Distinguishing between the Spiritual Kingdom and the Political Kingdom (Calvin)

Near the end of John Calvin's excellent discussion on the freedom of conscience (Christian liberty) in the Institutes, he talks about the Christian's relationship to the state (or government).  First, Calvin firmly emphasizes Galatians 5.1 (for freedom Christ has set you free...) against Rome's unbiblical binding of the conscience with all sorts of regulations not …

Kuyper and Kingdoms

(This is a re-post from May, 2011) In his excellent book that deals with the person and work of the Holy Spirit, Abraham Kuyper talks about prayer and the Holy Spirit's role in it (chapter 3.XLIII).  The section is quite good.  One thing that stuck out to me was how Kuyper explained intercessory prayer with regard to the phrase, …

Herman Bavinck on the Two Kingdoms

(Note: this is a repost from March, 2009) Earlier, I noted how some Reformed teachers from around 1700 talked about the two kingdoms, the two-fold reign of Christ.  For review, Thomas Watson and Wilhelmus a Brakel (along with others) talked about Christ's general reign over all things and his special reign over the church.  The …

Latin Lesson: Historic Protestantism on Christ’s Kingdom

As a few of our readers may know, in some small pockets of Reformed Christianity there is strong opposition to making distinctions in the way Christ reigns over the world.  Some say we must not distinguish between Christ’s general rule over all and his saving rule over his church.  (FYI, if you’ve not heard of …

The Two-fold Aspect of God’s Kingdom (Witsius)

  In Reformed church history, theologians have generally made a distinction when it came to discussing God’s kingdom or kingdoms.  Simply put, historic Reformed theology distinguished between God’s general kingdom (his kingdom of power/nature) and God’s saving kingdom (his kingdom of grace/glory).  Here’s how Herman Witsius spoke about this distinction in his discussion on the …

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