Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lacunae, Part 2a - The Spirit, Charity and the Law

Finally, I have found my next doctrinal lacuna to discuss. I often hear people use the term "the spirit of the law" versus "the letter of the law" to explain a less-than-literal treatment of the Lord's commandments. In this second installment of my attempts to discuss doctrine, I wish to discuss the terms and their basic meaning. This first part will be rather short, as I have a Thanksgiving dinner to cook and a living room to clean.

It is interesting to find where the term "spirit of the law" came into play. Though nonexistent in the Old Testament, you'll find the concept emphasized in the New Testament in scriptures such as Galatians and Romans. At that time, the early apostles had an uphill battle to combat the Pharisaical enforcement of Mosaic law. The term is used often in latter-day revelations as well. The most interesting aspect of this discussion is how often the "spirit of the law" is cited as a reason to disobey the "letter" in application, though there is little to no scriptural justification for that.

After the holidays, I'll delve into this more deeply to illustrate the tension between following the Spirit and following the word of the Lord.

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