The position which has come to be labeled "theonomy" today holds that the word of the Lord is the sole, supreme, and unchallengeable standard for the actions and attitudes of all men in all reas of life. It also teaches that since the fall it has always been unlawful to use the law of God in hopes of establishing one's own personal merit and justification. Commitment to obedience is but the lifestyle of faith, a token of gratitude for God's redeeming grace. Jesus said, "if you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (John 14:15). Moreover, we will strive to teach others to observe whatever He has commanded us (Matt. 28:18-20). Such healthy and necessary moral standards are surely not burdensome to the believer who bows to Christ as the Lord (1 John 5:3). Dr. Greg Bahnsen left this world for His eternal reward in Christ on December 11, 1995. We that remain are grateful to him for his labor, scholarship, love, and most of all, for his faithfulness to Christ. "Theonomy in Christian Ethics" started as a quite masters thesis in fulfillment of a Master of Theology degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1973. First published in 1977, this volume unexpectedly shook the theological establishment in its call for a return to God's law as the only perfect standard of righteousness for civil ethics. Twenty-five years later it continues to challenge the church to unashamedly embrace the "Word of God, contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the only rule of faith and life." This 25th anniversary edition of "Theonomy in Christian Ethics" offers a third preface by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., a larger, reformatted page over previous editions, and a few minor changes and added notes. The inclusion of the CD rom with this book offers not only an e-book form of "Theonomy", but also many other resources by Dr. Bahnsen related to the topic of Christian ethics.
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It is only because of God that I have life and a life that is meaningful. Without at all losing sighof the tremendous distinction between Creator and creature, I would rather say that God is my meaning and God is my life. "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). I can make a list of all the really important things that have happened to me throughout my life and career - all of the special moments of accomplishments, all of the things which have communicated joy or dignity or purpose, all of the things which have deep meaning for my life - and over against that list, I still say from the bottom of my heart, "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73:25).
With the simple and few wrds that I have, then, I would say that God has always been to me an inescapable and holy presence (cf. David's testimony in Psalm 139). God has been a secret source of personal acceptance and forgiveness, when at times there were doubts about any human source of the same. God has been a stabilizing strength as well as the fire of eagerness, whether in negative situations of adversity or positive mes of opportunity. God has been my ideal of moral perfection and, thus, both a constant rebuke to my falling short of His glory and a gentle guide in the right direction. God has been the sovereign and incomprehensible governor of every detail of my life - something which has (ironically to those who dispute such a portrayal of Him) filled me with a sense of freedom and understanding.
There is no religion for me apart from the historical work of the Son of God, applied to me in the power of the Holy Spirit. The story of Christ's incarnation, life, miracles, teaching, self-sacrificial death, powerful resurrection and glorious ascension is to me the story of stories - the historical truth which provides the paradigm for interpreting everything about myself. Life has been for me, on a day to day basis, a matter of seeing ever more fuller, deeper, and clearer how that saving story provides the integration and meaning of everything that has happened to me - of everything I am or hope to be. Many years ago I chose as a testimony verse Galatians 2:20. I understand better now than thn how appropriate it was. "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Greg L. BahnsenFrom the Inside Flap:
Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen, one of the most effective Christian apologists of the twentieth century, consistently underscored the abiding authority of the word of God and the requirement to apply it to all olife. In addition to apologetics, his seminarl work, "Theonomy in Christian Ethics", is still challenging the church to honor all of God's word as the only perfect standard of righteousness.
Known for his rigorous logic and theological depth, Dr. Bahnsen's scholarship and teaching always delivered sixteen ounces to the pound. His intellectual gifts and debating skills won many devoted friends - and foes. The hard work of the theological precision is rarely accomplished without controversy. Nevertheless, Bahnsen's love the Christ and His church enabled him to press on through the inevitable battles. Bearing the standard of God's word as the only inerrant rule by which men must live, Bahnsen stood fast and firm in a day of ethical relativism and ecclesiastical compromise.
On December 11, 1995, Dr. Bahnsen, 47, was taken home to be with the Lord. This festschrift seeks to pay homage to the enormous contribution Dr. Bahnsen offered to the Christian church - a contribution that has strengthened and will continue to strengthen citizens in the kingdom of God. Each of the contribors to this volume owes a debt of love and gratitude to Dr. Bahnsen not only for the labor and instruction he provided but also for his friendship and affection.
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