One vs Two Kingdom Theology?

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thistle93

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi! In basic terms can someone please explain to me what is One Kingdom Theology vs. Two Kingdom theology? Which one do you subscribe to? Does it have anything to do with what Paul says in Phil 3:20 "our citizenship is in heaven"? Would one espouse that there is a danger of a Christian being overly nationalistic? Such as those who think a church needs to have an American flag in front of sanctuary. Any books/articles on subject you recommend? Thank you!


For His Glory-
Matthew
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
It depends on how the term Kingdom is being used. Some use it to refer to realms or spheres where as others mean something different. Some use the term to refer to things Eternal vs. Temporal. The things temporal are not a part of the Mediatorial Kingdom of Christ in their estimation and can't be used in a redemptive way. I disagree. So terminology has to be understood in a way as to how it is being used. For instance there might be different Kingdoms under an Emperors Rule. Rome and other countries (or kingdoms) they conquered are examples. But that can kind of confuse the offices of Civil and Church when a monarchy is the Head or authority of both. Civil and Church exist side by side under the authority of one King thus making them more like offices (spheres, realms) under the authority of a King. Anyways, I will link you to two things that might help. One does use two Kingdoms when discussing this but it is used in the context of realms under one King as in offices. Two Kingdom language is not uncommon in the Church but it can be kind of confusing on how it is used.

There is also the other instance of how the word Kingdom is used when it is referring to the Kingdom of Heaven vs. the Kingdoms of this world. As it says the kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of our God. And He shall reign. Governments are complicated things. You have monarchies, Democratic Republics, etc... But the Church is to live along side the Government like a right and left hand. They have responsibilities that might be similar but the boundaries on how those operate are set and ordered by God.

The below articles specifically discuss the Mediatorial Kingdom of Christ. The vimeo is a very good listen.

Just an additional thought.... one of the problems today is not necessarily the Two Kingdom's language as much as the fact that some would like to remove the civil realm from having responsibility before God as King based upon a teaching on Natural Law, whereas God Commands every man everywhere to Repent of Idolatry. That would include the Civil realm also if it includes every man in my understanding.




http://www.allianceradio.org/EternityArticles/KingandKingdom.pdf
A King and His Kingdom - Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Inc

Christ the King of All - Blogs - The PuritanBoard

[video]http://www.puritanboard.com/blogs/puritancovenanter/dr-roy-blackwood-discussing-kingdom-god-vimeo-video-755/[/video]
 
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Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
"One-kingdom" is a misnomer. But to see the difference if what you are talking about, read Al Wolters' Creation Regained and then David Van Drunen's Living in God's Two Kingdoms.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
It's probably best to find some very reliable authors who are for and against it and read up on it cuz it's a smoke'n topic here. :flamingscot: :)
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Presbyterians have always held that Christ is King in His Church, the Israel of God, in a different sense and way to what He is as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But this is a far cry from modern Radical Two Kingdoms notions.

With theonomy you have an under-realised eschatalogical ethic re the state in that we are taken back to Moses with very little adjustment for the New Testament situation. There's no adjustment made for typological considerations and for the fact that the Mosaic death penalty was at the same time the ultimate form of excommunication that taught the Israelites about God's wrath typologically, and was related to the altar.

With R2K you have an over-realised eschatalogical ethic re the state in that, according to some constructions of R2K, the state and its sinful civil ministers are supposed to get on very well without help from God's special revelation.

I know that seeking for "balance" or a via media in theological and ethical matters, doesn't necessarily lead to the right answers, but in this case it would seem that it might be an important piece of advice, and leads to thinking on these things that accords better with the historical Reformed faith.
 
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mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
Here is a good interview from the guys at Ordinary Means.

Ordinary Means: Jack Kinneer on Two Kingdoms

I in Jack's camp, not the Two Kingdoms camp. :worms:

This is excellent.

Prof. Kineer identifies the same root of the problem that Brad Littlejohn insightfully identified in his review of Van Drunen's "Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms" i.e., that all theological errors trace back to Christological heresy or error on the questions of who is Christ? does he rule by His Law as over all men?

As Kineer said, the problem today is not the secularists, but Christians who have accomodated to the secularists' premises on the shape and extent of Christ's rule.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
http://www.viewcrestchurch.org/ompodcast/om1002.mp3

Defining two kingdoms.

Here are the very brief Stereo Typical ways of understanding these issues according to the Host of the show.

Non Two Kingdom View
Tranformationalist
and or
Theonomic view....If we can just make the culture Christian everything will Change and Christ's Kingdom will come.

Two Kingdom view
Culture Transformation is not the job of the Church
The Church receives the Kingdom.
It doesn't create one.
Our job of the Church is to take the sacraments, hear the word preached, be fathers and mothers and plumbers and let's just go on with our life and if Jesus wants to do something through it and for us He can.

Those are the two extremes...

Dr. Jack Kinneer of Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary
replies,
What you have is the American A view and the American B view.
What you don't have is the Historical C.

Amen Dr. Kinneer! That is what I have been trying to tell some of the guys who are writing now days.

Both fall short of the Historical doctrine.
And I would declare that most of the Church and even our Modern Day Professors have no idea what the Historic view is by what I am hearing coming out of the mouths of today's Professors. I can also assess this by the discussions I have been having with younger theologians who have been taught by these guys. One of them recently wrote a blog post for Reformation 21 on the Two Kingdoms. We spent a few hours discussing things and he is closer to understanding some things than I perceive some of his predecessors are. These authors and Professors are arguing against a view that is easily knocked down by their arguments. When they finally start to deal with the Historical view that Dr. Kinneer is declaring then their arguments will start to hit a brick wall.

Thanks Josh for bringing this to our attention!!!!!!
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I know I keep pushing this but in order to see and understand the differences we must come to recognize some things that are pronounced in this doctrine of the Kingdom of Christ. The below links will help learn these things. There are some mild issues I wish to address and they have to do with Christ as being Mediatorial King over all things. His Mediatorial Kingship doesn't mean that he has redeemed every man from sin. But He is Mediator over all things and has all authority because of His person and work. The Scriptures say this is true because He did what he did and that God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name and that every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. This is all based upon His Person and Work. Not just His Person even though that is true also.

Listen to Dr. Blackwood address this in the links below.
Dr. Roy Blackwood discussing the Kingdom of God / Vimeo video. - Blogs - The PuritanBoard

A King and His Kingdom - Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Inc

Anyways please read the link and listen to the discussion by Dr. Blackwood.
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
Mark:

Sorry about the confusing abbreviation. Yes, MS is "manuscript" and MSS, "manuscripts." I reviewed, in other words, a pre-publication copy at the request of the editor (Ryan McIlhenny). This was not a review, Steve, for publication but for the publisher to use.

I think that this book, along with others to be published in coming years, like Nels Kloosterman's reviews and Matt Tuininga's work, will be an important part of the conversation kicked off by the work of Darryl Hart, David VanDrunen and others.

Peace,
Alan
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior
It's probably best to find some very reliable authors who are for and against it and read up on it cuz it's a smoke'n topic here. :flamingscot: :)

Sarah, I would agree. Thus I cannot recommend more strongly that folks listen to lectures #7, 8, and 9 given by PCA minister Dr. Brian Mattson where he clearly lays out how the modern R2k movement bears more resemblance to Plato than to Calvin:

Brian Mattson - On Earth as it is In Heaven
 

jd.morrison

Puritan Board Sophomore
Could someone list some resources that would help give us a better understanding of the "Historic C" position of the Church?
 

mvdm

Puritan Board Junior

And just to avoid confusion, the "two kingdoms" discussed by Sproul are the Augustinian variety : the antithetical spiritual kingdoms of light and darkness, of which a Christian is a citizen of only one. These are not the "two kingdoms" of the Van Drunen and Horton agenda where a Christian is a citizen of both their "two kingdoms", i.e, the redemptive kingdom {essentially equivalent to the visible church} and the common/civil kingdom {everything else}. So be aware that even though similar terms can be employed, they are not describing the same realities.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Could someone list some resources that would help give us a better understanding of the "Historic C" position of the Church?

George Gillespie's 111 Propositions. It clearly identifies what are the two kingdoms and how they ought to be distinguished and connected for mutual benefit.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
armourbearer said:
George Gillespie's 111 Propositions. It clearly identifies what are the two kingdoms and how they ought to be distinguished and connected for mutual benefit.
I remember going through some of those some time ago; I was a bit confused about his mention of certain obligations falling on Christian magistrates in distinction from non-Christian magistrates. For anyone who agrees with such things as Gillespie promoted in his Propositions: Especially according to Gillespie (since he was brought up; I've noticed similar language in other Reformed confessions), does the obligation for magistrates to enforce God's law and/or (I'm not sure whether "and" or "or" fits here) protect the Christian religion fall on the non-Christian magistrate (regardless of whether the non-Christian magistrate has had access to special revelation); on the Christian magistrate only; or does it fall on the Christian magistrate only and only insofar that the non-Christian magistrate should become a Christian, the obligation falls on the Christian magistrate?

Apologies if I have mixed up something basic here.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
For anyone who agrees with such things as Gillespie promoted in his Propositions: Especially according to Gillespie (since he was brought up; I've noticed similar language in other Reformed confessions), does the obligation for magistrates to enforce God's law and/or (I'm not sure whether "and" or "or" fits here) protect the Christian religion fall on the non-Christian magistrate (regardless of whether the non-Christian magistrate has had access to special revelation); on the Christian magistrate only; or does it fall on the Christian magistrate only and only insofar that the non-Christian magistrate should become a Christian, the obligation falls on the Christian magistrate?

We must distinguish between the natural and the supernatural. The moral law doth for ever bind all, regenerate and unregenerate. It is the rule governing nature, man, society, and authority. It is inescapable. It is inevitable. As one deals with the law the law will deal with him, prince and people. Christianity, however, is a supernatural revelation. As such, it lays super-added obligations on those who profess it. A magistrate as a magistrate is bound to protect the rights of all its citizens, and so there is a duty to protect the church in common with all other social institutions. A magistrate also has the duty, in common with all other people, to acknowledge Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. When he is converted to the Christian faith, he then has the super-added obligation to govern as a Christian, including all the duties iterated in WCF 23.3 concerning the church, but still in accord with the form and order ("the wholesome laws," WCF 23.2) of the commonwealth he governs.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Thank you! I think that does help quite a bit! To make sure I understand, the magistrate as a magistrate is obligated to enforce natural law (that is, moral law), but establishments, along with the clarity that the Scriptures bring to a magisrate's duty (e.g., what is the false worship that must be suppresed), are a super-added obligation added to Christian magistrates. Since the magistrate as a magistrate is obligated to recognize Christ as King, he is only obligated to govern as a Christian insofar that he is obligated to recognize Christ as King, but the actual duty for establishments and so forth do not fall on him until he converts, since such duties come from supernatural revelation.
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Thank you! I think that does help quite a bit! To make sure I understand, the magistrate as a magistrate is obligated to enforce natural law (that is, moral law), but establishments, along with the clarity that the Scriptures bring to a magisrate's duty (e.g., what is the false worship that must be suppresed), are a super-added obligation added to Christian magistrates. Since the magistrate as a magistrate is obligated to recognize Christ as King, he is only obligated to govern as a Christian insofar that he is obligated to recognize Christ as King, but the actual duty for establishments and so forth do not fall on him until he converts, since such duties come from supernatural revelation.

I'm sure Gillespie would have insisted on stricter wording, but I think what you have said conveys the sense of his teaching.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
armourbearer said:
I'm sure Gillespie would have insisted on stricter wording, but I think what you have said conveys the sense of his teaching.
Thank you for your help! I'll have to re-read Gillespie sometime so that I can hopefully pick up the stricter wording too!
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
http://www.viewcrestchurch.org/ompodcast/om1002.mp3

Defining two kingdoms.

Here are the very brief Stereo Typical ways of understanding these issues according to the Host of the show.

Non Two Kingdom View
Tranformationalist
and or
Theonomic view....If we can just make the culture Christian everything will Change and Christ's Kingdom will come.

Two Kingdom view
Culture Transformation is not the job of the Church
The Church receives the Kingdom.
It doesn't create one.
Our job of the Church is to take the sacraments, hear the word preached, be fathers and mothers and plumbers and let's just go on with our life and if Jesus wants to do something through it and for us He can.

Those are the two extremes...

Dr. Jack Kinneer of Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary
replies,
What you have is the American A view and the American B view.
What you don't have is the Historical C.

Amen Dr. Kinneer! That is what I have been trying to tell some of the guys who are writing now days.

Both fall short of the Historical doctrine.
And I would declare that most of the Church and even our Modern Day Professors have no idea what the Historic view is by what I am hearing coming out of the mouths of today's Professors. I can also assess this by the discussions I have been having with younger theologians who have been taught by these guys. One of them recently wrote a blog post for Reformation 21 on the Two Kingdoms. We spent a few hours discussing things and he is closer to understanding some things than I perceive some of his predecessors are. These authors and Professors are arguing against a view that is easily knocked down by their arguments. When they finally start to deal with the Historical view that Dr. Kinneer is declaring then their arguments will start to hit a brick wall.

Thanks Josh for bringing this to our attention!!!!!!
To piggyback on this point, there are various degrees within each view, and bad extremes can be extracted from either side if not handled judiciously (An extremist view in Two-Kingdom theology would be "leave your faith completely at home", while extremism in One Kingdom theology would be a theocracy a la Rome or even comparable to Islam). But good Christians have come down on different and more moderate sides of this issue with different reasonings, both appealing to Scripture.

Myself, I lean more toward Two Kingdom Theology, but not the extremist "leave your faith completely at home" sort.
 
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