I’ve been looking forward to this book for a few months now: Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010). David VanDrunen has been studying this subject for years, and this book is the fruit of his study aimed at the layperson. In some ways, it is his scholarly work on the topic made easier for the general audience. To introduce the book, I’ll quote a section of the intro which I appreciated.
“This two-kingdoms doctrine strongly affirms that God has made all things, that sin corrupts all aspects of life, that Christians should be active in human culture, that all lawful cultural vocations are honorable, that all people are accountable to God in every activity, and that Christians should seek to live out the implications of their faith in their daily vocations.”
“A Christian, however, does not have to adopt a redemptive vision of culture in order to affirm these important truths. A biblical two-kingdoms doctrine provides another compelling way to do so. According to this doctrine, God is not redeeming the cultural activities and institutions of this world, but is preserving them through the covenant he made with all living creatures through Noah in Genesis 8:20-9:17.”
“God himself rules this ‘common kingdom,’ and thus it is not, as some writers describe it, the ‘kingdom of man.’ This kingdom is in no sense a realm of moral neutrality or autonomy. God makes its institutions and activities honorable, though only for temporary and provisional purposes.”
“Simultaneously, God is redeeming a people for himself, by virtue of the covenant made with Abraham and brought to glorious fulfillment in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, who has completed Adam’s original task once and for all. These people are citizens of the ‘redemptive kingdom,’ whom God is gathering now in the church and will welcome into the new heaven and new earth at Christ’s glorious return. Until that day, Christians live as members of both kingdoms, discharging their proper duties in each.”
There is more to it, of course – this was just a part of the intro. I do think this is a solid Reformed way to look at the tough issue of Christians in culture. I’ll blog more on it later; until then, let me say this book will certainly stimulate healthy thinking and discussions on this topic. I highly recommend it.