The Two Kingdoms Doctrine

In my second essay I mention that I’m a ‘two-kingdom theology’ guy and said that this position is rejected by theonomists and Christian Reconstructionists.  Rather than give an explanation of two kingdom theology in my essay I referenced two books by David VanDrunen for those interested in further reading.   I’m taking the first part of the 2014 to really dig into two kingdom theology and hope to make periodic posts as the year progresses. In lat fall of 2014 I hope to be able to give a presentation on the Two Kingdoms to my church in preparation for giving the same program at other area churches.

This doctrine is important for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is how those folks who are involved in extreme patriarchial and theonomic churches view the culture.

 So, in a nutshell, what is the two-kingdoms doctrine? Remember, this is very much the Cliff’s Notes version. (In case you don’t know what Cliff’s Notes are, go here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CliffsNotes)

The Reformed tradition, going back to Luther and Calvin, has seen the world divided into the common or civil kingdom and the spiritual or redemptive kingdom. It is essential to understand that God is sovereign over both kingdoms but rules the affairs of each kingdom differently. The common kingdom is essentially everything that does not directly involve the church. Government/politics, vocations, education, basically all of human culture. The redemptive kingdom, as the name implies, is that kingdom which is composed of individuals who have been (or will be) redeemed by the cross-work of Christ.  As a believer, I am a citizen of the common kingdom as I work and play in this culture. As a believer I am also a citizen of the redemptive kingdom, not only when I am gathered with other believers on Sunday morning, but also when I am interacting with those persons who are only members of the common kingdom: In short, social and political life is grounded in God’s work of creation and providence rather than his his work of redemption. I hold dual citizenship – the common kingdom and the redemptive kingdom.

I hope to give some concrete examples of how the two-kingdom doctrine plays out in the everyday life of believers in future postings.

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