Evangelical Republicans have sharply attacked the President for his appeal to the Bible to support his tax policies. He says he believes that those in the higher income brackets should have their taxes increased, because “unto whom much is given much will be required.” (ESV text: “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand more.”) The right has replied that Jesus us did not intend to say a thing about taxes as he concluded his parable with that saying (Luke 12: 35 – 48).
But then I have heard theonmists argue that Jesus teaches about employer employee relations in the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20: 1 – 16). Employers have a right to discriminate in wages and may pay some less for the same work if they wish, so long as those who end up getting less pay for the same work agreed in the first place to the offered wage. Employees have no right to complain, if they find out the employer made a more generous arrangement with some of their co-workers who work less but are rewarded the same.
The point is not to argue who has the better exegesis and application of these parables that are meant to show us the
(which as 2-Ker I read “visible church”). On the whole I will trust a theonomist’s exegesis and use of Scripture before I will the President’s. However, in the use of Scripture in the two cited cases, I think the President’s may have a slightly stronger position. That said, I don’t think either position is right, and I don’t really want either Presidential or theonomic exegesis of Scriptur,e because I don’t think either hermeneutic is sound. kingdom of God
As I have noted before, you can propose any question you want to Scripture, and you can get an answer, but that does not make the answer a “Biblical” answer. Grammatical-redemptive-historical exegesis is meant to enable us to determine what was originally meant by the speaker or writer and how the original audience understood it. This method gets takes us to both meaning and intent, and so imposes discipline on use (application).
There is an old fundamentalist-evangelical joke about the man looking for guidance by the “close your eyes, let the Bible fall open, point to a verse, and find God’s direction to you” method. The story goes the man tried it once, read, “Judas went out and hanged himself,” and decided he better dip one more time. When he did, his eye fell upon, “What thou doest, do thou quickly.” With that he closed his Bible.
Sometimes the Biblical thing to do is to leave your Bible closed. Not because the Bible is not the Word of God, and not that God does not care about everything. But because God has not chosen to speak to us a word of revelation about everything.
BTW, I wonder what Bill Clinton was really thinking about when he quoted “eye has not seen and ear has not heard the things that God has prepared…”