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Pointed but irenic, Dr. Reg Barrow decisively refutes the view of Doug Wilson (cf. "Cyberporn: A Case Study" [Credenda/Agenda, vol. 7, no. 5, p. 11]), many modern Theonomists and the civil libertarians, that the production and distribution of pornography is not a crime (and thus not subject to negative penal sanctions by the civil magistrate).
Dr. Reg Barrow demonstrates that Wilson's view of civil government (which logically results in such a monstrous conclusion) is actually a overly strict view of the regulative principle. This "hyper-regulativism" (denying lawful inferences, or what Samuel Rutherford calls "logical consequence") is then wrongly applied to the civil magistrate, rather than to worship (when rightly interpreted).
He also points out the link between Wilson's view and the principles of the Anabaptists, Libertines and other antiestablishmentarian forces. With an impressive array of historical citations (primarily John Calvin, George Gillespie, Samuel Rutherford, and the Westminster Confession of Faith), and a cogent analysis and application of relevant Scripture passages, Reg Barrow shows clearly that Wilson's view of civil government "gives birth to illegitimate offspring in the case of pornography, contradicting as it does common sense (the light of nature), our reformed fathers in the faith, and the express commands and approved examples of Scripture.
In short, it is anything but the 'classical Protestant' position, and anything but biblical." Expressing his belief that many hold to this erroneous notion of the magistrate out of ignorance, he concludes his essay with a heartfelt call to his modern Theonomic brethren (and others) to study the reformation source documents now available (and adopt the historic Theonomy of the Reformation).
He also provides a brief list of questions that readily manifest the socially destructive outworkings of Wilson's teaching.
This is a much-needed treatment of a topic neglected for far too long. Dr. Reg Barrow's valuable contribution is an excellent introduction to the historical theonomy of the Westminster divines and is sure to prime the reader for much productive study of the view of civil government "once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3).
This is appendix "B" excerpted from Saul in the Cave of Adullam: A Testimony Against the Fashionable Sub-Calvinism of Doug Wilson (Editor of Credenda/Agenda Magazine; and, For Classical Protestantism and the Attainments of the Second Reformation) which is debate between Doug Wilson and Dr. Reg Barrow. This and some other summaries in this catalog were written by Dr. Larry Birger).
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