Grudem on Politics

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Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Mar 24 2012 9:35 AM

Has anyone read the Wayne Grudem book on Politics included in:

http://www.logos.com/product/17372/zondervan-ethics-and-apologetics-collection

Looking for an opinion on whether it is a worthwhile purchase.

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 24 2012 10:40 AM

Graham Owen:

Has anyone read the Wayne Grudem book on Politics included in:

http://www.logos.com/product/17372/zondervan-ethics-and-apologetics-collection

Looking for an opinion on whether it is a worthwhile purchase.

Ouch! Just read the sample page #3 where Grudem's argument for a distinction between the realms of God and Caesar based on Matt 22:21. While this view is not uncommon, it's sloppy theology (IMHO), since Ps.24:1 states that everything in the earth belongs to God, and Jesus told Pilate that His authority only came from God (John 19:11).

Jesus' clever answer appeases both the Romans and the Zealots, in the sense that a good Jewish Zealot would understand that since everything belongs to God and nothing belongs to Caesar, while a loyal Roman citizen would hear an appropriate balance in giving the state what is due, while not neglecting religion, and the Pharisees would hear an indictment against them for carrying a coin that had an image on it, with an inscription on it that read "Divine Caesar," along with Jesus' injunction to give it back to him, since it has his name on it, and return to their goal of serving God.

At best, Jesus' saying here can be understood to mean that the state's authority is limited. It cannot be used (IMHO) to affirm that the state's authority and God's authority are somehow separate.

He states a little later in this page that Jesus "established the outlines of a new order in which 'the things that are God's' are not to be under the control of the civil government (or 'Caesar'). Such a system is far different from the Old Testament theocracy that was used for the people of Israel." Well, in the Old Testament the things that are God's are not under the control of the civil government either! The civil government was under the authority of God, or in rebellion against Him. And while that government was charged with enforcing the terms of the old covenant, it was to do so, not as mere civil authority, but as delegated authority, with God as the true King of Israel (Ps 24:7-10, e.g.).

Having read the sample pages, if this is an example of how he views the interrelation between Scripture and the realm of politics, it's not one I would consider definitive, or even take seriously. Grudem's theology seems to me to be more driven by current American political values (here the value of religious freedom), and American evangelical individualistic soteriology (everyone must be given a free choice) than careful exegesis. In other words, and judging only by these sample pages, if you already agree with his basic assumptions, and you're not interested in examining those assumptions in the light of Scripture, you'll probably like the book. If not, you'll find it frustratingly careless.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 24 2012 12:08 PM

Richard DeRuiter:
Grudem's theology seems to me to be more driven by current American political values (here the value of religious freedom), and American evangelical individualistic soteriology (everyone must be given a free choice) than careful exegesis.

Thanks

Whilst I know that judging a book by the sample pages is only marginally better than judging by the cover I came to similar conclusions, i.e it may be influenced by opinion, but ended up wondering whether that was based on my own personal bias along with being from the other side of the Atlantic. 

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

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Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 24 2012 1:54 PM

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Richard been watching you and reading your comments and I am very impressed with your knowledge and please I am not trying to embarrass you. I consider myself a bible student of many years of studying as a layman but never any formal seminary education. I feel I have a little above average knowledge of the bible. I have had L4 since its existence and now have the platinum package. Here’s what I would like for you to do for me if you don’t mind. Considering the commentaries in the platinum package would you pick me out about a half dozen writers/commentaries that I can trust?

Thanks

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 24 2012 3:49 PM

Sam West:

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Richard been watching you and reading your comments and I am very impressed with your knowledge and please I am not trying to embarrass you. I consider myself a bible student of many years of studying as a layman but never any formal seminary education. I feel I have a little above average knowledge of the bible. I have had L4 since its existence and now have the platinum package. Here’s what I would like for you to do for me if you don’t mind. Considering the commentaries in the platinum package would you pick me out about a half dozen writers/commentaries that I can trust?

Thanks

I'm honored by your impressions of me, and humbled by your request. I'm not sure how I would begin such a task. There are a great many good authors who I trust generally, but they still get things wrong on occasion (by my assessment). There are some less than stellar authors who make very helpful observations sometimes. Another obstacle I'd have in responding to your request is that, while I have Platinum, I also have a lot of other really good stuff.

But I'll think about it. Today I need to focus on message and service prep for tomorrow.

 

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 24 2012 5:02 PM

Richard this is the ones i use for the New Testament.Tell me what you think.

The ones for the Old Testament

Richard  this is the ones that show up under the information panel

 

 

 

Posts 401
Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 25 2012 5:27 PM

Richard DeRuiter:
Ouch! Just read the sample page #3 where Grudem's argument for a distinction between the realms of God and Caesar based on Matt 22:21. While this view is not uncommon, it's sloppy theology (IMHO), since Ps.24:1 states that everything in the earth belongs to God, and Jesus told Pilate that His authority only came from God (John 19:11).

Richard not doubting your word on this and i have already indicated that i am  a long way from being a bible scholar but for the sake of me i cannot see where you are coming from on not liking this guys theology. Have read page 3 and 4 through at least 20times I do not understand where you are coming from. and this is not meant to doubt your knowledge about this but a learning experience for me. please explain to me if you will in detail just what the difference in your views and the writers.

thanks

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 25 2012 5:53 PM

Sam West:

Richard DeRuiter:
Ouch! Just read the sample page #3 where Grudem's argument for a distinction between the realms of God and Caesar based on Matt 22:21. While this view is not uncommon, it's sloppy theology (IMHO), since Ps.24:1 states that everything in the earth belongs to God, and Jesus told Pilate that His authority only came from God (John 19:11).

Richard not doubting your word on this and i have already indicated that i am  a long way from being a bible scholar but for the sake of me i cannot see where you are coming from on not liking this guys theology. Have read page 3 and 4 through at least 20times I do not understand where you are coming from. and this is not meant to doubt your knowledge about this but a learning experience for me. please explain to me if you will in detail just what the difference in your views and the writers.

thanks

I don't have much time right now, but I was not disagreeing with his conclusions. I was disagreeing with his argument. I do think that the state should keep its hands off of the church, but the passage he quotes to justify this view, is poorly interpreted in order to do so. I agree with some of the other things he says as well, but his underlying assumptions are getting in the way of good reasoning.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 25 2012 7:56 PM

Sam West:

Richard this is the ones i use for the New Testament.Tell me what you think.

The ones for the Old Testament

Richard  this is the ones that show up under the information panel

 

Hi Sam,

I know I'm not Richard, but I couldn't resist. You have a lot of good stuff there. Many people like J. Vernon McGee but I personally wouldn't go with him as one of my top 5 - especially since you have NAC and Pillar. As for your other choices: BECNT, BKC, the Handbooks, and Expositor's are all solid choices. I also noticed that you have the IVP Bible Background commentary. I really enjoy its succinct insights and use it quite often.

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 26 2012 1:46 AM

Sam West:
 please explain to me if you will in detail just what the difference in your views and the writers. 

 

Richard DeRuiter:
I agree with some of the other things he says as well, but his underlying assumptions are getting in the way of good reasoning

Hi Sam

The point that Richard is making here is an important one, when we use the text of the Bible to support an argument we must be sure that the text that we are using really does support the argument that we are making.If we fail to do this then we weaken our argument. When we use God's word we have to demonstrate integrity and the journey we take to the conclusion is just as important as the conclusion.

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 401
Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 26 2012 2:18 AM

Josh:
NAC and Pillar. As for your other choices: BECNT, BKC, the Handbooks, and Expositor's are all solid choices. I also noticed that you have the IVP Bible Background commentary. I really enjoy its succinct insights and use it quite often.

Thanks Josh: i use those particular ones also and they would all be in my top 6or 7 as best choices. thanks a gain for the reply and help

Sam West

Posts 401
Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 26 2012 2:48 AM

Graham Owen:
When we use God's word we have to demonstrate integrity and the journey we take to the conclusion is just as important as the conclusion.

Graham is there a better scripture that Grudem could have used  to demonstrate integrity? And i am not understanding why Jesus is making this statement  because we read throughout the bible that everything belongs to God. to me Jesus is watering that fact down. Please bare with me. i am probably not on the same page with you guys thinking. Theologically i know you guys are a way out of my ball park but please I am just trying to learn.

 

 

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 26 2012 3:51 AM

Sam West:
to me Jesus is watering that fact down.

Don't think that is the case. Civil government exists through delegated authority. God still owns this world, but has ordained civil government to exercise control over those who are harmful to human society. I believe this is Paul's point in Romans 13. Unfortunately, civil government sometimes exceeds that delegated authority and becomes harmful to human society.

Posts 401
Sam West | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 26 2012 6:21 AM

My motivation in all this is that Wayne Grudem and his Systematic Theology is a resource I turn to a lot. To me this man is a brilliant man and for him to make a simple mistake in choosing the wrong scripture in proving his point here or any point for that matter just blows my mind.

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 13 2012 10:19 AM

Sam West:
My motivation in all this is that Wayne Grudem and his Systematic Theology is a resource I turn to a lot. To me this man is a brilliant man and for him to make a simple mistake in choosing the wrong scripture in proving his point here or any point for that matter just blows my mind.

Hi Sam

Could not really comment on this before because I had not read the book, anyway I did get a copy and have now read it and overall found it very disappointing. However, I also like Grudem's Systematic Theology, I have it in Paper and will get it in Logos one day. What have I learned from this is simply that whilst Grudem is a very good Systematic Theologian (IMHO) he is not (again IMHO) a good Applied Theologian in the area of Politics. 

The lesson we can all learn from this is that we all have blind spots and that reminds me once again that God put us together in the body we call His Church for a reason...

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

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