Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

July 11, 2006

I think there are three things you can take away f…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 2:45 am

I think
there are three things you can take away from the discussion on intrusion ethics. The first is an appreciation for the big picture. Biblical theology is a way of looking at the bible that sees the history of the people of God under his sovereign control growing from a mustard seed like beginning into a full blown tree. Rather than dwelling in systematic theology issues (they have their own valuable place), biblical theology can be a great faith builder as you see how God works through history, as recorded in the bible, to bring his plans to pass. Seeing Israel in this way provides a strong picture of God operating purposefully.

Coming out of this view, the second thing you can take away is a different understanding of Israel and the function they had in redemptive history. Seen in this light, the two kingdom doctrine becomes prominent. As a theocracy, Israel was not a missionary institution, and were not exemplars for ethics in the church today.

Finally, this approach serves to highlight the question of who is my neighbor in the age between the first coming and the second coming (consummation). If you have an enemy you now know exactly what your relationship to him should be. Not knowing this side of the consummation whether your enemy is elect or not is enough for you to pray for him rather than hate him. (If you enemy is within the visible church, how much more clear can this be?)



  1. So was Kuyper wrong? Or to put it less pointedly, was Kuyper a One Kingdom kinda guy?

    Comment by son1http://ruberad.wordpress.com — July 11, 2006 @ 3:06 pm

  2. Go back on classnotes.wordpress.com and look up my Apr 18 entry again. There transformationalism (one kingdom) vs. two kingdoms view are discussed. You really should have been in class that day. That way you too could have been brainwashed out of Kuyperianism like I was.

    Comment by Bruce S — July 11, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

  3. And let me add that “As a theocracy, Israel was not a missionary institution, and were not exemplars for ethics in the church today” is very open for discussion and the statement is probably too condensed to stand on its own without it (especially the ethics part).

    Comment by Bruce S — July 11, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

  4. From classnotes.wordpress.com, Apr 18: “it is not in God’s realm even though it is under his reign (key principle here, to properly distinguish reign and realm) Only in a theocracy do the two become co-terminus”

    So what if a group of Christians wander off into the wilderness, and decide to create, from scratch, their own state, as a theocracy — as a ‘kingdom’ in which God’s realm and reign are united. For instance especially the Puritans, but also how about Calvin’s Geneva? Are they right (or do they have the right) to commingle reign and realm? And if that is right, or permissible, is transformationalism wrong, i.e. just because a state got off on the ‘wrong’ foot by heading towards areligious pluralism, are Christians constrained to accept that state of affairs? Or is it just wrong, because it is a separatist approach that practically denies the Great Commission? (OT Israel was not missionary in purpose, but we certainly must be)

    Comment by son1http://ruberad.wordpress.com — July 11, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

  5. I will get back to you on Calvin’s Geneva. But I think it is very safe to say that only God sets up a theocracy. For example, according to Kline, only three theocracies have ever existed. 1) the garden 2) Noah’s ark 3)Israel (minus the exilic period).

    Lot of other questions there. Can’t get to ’em now though. (Not that I have any answers).

    Comment by Bruce S — July 11, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

  6. Not sure where you stand on Calvin’s Geneva, Bruce; but, I’d guess you (as do I) would see it to be a confusion of the two realms.

    If this is how you understand matters, would Calvin’s take on the Law of Moses (more so an a-historical view) be a main influence as to where things ended up in Geneva?

    Comment by Matthew Morizio — July 11, 2006 @ 10:56 pm

  7. Just based on a little reflection after a cursory glance at Calvin’s Geneva, I am more than ever convinced that any attempts by man to set up a theocracy have to be failures. It amounts to an over-realized eschatology – trying to bring the consummation age into the present merely by man’s fiat.

    To be perfectly honest, I have done very little study on Calvin to this point so I am totally unqualified to comment on what ideas Calvin may have had that inspired his “theocracy” in Geneva.

    By the way, welcome Matthew to this blog. The choir (to which I preach) is a little thin around here so it is good to beef it up a bit.

    Comment by Bruce S — July 12, 2006 @ 4:06 am

  8. Bruce, I agree with your assessment in the importance of biblical theology. A redemptive-histroical interpretation is especially helpful.

    I guess I am still struggling with the two kingdom thing though. How can God be sovereign over everything and not sovereign over a certain portion of that thing at the same time?

    Isn’t this a violation of the law of non-contradiction?

    Comment by Mike S. — July 12, 2006 @ 4:33 am

  9. Mike- The following is lifted out of Darren Hsiung’s discussion on your very question:


    Interviewer: Well, what about the accusation that Horton’s view truncates the Lordship of Christ. After all doesn’t the Lordship of Christ extend to every atom and quark of creation? Is Christ’s Kingdom only the church? Are Horton and the 2K guys retreatists?

    Darren: We equate the Kingdom with the church? Guilty as charged. This truncates the Lordship of Christ? Not guilty! 2K doesn’t say there are 2 kingdoms, and therefore God and Christians are restricted to just one.

    2K says that Christians live both in the kingdom of this world, and in the kingdom of the age to come. But we are citizens of the latter (Eph 2:19) and resident aliens of the former (1Pet 1:1). We don’t have exclusive ownership of the culture; we are like the exiles in Babylon.

    And that’s not retreat. Just look at what God told the exiles in Jeremiah 29:5-7. It wasn’t “make a vocational difference,” or, “take back Babylon for Christ.” But it’s to seek the peace and prosperity of the city… a city which is never identified as the city of God. Indeed, which is represented as quite the opposite.

    Interviewer: So while we experience an antithesis between the 2 lines there seems to be some sort of cooperation between the line of Cain and the line of Seth.

    Darren: Yes. The earthly kingdom is the common space we share with non-Christians.


    Mike, go to http://bubbler.net/creedorchaos/HOME/
    for a taste. “Taste and see”

    Comment by Bruce S — July 12, 2006 @ 4:52 am

  10. “How can God be sovereign over everything and not sovereign over a certain portion of that thing at the same time?”

    Whatever the answer is, it must be related to: How can God be sovereign over everything, yet I, as a regenerate Christian, continue to sin daily? How can God be sovereign over everything, yet billions of non-Christians persist in sin and denial of Christ daily? What God desires, and what God wills are two different things. For now.

    Comment by son1http://ruberad.wordpress.com — July 12, 2006 @ 2:35 pm

  11. Wandering around the Riddleblog because of the link on your subsequent post, I found this relevant discussion on his “answers to eschatology questions” page. Here are a pair of questions:

    Ronnie asks (February 7):

    How would you distinguish between Christ being King over the church and Christ being King over the entire world? It seems most Postmil doesn’t distinguish between His kingship, but Amil does.

    Student asks (February 14):

    Does Amillennialism (biblical eschatology) contradict “transformationalism” (say, a Kuyperian view of Christian cultural activity)? If one holds to Amillennialism and to the “spirituality of the church,” is there yet a place for a view of Christian cultural engagement? Does the non-“holy” character of nonecclessial life necessitate that there can’t be a distinct approach to cultural activity that is consciously informed by ones basic religious commitment? And if not, why? and what then is our view of culture? And if so, how is that connected to eschatology?

    For Riddlebarger’s answers, go here and scroll to almost the bottom:

    Comment by son1http://ruberad.wordpress.com — July 12, 2006 @ 10:33 pm

  12. Son 1, I believe the answer to your last question is that God has two wills His preceptive will (what we should do according to His law) and His decretive will (what actually happens). The sovereignty I am referring too is associated with His decretive will. Sovereignty is explained better in the following quote from Francis Turretin:

    “The principal property of God’s dominion is that it is not only universal but also absolute and unlimited. For as God is an independent and truly self-powerful (autoexousios) being, so he is evidently irresponsible (anypeuthynos), liable to no censure or judgment (Job 9:12; Dan 4:25) who can do with his own what he will (Mt 20:15) and with whom no one can contend or say to him, why hast thou done this? Although the reason of his works and judgments may be hidden from us (Job 33:13): “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast made me thus? (Rom 9:20, 21).” 3.22.4

    Bruce, I haven’t checked out the references yet, but I’ll get to them.

    Comment by Mike S — July 13, 2006 @ 4:20 am

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