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Bible Studies

Looking at a Struggle Within Islam Using the Nomenclature of my Religious Tradition
When I use certain terms within quotation marks in my brief piece entitled ‘The “Theonomic-Secularist” Debate Within Islam,’ I do not mean to infer that those corresponding elements in Islam are in any way connected to the Christian movements whose names I have borrowed.  For example, in referring to the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, and former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, as “Secularists,” I do not mean in any way to infer that they are alike except in the fact that both would be on the same end of the spectrum of their respective religions with regard to enforcing the laws of their religion on others.  Mr. Carter is certainly a devout man who has continually exhibited the genuineness of his commitment as a Moderate Baptist by his regular involvement in such things as Habitat for Humanity.  The reason why I put him in the “Secularist” wing reflects Mr. Carter’s dichotomy between his personal morality and what he would advocate in terms of public policy.  I have in mind his famous statement that he was “personally opposed to abortion, but” would not limit the right of a woman to have an abortion.

Furthermore, when I refer to the Sufi sect of Islam as “Charismatics,” I am not inferring that the movement within Evangelical Christianity and Sufism are identical movements from the same source, simply that both are on the mystical, experiential side of their respective religions.

Lastly, when I refer to Sayyid Qutb and Osama bin Laden as standing in the “Theonomic” tradition of Islam, I am in no way implying a connection between Islamicism and the Theonomic, Christian Reconstruction movement whose theological luminaries include Rousas John Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen and Gary North.  The word theonomy simply means God’s law.  In the realm of civil government, a theonomist would be one who looked to the written law of God as the foundation for civil laws.  In that most basic sense of the word, I, too, am a theonomist in that I believe that the Moral Law of God, summed up in the Ten Commandments, should be part of every nation’s jurisprudence.  In that sense one might also view Sayyid Qutb as a theonomist, even though his Islamic understanding of God and of God’s law are radically different from the Bible’s at critical points.  Christian, “Theonomic” Reconstruction is based on God’s Law as revealed in the Bible; it would differ from my kind of theonomy in that it believes that the sanctions given to ancient Israel to enforce the Moral Law should be used by civil governments today, while allowing some modification for local situations.  If you are a Christian Reconstructionist and believe that I have misrepresented you, please let me know.

Bob Vincent