Reading Assignment

I don’t know if there are any regular visitors to the ‘house that are not already regular readers of OHS JJS’s Creed, Code, Cult, but just in case, you should know that we’ve been given a reading assignment:

I’d encourage us all to read Mathison’s review and then discuss it in some depth next week.

The review in question is a review by Keith Mathison of OHS DVD’s latest book Living in Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture. Taking a peek at the review myself, I found a very good definition of 2K right up front:

At this point, some may be wondering: What exactly is two kingdoms theology?  At the risk of oversimplifying things, proponents of two kingdoms theology assert that Christians live in two kingdoms.  They live in a “common” kingdom consisting of the entire human race, which was established by God in His covenant with Noah.  They also live in a “redemptive” kingdom consisting of God’s chosen people, a kingdom that was formally established by God in His covenant with Abraham.  God rules both kingdoms, but in different ways.  As subjects of the common kingdom, Christians can pursue many cultural activities together with unbelievers.  As subjects of the redemptive kingdom, Christians distinguish themselves from unbelievers by gathering together in worshiping communities.  By way of analogy, two kingdoms proponents say that the situation of the church today is comparable to that of Abraham or of the Israelite exiles in Babylon.  It is not comparable to Israel in the Promised Land.

The implications of this may not be immediately obvious, but as VanDrunen explains in his introduction, this places two kingdoms theology at odds with some in the Reformed tradition who argue that Christians are carrying on the cultural mandate given to Adam and Eve and that by doing so faithfully, culture is to be “transformed” or “redeemed.”  According to the two kingdoms view “God is not redeeming the cultural activities and institutions of this world, but is preserving them through the covenant he made with all living creatures through Noah in Genesis 8:20–9:17.”  At the same time, “God is redeeming a people for himself, by virtue of the covenant made with Abraham and brought to glorious fulfillment in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who has completed Adam’s original task once and for all” (p. 15).  As VanDrunen explains, “redemption is not ‘creation regained’ but ‘re-creation gained’” (p. 26).

The opening of the review proper I would say is also Very True and Helpful:

I should begin this review by noting that I do not consider myself to necessarily be an “opponent” of two kingdoms theology.  There is no substantive dispute over the fact that God’s reign over his chosen people differed in certain respects from his reign over the rest of the world.  The main point of potential disagreement concerns how the ascension of Christ to the right hand of God affected his reign over the unbelieving nations in this present time between the first and second advents.

So I don’t intend here to actually start a discussion about the review. Instead, you should be inspired by these snippets to take some time over this week to read the whole review for yourself (or hey, go buy the actual book and read that too!), and then follow along at Creed, Code, Cult.

This entry was posted in Books, Christian life, Church and State, Civil religion, Culture, Culture War, David VanDrunen, Friday fun, Keith Mathison, Outhouse Quick Hits, Pilgrim theology, Plugs, Quotes, Review, Theology of the Cross/glory, Transformationism, Two-kingdoms, W2K. Bookmark the permalink.

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