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"'. . . that He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.'
For from Zion will go forth the Law
Even the Word of God from Jerusalem."
Even when mans life was untainted by sin, his moral consciousness was not ultimate, but derivative; Adam was receptively reconstructive of Gods word, that is, he thought Gods thoughts after Him on a creaturely level. Adam did not look to himself for moral steering; rather, he lived by supernatural, positive revelation. Adam was not without external moral dictate; he knew what was good and evil because His Lord told him.
However, Adam fell from his state of blessing and moral uprightness when he succumbed to the Satanic temptation improperly to "be like God." Satan lured our original parents into thinking that they should know good and evil for themselves; they would be moral arbitrators determining good and evil. They decided that they could be self-sufficient in their moral consciousness and reasoning. They substituted autonomy for theonomy.
The dreadful results are all too well known to us. Man is not morally self-sufficient; when he tries to be he sins and rebels against God, and such is the antithesis of true ethics. Autonomy is inherently destructive of genuine morality; self-law makes ethics impossible. Although Adams temptation and fall took place in calendar history, his pattern of autonomy has been recapitulated throughout the history of ethical philosophy.
Biblical theonomy as the principle of Christian ethics is a resplendent sight in contrast to the wasteland of humanistic ethical philosophy.
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