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Moses And Pharaoh: Dominion Religion Versus Power Religion
by Gary North
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This is Part Two of Gary North's commentary on Exodus. It is a discussion of the Ten Commandments from the point of view of economic theory. Gary's discussion of the sabbath in this book supersedes everything he has written in the past, and nobody who wants to deal with the sabbath issue can afford to ignore the questions he raises in this book. So far, there has been no detailed response from strict sabbatarians, although the book was published in 1986.
From the Publisher
This book is a detailed study of the conflict between and Moses and Pharaoh. It discusses the implications of this conflict in several areas: theology, politics, sociology, and especially economics.
From the Back Cover
Exodus and the Collapse of Humanism
In the fifteenth century before the birth of Jesus, Moses came before Pharaoh and made what seemed to be a minor request: Pharaoh should allow the Israelites to make a three-day journey in order to sacrifice to their God. But this was not a minor request; given the theology of Egypt, it was the announcement of a revolution--an anti-humanist revolution.
The conflict between Moses and Pharaoh was a conflict between the religion of the Bible and its rival, the religion of humanism. It is not common for scholars to identify Egypt's polytheism with modern humanism, but the two theologies share their most fundamental doctrines: the irrelevance of the God of the Bible for the affairs of men; the evolution of man into God; the impossibility of an infallible word of God; the nonexistence of permanent laws of God; the impossibility of temporal judgment by God; and a belief in the power of man.
What Bible commentators have failed to understand is that the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh was at heart a conflict between the two major religions in man's history, dominion religion and power religion--with the third major religion--escapist religion represented by the Hebrew slaves. What they have also failed to point out is that there is an implicit alliance between the power religion and the escapist religion. This alliance still exists.
This book is a detailed study of the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh. It discusses the implications of this conflict in several areas: theology, politics, sociology, and especially economics. This book is Part One of the second volume of a multi-volume set, An Economic Commentary on the Bible. The first volume, The Dominion Covenant: Genesis, was published in 1982.
Dr. North wrote his doctoral dissertation on the economic thought of the Puritans in New England. He joined the staff of the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, in 1971. He also served as staff member of R.J.Rushdoony's Chalcedon Foundation, where he edited The Journal of Christian Reconstruction for eight years. In 1983, he edited two issues of Christianity and Civilization: The Theology of Christian Resistance and Tactics of Christian Resistance. This journal is published by the Geneva Divinity School of Tyler, Texas. He also edited a collection of essays, Foundations of Christian Scholarship: Essays in the Van Til Perspective (1976) published by Ross House Books in Vallecito, California.
Rapid, long-term population growth in response to covenantal faithfulness is one of the promised blessings of biblical law. A potentially greater blessing waited for them in the land of Canaan: no miscarriages, long lives, reduced sickness (Ex. 20:12, 23:25-26). These blessings did not occur; the continuing ethical rebellion of the Hebrews led instead to population stagnation, a curse.
A growing population is a tool of dominion, as are all the blessings of God. The humanists' hostility to population growth in the final decades of the twentieth century is part of a growing suspicion of all forms of economic growth. Growth points to an eventual using up of finite resources, including living space. This, in turn, points either to the end of growth or the end of time. The thought of an end of time within a few centuries is not acceptable to humanists. Therefore, they have instead attacked the concept of linear growth, since growth--especially population growth--cannot be linear indefinitely in a finite universe.
Until these attitudes are seen by large numbers of Christians for what they are--aspects of paganism--Christians will continue to labor under a modern version of Egyptian slavery. This slavery is both religious and intellectual. It cannot be limited to the spirit and the intellect, however; ideas do have social consequences. Christians cannot legitimately expect to conquer the world for Jesus Christ in terms of the ideology of zero-growth humanism. Such a philosophy should be handed over to the humanists as their very own "tool of subservience," the opposite of dominion. Even better would be population decline for the God-haters. They would simply fade away as an influence on earth. This is the long-term implication of a birth rate below 2.1 children per woman. It is a birth rate below 2.1 children per woman which alone is fully consistent with the Bible's description of the God-hating ethical rebels: "all they that hate me love death" (Prov. 8:36b). It is this suicidal birth rate which presently prevails in all Western industrial nations. This is the population program which Pharaoh hoped to impose on his enemies, the Hebrews. He was not sufficiently stupid, or so utterly perverse, to have sought to impose it on his own people.
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