MK Applied & 2KT

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
Ok, this may open up a can of worms. But that’s not really my intention. I’m listening to a 3-part podcast series titled Meredith Kline Applied - Two Kingdom Theology. Obviously, the man was a deep thinker. I never realized 2KT kinda started with him and he has some interesting positions all around. My pastor is probably going to get an earful, respectfully, as I know he’s an admirer (and was a student) of him. Anyway, just inviting folks to listen and offer any opinions, AFTERwards..... I’m only on part 2 but it seems to cover plenty of ground. It really puts some things in perspective (or into controversy) depending on how you receive him (or at least this presentation of him).




 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I really couldn’t find an argument against Kline’s minority position in Part 1.

Part 2 gets pretty interesting....
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I just made a mental connection: So-called "R2K" is simply common grace applied to politics. That's the weird thing. Almost all Reformed people hold to common grace. Kline's students (some of them, not all) simply draw the political conclusion.

My own position is theologically Klinean, though I reject common grace
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
I really couldn’t find an argument against Kline’s minority position in Part 1.

Part 2 gets pretty interesting....
I haven't listened to the podcast but I'm familiar with Kline's argument against any kind of medical missions. Suffice it to say that you can tell Meredith never spent any time on the mission field. Anyone in a village missions setting with a bottle of tylenol pretty quickly gets drawn into "medical missions". How much more, if the missionary or his wife actually has some medical training? In the same way, one of the ways in which I spent my spare time in Africa was tutoring young men. This is the beginnings of mission schools. To be sure, it is possible for the tail to wag the dog, and for the missionary's attention to be drawn away from the task of preaching the gospel to healing people's bodies and teaching them mathematics. But the solution is not to amputate the dog's tail completely. Hospitals and schools can be a very effective way of ministering to people and opening the door for the presentation of the gospel to those who otherwise might never be open to hearing it. That was certainly the case for the mission hospital and school in Liberia where I served as electrical engineer in the 1980's (alongside the primary Radio station and church, preaching the gospel). In particular the local chaplains were very effective evangelists, and the provision of medical care made it possible to challenge the sole authority of the "country doctor" (medicine man) to provide effective healing. (It also saved more than a few missionary lives as well).
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
Part 2 - I really can’t argue the points being made. Kline appears to be reacting to men like Rushdoony but also keeping the Church on point. I’m a Creationist and Sabbatarian (matters only briefly alluded to) so I would part with him on those issues but would like to hear his reasoning.

But he doesn’t seem to part with Machen on politics.
 
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A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I haven't listened to the podcast but I'm familiar with Kline's argument against any kind of medical missions. Suffice it to say that you can tell Meredith never spent any time on the mission field. Anyone in a village missions setting with a bottle of tylenol pretty quickly gets drawn into "medical missions". How much more, if the missionary or his wife actually has some medical training? In the same way, one of the ways in which I spent my spare time in Africa was tutoring young men. This is the beginnings of mission schools. To be sure, it is possible for the tail to wag the dog, and for the missionary's attention to be drawn away from the task of preaching the gospel to healing people's bodies and teaching them mathematics. But the solution is not to amputate the dog's tail completely. Hospitals and schools can be a very effective way of ministering to people and opening the door for the presentation of the gospel to those who otherwise might never be open to hearing it. That was certainly the case for the mission hospital and school in Liberia where I served as electrical engineer in the 1980's (alongside the primary Radio station and church, preaching the gospel). In particular the local chaplains were very effective evangelists, and the provision of medical care made it possible to challenge the sole authority of the "country doctor" (medicine man) to provide effective healing. (It also saved more than a few missionary lives as well).
I can’t argue with any of that, but if you listen to the podcast, it appears Kline was guarding against a half-hearted approach to such endeavors and seeking biblical warrant/ license. But I will have to listen to it more closely. Hope you will too as maybe there’s been some misrepresentations to exactly how he was approaching it. I don’t believe the OPC gets involved with opening schools, unless the mission field is different.
 
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A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
I just made a mental connection: So-called "R2K" is simply common grace applied to politics. That's the weird thing. Almost all Reformed people hold to common grace. Kline's students (some of them, not all) simply draw the political conclusion.

My own position is theologically Klinean, though I reject common grace
Hmmm.... I don’t follow. What do you reject about common grace? Doesn’t that simply mean God is maintaining everything. He’s not letting everything completely go south..... at least for the sake of the Gospel? Kline’s point is the Church needs to be the Church. Not a political or cultural program to clean up the world. Not even an excuse to judge the world. But a House of Mercy and Worship to those who are weary and heavy laden.... This is why we invite others in to share in our experience of mercy and worship for Jesus’ sake. The laws are for us and they are our delight because Jesus has not left us over to ourselves. On these points I agree with Kline.

Trying to make the state the church? That sounds exhausting and highly futile.
 
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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Hmmm.... I don’t follow. What do you reject about common grace? Doesn’t that simply mean God is maintaining everything. He’s not letting everything completely go south..... at least for the sake of the Gospel? Kline’s point is the Church needs to be the Church. Not a political or cultural program to clean up the world. Not even an excuse to judge the world. But a House of Mercy and Worship to those who are weary and heavy laden.... This is why we invite others in to share in our experience of mercy and worship for Jesus sake. The laws are for us and they are our delight because Jesus has not left us over to ourselves. On these points I agree with Kline.

Trying to make the state the church? That sounds exhausting and highly futile.

If all someone means by common grace is that the world isn't as bad as it could be, I have no issue with it. Calling it "grace" was a terrible move by Kuyper's part. But if someone tries to make a theory about it, or even worse apply it to society, then it is open to huge problems.

And yeah, all of your points about Kline I fully agree with.
 
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