Sunday, July 27, 2014
Toward an Inclusionist Philosophy of Law
There are two fundamental approaches to answering this question:
Utilitarian (Positivist School): Law is whatever the lawgiver posits. However, law ought to bring about the greatest pleasure for the greatest number of people.
Naturalist (Natural Law School): Law is that which conforms to reason--thus, all Scriptural commands that appear nonsensical may be dismissed.
The former position makes a god of pleasure, the latter position makes a god of reason.
I believe that groups like First Fruits of Zion and the UMJC, in their teachings on how the Law applies to Gentiles, promote a slightly modified version of the Naturalist hermeneutic (i.e. nonsensical commands may be dismissed) with the additional rule that Gentiles should dismiss any "distinctively Jewish commands".
I would now like to propose a third alternative: an Inclusionist approach to law. This position is comprised by the following three elements:
(1) Definition of Law: a law is not a law unless it conforms to the Divine Will;
(2) Source of Law: all laws derive from the Divine Will revealed through Scripture;
(3) Applicability of Law (Hermeneutic): Scriptural precedent dictates that there is "One Law" for all covenantal members regardless of ethnic background. Whilst the Naturalist hermeneutic rejects all Scriptural laws that appear unreasonable, the Inclusionist accepts all applicable Scriptural laws regardless of apparent reasonableness.
Posted by Peter at 4:25 PM