A while ago I introduced a subject that may have rattled a few theological cages — the role of the Decalogue in evangelism. This response is quite understandable. As Christians we should all have great respect and reverence for the entire Word of God (Ac. 20:27). We believe that the Word is inerrant and infallible and that it is therefore applicable to, and sufficient to all people of all times (Ps. 19). When we hear phrases like the “obsolescence of the Law of Moses” or the “end of the Law,” it does have a somewhat unsettling effect.
However, this need not be the case. What I introduced in that article is no new concept. Rather, it is something that all Christians of different hermeneutical stripes must agree on, albeit, to varying degrees. For this reason, covenantalists (who typically believe that the Law of Moses is still intact in some ways today) and dispensationalists (who argue that the Mosaic Law in its entirety has been served in the OT) must all agree to an assumed level of breakage or disconnect with the Old Law. Some obvious examples would be for instance that we don’t cast lots anymore to discern the will of the Lord (Lev. 16:8). Rather we commit all things to God in prayer (Ps. 37:5; Phil. 4:6-7). We also don’t require young, unmarried men to marry their deceased brother’s childless widow (Deut. 25:5-10) to propagate his lineage. Rather, the NT reveals a great level of freedom in who we marry as long as we marry in the Lord (1 Cor. 7:39).
Differences like the ones mentioned above highlight the fact that there is clearly a level of disconnect between OT and NT times. Any study of such differences involves studying the “continuity vs. discontinuity” between the two testaments. Some Christians do not see as much disconnect between the two testaments as others might. As already stated, this is typically true of covenantalists and dispensationalist. However, even among covenantalists there are disagreements as to the level of discontinuity between the two testaments (classic covenantalism vs. new covenantalism), as there are disagreements among dispensationalists (classical dispensationalism vs. progressive dispensationalism).
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