Traveling Thru Here

April 12, 2011

Two Kingdom Tuesday: Does 2K Need the “Fear of the Lord” to be Potentially Non-Redemption?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — j.hansen @ 11:36 AM

In late March, an interesting discussion on 2K and natural law took place at Dr. Darryl G. Hart’s blog (here). In the comment thread (here) Dr. Hart had this to say:

Jeff, why do you think the fear of the Lord is different from the wisdom of ants. People who do not believe in Christ have the fear of the Lord. Fear of the lord is not necessarily redemptive.

Now I’m no minister of the Word, but Psalm 103 seems to speak as if the fear of the Lord is necessarily redemptive (or are there two kinds of fears of the Lord?).

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13 As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

14 For he knows our frame;

he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;

he flourishes like a flower of the field;

16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

and its place knows it no more.

17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,

and his righteousness to children’s children,

18 to those who keep his covenant

and remember to do his commandments.

What heavy lifting does this notion (i.e., “the fear of the Lord is potentially non-redemptive”) do for 2K natural law adherents and is there another way to skin that cat?


  1. See the account of Abimelech in Genesis 20. Contrary to Abraham’s assumption that “surely there is no fear of God in this place,” the pagan king indeed feared God. What does this do? It shows that the law is written on the created heart and doesn’t need to be redeemed to get it.

    Comment by Zrim — April 12, 2011 @ 10:18 PM

  2. Zrim, two points: (1) the fear of God in Abimilech was by virtue of a supernatural encounter with God (his dream – a vivid one, no doubt); (2) if I had to judge whether that fear came to him redemptively or not, my read is that we’re likely to see Abimilech again some day. So this passage does not seem to do what you claim, that is, it doesn’t show that the “fear of God” as described in Psalm 103 is in the created heart simply by virtue of being created.

    Comment by j.hansen — April 12, 2011 @ 10:53 PM

  3. And Zrim, why is it indeed important for W2K that the “fear of the Lord” be resident in every heart in order that the law of God be written there and for each one to be able to read the law of nature?

    Comment by j.hansen — April 12, 2011 @ 11:02 PM

  4. Joseph, if Genesis 20 doesn’t do it for you (you might pick up and read DVD’s “The Biblical Case for Natural Law” before you dismiss the point) then how about Romans 2:14-15 to show that created beings possess a fear of God?

    The point is important to 2k for the same reason it’s important to making any society. If the law isn’t written on the human heart the way 2k insists then when an unbeliever breaks the law he could plead that he’s not a Christian and is therefore ignorant and therefore unaccountable. Is that the sort of world you want to live in? Not me. I want everyone held accountable and unable to plead not guilty by reason of unredeemed.

    Comment by Zrim — April 13, 2011 @ 12:14 PM

  5. Okay, Zrim. But, you still have to interact with the Psalm 103 text.

    Comment by j.hansen — April 13, 2011 @ 2:48 PM

  6. Ok, Joesoph, Psalm 103 is redemptive fear. Gen. 20 and Ro. 2 are creative fear.

    Comment by Zrim — April 13, 2011 @ 9:56 PM

  7. Zrim, fair enough. At least now I understand a little better the position I need to contemplate.

    Comment by j.hansen — April 13, 2011 @ 10:36 PM

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