Introduction to Theonomy
"Theonomy" is a modern word built from two words in Greek:
- Theos (θεός) -- God
- Nomos (νόμος) -- Law
Therefore, in its modern sense, "theonomy" refers to various ways of applying the law of God to human thought and action.
In one (very broad) sense, all followers of Christ practice "theonomy," since all those who truly follow Christ will recognize at least some way in which God's law binds and limits our ethical choices. Also, all true followers of Christ will affirm that no human being can use the law to be justified (to repair our relationship with the Holy God, a relationship which our sins damaged). We can only be justified by the one-time, finished work of Jesus Christ.
This wiki, however, is directed at theonomy in a narrower sense: the "lawful use" (see 1 Tim. 1:8) of God's law for:
- defining justice
- teaching us how to love our neighbors, and
- limiting the authority of human governments (which often try to usurp God's authority and trample on our God-given liberty).
In each of these three areas, the history of Christian teaching has been shamefully inadequate. Christians, historically, have cheerfully supported tyrannical governments. Even though the apostle Paul said that the Old Testament scriptures were "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in justice, in order that each person belonging to God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work," (2 Tim. 3:16-17) we find that Christians in history have often neglected God's law, substituting in its place the teachings and injunctions of men.
This wiki aims toward a solution to this problem. We affirm that God intended everyone to use his law in the above three areas. We affirm (with the apostle Paul) that God's law can be understood and applied in our modern era, providing the same level of justice that it provided to the Israelites.
Our tasks as ambassadors are to:
- teach (disciple)
- gather in governing communities
- provide an example to the world of people who are willing to live under the most just (and most liberty-protecting) legal system ever created