Monday, September 13, 2010

A Two Kingdoms Primer - Kim Riddlebarger 

Over the next few days I'm going to do a few posts on Two Kingdom Theology - topic that I'm trying to understand.  There's a reason why I'm doing this short series and that explanation will come later in the week.

Last week Dr. Kim Riddlebarger had a helpful post on Two-Kingdom Theology.  Here's a snippet:

Here's a brief primer on the basics of the Reformed doctrine of the two kingdoms.

As you consider the distinctions between these two kingdoms, please keep in mind the following presuppositions upon which the distinctions are based:

1). Christ is Lord of both kingdoms. He rules the kingdom of Christ (regnum gratiae) as the mediator of the covenant of grace, and he rules the civil kingdom (regnum potentiae) as sovereign Lord.

2). Every Christian is simultaneously a citizen of both kingdoms (Philippians 3:20; Romans 13:1-7).

3). The state is a post-fall, common grace institution given by God for the administration of justice and to restrain evil (Genesis 4:18 ff; Romans 13:1-7).

4). Non-Christians do not accept or acknowledge Christ's Lordship over the civil kingdom. This is the basis for the antithesis between Christian and non-Christian ways of thinking and doing. The failure to acknowledge Christ's Lordship renders one guilty before God (Romans 1:18-25), but does not invalidate the civil kingdom or the non-Christian's place in it.

5). While Paul calls Rome a minister of God (Romans 13:4), a generation later John describes that same empire as the beast, empowered by the dragon to persecute the people of God (Revelation 13). The Christian's confession that "Jesus is Lord," is likewise a confession that Caesar isn't. Christians must be cognizant that the kingdom of Christ can be seen as a threat to the power of the state. In fact, throughout Scripture, the state is the dragon's weapon of last resort against Christ and his kingdom.

6). From the time Adam was cast from Eden, God has intended the kingdom of Christ (the church) to dwell and advance in the midst of the civil kingdom (the world). This is the foundation for the missionary endeavors of the church, as well as a hedge against either utopianism (an over-realized eschatology) or escapism (i.e., monasticism).
Read the rest here: Riddleblog - The Latest Post - A Two Kingdoms Primer

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