But his unquestioned assumptions are worthy of a moment of reflection.
For example, he writes: “Divine laws came to Israel through an especially transparent and therefore reliable medium because Moses is described as being supremely humble and having a relationship to the Lord transcending that of other prophets…” Is not this circular (if not self-serving) reasoning, since the citations noted by Gane (Numbers 12:3, 6-8; Deuteronomy -12) are from books attributed to Moses?
Conventional Presentation Gane writes that “the Pentateuch [the books of Moses] presents its law as coming from, and therefore endorsed, by YHWH.” He asserts the “NT is the continuation of the OT story of redemption” and that “modern Christians can gain much practical wisdom from the rich and fascinating world of OT laws” – but nowhere are these assertions examined.
Gane proceeds methodically and logically from his premises.
This book considers the question “Is Old Testament Law Relevant for New-Covenant Christians?
He acknowledges problems applying OT law in modern times and provides the context of ancient Israelite legal culture.David Hume wrote that “Epicurus’s old questions are yet unanswered. Niche Audience That the laws of the OT are consistent and coherent is regarded as a truism by many biblical scholars, including Gane. Every book is written to persuade, but Gane’s book is without question an advocacy piece rather than a descriptive piece.But others consider this assumption little more than a comforting myth. Is the relationship between OT and NT one of stark contrast or affinity? His argument is thus: the OT laws are (therefore) OT laws are good. Gane’s audience (including perhaps some doctrinal apparatchiks) already believes this, so he finds it unnecessary to examine his premises.Gane writes that “A moral ‘principle’ is an objective, absolute, changeless truth that governs human nature and relationships. A moral ‘value,’ on the other hand, is a subjective, changeable perspective of an individual or group that has developed from past experiences….” But how do we know objective from subjective in the Bible, when there is no identification in the text itself?Nowhere does the Bible say “Warning: this particular command is a mere subjective changeable value with an expiration date.” Gane writes that “Human values are subjective, changeable, and affected by culture; divine values remain constant, although OT law can temporarily constrain expressions of divine values…in order to accommodate human weakness….” A cynical reader might say this preemptively “explains” what appear to laypeople as immoral laws.Just blame it on the victim — humans compelled God to accommodate human weakness.Misplaced Certitude Gane acknowledges that there are apparent “discrepancies between laws” — and he explains this by saying that God “can maintain justice through variable circumstances by giving somewhat different laws to different people for different situations.Ten Commandments as Enduring Amongst the materials kept are the Ten Commandments, which are unchangingly authoritative. We have two presuppositions: 1) OT law is from God and 2) God is of good character.Per Gane, the first four deal with our relationship with God, the remaining six our relationship with one another. But then the unavoidable question: Whence (from what place or source) come the immoral laws in the OT?Search the Australian Bookseller's Association website to find a bookseller near you.The links will take you to the web site's home page.