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A Time to Kill? Jeff Durbin Forgets He is a Theonomist

“So you like my daughter, do ya now?”  Casey Beathard, Cleaning This Gun

As Len Pettis has pointed out, host of Aplologia Radio and Theonomist Jeff Durbin is fond of saying, “You don’t live that way,” when he takes atheists to task for the inconsistency of their worldview.  According to Jeff Durbin, the atheistic worldview is a “bag of contradictions.”

Durbin and other Theonomists are right to point out that a contradictory worldview is an unreasonable one.  Theonomists themselves very much desire to live lives that are consistent with their own Bible-centered worldviews; the desire not to live a contradictory lifestyle burns within the Theonomist.   Above all else, they do not want to contradict Holy Scripture.  This should be the desire of every Christian.  However, this desire, in the hearts of Theonomists, is the very thing that drives them down the path of error.  This is because they have a gross misunderstanding of Scripture, believing that Old Testament Civil laws are applicable to and obligatory for contemporary governments.   However, on the occasion of his daughter’s prom, Jeff Durbin seems to have forgotten that he is a Theonomist.

Durbin Prom

Almost everyone is familiar with the archetypal suburban father who, on the occasion of his daughter’s first date, makes sure to be cleaning his shotgun in the living room when his daughter’s suitor comes to pick her up.  There’s even (at least) one country song about it.

The idea that a father will protect his little girl, resorting to violence if necessary, is a commonly understood one.  This fatherly violence, as the country song cited above points out, is especially threatened against those males would seek to make sexual conquests out of daughters.   Certainly everyone can understand the mindset of the John Grisham character Carl Lee, who, in the novel A Time to Kill, is put on trial for killing his daughter’s rapists…and few who read the story seem to mind that Lee is not convicted of any crime.  (The jury finds Mr. Lee not guilty by reason of temporary insanity.)

Jeff Durbin certainly seems to understand, in a very over the top way, the archetype of the protective father who makes clear, in no uncertain terms, that a violent end awaits anyone who has sex with his daughter out of wedlock.  However, this archetype doesn’t square with Durbin’s own Theonomic beliefs.  According to the Old Testament Civil Law:

If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.” Deuteronomy 22:28-29


“If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride price for her and make her his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride price for virgins.” Deuteronomy 22:16-17

According to the Old Testament Law, Jeff Durbin wouldn’t be entitled to blood vengeance if his daughter and her date engaged in premarital sexual intercourse.  He’d be entitled to fifty shekels of silver (reasonably adjusted for 3,000 years of inflation, of course).  However, Jeff Durbin just doesn’t live that way.  Despite Durbin’s inconsistency, this is a good thing.  Theonomy is just plain stupid and it’s probably best that others don’t live the Theonomic way either.  If you’ve been considering the validity of Theonomy lately, this is something you desperately need to take into consideration.  Maybe you should agree with Jordan Hall that “Theonomy is dead.”

Author’s Note:  A contingent of the the Tone Police will automatically ignore the content of this post and accuse Pulpit & Pen of being insensitive and using an embarrassing photo without consideration to the teenage sensitivities of Durbin’s daughter.  Thus, I would like to note that Durbin is a public figure who has already posted the photo above the section of his Facebook page that can be seen by the public.  Furthermore, his daughter (according to the photo below) seems like a pretty good sport.  I hope she had a great time at her prom.  Her dress, it should be noted, is both elegant and modest.  This is how Christian girls should dress at prom.

durbin prom good sport

[Contributed by Seth Dunn, host of The Christian Commute]

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant