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#58420 Wed Feb 22, 2023 7:59 AM
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For those of you who have read the February Article of the Month I wondered if you could help me to see what influences, past and present that the "moral-influence theory" has and is having? You might add to that the governmental theory. Machen explains what each of these are but I would like to know how they have influenced religion in the past and more importantly, how they may be influencing religion today.


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Pelagianism with a common grace application and an Asbury revival cherry on top.

Plenty are drinking the cool aid….
https://subsplash.com/briarwoodpresbyterianchurchalabama/media/mi/+mzd3n88


I come back to this often when I get too distracted and full of myself (whether too high or too low) ….

https://m.soundcloud.com/geekychristian/sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-god

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Although the moral-influence theory is probably alive and well in even reformed circles with the promotion of “The Great Tradition” and maybe to a lesser extent (and varying degrees & intent) the Christian Nationalism movements, the secular and public domains are being bombarded and overrun by Social Identity Theory with groups like LGBTQ+ and the CRTers and their adherents.

Maybe 2KT (which on paper is not a bad way to view our place in the world but not something I would promote) and a rediscovery/reapplication of natural law theory divorced from its more Reformed theocratic roots would qualify as a form of moral influence theory affecting the Christian religion in our day. Too many in Christian circles, including Reformed, are preoccupied with politics and culture war. We need to redirect our focus on the greater spiritual issue of sin that is holding the world and even our own motives captive.

We are over focused on the sins and disbelief of others and its effect on society. How much doctrine and practice do we have to compromise to try and correct that?

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the “awful transcendence of God.” Machen was speaking about the awesome holiness of God—His distinctness, His otherness. This, for Machen, was the truth of which modern liberalism had lost sight. As a result, liberalism had erased the Creator-creature distinction that is so fundamental to true Christianity. It had instead produced a pantheistic God who is simply part of the “world process.” God was no longer a distinct being; His life was in our life and our life was in His life. In Machen’s own words:

Modern liberalism, even when it is not consistently pantheistic, is at any rate pantheizing. It tends everywhere to break down the separateness between God and the world, and the sharp distinction between God and man.


A corollary of this (mis)conception of God was a (mis)understanding of man and, in particular, “the loss of the consciousness of sin.” Since God is no longer conceived of as holy and transcendent, He rests lightly on the modern mind, and thus does sin as well. Machen sought to discern the precipitators for this shift in modern thinking. Writing shortly after World War I (1914–18), he believed that war produced an overfocus on the sins of others to the neglect of one’s own sins. In war, where one side is viewed as the embodiment of evil, it is easy not to see the evil in one’s own heart. There was also the problem of the collectivism of the modern state, in which everyone is a victim of circumstances, obscuring “the individual, personal character of guilt.” Behind the shift in the modern doctrine of sin, however, Machen saw a more sinister and significant cause: paganism. By paganism, Machen did not mean barbarianism. During the height of the Greek Empire, paganism was not grotesque but glorious. It was a world-and-life view that found “the highest goal of human existence in the healthy and harmonious and joyous development of existing human faculties.” That is to say, humanity is essentially good and can attain the good, through the proper engagement and discipline of its mind and body. For Machen, such a perspective had become dominant in his day, replacing the Christian view of sin and personal guilt before a holy God.
https://theaquilareport.com/god-and-man/

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For those of us who prefer the convenience of the written word,Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is a must read.


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You mention pelagianism as an example (along with its many flavors or variants), or semi-pelagianism as well, the common denominator with the governmental or moral-influence theories of the atonement could be its man-centeredness. It could be said that there are two views of Jesus in the world and throughout history: One being Christ's vicarious, substitutionary atonement and the other recognizing that Jesus was a good person (which is undeniable) and therefore His life showed us a better way to live. A moral example for all men and his death, an example to deter men from doing bad things. All religions acknowledge the moral superiority and example for men. Only one view recognizes that He was the only person who could provide the propitiation for man's sin.

Machen does boil the 3 views of the atonement to only 2: Man-centered (moral-influence and governmental) and Christ-centered. See Here: The Bible and the Cross


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Anthony

A couple of months ago, I had an interesting e-mail discussion with a theologian I have grown to respect. I am speaking of Dr. Samuel Waldron. Your bringing up 2KT, jarred a memory from that conversation. He was telling me that the 2KT community is not actually monolithic. For example, he said he himself adheres to 2KT and yet disagrees with how many 2KT Churches especially in Reformed circles are bending the knee to government overreach.
On his recommendation I bought a book he wrote; of which because I already have a few books on the go, have not read yet.

The book is called 'Political Revolution in the Reformed Tradition': A Historic and Biblical Critique'.

Tom

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Originally Posted by Tom
Anthony

A couple of months ago, I had an interesting e-mail discussion with a theologian I have grown to respect. I am speaking of Dr. Samuel Waldron. Your bringing up 2KT, jarred a memory from that conversation. He was telling me that the 2KT community is not actually monolithic. For example, he said he himself adheres to 2KT and yet disagrees with how many 2KT Churches especially in Reformed circles are bending the knee to government overreach.
On his recommendation I bought a book he wrote; of which because I already have a few books on the go, have not read yet.

The book is called 'Political Revolution in the Reformed Tradition': A Historic and Biblical Critique'.

Tom
Very interesting, thanks!

2KT & Reformed view of Natural Law were tweaked to tolerate pluralism. No matter what you are told by their defenders, that’s the unavoidable bottom line. They need to be transparent of this fact no matter the justification.

Quote
For example, he said he himself adheres to 2KT and yet disagrees with how many 2KT Churches especially in Reformed circles are bending the knee to government overreach.
There’s a great deal that can be said about that which gets into intent and ideology of leaders. Is it to remain faithful to original intent of founding and long standing laws or to ultimately do something radical? Even good churches are too often looking at current affairs/events from the old paradigm while the current interpretations are barely recognizable because the intent no longer accounts for our well-being. I think there are legal battles that could be won in the courts all things being equal, but to tweak and compromise doctrine for the purpose of religious outreach is futile and in most instances heretical.

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Just to clarify, outside the loaded term, I don’t have a problem with the spirit of “Christian Nationalism” which is essentially the same as a foundational, well ordered, nation of laws that maintain the common good. The problem is a small oligarchy of elite are playing god and redefining good. So anything that reflects God’s natural order in creation and design (which is everything) they will try to disparage and redefine to exalt fallen humanity/creation in their perverted attempt to perfect it to their liking. They are exploiting our sin and fallenness to their advantage. These people are sick. They are servants of the devil and the churches’ attempt to meet them on their terms is beyond foolish. I liken it to the cultural merger of Christianity and Paganism under Constantine. The Reformers attempted to clean up that mess.

Today, some in the Reformed camp and other Christian circles are leading us back there.

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Anthony, to be honest I do not know where I really stand about 2KT vs 1KT.
Reading Waldron who definitely holds to 2KT; describes what he believes and in many ways, he seems like many who hold to 1KT, especially on passages of Scripture like Romans 13.
He told me he holds to the same 2KT, that people like John Calvin held to. This is explained further in his book I recommended.

He told me that, many modern people who hold to 2KT have a more modern view of the issue. Looking at some of the more modern movements such as the Gospel Coalition, who hold to a more modern view, he definitely takes issue with.

The reason, why I contacted Waldron was basically because of the views of the GCC (Gospel Coalition Canada) are taking. For example, one of them said concerning John MacArthur, by not obeying the California government about Church lockdowns, may have ruined over 50 years of ministry.

Unfortunately, all too many Calvinist Churches have taken the same view that the GCC have taken on lockdowns. Not only that, but this has even caused family issues whose Churches complied with the government mandates and even condemned pastors who were jailed in Alberta Canada.

One family member said that James Coates, who is a Baptist pastor in Edmonton, is pastor of a border-line cult.

When I heard that, if I had stated what was on my mind when they said that. I may have ruined my relationship completely with them.

Tom

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As an add on, to what I have already said.

This might help...

Quote
John Calvin's Two Kingdom theology, also known as the Two Kingdoms Doctrine, holds that God rules over two distinct kingdoms or realms: the spiritual kingdom, which is the domain of the church, and the secular kingdom, which is the domain of the state. According to Calvin, these two kingdoms are both ordained by God and have their own distinct spheres of authority and responsibility. The church is responsible for matters of faith and the salvation of souls, while the state is responsible for matters of civil order and justice. However, Calvin also believed that the two kingdoms are interconnected and that the church has a role to play in the secular kingdom by providing moral guidance and support to the state.

David VanDrunen's radical two kingdom theology, on the other hand, takes a more extreme approach to the separation of church and state. VanDrunen argues that God rules over two completely separate and independent kingdoms, one spiritual and one secular, and that these two kingdoms have no necessary connection or overlap. According to VanDrunen, the church has no role to play in the secular kingdom, and the state has no responsibility to promote or enforce any particular religious beliefs or practices. In this view, the church's sole focus should be on preaching the Gospel and administering the sacraments, while the state's sole focus should be on maintaining civil order and justice.

One of the key differences between Calvin's Two Kingdom theology and VanDrunen's radical two kingdom theology is the degree of separation between the church and the state. While both views hold that there are two distinct kingdoms, Calvin's view emphasizes the interconnectedness and cooperation between the two kingdoms, while VanDrunen's view emphasizes the complete separation and independence of the two kingdoms.

Another key difference is the role of the church in the secular kingdom. Calvin believed that the church had a role to play in providing moral guidance and support to the state, while VanDrunen believes that the church has no role to play in the secular kingdom at all.

Finally, VanDrunen's radical two kingdom theology also emphasizes the idea that the secular kingdom operates under natural law, rather than divine law. In this view, the state's laws and policies should be based on human reason and natural law principles, rather than on any specific religious beliefs or practices.

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Yep, that’s my understanding as well.

I received this email from Dr. Clark today (I actually referenced that TGC article that is downright dangerous to him). He’s pretty public in his views, but I ask you not to copy & paste this anywhere else. He would not consider their position radical ….

“Yes, virtually everyone from AD 380 until the 18th century was theocratic in their assumptions. Certainly the Reformed in the 16th & 17th centuries were.

They were all wrong. It was a huge mistake.

How the Americans and others came to see the error is a fascinating and difficult question. There were some in the 17th century who began to argue for a kind of limited religious toleration, e.g., John Owen.

My opinion is that the Eighty Years War (in the NL) and the Thirty Years War (in the rest of Europe) was a turning point.

Did the Enlightenment help? Maybe. Some/many of them were fairly well read in the older theologians. They borrowed/revised the Reformed idea of the covenant of works for their doctrine of the state of nature.

Is Enlightenment rationalism essential to a pluralistic state? I hope not. I don't think so. Were there orthodox Christians who began to see the folly of a state church? I guess so but I don't know.

rsc”

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https://ca.thegospelcoalition.org/article/obeying-rulers-with-the-reformed-tradition/

My condolences brother. That is a pretty ignorant take in the context of Covid & those stupid masks and all those Chinese communist recommendations.

I was able to discern that from the very beginning. TGC’s credibility is shot when they defend untrustworthy tyrants that will never let a crisis go to waste. But everything is political. That’s why I don’t like the terms liberal & conservative in the context of today’s denominational/theological disputes/divides. Machen is a marvel in that he wasn’t influenced by evangelical culture or the cultural elite.

It’s helpful when the voices at least reference and acknowledge the current state of affairs when engaging in these debates (Keller endorsed Francis Collins, yikes! for goodness sake). But despite the cultural insanity, the actual theological side of these debates are most important.

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Funny how the author of the article you provided from the Canadian Gospel Coalition used very few scriptural references, e.g, Acts 5 which clearly demonstrated that Christians were NOT to give universal obedience to ANY authority. There are however many other references where God's people flatly refused to obey a ruler's/government's edicts, e.g., Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who disobeyed Nebuchadnezzar II's commandments re: prayer and the worship of the one true God. After the resurrection, the early church's history is replete with examples of Christians gathering in private/secret because it was forbidden to do so. CONTEXT offers not only propositional truth but truth by way of example. The Reformers, including those mentioned by the author, Ian Clary, also held tenaciously to the well-known and openly taught that no Christian is bound to any authority who demands that one do that which God forbids nor not do what God commands of them.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution, albeit perhaps not one was a genuine Christian and some who were Deists, in their writings "The Federalist Papers" included much in regard to the government, it's authority and the freedom of the people from tyranny. The Constitution's "Bill of Rights" was included not to give particular freedoms to the citizens but rather to clearly state the limitations of the government(s). One of the most prominent of the amendments was the Second Amendment which states that citizens have the natural/God-given right to own and bear arms for the particular purpose to overthrowing a tyrannical ruler/government and for self defense. Obviously, these men knew all too well to various degrees what Scripture teaches concerning the natural man; the universal corruption of nature which exhibits itself in the blaspheming of God, the worship of idols and the oppression of men.

In the military one of the axioms that was told us was despite the Uniform Code of Military Justice which is the law that governs all branches of the US military, it does not require any member to obey an unlawful order given by a superior. Even the pagan run military knew that it was wrong to give unreserved obedience to anyone to whom they were subject.

So, both in biblical Christianity and in the world, it is recognized that no one should give unfeigned obedience to any authority. That demonstrates that God's moral law resides in the hearts of everyone, even though many (most?) harden their consciences and thus fail to exercise this principle of God as it was intended.


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The sad part of all this, is that I used to like the Gospel Coalition.

Unfortunately, they are influencing some pastors I know that otherwise have good theology. Sigh...

For example, one pastor I know, who normally really likes Sam Waldron. Saw Waldron's sermon on Roman 13, and totally rejected it.

Tom

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All one had/has to do is to do a little research on the main proponents of The Gospel Coalition to know that it is a bad, heretical organization. For example:

- Who Are the New Calvinists- part 1
- Who Are the New Calvinists- part 2
- [Tim] Keller's False Gospel

Do a little research on some of the 'significant' others, e.g., Kevin DeYoung, D.A. Carson, John Piper, John Mahaffey, et al.

Here's a recent blurb, written yesterday, March 2 concerning what the TGC has come under fire for in regard to an article "Comparing Christ’s Love to a Sexual Encounter". Here's the report:

Quote
An article recently published by The Gospel Coalition’s newly formed Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics has been the subject of considerable criticism for its description of sex as a metaphor for the salvific relationship between Christ and the Church.

The article, titled “Sex Won’t Save You (But It Points to the One Who Will),” was written by Keller Center fellow Josh Butler, an Arizona pastor and author. The article is an excerpt from Butler’s forthcoming book, “Beautiful Union: How God’s Vision for Sex Points Us to the Good, Unlocks the True, and (Sort of) Explains Everything.”

In the excerpt, Butler argues that while many within the current cultural climate look “to sex for salvation…idolizing sex results in slavery.”

“Sex wasn’t designed to be your salvation but to point you to the One who is,” Butler writes.
TGC Under Fire for Article Comparing Christ’s Love to a Sexual Encounter


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That article was a mockery of the faith. What are these guys thinking. Twitter is having a blast tearing it a part. Not many are qualified to have such platforms. They just need to keep silent already, especially Keller. I have no patience for him. Just stop talking, stop tweeting, and stop listening to your even more liberal wife. Enough already.

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A deep dive into the influences and foundations of American law (including founders’ views on a well ordered society where sin and decay does not overcome peace & the common good is essential, especially in light of the specter of a rogue and co-opted/corrupted system that is applying an anti-natural, tyrannical ruling philosophy under the guise of legitimacy and expediency. Opinions divorced from reality are an automatic disqualifier in my book.

I consider myself a presuppositionalist (even before I ever knew who Van Til was) for the mere fact that most of my classical defenses for Christianity are swiftly dismissed or reasoned away in my personal experience. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything VanTil has said (although when properly presented I think he’s pretty brilliant). I do think non-believers/practical atheists can know and do good, productive things to some degree, they just have a woefully incomplete picture of where good comes from and the greater/greatest good (Psalm 14:1). In addition, their motives are usually off. But so are our motives when our faith is not in exercise.

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The key words I used were
Quote
used to

Tom

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But there may others who do consider TGC a solid, reliable organization. wink Being informed is a valuable asset and part of one growing in wisdom.


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It’s also important to know that agents of change do not only exist in the political and cultural sphere, but also in the religious sphere. Once again, consider Machen and Old Princeton which was essentially high jacked by the Federal Council of Churches in 1908 to push the Social Gospel/the Progressive movement as summarized in their The Social Creed of the Churches. If I’m following the history right, the Higher Critics were influential in all this. I’m sure there are various parallels with what the PCA and others are experiencing on the denominational side. There’s surely some concentrated influencing and organization behind the scenes in these kind of power struggles. These entities remain highly active today. There are various ways to fundamentally and radically transform society. A fallen citizenry, even a blinded denominational assembly, is ripe for manipulation and ultimately destruction and history keeps on repeating…

“ John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the Interchurch World Movement of 1919–1920: A Different Angle on the Ecumenical Movement 1982
Abstract: There is a certain irony in the title of Eldon G. Ernst’s Moment of Truth for Protestant America, the standard interpretation of the Interchurch World Movement (IWM) of 1919–1920, because this broad and generally perceptive study of the IWM is based primarily upon an elaborate falsification of the historical record. That falsification was perpetrated in a document entitled “History of the Interchurch World Movement” prepared under the direction of Raymond B. Fosdick. Fosdick, who was the lawyer and long-term adviser of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., had the document compiled precisely to conceal the real role Rockefeller played in the organization. Research in Rockefeller’s papers reveals the truth about his role and thereby illumines a significant aspect of the ecumenical movement and its relationship to wider historical trends. This overlooked aspect from the background of the liberal side of the fundamentalist controversy is particularly pertinent today as tensions mount between those who identify themselves as “liberals” and those who claim to lead a “moral majority” of resurgent conservatism. Perhaps Washington Gladden, the old social gospel advocate, was not entirely wrong when he referred to a Rockefeller contribution as “tainted money,” however idealistic Rockefeller’s motives may have been.”

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Keller is confused.

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Anthony, I know you asked Pilgrim not me for his take on the video. However, I hope you do not mind me saying a few things.

I found the broadcast ‘The New Fault Lines’ to be done quite well.

I like Dr.Voddie Baucham and some of the people they mentioned as being faithful.
Before all these controversies such as Cultural Marxism and its ugly stepsisters started gaining prominence, Voddie Baucham was speaking on them. I have watched about 5 of his sermons on the issues and read a few of his books, such as Fault Lines and I am thankful to the Lord that I did.
Cultural Marxism starting to rear its ugly head before Covid-19; which I believe the WEF is using to further their global cause/s.

I have my differences with John MacArthur; but I certainly appreciate his stand and support for pastors up here in Canada, who were jailed for keeping their Churches open.

Dr. RC Sproul, was actually my favourite theologian and I believe they correctly showed what he would be saying if he was still around.

I agree with their take on Tim Keller and I could add even more concerns.

When they described John Piper as naive; that is something I have been thinking about him for many years now. At one time Piper was a favourite of mine and that was for good reason. When he is on, his messages were really good. However, that has been a number of years now and I don’t bother listening to him anymore.

They spoke very highly of Doug Wilson and in a few issues, I can see why. He is not afraid to call it like it is and although I do not listen to him personally. I am told he says some of the same things on the issues of our day that someone like Voddie Baucham would say.
Let me say however, the interviewer said he is a Post-Millennial and although I am Amil, I have friends who are and we are in agreement on most things. However, Doug Wilson is not only Post-Mill, unless I am mistaken he is also a Theonomist. Perhaps the interviewer is also a Theonomist?

Theonomy by the way has become a rather nuanced term is recent years. Some call themselves Theonomists simply because they believe in the “Law of God” and that is how they explain themselves. When you tell them the way they are using the term, is confusing because it makes a others think they are “Reconstructionists” in the line of Rushdoony. To which they state (rather defensively), that it is I that doesn’t understand Theonomy; because all Reformed Christians believe in the ‘Law of God’. That particularly discussion quickly becomes fruitless.

Others, take many of the things that Rushdoony and Bahnsen said concerning Theonomy and put their own spin on them. Then when you point them to an article written by Sam Waldron, about his concerns with ‘Theonomy’. They get a bit mad and state that, Waldron is addressing something that is for the most part no longer an issue.

As I mentioned before I think I lean towards the same views that Sam Waldron believes. He holds to the same kind of Two Kingdom Theology that John Calvin held to.

The interviewer, never mentioned this kind of Two Kingdom Theology. Rather he mentioned what is commonly referred to as Radical Two Kingdom Theology; which he attributed to Dr. Michael Horton and someone by the name of David VanDrunen.

The problem I am having is most people seem to believe Calvin’s Two Kingdom Theology and Radical Two Kingdom Theology are one and the same.

Tom

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Thanks for the feedback Tom! I deleted my post cause I feel like I was getting a little carried away and getting away from the main topic a little. But guys like Wilson, Keller, Piper…. I’ve written them off (I was never too influenced by them to begin with). That whole celebrity scene (outside of the late RC Sproul) has imploded.

I’ve been thinking about these somewhat related issues for a while however. I don’t want to sound like I’m buttering up the host but I think Pilgrim has the best take regarding the American history side of things (among many other things). The folks in my closest circles are similar in view and don’t get caught up in any of this natural law / 2K / common grace nonsense that is essentially a big sideshow in response to theonomists. I looked into some good reviews on David VanDrunen and they kinda exposed him as a bit of novelty. I’m not beholden to any of those listed celebrity preachers with the exception of Voddie who I really admire. But I’m pretty blessed to have Lane Tipton as my pastor. I just love the guy (but not in a putting him on a pedestal kind of way) and I’m pretty happy in my denomination so I don’t have to get too caught up in this stuff even though I do sometimes.

Im really disappointed with both sides of this 2K vs. Nationalism debate but I do think the Church should get their act together and have a unified voice against all this nonsense and propaganda from the outside. Im really disappointed in guys like RS Clark who latches himself to lesser movements that they have pretty much tweaked to their liking with some creative scriptural justification and a little revisionist history and now they are pridefully committed. It’s kind of sad seeing these internal battles while the world around us is falling apart. (At the end of the day I don’t know enough about anything to be too critical of anyone but it hasn’t stopped me before).

Side Note: Tipton has been down on the 2k/Natural Law guys too especially for their promotion of Thomism and the Great Tradition despite the fact that he shares a platform with DG Hart who is great on Machen but out there with Clark a bit. I liked following Clark’s blog and thought he was ok against theonomy but I’m not buying his peculiar view and framing/promotion of 2KT-Natural Law. Again, I think they are taking some liberties.

I like this review and a few others….

Quote
VanDrunen also argues that the state is also a common kingdom institution. Although it is not part of the redemptive kingdom, those in the redemptive kingdom still owe obedience to the civil magistrate (p. 121). VanDrunen adds: “Furthermore, the New Testament never indicates that civil authorities have any responsibility to make the social or political order conform to the redemptive kingdom of heaven. What Christians are to expect from the state is simply the enforcement of justice so that they may lead a ‘peaceful and quiet life’” (p. 121). The significant question here, however, is this: who has the authority and right to instruct the civil magistrate on the nature of true justice and call him to repentance when it is violated? Under the Old Covenant, it was the prophets, who were ministers in the redemptive kingdom, the Old Covenant church. Who has this calling under the New Covenant? Given that two kingdoms advocates have such a high view of the ministry of the Word, it seems odd that they would imply that this responsibility rests on individual Christians rather than the Church and her ministers. …


What Aspects of Education, Vocation, and Politics are Matters of Christian Liberty?

VanDrunen’s final chapter is likely to cause more consternation among most readers than anything he has said in the previous chapters. In this final chapter he draws some practical conclusions concerning education, vocation, and politics from two kingdoms theology. However, since many of his conclusions have more to do with Christian liberty than anything else, I am not convinced that all or even most of his conclusions are distinctive of two kingdoms doctrine. Many of his conclusions could be held by Reformed Christians at any place along the Christianity/Culture spectrum. …


Both vocation and politics are matters of the common kingdom according to VanDrunen. Christian political activity should not be seen as an instrument for transforming the world into Christ’s kingdom (p. 195). VanDrunen lists five truths regarding politics that are generally non-controversial among contemporary Reformed Christians: 1). The civil magistrate has been established by God; 2). The magistrate is primarily responsible for keeping order and enforcing justice; 3). Christians have many obligations toward magistrates, such as submission; 4). Christians may serve in political offices; and 5). The state’s authority is limited (p. 197). Elaborating on the fifth point, VanDrunen explains that the state does not have the authority to promote what is evil. Of course, this raises important questions: who has the authority to instruct the magistrate about what is evil if not the church? Who has the duty to tell the magistrate if it steps over the line into evil if not the church? In connection with the family, VanDrunen argues that the church, rather than parents, has the authority to minister God’s Word. Why would the same principle not hold when dealing with the magistrate? I raise this question because I have heard two kingdoms advocates say that the German church under the Nazi government, for example, did not have any mandate to condemn that government’s evil actions. Individual Christians could do so, but not the church. I don’t know if such a statement is typical of all two kingdoms advocates, but if it is, it indicates the presence of a deep-seated problem.

Conclusion

Two kingdoms theology as presented by David VanDrunen offers many helpful insights into the issue of the Christian’s relation to culture. It also raises many helpful questions that all believers should consider. VanDrunen’s presentation suffers, however, from a lack of clear biblical support for some of his most important claims and from confusion on some key theological issues. VanDrunen is right in his rejection of theonomy and in his rejection of the misguided practice of confusing Christianity with civil religion (American or otherwise). He is not always demonstrably right in the solutions he offers. I am thankful to VanDrunen for writing this highly challenging and provocative book. It has made me think, and although I cannot always agree with his conclusions, I believe that this is an important discussion among brothers in Christ. I pray that this review article is a constructive contribution in the discussion and that it is received in that way. https://www.ligonier.org/learn/arti...avid-vandrunens-living-gods-two-kingdoms

https://secundumscripturas.com/2013/03/06/a-critique-of-van-drunens-two-kingdoms/


Note: Im trying to be charitable, so when I use the term 2k, I acknowledge the fact that there are many who view the modern adherents as Radical 2kers. I think of them as conceiving a Revised 2k for our present context. I fear they are deferring/defaulting to a secular “neutral” state that is anything but….

Last edited by Anthony C.; Sun Mar 05, 2023 11:39 PM.
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Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life
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Needs to get a Life
Joined: Apr 2001
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That is somewhat helpful of the 2K position that VanDrunen espouses.
As I indicated however, it is not the 2K that people like John Calvin espoused and which Sam Waldron pointed me to research.

VanDrunen's view does however seem to be the view that the Gospel Coalition Canada embraces and who condemn Churches that stayed open during lockdowns. Pilgrim did a good job of critiquing that aspect.

As for 2K vs 1K, in some ways there appears to be extremes on both sides and sometimes when I look at the 2K of Calvin and the 1K of many, is practical working out these things, it seems like semantics.

I have a good Reformed Baptist friend, who says he is definitely 1K. How he explains his view and how it should be worked out. In many ways, reminded me of a sermon by Sam Waldron on Romans 13 and Sam Is definitely 2K. So go figure.


Tom

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