Friday, February 25, 2011

A Rebuttal to Ryan Cavanaugh’s Theology Blog Post about me; Part 2

This is a continuation of the previous post which is an answer to Ryan Cavanaugh. During the back and forth of our discussion Ryan asked me a question. I am posting the question in quotes and it can be found below.
“How would you deal with the fact that Jesus said he did not come to do away with the law but to fulfill it?”
I had recently posted on this question on the paradigm shift blog so I gave him a link to read. You can find the post here. I point out in this article that if one takes a literal stance on all scripture being the word of God then, heaven and earth must have passed and, all must have been fulfilled. I happen to believe this position. I am a advocate of New Covenant Theology.  I believe that all indeed has been fulfilled and, that heaven and earth has passed. I think that the scripture makes a case for arguing that the Old Covenant was synonymous with the old heaven and earth and that consequently, the New Covenant is synonymous with the new heaven and earth.
Ryan writes:
“I did read your blog, and you did neglect much of the teaching of scripture on this. One has always been whether Jew or Gentile admitted into covenant with God by Faith (Romans 4) Faith has always been the way even before circumcision, and it still was faith that united us to God (Through Christ) even in the Mosaic Covenant. What Circumcision was, was a sign of entrance into that covenant. That is all, a sign of entrance. And we do have circumcision today (I will now unveil my reformed roots) We have it in the New birth, where God circumcises our hearts (The New Birth) which is a fulfillment to the promise given in the law in Deut 30:6, "The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live." and also in Jer 31:31-34,”
If I understand your meaning here you are saying that we still as New Covenant believers are circumcised and participate in the Passover via Christ and the Lord’s Supper/communion. Unfortunately, that does not change the fact that jots and tittles… the commandments of the ceremonial law… have in fact disappeared. There is a lot more than the removal of jots and tittles; all aspects of the ceremonial law have been removed. I realize that there are Messianic Jews who still believe in the ceremonial law and, believe that it will once again be instated for them with the rebuilding of a third temple. I think they are wrong. I do not believe that God will ever allow the temple to be rebuilt as he will not allow the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer to compete with the blood of his Son. In any instance, the fact remains that jots and tittles have been removed.
He continues:

“What the sign of entrance into the covenant with God in the church today is Baptism. Baptism is not man’s statement to God, but God's statement to man. It is a sign of the covenant given in the new covenant, as we have in Col 2:8-15,”
I think that I can agree with you here but it does not mean that jots and tittles have not been removed from the Torah. And, not all of the jots and tittles that are removed are ceremonial law. I do not find anyone in Christian practice following Exodus 21:7-9. I do not think that selling one’s daughter as a concubine is God sanctioned and it certainly does not point to Christ. Back then it was cultural. 
He goes on:

“The Scriptures are unified in their teachings. All the laws point to Christ and all the law is fulfilled in Christ. How do you deal with the sacrificial law? What was God teaching them through the sacrifices if it was not that blood had to be shed for the forgiveness of sin as it says in Hebrews 9:22, "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." And in the Law in Lev 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life." Jesus fulfilled all of this through his life and death, and the whole purpose of the Law was to show the holiness of God, how far short men fall, and that they must be forgiven, and only by the shedding of blood can they be forgiven, and that there was a perfect sacrifice coming that would once and for all forgive their sins. (Gal 3-4, Heb 8-10)”

Jesus gave this answer to the following question: Mat 22:36-40  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  (37)  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  (38)  This is the first and great commandment.  (39)  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  (40)  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. When you think about it the Shema and, loving ones neighbor encompasses the entire law. Until one understands God’s grace in Christ Jesus, one cannot really love God in the way the commandment demands. Love for neighbor flows naturally from the one who believes that they have been redeemed. This is how Jesus fulfilled the law. He provided the catalyst for us to obey from the heart. The atonement does not have to be the penal subsitutionary  theory or the christus victor theory to make the gospel work. Christ’s death does not satisfy God per se. It rather, satisfies our need for redemption. As I have stated from the first, there is more than one paradigm that deals with the biblical data and the above answers from Ryan does not really address the point I made in the post on jots and tittles and the fulfillment of the Law. 

1 comment:

  1. I believe that Christ’s death satisfied God as well as our needs because Jesus sacrificed His very life for not only those who are saved, but for those who couldn’t give a rat’s behind about Him. But it is a great big resounding yes, that His death does definitely satisfy our need for redemption.


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