I purchased this five part lecture by RC Sproul on Deuteronomy. It was amazing to hear of the contractual style of the ancient treaty covenants that Deuteronomy follows so closely. The nature of covenant renewal was made striking. The fact that Josiah likely tore his clothes over this book was also news to me. A wonderfully stirring call by RC to rediscover the law & covenant of God in our day, may it again be the days of Josiah in our land!
Profound was the highlighting of the Shema and the “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul and strength” as the greatest commandment and therefore by implication the locus of our most egregious sin. All of us fail to love God as we ought. Jesus however fulfilled this commandment with all of his heart and soul and strength.
The warnings against idolatry and the false prophet also rang true, albeit accompanied by RC’s denial of the currency of the prophetic. Who am I to argue I could say? Carrying as I do the scars of arrogant and false prophetic words? I have seen the following of voices that were not from God, the words that fail clear biblical tests? My folks too have such “words from God” spoken over them. But… the problem with this reasoning is that the gifts really are in the bible, its all good and well to point to abuses, abuses abound. Deuteronomy had its godly prophet along with its warnings, today is no different, we live with the gift and the abuse. To simplify matters to the state of “no-prophet, no-gift” is very tidy, very clean and … unbiblical. It reminds me of the required chastity vows of the monks and nuns, its all very tidy and ascetic and Luther hammered some good biblical nails into that barren idea.
So in response to all the “Bah! Humbugs!” from the reformed Scrooges, the deniers of gifts, I will sing with Luther “The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:”. As much as I look very much like my reformed brethren in my praxis (that is, sadly not showing much evidence of the Holy Spirits gifts), the gifts are still very real and true and presently relevant. They are in the bible, and they are for now. Would that more people were healed! That more godly prophecies were spoken!