Those who hold so strongly to Reformed two-kingdom theology are regularly accused of being way too otherworldly for any earthly good. Apparently, we stake out the eternal and temporal so radically that we render the faith irrelevant and ourselves apathetic antinomians.
I can’t speak for every evangelical expatriot, but this accusation seems quite odd. Many moons ago, when I had come to the inevitable end of a short-lived evangelical devotion, one of the things that exhausted me was the relentlessly world-flight piety. To be honest, pietism had never computed with me—it was like trying to keep a balloon under water. I grew up in the world, it was a good place. And so going to the dark side of the Reformation earned me a reputation amongst my evangelical friends and family of having joined “worldly or carnal Christianity.” (I’m pretty sure I am described as the one who “baptizes his babies and drinks beer.”)
It strikes me that the kind of piety expressed in these two blog posts (here and here) not only capture well what I think is generally the best of Reformed outlooks in two different ways, but they also may help put to rest any idea that those who hold so strongly to two-kingdom theology are latent Gnostics. After all, can a Gnostic really say things like he feels “closer to non-believers, and may even be edified more by them, than by my fellow believers”? And can a Gnostic really put such priority on public worship over against private devotion, or describe spirituality as that which “flows from the public Word, the public means of grace, i.e., the preaching of the Holy Gospel and the administration of the Holy sacraments”?