"Old Reformed" views and "Escondido 2K" views of politics

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by darrellmaurina, Aug 9, 2012.

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  1. KevinInReno

    KevinInReno Puritan Board Freshman

    Realize this, you - not Darrell are stating that I am misrepresenting his point there. I have honestly read the above paragraph I cited, as linking poor theological R2K thought to the Escondido R2K argument. Escondido R2K along with any seminary does not have an obligation to respond to the arguments made by those who use their view for sinful license. Antinomianism claims is a charge I hear upon Luther and Calvin all the time when I speak to Roman Catholics or Arminians. Are Luther and Calvin's work failures because of this pathetic charge? I remember the separation from the church of my youth (The Roman Catholic Church). I can not tell you how many people for example stated to me in counter argument, "Well I guess you can go have a ton of orgies, drink it up etc, because you are leaving Roman Catholicism. My point is why does Escondido have to defend the worst plausible argument. Why not just their own?

    I am fully capable of misrepresenting the statement I honed in on. I am not saying I'm above misunderstanding. However Darrell has provided me no further clarity. You have represented his statement for him. You essentially are asking me to admit to a misunderstanding I'm fully capable of making - however I don't feel I have full clarity from the original poster of the comment on whether or not he intended to infer the above. I come to this board honestly with far more trepidation than I appear. The vast, and I can't stress vast enough majority of people on here have far better understanding of both scripture and doctrine than myself. I'm not again above reproach on my views or argument. I just have not received clarity from the original person I intended the question be directed at.

    Also I classify DVD and Horton as R2Kers he's referring too because he mentions Escondido. While they are not the only two there... Obviously Horton is as well known as any reformed theologian of this day... and obviously DVD has written several books on the matter. But yes we could add others like Fesko, etc. But I figured the two who comment most on the matter within the public realm at Escondido were worth mentioning as I was seeking where published or even auditory works such as the white horse inn might have gone down this road. I do agree the link to Horton above was worthwhile. I don't agree however that Horton is defending the extreme views presented here.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  2. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I am telling you by the written words above that you have conflated and distorted what Darrell said. This is not hard Kevin. Words mean things. Darrell does not need to be any clearer.
  3. mvdm

    mvdm Puritan Board Junior


    Perhaps you could explain how Misty Iron's position {hetero marriage promoted in church, gay marriage in civil realm} and that of Horton {hetero marriage promoted in church, gay civil union in civil realm} is not of the same moral substance.

    Also, you might want to contemplate the propositions listed in post #6 above, paying particular attention to Propositions #17, 18, 19, 20, 22, and 25. They have direct application to the issues being discussed here.
  4. Shawn Mathis

    Shawn Mathis Puritan Board Sophomore

    Darrell and those interested in studying this important issue,

    Not only is there the work of Matthew Tuininga, there are others who use original sources to argue differently, such as the Calvinist International blog (which hosts some of Mr. Littlejohn's articles) and, of course, the in-depth work by Kloosterman.

    Lastly, for those wanting more in-depth treatment of the historic Reformed use of natural law, chew on Grabill's Rediscovering Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics

    Anyone have any other useful sources, please post them.
  5. darrellmaurina

    darrellmaurina Puritan Board Freshman

    Greetings, gentlemen.

    While I do believe I've clearly distinguished in this post between R2K and Es2K, I don't want to blame Kevin too much. I believe it is important to deal with Reformed brothers in judgment of charity, and he may have in mind other things I've written, not what I wrote here in this post.

    If one went far enough back in things I've written on this whole "Two Kingdoms" debate, I probably have criticized the whole "Two Kingdoms" movement without distinguishing between what I'm now calling, for lack of better terms, "Radical Two Kingdoms" and "Escondido Two Kingdoms" theology. If Kevin had some of my earlier comments in mind, I think it's fair to ask me both how and why I have changed my views.

    On a closely related point, some on this board have asked about the relationship between the old Southern Presbyterian view of the "spirituality of the church" and modern "Two Kingdoms" theology. That's an excellent question, and it was answered for me a few years ago by Dr. R. Scott Clark over on his now-deceased Heidelblog when he said he wasn't very familiar with the old Southern Presbyterian theologians. The two types of theology may have formal similarities, but they do not spring from the same root. While I believe that Francis Schaeffer and D. James Kennedy were quite correct in seeking to bury the old "Spirituality of the Church" viewpoint, I recognize that theology has a long history in the American Reformed world and certainly do not consider it to be heresy. Insofar as some Two Kingdoms advocates are supporters of the "Spirituality of the Church" position, I can respect their views and would argue against them as brothers, not as enemies, and I would furthermore call on them to stop using "Two Kingdoms" language and instead ground their viewpoints in the view of Dabney and Thornwell. That's a much better base on which to build their theology, and while we will still disagree, we will disagree as brothers who acknowledge the other side's long and legitimate history.

    I don't want to sound like a liberal elevating experience above propositional truth, but perhaps a brief recounting of my experience with this "Two Kingdoms" theology will be helpful, partly to Kevin in explaining why I don't hold the view he's incorrectly attributing to me, but more broadly, in explaining why I believe Reformed people need to be concerned about at least some aspects of this new "Two Kingdoms" theology.

    I first became aware of the Two Kingdoms theology under that specific name through 1) the comments of certain radical bloggers who claim to be Reformed but are advocating what can only be described as extreme views, 2) the internet writings of two different Two Kingdoms theologians, Dr. R. Scott Clark and Dr. Daryl Hart, and 3) the criticisms of these people by Dr. Nelson Kloosterman. However, my first acquaintance with the theology actually dates back considerably farther. Way back in the 1990s when Dr. Michael Horton was still in the Christian Reformed Church and was considered to be a "big catch" by CRC leaders, some of whom were quite willing to tolerate his conservative theology based on his solid track record of church growth and successful book writing, he gave a speech in Michigan in which as a side point he criticized political activism and said some negative things about Dr. D. James Kennedy. A number of Dutch Reformed conservatives in the room were unhappy -- one of them had been a key fighter against the ratification of the ERA in Iowa, which was a critical battleground state in the efforts to keep feminist radicals from rewriting our Constitution, and many others were active in or strongly supportive of the pro-life movement. Most, however, were simply confused by Dr. Horton's comments and wrote them off as being someone who didn't yet understand the Dutch Reformed world. A few years later when some people who were active in the Christian Heritage Party of Canada started posting things on the CO-URC discussion list, a fairly prominent URC pastor in California leveled some strong attacks, claiming it was an inappropriate topic.

    I add these anecdotes to make clear that the "Two Kingdoms" movement has been around for quite a while -- probably at least two decades -- and has been centered for most if not all of that time at Westminster Theological Seminary in California. I think it is patently obvious that the movement is a reaction against theonomy and the influence of theonomists in the Reformed church world in Southern California. As long as the "Two Kingdoms" movement focused on arguing against theonomy, I stayed quiet; that's not my battle and I don't choose to involve myself in fights on theonomy since I think the movement has pretty much self-destructed on its own. (If you're a theonomist, don't jump on me -- that's a side tangent to my main point and I just said I don't want to discuss the issue. Not only are its followers numerically insignificant, I believe they have no relevance to modern practical politics and only give fodder to enemies of the gospel to needlessly attack conservative Christians, forcing non-theonomists to distance ourselves from them.)

    When "Two Kingdoms" theology popped up on my radar screen a few years ago, my initial reaction was to regard the movement as a minor annoyance that has essentially no relevance outside a very small group of people who are irrelevant in American politics and are almost irrelevant in the evangelical church world or even the Reformed church world. Reformed theologians are very good at spending lots of time arguing about minor movements that pose little danger to anyone, and while I am fully supportive of the calling of professors to fight error wherever it may be found, I have other things to do with my time. Where I'm sitting in the middle of the Missouri Ozarks outside Fort Leonard Wood, a major Army installation, "Two Kingdoms" theology never comes up -- never, ever, not even once -- and it's pretty much assumed around here that if you're a conservative Bible-believing Christian you're going to be involved in fighting anti-biblical wickedness in the world. I'd rather leave abstract theological fights to the theologians who have time to deal with them, and immediate access to large theological libraries full of resources. That's what we pay our professors to do, and in general, they do a good job of it in the conservative Reformed world.

    However, several people in the conservative Reformed world -- some of them active on this message board -- repeatedly urged me to give the movement a second look. Some of them are quite aware of my background as the son of a Republican politician; others noted, quite correctly, that unlike most laymen involved in politics I am formally trained in academic theology. A turning point for me (in fairness, one of several) was when on a well-known conservative message board, a politically active Calvinist commenting on a photograph of Barack Obama receiving laying on of hands by a number of black ministers responded by saying that the problem with the photo was that the ministers were "confusing the kingdoms."

    That is absolutely wrong. We are supposed to be praying for our political leaders, and if they're doing God's will according to God's Word, it is entirely appropriate for ministers to publicly pray for political leaders in a supportive way. There is no difference in principle between that group of black ministers publicly praying for Barack Obama and laying hands on him and a group of Assemblies of God ministers doing the same thing for John Ashcroft. The difference is that at least one of those men is not acting in accord with the Word of God; while both Obama and Ashcroft could be wrong, they cannot both be right on key issues such as abortion and homosexuality.

    That comment and others like it showed me that the Two Kingdoms stuff is no longer limited to a small and irrelevant group of professors in Southern California. It's moving out into the broader political world, and from what I've seen in the last few years, it is already having serious consequences. Christians who need to be fighting wickedness are being discouraged and even told it is wrong to be involved in political battles. I've even heard of one situation where a Christian attorney was threatened with church discipline for his advocacy of Christian religious freedom issues and left his church as a result.

    In reading the comments of Two Kingdoms advocates on the internet, it has become clear to me that the leading lights of the movement, mostly professors at Westminster-West, have carefully thought through their positions. They understand the issues at stake and have considered alternative viewpoints. Some of them can get quite argumentative at times, but if I believed what they believe, I supposed I would act the same way. Since many of these men -- Horton, Clark, and (until recently) Stellman are obvious examples -- have been key fighters on the correct side of the Federal Vision fight, I want to treat these men as sincere brothers in the Lord who agree on the fundamentals of the Reformed faith but have bought into a wrong view of political engagement.

    On the other hand, there are radicals -- men I'd rather not identify by name -- who appear to have made a Two Kingdoms crusade the main theme of their internet activities.

    A number of these people are ex-fundamentalists who seem to have rejected political involvement as a distraction from the gospel, and they may in some cases have a legitimate point about their former churches elevating politics above personal faith and discipleship. I know Southern fundamentalism well enough to know that sectarianism and legalism are not absent from that movement. While I wish these men had become Reformed through the influence of Francis Schaeffer and similar thinkers, coming to embrace something closer to the historic Reformed view of political engagement, I do believe many if not all of these men share the common zeal of a new convert in loudly and vociferously attacking their former convictions and colleagues.

    It is is not fair to blame the leaders for every wild-eyed thing said by their followers. That's why I'm drawing a distinction between "Es2K" and "R2K."

    However, when people like that veer into theological justifications of homosexual marriage in the civil ream -- something on which the Law of God is crystal clear in both the Old and New Testaments, and which Scripture regards as a particularly evil sin visited upon nations as punishment for having rejected God -- it is legitimate for us to ask whether the problem is that the students have misunderstood their teachers or whether the problem is that the teachers are not being consistent in working out their beliefs and the students are drawing the lessons to their logical conclusions.

    Over on his blog, Matt Tuininga has acknowledged that the "Two Kingdoms" theologians have a PR problem. I agree.

    I believe it is time, and probably well past time, for the conservative Reformed world to insist that the major public advocates of "Two Kingdoms" theology distance themselves from the radicals. The radicals are doing their teachers no favors.

    Here are several ways that could work.

    First, if a Reformed case can be made that "Two Kingdoms" theology is a legitimate development of the old Southern Presbyterian "Spirituality of the Church" theology, let's hear it. Instead of having Dr. Clark say he's not familiar with the theological views of Dabney and Thornwell, let's have people who **ARE** familiar with those views make the old Southern Presbyterian case again for a new day. They have more than a hundred years of history on their side, and we need to grant that point. However, in doing so, they need to be prepared to answer hard criticisms from people (myself included) who believe that type of Southern Presbyterian theology was deliberately crafted to defend slavery and take it off the theological table in the Old School Presbyterian General Assembly of the first half of the 1800s. Put bluntly, while I won't say that dog don't hunt, it's likely to come back with a pretty awful stench on its fur while dragging a striped skunk in its jaws.

    Second, if a Reformed case can be made for grounding Reformed politics in a "natural law" or "general revelation" approach (which appears to be the more common Es2K viewpoint), let's hear the Es2Kers explain how that is compatible with a Reformed view of total depravity. I've said repeatedly here that common sense is not so common in a sinful world of sinful men with sinful hearts, and while natural law theory may be a legitimate Roman Catholic or Lutheran view of politics, I do not see how it is possible to defend it with a Reformed view of total depravity.

    Third, I believe it is very important for the 2Kers (both R2K and Es2K) to answer the growing objection that 2K is merely a theological "cover" for liberal politics.

    I would be a lot less unhappy with the 2Kers if I thought they were political and religious conservatives who believed that in the civil realm we need to make our appeals to the Constitution and not to Scripture. I can respect that argument, though I disagree with it. Again, I know politics isn't everyone's calling; maybe out in California where the political battles have largely been lost, they think it makes little sense to fight for Christian values in the public square. Maybe they think Christians out there should put their swords to work in the service of other causes where they can be more effective. I'll "cut some slack" for people like Clark and Horton who have a solid track record of not only saying they support conservative Reformed theology but also fighting for what they profess to believe.

    What concerns me is that I'm afraid I see people's political viewpoints determining their theology. I'm afraid at least some 2Kers are people who, rather than letting their Bibles determine their practice, are trying to find ways to avoid being seen as radical right-wing extremists.

    I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but I smell an odor of compromise and desire to be accepted by the world among too many of the 2K people. I can respect Clark and Horton who have fought the fight and walked the walk. I cannot say that for everyone in that camp.
  6. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    The Mosaic law gives some general guidance on which sins are presumptious enough to be dealt with by church sanctions.

    Having two homosexuals in your house isn't being openly homosexual yourself or promoting it in the church, especially if they're staying in different bedrooms. The same would go for unmarried heterosexual couples.

    It may call for instruction rather than sanctions. Sanctions are a last resort anyway.
  7. KevinInReno

    KevinInReno Puritan Board Freshman

    First off I want to thank you for your fantastic reply. You provided me with much clarity on your view. I think you did well to answer my questions. I want to draw my comments on this thread to a close here in general but a few comments before doing so....

    1. I agree there is need for greater clarity in the public square, but due to objections by gentleman such as John Frame and the ones you mentioned above. I also believe Stellman's swimming the Tiber might also lead to further clarification. I can get to the same destination with you on the need for further clarity. I just wouldn't add arguments which claim only by name to be R2K arguments within that reasoning.

    2. I want to say a big Amen to the following that you wrote: What concerns me is that I'm afraid I see people's political viewpoints determining their theology. I'm afraid at least some 2Kers are people who, rather than letting their Bibles determine their practice, are trying to find ways to avoid being seen as radical right-wing extremists.

    I can't agree with this more. It's a concern for all, not just exclusive to any one viewpoint in this matter.

    Thanks again for the clarity, and while I obviously didn't agree with everything on it, I have been blessed by your reply and appreciate the further understanding of your thoughts.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  8. KevinInReno

    KevinInReno Puritan Board Freshman

    I am honestly uninterested in speaking about Misty Irons any further. I would recommend her eldership quickly and firmly engage her and her husband in biblically based instruction. I stated earlier I don't get from Horton's writings that they are working within parallel ethics... one is using scripture to drive a view (while it's still fallible), one is using their own reasoning to create a construction which can cite scripture in snip-its and out of context to create a view to fit her vision. Horton might be incorrect and I think he would be the first to admit it's possible. Misty on the other hand is actively building something that I'll dub anti-nomian R2Kism.

    I'll take the specific #'s listed above one by one.

    17. The principles embedded in the judicial laws of the Mosaic Covenant are not normative for public policy today, except to the extent they reflect the general equity of natural law.

    Lets remember DVD has a pretty large view of the "natural law" for example he cities the similarities of the Hammurabi Code and the Ten Commandments, Proverbs and other works, gets into the biblical account of Job, etc. So again keep a large view here. The natural law they state is essentially what a believer by grace see within scripture. I don't think God's law is summed up in slightly more than 600 adherence's - I would use Matthew 5 as a proof text for following the law being far more complex than we can ever imagine, and we all have a greater understanding of it then we ever would want to admit.

    18. The state has no duty or goal to aid the advancement of the spiritual kingdom.

    I agree with this statement. The USA does not need to promote the interests of Christianity specifically. That does not mean it's allowed to hinder the practice of it (WCF), but it's not the advocate for the invisible church on earth.

    19. It is illegitimate to change the institutions of the common kingdom (e.g., the state) to make them conform to distinctively Christian principles (e.g., turn the other cheek).

    I think this could be better worded. The (e.g., turn the other cheek) is not really the best reference in my opinion. It could be better by stating that a clean union between the state and Christianity is not within the long term interests of Christianity... aka Political Theocracy this side of the New Heavens and New Earth.

    20. It is inappropriate to seek the gospel’s transformation of culture into a Christian culture.
    As I stated in posts before it's in a legalistic sense. It's not that Gospel transformation is not worthwhile. It's using public law to try and secure that, than the actual means provided... the Word of God which brings dead men to life. If it's anything else driving the engine... you just end up back in Utah... which as I pointed out several times here before... isn't the most wonderful place on earth.

    22. The family is part of the common kingdom.

    If you're talking about my personal family, I completely affirm #22. Obviously if we are talking about the invisible family of brothers and sisters in Christ... that's a different answer. My family has changed with my rebirth, and is really no longer the temporary one I had here on earth. Not to say that leads to an abandonment of family provided to you here on earth for the latter... just saying... which is more my sister... a sister in Christ? Or a biological sister on earth?

    25. The Christian lives under a dual ethic, namely, the natural law-justice ethic governing life in the common kingdom and the grace-mercy ethic governing life in the spiritual kingdom.

    I think this would be better stated: The World has two ethics. The Christian recognizes these two distinct ethics... one lets title the ethics of those within darkness in which their ultimate master is Satan/their bellies... the latter the ethics of those exposed/upheld/and made righteous within the light by the redemptive power of Christs blood - receiving unmerited mercy. The Christian deals within both spheres here on earth... but ultimately can only serve one master and should always ground themselves within the Word of God. However there is recognition that they are in a minority and most will serve the former.
  9. mvdm

    mvdm Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks, Kevin.

    You may not want to discuss Misty Irons, but with what little you did, you have not really shown any subtantive *moral* difference between Irons' and Horton's position on this issue. Both use {or "abuse" as some would argue} the Bible to construct their dual ethics. Both would disclaim any distinctively Christian ethic in the civil realm. As propositions 19 & 22 state, marriage belongs in the so-called "common kingdom" which is not to be normed according to Christian principles. Hence, it is hard to escape the conclusion that Misty Iron's has the better sensical position compared to Horton's if we see who is more logically following their shared paradigm.

    As to #17, yes I understand DVD has a "large" view of natural law. That's precisely his problem. He puts more weight on it than the confessions allow. His comparison to Hammarabi's Code has already been refuted both substantively and historically. But the argument that the principles embedded in the Mosaic do not inform public policy is remarkably bold, since state policy on murder, perjury, marriage, theft, etc. are directly derivative from God's specially revealed law at Sinai. Here again, Iron's and Horton's acceptance of gay sexual unions in the civil kingdom are perfectly consistent with a paradigm demanding that public policy be unfettered from Mosaic law.

    As to #18, you may agree with the statement, but both the Belgic and WCF don't.

    As to #19, then according to DVD it is inappropriate to have distinctively Christian families, schools, governments, etc. Thus, it was understandable when DVD became incoherent when questioned as to which kingdom Westminster Seminary belonged. Understandably he would want to suggest that WSC is distinctively Christian, but then again, doing so could contradict his own dichotomous edifice.

    As to #20,, then according to DVD, it is inappropriate to have Christian art, music, philosophy, literature, etc.

    As to #25, you are mistaken on representing the dual ethic. You are describing the antithetical ethic of unbelief {kingdom of darkness} and the ethic of belief {the kingdom of light}. This is the "two cities" of Augustine. Van Drunen himself has acknowledged that his "two kingdoms" theology is not the speaking of the same reality as the Augustinian "two cities". More to the point, note that it is the CHRISTIAN who is living under this so-called "dual ethic". The Christian is not moving between the Augustian cities living under the ethic in each. Rather, the Christian is governed by his Christian ethic when in the church, but governed by a common natural law ethic shared with unbelievers when he enters the "common kingdom". As R2k Darryl Hart has written, the Christian himself is to live a "bracketed" life, where "genuine religion is precisely private, personal, and not something for public display or consumption."

    Hope this helps clarify what the Reformed world is dealing with here.
  10. KevinInReno

    KevinInReno Puritan Board Freshman

    #17 Escondido largely shares a view of the natural law that you can see in A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel by John Colquhoun. Actually this is a book Fesko especially cites often. A fantastic look into the matter... still as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago. If you want a better understanding of what most in Escondido would affirm I suggest reading it.

    #18 Please clarify..... I see clear boundaries in the WCF on Civil Government... ones which I feel I was in line with, with this response... I agree with this statement. The USA does not need to promote the interests of Christianity specifically. That does not mean it's allowed to hinder the practice of it (WCF), but it's not the advocate for the invisible church on earth..

    #19 Believers are the distinction... not finite families units, finite universities, finite governments, finite anything. I don't care if he stuttered through some answer. Irrelevant to the overall point.

    #20 Can you link me to a picture of Christian specific artwork? Can you clearly define where Christian artwork begins and secular art ends?

    #25 Again there is no total abdication of who the Christian ultimately serves answers too or seeks understanding of how to proceed within the civil sphere.
  11. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    Wow, I have read 'A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel' Kevin. Can you give me the references to the book where Natural Law is discussed? Now there is a difference between the Law of Nature and Natural Law as I understand it. At least in modern terms. I don't believe that is true for J. C. The book discusses the Law as Moral law and our relationship to it. I would like to know where Natural law or the Law of Nature is discussed and defined the way Van Drunnen has defined it. How has he defined it for a refresher? Please give me the references in the book so that I might refresh myself. I would appreciate it. From what I remember the references to Law and Nature in the book have to do with the law as it is attached to God's moral Character and thus it is law and that it was naturally in man. This is even true of Romans 2:13-15. The two phrases are used interchangably by J. C. The Law would include the whole Moral law and how we relate to it and how it relates to us as individuals. Even in the passages where the law is written on our hearts naturally it is still a revealer and condemner. That is the point

    One point that is missed often though is that the law is a grace still in the fact that it is still a guide. That is a grace in some form. Even when we are dead in sin. That is just an extra added thought on my part. I don't remember that in the book and it isn't the point of J. C. to show that. This book is primarily about justification in light of the Covenant of Works and the Gospel. But when J. C. does speak about the Gospel and Law he says they subserve each other.

    Have you read the book? Do you have it?

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  12. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    BTW, I like Jeremiah Burroughs better than I do John Colquhoun when it comes to the Gospel and Salvation. Kind of like how I appreciate Bavinck over Horton.
  13. KevinInReno

    KevinInReno Puritan Board Freshman

    Well if you have the newest print, then you would be best reviewing it by reading the extremely detailed introduction written by the contemporary theologian at the beginning... He goes into each specific chapter and gives it a summary. It's only a couple of pages and skimming that could locate the specific sections pertinent to this discussion rather quickly (I forget who wrote the intro). It's essentially a cliff notes version of the book. I have read the entire book. Though it was about a year ago. It's currently packed away in a box in my garage as we just moved down to Las Vegas to a temporary rental and I haven't been able to create an office once again in our currently limited space. If you have an older print and not the new green one... not sure what to tell you. I will have markings in my copy once I locate it. I actually read it off a Fesko recommend, who I met worshipping at the OPC on Westminsters campus. I can find it in the pile of boxes in my garage if need be, but again I know first hand the staff at Escondido recommend it highly. I'll likely just find it tomorrow. I'm pretty sure I know what box it is in.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  14. mvdm

    mvdm Puritan Board Junior


    I've read Van Drunen on natural law. It is his view under discussion, not some other theologian. DVD's view of natural law as sufficient to order the civil realm does not adequately account for the epistomological problem due to sin. The Canons of Dort directly contradict his view, declaring the natural light is insufficient to order the civil order aright. This has been noted repeatedly by folks critical of his project. If Calquhoun holds the same view as DVD {which I doubt}, then the Reformed would have the same problem with him.

    Re: #18, the WCF spells out that government is to serve as "nursing father" to the church, not to Islam or Jews, etc. A special relationship/purpose is declared there. Belgic 36 speaks also of God ordaining government so as to advance the kingdom. God did not ordain government to be at cross-purposes with the advance of His kingdom, but has ordained such to be placed in service of that aim.

    Re: #19, of course believers are the distinction. Those believers live incarnated, corporeal lives in the context of social structures ordained of God. But under the DVD view, there is no such thing as a distinctively Christian family or school. I didn't say DVD "stuttered", but that his answer was incoherent. It was incoherent because no right thinking Christian claims that it is a transgression to seek societal arrangement be formed according to Christian principles.

    Re: #20, we could get into a long discussion on what is "art" and what is "Christian art". Here are some links to help give you some general principles.

    Review: Art in Action: Toward a Christian Aesthetic by Nicholas Wolterstorff | Worship, Music, Culture, Aesthetics - Religious Affections Ministries


    If art conveys a meaning, then you would think it would be simple to see that there can be art that conveys a message that is glorifying to God. For the sake of contrast, it should likewise be simple to see that Robert Serrano's "**** Christ" conveyed an anti-Christian message. But in the common kingdom evacuated of Christianity, this would be a moot discussion, since there is no such thing as Christian art, philosophy, schooling, et. DVD tells us it is *inappropriate* to seek such. I could almost grant him his surrender of culture if he had kept such nonsense to himself. But he publicly argues against Christian's engaging in such efforts and has the temerity to pass this off as biblical and Reformed.

    Re: #25, are you suggesting we do a "partial" abdication of who we serve, {ala, Hart's "bracketed" living} depending on what we are doing and where we are doing it?
  15. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    And I have read John Coloquhoun and I am 99% sure he didn't advocate this in his Treatise on Law and Gospel.

    I have the Soli Deo Gloria publication Kevin. I pulled it out this morning. Just because John Coloquhoun affirmed a form of Natural Law doesn't mean that DVD is applying it correctly. As I noted before, JC's book was written to put the doctrine of law in sight as how it relates to mankind and the Gospel. I actually believe Jeremiah Burroughs is better than John Coloquhoun. Read Jeremiah Burroughs. Gospel Reconciliation is an awesome book.
  16. Shawn Mathis

    Shawn Mathis Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hello Kevin P.,

    You had asked evidence for R2Kers defending gay marriage--a reasonable request. Perhaps some mis-typed and meant "unions". If they meant gay civil unions, then at least one R2Ker stated:

    (Prof. Horton): "Although a contractual relationship denies God’s will for human dignity, I could affirm domestic partnerships as a way of protecting people’s legal and economic security. However, the “marriage card” is the demand for something that simply cannot consist in a same-sex relationship." (online posting here).
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