Some atheists say that true Christians would stone people. Any resources you would point me to or your own view on this would be helpful.
Great question, Shawn! This is an issue that many Christians have struggled with in discussing with unbelievers, and your answer will generally be determined by the way you view the covenants in the Bible.
Christians are divided over the way to interpret the covenants between God and man that are in the Bible. To be brief, those covenants are:
1. The Covenant of Works (Genesis 1-3)
2. The Covenant of Grace (Genesis 3:15)
Within the covenant of grace, there are…
3. The Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9)
4. The Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12-17)
5. The Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 19-24)
6. The Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7; 23; 1 Chronicles 17; Psalm 89)
7. The New Covenant (Hebrews 8-10)
There are differing ways of understanding these covenants, and how you view the covenants will determine whether or not the Mosaic Law, which condemns murderers and homosexuals to death by stoning, still applies or not.
Though there are distinct views on the covenants, and thus differing answers to this issue, my position on the covenants is that of Confessional Baptist Covenant Theology (for an intro to this perspective, I recommend the video “1689 Federalism: An introduction”
Under this view, the Mosaic Covenant was a covenant made with the nation of Israel, and it had to do with this nation dwelling in the land of Israel. The Law, upon which stoning is included, was given to the people for them to obey in order to be successful and prosperous in the land of Israel. These laws were not for salvation, but for dwelling in the land.
So, on this view, we would answer that Christians are not to stone murderers and homosexuals, for these laws were given to the nation of Israel for their successful dwelling in the land. If this is the case, then since this covenant has been made obsolete by the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13), this command does not apply to Christians today. Other views of the covenants will approach the Mosaic Covenant differently, and so, for those who don’t share my Baptist convictions, you can find resources on the other views below:
Dispensationalism’s View of the Covenants: “Dispensationalism” by Dr Charles Ryrie
Paedobaptist/Traditional Covenant Theology’s View: “God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology” by Dr. Michael Horton
New Covenant Theology’s View: “What is New Covenant Theology: An Introduction” by A. Blake White
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