The Highway

Two Kingdom Theology

Posted By: Tom

Two Kingdom Theology - Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:02 PM

I am seeking to find out about a subject that to be honest
up until recently I have never heard of, at least by that title.
I searched the Highway looking for it, but found “no results”.
My understanding is that it is something that was held by Martin
Luther.
I did find a critique by a Theonomist by the name of Joe Boot called
‘The Dangers of Two Kingdom Theology’; however, I am reluctant to
read it first before I know more about it from sources I trust.

I would appreciate any help I can get.

Thanks
Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Mon Mar 22, 2021 9:56 PM

Meredith Kline when he was a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, Escondido, CA made this subject popular. It is currently under 'investigation' after many years by the OPC General Assembly via "committee". Many find it without merit and even heretical due to its stand on "merit", i.e., earned favor by God for Israel's/individual's obedience to something required and/or a promise. Those opposed rightly, IMO, believe that anything given by God is based upon His good pleasure and Unmerited favor... NOT by any works of man. There are many other contentious aspects to this "Two Kingdom View" as well which are being looked at. However, as has been the case with the OPC, such matters are rarely resolved but simply allowed to continue without any real disciple brought forth. For example, the OPC in dealing with the biblical narrative of creation, which the overwhelming majority of scholars and everyday believers understood as being historical, i.e., God created all things within the span of 6 24-hour solar days. But some have posited various theories that contradict that belief, e.g., the Framework Theory, Theistic Evolution, etc., etc., ad nauseam. That too went before the OPC General Assembly and after several years, it was decided that ALL such views are consistent with the "Standards"; WCF, WSC, WLC and the Book of Church Order and thus any/all of them can be freely taught and believed. drop In short, I expect that a similar resolution, if one would desire to call it that, will be forthcoming and thus, The "Two Kingdom" view will join the ranks of antithetical views which are nonetheless compatible. igiveup
Posted By: Anthony C.

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:03 PM

Good topic!
I just came across this. Listening as I write this....

https://youtu.be/t0_B7vxLCo8
Posted By: Tom

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:43 PM

I have now listened to sermons, read blogs and articles pro and com on this matter.
What I am finding is it is not as black and white as I previously thought.

For example, Joe Boot who believes in both Theonomy and One Kingdom Theology, also denies the Covenant of Works made with Adam.

There seems to be a disagreement on both sides on who represents their positions properly.

Augustine, Luther, Calvin, 1689 Federalists, Horton and Sproul were/are hold to Two Kingdom Theology. Some however, were so radical about their TKT, that it is hardly recognizable to many proponents of TKT and would reject their TKT outright.
I believe it is important to note, that although Calvin agreed with Luther and TKT, he never the less had a modified view of TKT. Luther actually took his cue from Augustine on TKT.

The same could also be said within the OKT camp.

It also seems that all Theonomists believe in OKT, yet not all those who hold to OKT are Theonomists.

I also found it interesting that Joe Boot, when defending Theonomy seemed to have a different form of Theonomy than people like Bahnsen, yet Joe Boot used people like Bahnsen to defend his position.

I have learned a lot, but found much of it to be quite confusing.

Tom

Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:48 AM

DEFINE YOUR TERMS! That is the first and foremost step in dealing with such things. Neo-Orthodoxy as fabricated by Karl Barth used familiar terminology but redefined those familiar terms without making it known that he had done so. Those who promote Federal Vision, Shepherdism, NPP etc., do the same. Likewise, when trying to learn about Two Kingdom Theology, knowing what the terms mean is essential. What Calvin believed was NOT what Meredith Kline taught and THAT is what has been the contention in the OPC for nearly 3 years. From what I have read personally of Kline's teaching, it is heresy clear and simple but made complex to appear palatable to others.

Sooooooooo, Tom... tread carefully and also do take into consideration the "source(s)" from which you allow yourself to be exposed to. [Linked Image]

Lastly, IF as I expect, the OPC General Assembly even brings this matter to a vote/decision, it follows their typical path and finds that the Klinian "Two Kingdom" view is consistent with the "Standards" of the OPC, even though it is antithetical to what the OPC has historically embraced, it simply means it is heretical. igiveup
Posted By: Tom

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:50 PM

Pilgrim
Actually what I was saying was just some general observations I have noticed. I do not have time to get into details at the moment.
I guess what started this for me, is a friend of mine has started listening to a broadcast at the Ezra Institute, which is a ministry of Joe Boot. Joe Boot holds to both Theonomy and One Kingdom Theology. He is also reading a book by Joe Boot on the subject.
Joe Boot also refers to people like Bahnsen as proof of Theonomy. However, he seems to define Theonomy different than Bahnsen would.
I really have very little knowledge of Kline, or for that matter the OPC.
I have traced TKT mainly to Augustine and Luther later. It also seems that Calvin modified the views of Luther.
I am presently been involved in an e-mail conversation with a man named Brandon Adams from 1689 Federalism, which is a ministry that I have been following for quite some time. We have mainly been dealing with Joe Boot and his form of OKT.
Some time ago, studying the issue of Theonomy (as described by Bahnsen) I was able to see that Theonomy is not compatible with 1689 Federalism. http://www.1689federalism.com/1689-federalism-theonomy/
I believe that our view of the covenants informs our view of God’s kingdom/s, on that I found the following link to be helpful. https://www.sermonaudio.com/search....amp;keyworddesc=Truth+and+Current+Issues
Just to be clear, I know you do not hold to the 1689 LBCF, so you will not agree with some of what is said.
I am not a big Wikipedia fan, however what they said here concerning the views of both Martin Luther and John Calvin’s on Two Kingdom Theology, seem to jive with what I have been finding.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_kingdoms_doctrine

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:51 PM

What you are investigating is the broad subject of God's rule/providence over His creation. However, the Meredith Kline and Mark Karlberg "Two Kingdom Theology" debate within the OPC is much more focused and doubtless has its roots in some form of the broad subject. It would do you much good to read D. Patrick Henry's critique of the Klinian view that I believe will help you better understand where one could easily end up and getting the covenants that God established with man, specifically the Mosaic Covenant totally wrong.

Clicky here: In Defense Of Moses: A Confessional Critique Of Kline And Karlberg
Posted By: Tom

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:42 PM

Thanks Pilgrim
I will look at the link you gave me, when I have no distractions. I take it that this link would add a bit of balance to the link that Anthony gave.

I really enjoy reading John Owen on the Covenants; especially his commentary on Hebrews.
I also bought a book, that I have not started yet called ‘Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ’ by John Owen and Nehemiah Coxe.

https://www.amazon.ca/Covenant-Theology-Christ-Nehemiah-Coxe/dp/0976003937

Tom
Posted By: Anthony C.

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:42 PM

How does a Donald Trump or even Thomas Jefferson fair in a more Transformationalist pursuit?

I’m just thinking you can hold to a type of 2KT and keep the focus where it should be, no? We can agree with Kline on this point in isolation.



“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ....

This is the 2nd president talking. He knew the true religious majority would always be the minority, it just took a bit of time for the masses to become publicly proud of this fact.

The Church needs to be the Church. Not a political or cultural program to clean up the world.

Trying to make the state the church? That sounds exhausting and highly futile.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:01 PM

yep What the founding fathers did hold strongly is the Judeo-Christian moral law as it applied to society knowing that these laws were written upon the heart of all and therefore they are without excuse. They did not want to impose (Theonomic Reconstructionism) religion upon the people nor did they expect that eventually a "Golden Age" would dominate the country. Natural Law come into play that all men would generally agree. Remember, not many of the founding fathers were genuine believers, e.g., Benjamin Franking was a Deist.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:04 PM

Tom, after reading that article think a little about the logical consequences of Kline & co.'s "Two Kingdom Theology" and specifically the "Republication" aspect of it. Logically, you should see how NPP/Federal Vision is more than consistent with that view. evilgrin
Posted By: Tom

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:04 AM

Just a quick question.

Did Kline have the same understanding of TKT of either Luther or the modified view of Calvin? I kind of doubt either of them would hold a view that is more consistent with NPP/Federal Vision.

Hope that makes sense.

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:56 AM

No, Kline had a rather unique view that focused on MERIT from obedience to God's command(s) in the OT. This is the most serious of matters as you can imagine, at least to those who believe that when Adam transgressed the commandment of God to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he did so as the federal head of the entire human race and received the just punishment of God for his transgression. That punishment applied to ALL of mankind that was to come (Rom 5:12-21; 1Cor 15:21,22). From that day forward, the Covenant of Grace was in effect and as the NT makes very clear, salvation from sin and death is ALL of grace and not of works. Everything that comes from God is benevolence and not due to anything man can do since all that man thinks, feels and does flows from a corrupt and sinful nature. That's why the focal point of the contention is on Kline's "Republication" theory of the Covenant of Works, which he believed was carried over in the OT in some manner.
Posted By: Anthony C.

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:38 AM

Klein may have been a deep thinker, but it sounds like he got too clever and novel for his own good. Seems typical of these WTS debates and other reformed seminaries. People try to distinguish themselves and make a name for themselves. Nuanced can be a very dirty word and there’s lot of that going around in university and theological circles, both for better and often for worse probably.

Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:12 PM

Originally Posted by Anthony C.
Seems typical of these WTS debates and other reformed seminaries. People try to distinguish themselves and make a name for themselves.

BigThumbUp Yep, that is more true than you might imagine. Ego is unfortunately dominate in far too many individuals who desire to enter the Christian ministry, which should automatically disqualify them. Always something new and/or unique is encouraged and even required by seminaries. Having studied at three different seminaries personally, I can without hesitation admit that this is sadly true.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Anthony C.

Re: Two Kingdom Theology - Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:57 PM

Tom, I do believe that some Klinean adherents went further than just keeping out of state affairs in a truly transformative sense but actually became proponents of sinful and depraved public policy like same sex marriage. For some, if you give an inch of separation in a certain sphere, they find some carnal liberation and never turn back. I still prefer an ideal of a Calvin or Luther. If you live in a day of religious consciousness that is truly a blessing. I also had high esteem for Augustine and his Godly separation/distinction during his day (City of God vs city of man). When the influence of the Church is grand there are some trappings and when it’s not there are some great blessings in spite of it all. I ultimately find either side of this argument a bit of a trap and the whole debate a bit of a distraction. What one brings to the debate in intent and desire says more about the person, than even the practicality of the position.
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