RenewalCast: Exploring the Two Kingdom View with Dr. David VanDrunen
Welcome to Renewal Cast! In today's episode, we have a special guest with us, Dr. David VanDrunen, the Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary, California. We will be diving into the topic of the two kingdom view and exploring its implications for Christianity and culture.
Understanding the Two Kingdoms
When we talk about the two kingdoms, we are not referring to the same concept as Augustine's two cities. While Augustine's two cities paradigm focuses on two eschatological destinies and distinct peoples, the reformed two kingdoms view looks at how God carries out His rule in the world. It recognizes that God rules all things but in different ways. There is the common rule, where God sustains and upholds the world and its institutions, and the redemptive rule, where God calls a people for Himself and redeems them through Christ's work.
The Role of the Church
The two kingdoms view provides clarity on the mission of the church. It helps us understand that the church is primarily called to be a preaching and shepherding body, focused on calling the lost and nourishing them in Christ. While Christians are called to be involved in various areas of life, the church itself is not meant to be an all-purpose organization that transforms every aspect of culture. Pastors should focus on ministering the Word of God and shepherding God's people, rather than trying to be experts on every issue in society.
Engaging with Culture
The two kingdoms view also helps pastors and churches navigate their engagement with culture. While pastors have a responsibility to teach and guide their congregations, they should be cautious when it comes to making judgments about politics or specific strategies. Pastors can provide biblical insights and help their congregations think critically about various issues, but they should avoid imposing their personal views or strategies on others. It is important to remember that pastors are called to minister the Word of God, not to be experts in every field.
Advantages of the Two Kingdom View
One of the advantages of the two kingdoms view is that it promotes a healthy balance between triumphalism and withdrawal. It allows Christians to have a positive view of the institutions of this world while recognizing that they are temporary and provisional. Christians can be involved in the world while maintaining a measured distance and remembering their ultimate allegiance to Christ and His church.
Another advantage is that the two kingdoms view provides theological clarity and freedom. It frees Christians from the pressure to transform every aspect of culture according to Christ's kingdom. Instead, it encourages them to pursue excellence in all that they do and to serve God by serving their neighbors. Christians can find fulfillment and purpose in their ordinary tasks, knowing that they are instruments of God in taking care of His creation.
Conclusion and Future Outlook
The two kingdoms view offers a valuable perspective on Christianity and culture. It helps us understand the distinct roles of the church and individual Christians in the world. It encourages Christians to pursue excellence and serve their neighbors while maintaining a balanced perspective on the institutions of this world. As we continue to navigate the complexities of culture, the two kingdoms view can provide guidance and clarity, allowing us to faithfully live out our calling as followers of Christ.
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