Two Kingdoms Extravaganza

If you’re tired of reading about two kingdoms stuff on this blog, I have good news from you—I won’t be posting any here for a spell.  But if you’re not, I also have good news for you—I’ve got a bundle of great links to share.  

First, Darryl Hart has recently changed his tune noticeably, by suggesting that instead of being a neat, clean-cut dualism, his Reformed two-kingdoms doctrine is in fact a messy, complicated paradox, and so we shouldn’t ask for perfect consistency in his and VanDrunen’s exposition of it.  But that, he says, is a good thing.

Peter Escalante has responded on The Calvinist International with a hard-hitting deconstruction, which at the same time offers the fullest exposition yet of his and Wedgeworth’s vision for a modern Christian liberal politics, and how one might get from Reformational two-kingdoms teaching to that point.

Meanwhile, Matt Tuininga, a Ph.D student at Emory, recently wrote a little article which, although arguing that modern R2K advocates may have the contemporary application wrong, essentially retells their same narrative of the historical form of Reformed two-kingdoms doctrine—viz., that it was about the liberty of the Church over against the State all along.

The Calvinist International kindly hosted my substantial critique of Tuininga’s piece, which has already elicited a response from Tuininga, pledging a forthcoming refutation (at least as far as Calvin is concerned), but graciously seeking constructive dialogue and debate.  I am hopeful that the coming discussion will finally provide some helpful historical and theological illumination to a debate that has generated more heat than light on Reformed blogdom over the past couple years.  So stay tuned to The Calvinist International for follow-up.

2 thoughts on “Two Kingdoms Extravaganza

  1. Brad,I will have a response for you by Wednesday at the latest. I wonder if you and your friends over at the Calvinist International would be willing to allow me to post it as a response on the Calvinist International. Given the "substantial" nature of your critique, I think that would be a fair way to keep the conversation going, while making sure that all hear both sides of the story.Rest assured, I will write it with the same spirit of constructive dialogue I have proposed thus far.Matt


  2. Brad Littlejohn

    Matt,Whoa, you don't waste time, do you! In my experience, one of the best ways to keep these things constructive rather than competitive, is to resist the internet's temptation to immediacy, and take some time to respond (as you may notice I did with your article, which was pointed out to me at least three weeks ago). But that's just me—suit yourself, just don't feel any pressure from my end for an immediate response. As far as putting it on TCI, I'll ask Peter and Steven; I'm just a guest contributor. I have a feeling that, as the site is quite new and they're still working on establishing its basic ethos and format, they might not want the complication of hosting direct rejoinders at this point. And in any case, I'm sure they'd want to see the article before they decided. But I'll check. In any case, we'll make sure your response is highlighted at TCI, so our readers can see both sides.


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