In recent years, terms like theonomy and Christian reconstructionism are being used and discussed in Reformed and Presbyterian circles. Although many identify theonomy and Christian reconstructionism as being the same thing, there are distinctions. Let us define our terms. Literally, theonomy means the law of God; and the implication of this is that one is bound to Godís law. For instance Herman Ridderbos in The Coming of the Kingdom speaks about the theonomy of the gospel: within the kingdom of God there is the demand to keep the law of God.1 Who of us would not call ourselves theonomists in the sense that we are under the law of God in Jesus Christ as Paul speaks about it in I Cor. 9, and as we confess it in the Heidelberg Catechism, Lordís Days 32-44 and that therefore our ethics are based on Godís law?

Nevertheless, more recently, the term theonomy has been coined by people with the basic methodology or hermeneutical approach to Scripture which advocates a continued normativity of the moral and judicial laws of the Old Testament, along with the penal sanctions of the Old Testament for today; and in their opinion, these are not only for the Church but for society as a whole.

What is the relationship between this theonomy and Christian reconstructionism? Christian reconstructionism takes the basic hermeneutical approach of theonomy to Scripture and starts to apply it in a concrete way in order to transform or reconstruct every area of life in this world to conform to the law of God. Reconstructionism also is postmillennial in that it optimistically believes in a world-wide dominion of Christ where the kingdom of Christ penetrates every section of life. This will happen as every aspect of life bows in obedience before the law of God. In fact, the civil government is to enforce the Old Testament laws and sanctions so that society is to be reconstructed as a Christian society. We should understand that every reconstructionist is a theonomist, but not every theonomist necessarily has all the distinctives of reconstructionism.

This part of the introduction to the Article of the Month for June should give you a good idea what the subject is; Theonomy/Reconstructionism. This subject has been covered and discussed before but I thought that Rev Aasman's article dealt with some items which may still be confusing for some who have tried to understand what all this is about. He not only explains the basic tenets of Theonomy/Reconstructionism, but provides a very clear and concise rebuttal of it using Scripture.

You can read this month's article by clicking here: Theonomy and Christian Reconstructionism.

Or, you can go to The Highway and click on the Article of the Month logo on the main page.

In His service and grace,

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simul iustus et peccator

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