Law-code In The Hands of An Angry Patriarch
Wow. Got some fun stuff this morning:
After not only tolerating but encouraging the RC Sproul Jr scandal and the Ligonier Law suit scandal, Wilson now lectures the church about their tolerance of scandal:
The thing to take away from all this is not how we must deal with the scandal proper. There are others who must do that. The thing we all need to do is stop putting up with the “acceptable” parts of these scandals. Okay, we don’t put up with gay escorts and drug dealers. But when are we going to stop putting up with mealy-mouthed obscurings of scriptural teaching on sexual matters, and when are we going to stop putting up with the smoke, vanity and conceit of the evangelical marketing machine? Not very soon is my guess.
As if the irony was not thick enough: in this very post Wilson provides two links to the theonomic, misogynist Bayly Brothers who are still “out of their minds.” I took a look and found this beautiful piece of political philosophy from one of the posts Wilson boasts:
Mr. Haggard doesn’t want our civil laws to “inculcate” such things given the fact that he fully acknowledges them to be only his own personal thoughts and beliefs–you know, “While personally opposed to sodomy, I don’t believe I should use the laws of the state to enforce my own beliefs.” But under Mr. Haggard’s construct, it’s hard to see why any other of God’s commandments from the Second Table of the Law ought to be codified? If a nation ought to leave men free to commit sodomy in the privacy of their own bedroom, why not allow them to commit suicide or to murder one another? As long as the murders are consensual, you understand, and occur in the privacy of a bedroom? And of course this is precisely the rubric by which the state has legitimated abortion. … he blathers on about his own and his church’s private convictions and the wall of separation appropriately erected between those convictions and the laws of the state. And he thinks he’s said something when all he’s done is mindlessly to parrot back the rhetoric that drives all the God-haters of our day as they defy God and God’s universal Moral Law.
I accidentally noted another blog entry from the Bayly Brothers while I was there; considering my work on the role of narrative in judicial and jural decision making, I found this to be a bit curious:
Drama in the Courtroom…
Costas Douzinas, professor of law at Birkbeck University in London, comments in his inaugural lecture, The Legality of the Image,
“The Reformation and the ascendancy of print turned the legal ritual from total into restricted theatre, from trial by ordeal into trial by argument and persuasion. Law took a predominantly textual form, although its insistence on oral as against written procedure indicates its unceasing hostility towards anything that may detract from immediate communication or lead to semantic uncertainty.”
Imagine a courtroom where instead of written legal code providing the foundation for sworn verbal testimony marshalled by attorneys seeking to persuade jurors, trials consisted of opposed theatrical productions designed to win the hearts of jurors. We would call it a sham, nonsense, a travesty to truth. Yet hasn’t this happened in many Protestant churches over the last half century? Aren’t sermons and services increasingly viewed as narrative, departing the realm of propositional truth for the subjective realm of story? Even theatre proper enters the church when we seek to win the lost not through the sharp knife of the Word but through the rusty sickle of sentimental drama. We would be outraged, I think, at any such rejection of propositional truth in the courtroom. Is the Church less based on propositional truth than the average municipal court?
Tim Bayly is certainly one of those assertorical theologians; with eyes darkened and heart hardened, Tim willfully and explicitly exchanges the gospel story for a barbaric law-code from baal-berith. Here is what Crites has noted about ‘theologians’ like Tim Bayly:
But let us just say that the Gospel is one ironical story, an irony, in particular, against the triumphalistic temptations of the Christian religion and its assertorical theologians. If there is a joke in this divine comedy, the joke is on them.
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