Counsel of Chalcedon
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1996 Issue 3

The rule and government of the Church, or the execution of the authority of Christ therein, is in the band of the elders. All in office have rule, and none have rule in the church but elders: as such, rule doth belong to them. The apostles by virtue of their special office were entrusted with all church power; but therefore they were elders also; I Pet. v. 1; 3 John 1; see: Acts 21:17; I Tim 1:17. They are some of them on other accounts called bishops, pastors, teachers, ministers, guides; but what belongs to any of them in point of rule, or what interest they have therein, it belongs unto them as elders, and not otherwise, Acts 20:17, 18. The Scriptures affirm, first, that there is a work and duty of rule in the Church, distinct from the work and duty of pastoral feeding, by the preaching of the Word and administration of the Sacraments, Acts 20:28; Rom. 12:8; I Cor. 12:28; I Tim. v. 17; 2 Tim 4:5; Heb. 13:7, 17; Rev. 2:3.

"The religion of the Old Testament is obviously as fundamentally a religion of faith as is that of the New Testament. - ...the religion of Israel was a religion of faith...not merely because faith was more consciously its foundation, but because its very essence consisted in faith, and this faith was the same radical self-commitment to God, not merely as the highest good of the holy soul, but as the gracious Savior of the sinner, which meets us as the characteristic feature of the religion of the New Testament. The entire patriarchal narrative is set forth with the design and effect of exhibiting the life of the servants of God as a life of faith.... - ...faith was for them (the patriarchs) the precondition of all obedience. The patriarchal religion is ....characteristically described as a walk 'with God'; its peculiarity consisted precisely in the ordering of life by entire trust in God, and it expressed itself in conduct growing out of this trust, Gen. 3:20; 4:1; 6:22; 7:5; 8:18; 12:4; 17:23; 21:12, 16. The righteousness of the patriarchal age was thus but the manifestation in life of an entire self-commitment to God, in unwavering trust in His promises." - Warfield, pg. 406f.

Let us suppose, for sake of argument, that Ice's "supersessionism = anti-Semitism" logic is valid. Ice feels that since Jews have been persecuted by some Christians, we should look for a sufficient cause for that persecution. Ice finds a causal factor in the doctrine of supersession. But let us consider an even "better" argument for anti-Semitism and intolerance of Jews that provides us with an even more obvious smoking gun, employing Ice's "logic."

Ice's logic goes something like this: (1) Anti-Semitism is evil bigotry that must have some explanatory cause behind it. (2) Some Christians hold that God no longer maintains a special place in His plan for the Jews. (3) These Christians have a sufficient cause for anti-Semitic persecution of the Jews.

Much has been made of the colonists usage of John Locke (who has been labeled a Deist by many). Doesn't the fact that Locke is so prominent in the writings of the founding era prove that the generation of the 18th century was far more open to deism than we are willing to admit! A number of things must be noted:

First, Locke was emphatically not a Deist in the common sense of the term. James Bulman makes this point plainly: "Locke's philosophy by no means required a Deistic interpretation: Locke himself certainly not holding any such interpretation! ... For all his insistence on reason, Locke subjected his reason to the Bible; because the Bible is altogether reasonable, while his capacities were faulty ... Locke said, I shall presently condemn and quit any opinion of mine, as soon as I am shown that it is contrary to any revelation in the Holy Scripture.... he affirmed the Scriptures to have been dictated by the infallible spirit of God."