theonomy In Christian Ethics

Ro 3:31  Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Ro 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Ro 6:15  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

What do these verses mean, saying on the one hand that we establish the law, and on the other that we are not under law but under grace? They tell us that we are not obligated to perfectly keep the moral law in order to be saved, we are saved by grace alone through faith alone, but that God’s moral expectations for our lives are still to be obeyed.

I was inspired by some passages from Theonomy in Christian Ethics, (even though I don’t believe the Old Testament law is still binding for Christians today, as theonomy teaches) and wanted to share them:

Man is culpable for trying to develop his own ethic, for God’s image and revelation are inescapable; man knows himself to be a creature accountable to God and responsible to God’s demands. Theonomy condemns autonomy. The very fact that God has uttered the law makes man obligated to it since he is the creature of God. God’s law is ethically self attesting; as such it cannot be questioned, appealed, ignored or replaced. (p. 295)

The moral principles followed by the Christian are personal imperatives, not abstract ideals; they can only be learned by revelation, never by man’s own searching. The Christian does not assume that the present state of the world is normal or that his moral consciousness is normal; this is the fatal presupposition of autonomy. (p. 297)

Obligation to God’s law is grounded in His authority as creator;…

The ethics of theonomy is God centered, then, rather than man centered;…

Christian ethics must not align itself with the autonomous methodology and systems of unbelieving philosophy. The Christian should never attempt to find out the principles of morality outside of God’s revelation and direction; the neutrality proposed by Plato in the Euthyphro is sin. The Christian is not relieved of his obligation as a son of God when he studies ethics; God’s clear revelation is the light in which all moral questions (as with all questions) must be answered…

…we do not demand autonomous justification for God’s commandments. We obey because we love, revere, and trust our Creator, never questioning His wisdom. No apostate standard shall be allowed to evaluate and pass judgment upon God’s law. (p. 298)


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