Read pp. 452-458 in Institutes of Biblical Law.
corresponding Rushdoony lectures
Listen to the R. J. Rushdoony lecture, Theft, that corresponds with this section.
Video summary lecture (Andrea Schwartz)
questions for thought & discussion
1. What is meant by the phrasing “without uncoerced consent?”
2. Why is it not necessary for the “robbed to know of the theft for it to be a sin?”
3. How is inflation theft?
4. Why would carelessness and deliberate vandalism both be considered theft? Where does motive come in? Is it Biblical to consider one’s motives?
5. How is fraud theft?
6. Why is this true that “a corrupt people begets a corrupt state”?
7. Why is it true that necessity does not justify theft? Can you give modern examples of the view that it does?
8. Do the taxes on things like cigarettes and liquor (sin taxes) fall into the category of justified stealing? How about the lawsuits against tobacco companies?
9. How do we see “charity” at the price of God’s law manifested in our society?
10. Are there instances in our culture where we see “stealing from a thief” in practice?
11. How does “enforced” charity create enmity between the parties involved rather than love and care for one another?
12. Give examples of how, according to Rushdoony, “For men to withhold work, duty, honor or due service is to steal.”
13. How is this commandment tied into the commandment against coveting?
14. How is the command against stealing tied into the earlier seven commandments? Explain.
15. How will an awareness of the property rights of others affect the way one will conduct himself in his surroundings?
16. Do children necessarily own the things of their parents? How should ownership be taught as a concept and lived out as a practice?
17. Why do people think it holy or spiritual to “enforce” sharing? Is it necessarily either one?
One of the surest ways to identify whether you understand a subject is to write a point of view paper (sometimes referred to as a position paper). This exercise helps to unearth areas of confusion, uncertainty, and/or disagreement, many times revealing that a number of unanswered questions remain. Once completed, you may submit your paper for comments.
After formulating your position(s) on the subjects covered in each lesson, a good next step is to engage in conversation (with your spouse, children, parents, friends, or co-workers) to better hone your skill in communicating the concepts you have learned and are assimilating into your own thinking. Do not be concerned about “messing up” or doing it the “wrong way” as you will do plenty of both! As with anything worth doing, practice will refine this skill, which is vital in order to fulfill the Great Commission. If you find you need some one-on-one interaction, you may submit a question or request an appointment.