As of today, I will be taking off for a couple weeks for some long-awaited time with friends and family in London, Wales, Yorkshire, and sundry places, and blogging should be quite limited during this period—though I do hope to finally put up a review of John Perry’s excellent book Pretenses of Loyalty (thanks to Davey Henreckson at Reforming Virtue for putting me onto it).
Meanwhile, though, there are a number of exciting things to which I can direct your attention. First (and perhaps not quite so exciting), I have made long-overdue updates to the other pages here at the S&P—About Me, What is the S&P?, Projects, and Writings. The most significant changes: I have tried to bring the “What is the S&P?” description more into line with what I actually write about here these days, and I have mercilessly purged excess projects from the Projects page, reflecting my real-life purge as I try to focus more of my attentions and energies on my thesis and related work.
Second, and rather more exciting, the Two Kingdoms debates go on. Oh yes—and on, and on, and on, no doubt. Matt Tuininga, not content with one rebuttal to my original post, posted five (here, here, here, here, and here), with which I interacted in a few comments, though whether any clarification was thereby achieved, I leave it to you to judge. This impending trip has not left me leisure for a full-blown response, chock full of big bloc quotes and footnotes, but fortunately, Peter and Steven at The Calvinist International have happily stepped in to provide such a response, which will be forthcoming any day now—I recommend you check in on TCI every ten minutes or so this weekend. 😉
As if Tuininga’s responses were not enough, Darryl Hart has now kindly jumped into the fray with a post at Old Life, “Speaking of Ecclesiastical Authority.” Although Hart displays again his odd obsession with trying to somehow link everything he disagrees with to Moscow, ID, I am grateful to him for highlighting in his post what I think is the key issue in this whole two-kingdoms debate—namely, the Protestant doctrine of Christian liberty and its occlusion by ecclesiastical legalism. Hart insists that the modern R2K view is “an effort to recover Christian liberty from the pious intentions and historical circumstances of some in the Reformed world eager to assert the Lordship of Christ without sufficient qualification.” The problem, of course, from my perspective, is that the modern R2K view achieves this liberty in its civil kingdom at the cost of banishing it from the Church, ruled as it is with a strictly enforced biblical absolutism. Hart asks, “how the church as a temporal authority, ruled by an earthly monarch, is going to be any less tyrannical, even if its reach only goes to externals,” which is, one might say, just the question my thesis aims to address. I hope, therefore, to have the opportunity for a full engagement with this line of challenge after my traveling hiatus is finished; we shall see.