Update on Guess the Good Guy

Well, I only got one swipe at who said this.

This little gem came from the pen of Ken…Myers, who hosts Mars Hill Radio. It is from a piece called Christianity, Culture and Common Grace. You can find it here, along with plenty of other resources on two kingdom theory.

Here are a few other excerpts that caught my eye: 

“…the activity of Christians in the culture is not usually kingdom work in the sense it is assumed to be, nor is it redemptive in any useful sense of the word. But it is nonetheless imperative for us to be active in the culture, not because we are saved, but because we are created.”

“But consider how much more complex an entire culture is, or even a single aspect of that culture. On one hand we have this huge, literally unimaginable thing called modern American culture, or Western culture, or, God deliver us, world culture, and on the other hand this expansive collection of narrative, poetry, wisdom literature, apocalyptic, and letters written 2,000 years ago, suffused with divine mystery and debated by the greatest and most pious minds of the ages. Sometimes I am breathless at the temerity of people who write such books claiming to be a blueprint for culture. Assuming that they have such an exhaustive understanding of both the world and the Word is a feat of self-confidence that I cannot begin to comprehend.”

“Some Christians today use the word ‘kingdom’ like a magic adjective that sanctifies any noun it touches. We read of ‘kingdom ethics,’ ‘kingdom theology,’ ‘kingdom values,’ ‘kingdom justice,’ ‘kingdom love,’ ‘kingdom caring,’ ‘kingdom priorities,’ and ‘kingdom relationships.’ All of these terms might well be referring to some good thing. But the glib transformation of a noun into an adjective is almost always an alert that jargon has replaced thinking, and one gets the impression that ‘kingdom’ is being used incantationally, as what New Testament scholar R.T. France calls a ‘hurray-word.’ S.H. Travis has written this warning: ‘Indeed, the current danger in some quarters is that a few mentions of the word ‘kingdom’ in any theological document will be enough to guarantee that it be received with uncritical enthusiasm.’”

“The great irony is that the message of the Kingdom of God has profound cultural and political consequences precisely because it is not a cultural or political message. It cannot be defeated by cultural power.”

From Calvin: “…we must here set forth a distinction: that there is one kind of understanding of earthly things; another of heavenly. I call ‘earthly things’ those which do not pertain to God or his Kingdom, to true justice, or to the blessedness of the future life; but which have their significance and relationship with regard to the present life and are, in a sense, confined within its bounds. I call ‘heavenly things’ the pure knowledge of God, the nature of true righteousness, and the mysteries of the heavenly Kingdom. The first class includes government, household management, all mechanical skills, and the liberal arts. In the second are the knowledge of God and of his will, and the rule by which we conform our lives to it.”

And again: “Whenever we come upon these matters in secular writers, let that admirable light of truth shining in them teach us that the mind of man, though fallen and perverted from its wholeness, is nevertheless clothed and ornamented with God’s excellent gifts…We marvel at them because we are compelled to recognize how preeminent they are. But shall we count anything praiseworthy or noble without recognizing at the same time that it comes from God? Let us not be ashamed of such ingratitude, into which not even the pagan poets fell, for they confessed that the gods had invented philosophy, laws, and all useful arts. Those men whom Scripture [1 Cor. 2:14] calls ‘natural men’ were, indeed, sharp and penetrating in their investigation of inferior things.”

From Bavinck: “It true the Holy Spirit as a spirit of sanctification dwells in believers only, but as a spirit of life, of wisdom and of power He works also in those who do not believe…Accordingly in the moral sphere also distinctions are to be recognized between some men and others. While all are corrupt, not all are fallen to an equal depth.”

“For example, in Colossians 1, one of the great texts proclaiming the rule of Christ over the universe, Paul says that Christ is the ‘head’ of the Church. To my knowledge, that language is not used anywhere to describe Christ’s rule over the universe more generally, because Christ does not rule the world in the same way that he rules the Church. He is not the head of the world. He is the vine of which the world is the branches. He is not the good shepherd of the world. The world is not the bride of Christ. There is not the intimate organic spiritual unity between the world and Christ. So the way Christ is lord of the church is not the same way he is lord of the universe…We acknowledge this distinction between the holy and the common each time we partake of the Lord’s Supper. Every meal I eat, I eat to the glory of God, under the Lordship of Christ. But not every meal I eat has the significance and power to transform that the Lord’s Supper has. It is a holy meal in a way last week’s visit to Burger King is not.”

“Believers have the advantage of special revelation that informs them of the existence and significance of general revelation. But believers have no guarantee that they will thereby be automatically better interpreters of general revelation.”

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9 Responses to Update on Guess the Good Guy

  1. Rick says:

    Sorry Zrim,
    It’s amazing how time gets away from you when you have another child to take care of – I totally would have tried to guess the good guy.

  2. Rick says:

    I’ve spoken with Ken Meyers on a few occasions, Mars Hill Audio has interviewed some guests from the Grand Rapids area and when they do this, the guest comes into our studios to be recorded. Good guy, good stuff.

  3. RubeRad says:

    I’m looking forward to meeting Ken Myers when he comes to my church next month as the keynote speaker for a Reformation Conference (brochure) And I’m listening to MH #90 in the car right now, and I’m totally pumped to re-read all of Narnia again, because of the interview with Michael Ward about the overarching planetary theme across the books.

  4. Rick says:

    Guess the good guy needs to be a regular series

  5. RubeRad says:

    I find it difficult to visualize Ken Myers eating at Burger King. Otherwise, great quotes all around!

    Especially from Calvin, “things which do not pertain to God or his Kingdom … includ[ing] government, household management, all mechanical skills, and the liberal arts.” If Kuyper is to be taken at face value, that’s a lotta square inches he needs to account for more carefully!

  6. Pingback: Ken Myers on the Problem with “Kingdom” Language « Heidelblog

  7. Pingback: Truth: Gospel, Not Cultural! « gospel muse

  8. Pingback: More from Myers « The Confessional Outhouse

  9. Pingback: The Last From Myers « The Confessional Outhouse

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