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Published on July 20th, 2011 | by Bojidar Marinov

21

The Mixed Moral Landscape of the Two-Kingdoms Theology

If there was a political decision in the last several decades that is in perfect agreement with the Two-Kingdoms Theology, it is the vote of the legislature of the state of New York on elevating sodomite perversion to the level of “marriage.” On one hand, the state legislature, as an institution of the common kingdom, has finally divorced itself from the oppressive dictates of the Bible’s revealed law, which, according to the Two-Kingdoms Theology, only applies to the church and the redemptive kingdom. The state legislature finally decided that in the matters of family the state from now on will only recognize the “natural law”; and since the holy book of that “natural law” hasn’t been found yet, a majority vote in the legislature should be enough to declare what it says concerning the definition of family. On the other hand, in full recognition of the separation between the two kingdoms – according to the same Two-Kingdoms Theology – the New York legislature declared that churches are exempt from the requirements of that law, and church ministers and churches won’t be punished for refusing to perform sodomite ceremonies or to allow those ceremonies to be performed in their buildings.

The church is free to obey the Law of the Bible, and the state is free to obey the latest version of “natural law” as decided by the political majority. The wall of separation is maintained. Things just couldn’t be better for a Two-Kingdoms theologian. The state of New York, it can be said, has achieved a moral revolution in their culture: No more Christian culture based on the Bible, as far as the government law is concerned, just as the Two-Kingdoms Theology requires; and exemption for the churches to obey the Bible within their area of jurisdiction.

In the context of such development, it is highly puzzling why a prominent proponent of the Two-Kingdoms Theology like Dr. Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary would be disappointed of the New York’s legislature’s vote. In a essay on his blog this week, “The Empire State’s Moral Revolution: New York State Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage,” he expresses his concerns, and calls last Friday a “sad day for marriage.” Dr. Mohler doesn’t explain why, according to his own theology, it would be a “sad day.” In fact, the whole essay is written in such a spirit as if Mohler has completely forgotten his commitment to the Two-Kingdoms Theology, and has never ever preached such a thing. Instead of satisfaction of a success for his own theology, he expresses pessimism.

Let’s take a more detailed look at Dr. Mohler’s article and its contradictions with his own theology.

First of all, it is not clear with what authority Mohler writes about the decisions of a legislature, which is an institution of the common kingdom. There is only one law that clearly states that sodomy is sin and abomination and therefore must be prosecuted, not endorsed: The Law of God revealed in the Bible. Mohler is a minister of the Christian Church and it is reasonable if his position is based on the Bible. Given this, it is normal that he describes last Friday as a “sad day,” a day of disobedience to God by the State of New York, a day of rebellion against God’s holy Law.

But wait, is the State of New York under the revealed Law of God in the Bible? According to Mohler’s Two-Kingdoms Theology, it isn’t. The revealed Law of God applies only to the redemptive kingdom of the church; the institutions of the common kingdom – one of which is the State of New York – are not under that law but under another law, the “natural law.” For Mohler to speak to the State of New York on the basis of the Bible would mean a confusion between the two kingdoms, an illegitimate trampling of the authority of the common kingdom institutions by the church. Mohler certainly doesn’t mean that, if he is faithful to his own theology.

May be Mohler is not speaking as a church minister but as an individual whose “moral feelings” are based on the “natural law.” He can speak to the state as long as he doesn’t do it as a Christian based on the Bible so that he doesn’t trample on the authority of the state based on the revealed Law of God. And according to his Two-Kingdoms Theology, he can use the “natural law” which is the law for the common kingdom. But we have a problem there: There is no law in nature that prohibits sodomite “marriages.” Neither is there a law in nature that endorses them. Unless we turn to the revealed law in the Bible we can’t know if sodomy is a sin or not, and if sodomite “marriages” are legitimate or not. The “natural law” has no clear standard as to what should be considered legal marriage or not; eventually, what the highest and final authority in the common kingdom decides must be the expression of the “natural law.” If Mohler is only speaking as an individual citizen, he has no reason to claim that he speaks for the “natural law” better than the state does; he can’t claim he is a prophet of the “natural law” better than anyone else. Therefore Mohler can’t really say that Friday was a “sad day,” except that Mohler himself subjectively feels it is a “sad day” because the decision of the State of New York disagrees with Mohler’s subjective ideas of what the “natural law” says. May be it is a “joyful day,” after all, as far as the “natural law” is concerned. Mohler can’t make a definitive statement either way, based on his own Two-Kingdoms Theology.

Therefore, whether Al Mohler speaks from the position of Biblical Law, or from the position of “natural law,” his article is pointless, if he is serious about his own professed theology: If he speaks from the position of the Biblical Law, the state shouldn’t listen; if he speaks from the position of the “natural law,” he can’t prove he has any authority whatsoever to speak for it. And it is not clear why Mohler would be sad about it, if the church is exempt from the law: seriously, if the revealed Law of God is only applicable within the jurisdiction of the church, and if the state acknowledges this immunity of the church, what’s the problem if the state decides to have another law outside of the church? Isn’t this exactly what the Two-Kingdoms Theology is all about? In another article, “When the Church Bows to the State,” Mohler warns that “When a church or Christian institution bows to the authority of the state on a matter of such direct biblical importance, it is destined to lose biblical fidelity.” But in the case of the State of New York, the law specifically states that the churches do not have to bow, that they are exempt from the law. What else does Mohler want, if he is faithful to his own theology? Does he want the church to rebel against the state over a law that doesn’t even affect the church itself?

But he doesn’t stop there. He makes another statement that violates the prescriptions of the Two-Kingdoms Theology even more:

Given the central importance of marriage to our civilization and culture…

Now, whose civilization and culture? This is the question we need to ask before we take Mohler’s words.

In his interview with Peter Wehner, Albert Mohler specifically asks the question: “You’re not really suggesting that there can be the creation of a Christian culture rather than that there will be Christian influence in this culture?” He is also warning against “Constantinianism” that leads to a “Christian society.” Both Christian culture and Christian society are out of the question for Mohler, and this is consistent with his Two-Kingdoms Theology. But what does he mean when he says that marriage is of “central importance to our civilization and culture”? He certainly doesn’t mean a Christian civilization and culture because he himself warns against them. Does he mean the general, pagan civilization and culture? If so, what makes him believe marriage is of a central importance to it? Obviously, as we saw from the example of the State of New York, the general culture doesn’t care for marriage as we Christians understand it. So what is it? Christian civilization and culture, which Mohler doesn’t believe in, or pagan civilization and culture which cares nothing about marriage? The confusion is complete.

No, not yet. There’s more coming. The sentence quoted above ends as follows:

…it is hard to imagine how such a mixed moral landscape can last.

What mixed moral landscape? Does he mean that different institutions in our society have different moral laws to control their legislative processes? Does he mean that our society is not held together by one supreme Law, the Law of the Lawgiver, the same Law for all institutions of the society, family, church, and state? If he means that, he is right: Our society has become a “mixed moral landscape,” where every person and every institution have their own law.

So what’s the solution? Does Mohler believe in a unified moral landscape – all institutions and individuals under the same Law? He doesn’t. His own Two-Kingdoms Theology is based on the premise that the two kingdoms – the redemptive and the common kingdom – are under different law systems; the church is under the revealed Law of God, the state is under the “natural law.” Mohler complains about the political mixed moral landscape; what he fails to mention is that that political mixed moral landscape did not appear out of the blue. The political mixed moral landscape came as the result of a theological mixed moral landscape: Mohler’s own Two-Kingdoms Theology. It was the retreat of Christians from the political and cultural arena that created the setting for the legalization of sodomite “marriages” in New York. It was Christians who listened to Mohler that we couldn’t and shouldn’t build Christian culture and civilization who remained passive when the vote was cast. It was pastors like Tim Keller – another Two-Kingdoms proponent – who made the distinction between politics and service who effectively disarmed the church and the Christians, making them ineffective in the cultural battles of our time. The solution to the political mixed moral landscape is preach a theology that unifies the moral landscape under the Law of God, bringing all cultural institutions under the Law of God; a theology of self-conscious building of a civilization and culture that obeys God in everything He said – the Kingdom of God. If Mohler wants the solution, he can have it in Theonomy: The theology of the comprehensive conversion of all the institutions of the society under Christ and His Law. That’s what the legacy from the early days of America was. Mohler is right: The new law in the State of New York is a moral revolution, from the Christian culture we have inherited from our forefathers to a new, pagan culture. But Mohler’s own theology rejects that legacy of Christian culture we have had. He has no right to complain about the results of his own theology now.

Mohler knows he has no solution in the framework of his own theology; he specifically says that the mixed moral landscape won’t last for long. But he doesn’t mean by that that the old Christian solution of unified moral landscape will be restored by concerted Christian action. No, he is quite pessimistic about the outcome of what’s happening in New York, and he ends his article with a very pessimistic statement:

Last Friday was a sad day for marriage and, if the advocates of same-sex marriage are right, it was also a sign of things to come.

What are the things he expects to come? I have described them in another place: The church may remain two-kingdoms in its ideology but the state’s ideology is never two-kingdoms. The state never believes in a mixed moral landscape, it always works to unify the moral landscape. As long as the church remains in the theology that Mohler and his theological friends preach and teach, the state will have the liberty to overstep any boundary, forcing the church to retreat. And if the law of the State of New York gives “religious exemptions” to the churches today, it will certainly be looking for a way to repeal those exemptions tomorrow. Mohler knows his own Two-Kingdoms Theology is bankrupt in practice, and it never works in the real world. Even if the law claims that the church is protected in its realm, as long as the state is not under the Law of God but under a different law, it will keep expanding, until the church is forced to completely submit to the state. While Mohler officially claims he believes in “Christian influence in this culture,” he doesn’t expect much to come out of it. The “things to come” are not good, and there is no reason for optimism, because whatever things come, we can’t have a Christian civilization or Christian culture, only change from one pagan culture to another pagan culture. The Two-Kingdoms Theology is essentially a religion of despair and hopelessness, of impotence and confusion; and its proponents can not promise any victory over the world, only despair. That’s why Mohler can offer no hope and no promise of victory; and what is worse, based on his own theology, neither can he offer blueprints for righteous action.

In conclusion, I heartily agree with Mohler’s disappointment of the legislative decision in Albany. It is a tragedy for our nation, and it must be reversed. Unlike Mohler, I have a good basis for my disappointment: According to the covenant theology of theonomy, there is only one kingdom, the Kingdom of Christ, and all institutions must be under the Law of God as revealed in the Bible. A civil government institution that does not obey the Law of God is unrighteous, and it must be opposed by those that love God, and its laws must be changed to reflect the Law of God. Mohler, on the basis of his own Two-Kingdoms Theology, has no basis for his disappointment; were he consistent with his own theology, he should rejoice and welcome the legalizing of sodomite “marriages” and the religious exemptions for the churches. His theology is in essence dualistic; and dualism inevitably produces intellectual schizophrenia. Mohler’s inner contradiction between his theology and his feelings concerning the sodomite “marriage” are the perfect example of the schizophrenia dualism produces. The mixed moral landscape in the politics of our nation is the product of the mixed moral landscape that the Two-Kingdoms Theology preaches and teaches.

It is time for Mohler to change his theology. The more he clings to it, the more confusion he will produce in those that trust him to lead them in the way of righteousness.

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About the Author

A Reformed missionary to his native Bulgaria for over 10 years, Bojidar preaches and teaches doctrines of the Reformation and a comprehensive Biblical worldview. Having founded Bulgarian Reformation Ministries in 2001, he and his team have translated over 30,000 pages of Christian literature about the application of the Law of God in every area of man’s life and society, and published those translations online for free. He has been active in the formation of the Libertarian movement in Bulgaria, a co-founder of the Bulgarian Society for Individual Liberty and its first chairman. If you would like Bojidar to speak to your church, homeschool group or other organization, contact him through his website: http://www.bulgarianreformation.org/



21 Responses to The Mixed Moral Landscape of the Two-Kingdoms Theology

  1. John Caneday says:

    Great article! I came here from your November 9th post. After an early appreciation for Mohler, I’ve recently moved toward ignoring him, though until now I don’t think I could have articulated why I’d begun to distrust his judgment. I appreciate your ability to articulate why Mohler is in fact a dangerous influence in the church.

    It seems as though Two Kingdom theology is only viable in an environment with a reserve of moral capital. As that moral capital erodes, this confusion becomes more plain, and its proponents are forced to either comply with the state and natural law, or the biblical law.

    Let us pray that they turn to the Bible alone.

    • It seems as though Two Kingdom theology is only viable in an environment with a reserve of moral capital. As that moral capital erodes, this confusion becomes more plain, and its proponents are forced to either comply with the state and natural law, or the biblical law.

      Nice. I will post this on my FB wall.

  2. Michael Martin says:

    The hotter the battle gets, the greater the temptation to try and find an easy way out. In my opinion, the “Two Kingdom Theology” is a theologically acceptable way that some people have conjured up to justify their retreat from the cultural battle that is getting more intense every day. Most of us don’t really like conflict and will go to great lengths to avoid it. Especially attractive are methods that allow us to opt out of the fight and at the same time avoid any suspicion of cowardice—the “Two Kingdom Theology” works well in that regard.

    Paul was a man hardened to intense conflict and he had to remind Christians to have courage and to persevere against the men-pleasing compromises of his day (1Thes 2:1-6; Gal 1:6-10). This “Two Kingdom” nonsense that allows some Christians to silently sit in the comfort of their church pews is something that I think the Apostle Paul would have roundly condemned. The German church of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s day tried to play a similarly feeble game and the eventual cost they paid was horrendous. All American Christians need to get to work, speak out against the growing evil around us, and give Christ’s Great Commission more than just lip service. Today’s “Two Kingdom” theology is a cowardly fraud.

  3. Bojidar, thanks for, once again, exposing the impossibility of the two-kingdom falacy. In fact, nothing in your article does it better than the last sentence of your first paragraph: “…the New York legislature declared that churches are exempt from the requirements of that law, and church ministers and churches won’t be punished for refusing to perform sodomite ceremonies or to allow those ceremonies to be performed in their buildings.” And most of today’s churches respond, “Thank you, Good Master!”

    “The two-kingdom concept is in reality a fictitious impossibility – one realm inevitably rules over the other realm…. Because of the Constitution, Amendment 1 in particular, Christians have adopted the two kingdom concept, ultimately relegating civil authority – the most powerful realm as it concerns earthly dominion – to the non-Christians. Either non-Christians will be ruled by Christians or Christians will be ruled by non-Christians. The more powerful body’s judiciary determines conflicts between the two. It is no wonder that under today’s Constitutional Republic that the tide has turned against Christianity.

    “There is only one kingdom taught in the Bible, which provides that only Christians rule, judge, preach, and teach. ”

    Excerpted from “Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism” at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/biblelaw-constitutionalism-pt11.php.

  4. Anyone who, on one hand, holds to Yahweh’s moral laws (as found in His commandments, statutes, and judgments) and, on the other hand, the antithetical U.S. Constitution is double-minded and involved in promoting the heretical two-kingdom philosophy. It’s time pronomian dominionist face up to their own schizophrenia. See “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective” at http://www.missiontoisrael.org/articles.php.

  5. Michael Earl Riemer says:

    Harmon,
    Lets start just a little before verse 19 and continue a little after. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth….Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always.”

    You are correct, nations don’t get baptized, individuals do. However, nations are made up of individuals. What I quoted, “make disciples, or Christians of all nations” is a variant reading of the text (teach all nations) as noted in the margin of my Bible. Nestle’s Greek New Testament translates this portion of Scripture as follows: “Going therefore disciple ye all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” Therefore as Jesus stated, Christians are to disciple the nations. Of course that discipleship would start with the individual, then his family, friends and so forth.

    You are also correct, our Lord was not directly dealing with political action. It’s true, we are not going to heaven as “groups” or nations, but as individuals and will be judged as individuals before God. But again, every nation is composed of individuals, of whom, each and everyone is accountable to God and His law. As Jesus said to His disciples, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”

    Jesus has all power and has commanded his people to disciple everyone, to teach them to observe all things he taught, and everyone, somewhere, is part of a nation somewhere on this planet that is ruled by our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Again, yes I agree, “…there’s substantial evidence, throughout the world today, that people are being converted to Christ Jesus…”

    I would also tend to agree with your statement; “But nowhere is there any sign of governments not being ruled by “the basest of men.” However, I am not familiar with most of the governments of this world, and there may be a few nations at the present time who are not ruled over by the “basest of men.”

    However this has not always been the case. The history of the U.S. has proved what godly men can accomplish. Of course, the “basest of men” have been always present in our nation and have caused much harm throughout the years. It might be true, maybe there never has been a truly Christian nation. But just think, Christ has all power, He can redeem the drunk, the fornicator, the idolater, and all the unrighteous. But He doesn’t have the power to redeem the nations? Since nations are made up of individuals, if enough redeemed individuals were taught godly principles of government, and all of the other commandments, statutes, testimonies and precepts from God’s Word, wouldn’t a totally redeemed nation be the outcome? And you are forgetting, God has promised to do just that one day.

    Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue (conquer, subjugate, bring into bondage, force, keep under) it; and have dominion (prevail against, reign, rule, subjugate) over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

    Isaiah 9:6 “the government shall be upon his shoulder and…the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end…”

    Luke 1:32-33 “…the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there be no end”

    Daniel 2:44 “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed…”

    Luke 13:18-21 “Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? And whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. And again he said, Where unto shall I liken the Kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”

    • You are correct, nations don’t get baptized, individuals do.

      Not necessarily. Almost half of the references to “baptism” in the New Testament are not literal but symbolic. There is nothing in the Bible against taking “baptism” to mean more than just the literal dipping of an individual. Therefore, in order to keep the plain meaning of the sentence in Matt. 28:18-20, we must take “baptize” here to have symbolic meaning, and therefore accept that nations can be baptized.

      We either take “nations” to be allegorical (for “individuals”) and “baptize” literal, or the other way around. I am not familiar with too many places where “nations” means “individuals” in the Bible. Therefore I would take “nations” to mean “nations,” and “baptize” to mean “complete conversion.”

      • Harmon Gottlieb says:

        None of the matches for the word “baptism” are set in contexts that mean or connote the “complete conversion” of a nation. Scripture is “not familiar with too many places” where entire nation-states as collective units are baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

        Peter kept “the plain meaning” of the Lord Jesus’ command. He obeyed Him, not symbolically, but literally:

        “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).”

        “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days (Acts 10:47,48).”
        This describes saved persons, within a nation, being baptized as individuals. There’s no New Testament record of a nation-state repenting and then being baptized.

        The only “completely converted” nation is the Body of Christ Jesus, “the church of the living God,” consisting of baptized individuals: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9). Paul writes to this same nation, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit (1 Corinth. 12:13).

  6. Michael Earl Riemer says:

    Harmon Gottlieb states: Bojidar Marinov, once again, fails to supply a single New Testament text exhorting us to ‘christianize’ governmental and cultural institutions administered by “the basest of men.”

    Christ said to do just that, “Christianize government.” He said to Christianize every nation, and government and cultural institutions are a large part of every nation. So when the nation is Christianized the government will be also. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations (make disciples, or Christians of all nations)… Matthew 28:19 As the Church goes forth and does what Jesus told us to do, in time there will no longer be the “basest of men” in any positions of authority, for most will be Christians.

    Brother Bojidar Marinov has hit the nail on the head. Great job!!!! Great writting!!!!!!!!

    Michael Earl Riemer

    • Harmon Gottlieb says:

      Michael,
      Matthew 28:19 reads, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Nations don’t get baptized–individuals do. The context here, pointing to the Lord Jesus, is not political action but personal relationship. Luke 24:45-47 also uplifts Christ’s finished redemptive work and the remission of sins, not the “christianization” of governments: “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Accordingly, there’s substantial evidence, throughout the world today, that people are being converted to Christ Jesus But nowhere is there any sign of governments not being ruled by “the basest of men.”

  7. Stacy T says:

    Natural law also cries out that this is not necessarily wrong but clearly not equal to an opposite sex union because life can not be produced from it.

    • How can we be sure about it? You can only say such a thing if you know for sure that “production of life” has a higher value in the system of “natural law” than “non-production of life.” But how can you know it for sure, unless you have found the holy book of “natural law” that specifies the moral and legal principles of “natural law” and its case applications, as we have it with the revealed Law of God in the Bible. For some people – Socrates, for example, if we can trust Plato’s account of him – sodomy was morally higher than a male-female relationship exactly because it didn’t produce life and therefore was more “spiritual,” as over against the “materialism” of the normal marriage. Why shouldn’t we suppose that Socrates knew the precepts of “natural law” better than you?

      Again, unless you declare that “natural law” is the same as the Law of God, in a less clear and less authoritative form of revelation, you have no way to know for sure what “natural law” says about any particular issue. And the Two-Kingdoms Theology denies such a premise. Then how can Mohler know what “natural law” – which according to him applies to the civil realm – says about sodomite “marriage”?

  8. Don Confalone says:

    The state never believes in a mixed moral landscape, it always works to unify the moral landscape. As long as the church remains in the theology that Mohler and his theological friends preach and teach, the state will have the liberty to overstep any boundary, forcing the church to retreat.

    You are correct here, in my opinion. I heard that in some countries one must state a belief that homosexual relations are not sinful in order to adopt children. This is were we are headed. It is an inevitable outcome of the natural and social sciences. This is because, IF it is true that homosexuality is deemed a normal occurrence that cannot be changed, then the parents of that child could do alot of damage to a child if that child were homosexual. It would be like allowing a couple who believed the sun revolves around the earth to adopt and homeschool a child. The damage would be horrible. Or a couple who believed a woman is subservient and cannot lead. What damage could come from this now that we KNOW everyone, including you, started out a woman and had to have hormones added, in sufficient amounts, to make you male. Surely you know about babies born with what I will call not normal physical features. We know why. Sexuality is known and seen to be fluid. An observable fact no different than the earth revolving around the sun.

  9. Nathan Riese says:

    I am a theonomist, so I don’t want you to think that I disagree with your overall conclusion that two-kingdom theology supports an insufficient standard for living life.

    However, in my recent discussion with a 2-kingdom seminarian, it seems as though 2-kingdom adherents believe that unbelievers can and should hold to the natural law which unbelievers know in their heart to be God’s standard: “though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32).

    Therefore, Mohler is sad that these unbelievers are going against God’s natural law which is written on the hearts of all men and therefore is not contradicting his theology by being said. At least, that’s the perspective of the 2-kingdom person with whom I was discussing this. I tend to agree on this point, because I believe that natural law proponents can be consistent with their theology while being sad at people’s rejecting of natural law. I think their conclusion regarding the sufficiency of natural law as a standard for living is wrong, but I believe you were incorrect that their [wrong] theology is inconsistent with sad emotions over breaking natural law. What is your opinion on that? Thank you for your time, and please forgive me if I overlooked something in your article that already addresses this. God bless and thank you for your ministry.

    • The problem, Nathan, with your explanation is that it is not representing the essence of the Two-Kingdoms Theology as it is preached by Mohler, Horton, Clark, and others. In the view you present, the “natural law” in the hearts of the unbelievers is identical with the revealed Law of God in the Bible: “…God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die…”

      Now, this is the theonomic position, with only a small change in terminology to admit the concept of “natural law,” but not as a law separate from the Law of God as revealed in the Bible but only as a separate, less clear, less authoritative, and less effective revelation of the same law. We as theonomists do believe that man deep in his being – his “nature” – knows the Law of God and knows he is judged by it. Such knowledge doesn’t save him, but it is still valid and judges him. This principle of the Law of God as present in man’s nature as a testimony for God and against man is the basis for the theonomic evangelism, apologetics, and social theory.

      But this is not the position of the Two-Kingdoms Theology. The Two Kingdoms Theology very explicitly makes a difference between the redemptive, revealed Law of God – which is applicable to the redeemed only, and to the redemptive kingdom of the church – and the “natural law” which is available to all people and is applicable to the “common kingdom” institutions. It is not one law in different forms of revelation; the Two-Kingdoms Theology is all about two different laws for two different realms. Read VanDrunnen’s book, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms, and you will see the insistence on the difference between the two laws.

      Mohler’s view is not different from Van Drunnen’s view. If Mohler’s beliefs were the same as what you describe, then Mohler wouldn’t have any problem with building a Christian culture and civilization, because the Law of God is all about building such covenant culture and civilization; after all, God said that the nations will see all the laws the Hebrews had and will praise the God Who gave those laws. But Mohler insists on the separation of the laws for the “redemptive kingdom” and the laws for the “common kingdom.” They are different. He does believe in two different laws, two different ethical systems for the two kingdoms. Mohler doesn’t believe that the “natural law” is the same as the revealed Law of God in the Bible, only in a different revelation – if he did, he would be a theonomist! And if he was a theonomist, he would have argued that once we have the revealed Law of God for the civil realm, we should abandon the less clear and less authoritative revelation of our nature and use the special revelation of the Bible to build a Christian culture and civilization. He would argue, for example, that according to God’s decree, those that break the Law deserve to die. But he does nothing of the sort, which proves he disagrees with your description of the Two-Kingdoms Theology, and with your description of the “natural law.”

      Therefore, since Mohler rejects the idea that the “natural law” is the same thing as the revealed Law of God, and he has no specific book that says what that different “natural law” is, he has no reason to be sad because he can’t really know if the unbelievers are really going against God’s “natural law.”

  10. Harmon Gottlieb says:

    King Nebuchadnezzar’s address to “all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth” comes to this incisive conclusion: “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men (Daniel 4:17).” Bojidar Marinov, once again, fails to supply a single New Testament text exhorting us to ‘christianize’ governmental and cultural institutions administered by “the basest of men.”

    The New Testament does instruct us, repeatedly, to practice submission and subjection to higher powers, kings, magistrates and those in authority (Romans 13:1-7;1 Timothy 2:1-3; Titus 3:1;1 Peter 2:13-17). So, while there is no scripture to support a so-called “Two-Kingdoms Theology,” there is none to support a ‘One Kingdom of Christ’ Theology involving “the comprehensive conversion of all the institutions of the society under Christ and His Law.” God’s Word, apparently, “is authoritative over all areas of life” except when Resonstructionist Post-Millennarians have to show where the Lord Jesus instructs us to gain control of all human institutions.

    Scripture tells Christians how God has “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (Colossians 1:13),” because we who were “dead in sins” have already been “raised us up together,” and made to “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5,6).” That kingdom fully occupies our present tense and controls our personal lives on this earth–because Christ Jesus “…gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father (Galatians 1:4).

    The “One Kingdom” anticipated by Christians doesn’t arise from “this present evil world,” but comes ”…when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:7,8).“

    Therefore, it is the coming of the day of the Lord “as a thief in the night (2 Peter 3:10; 1 Thess. 5:2),” (not the power of Theonomic Reapolitik to infiltrate corrupt human mechanisms), that is moving in Revelation 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

    • Jazanias Oliveira says:

      Why does someone need a New Testament reference? All scripture is God-breathed and profitable [...] for training in righteousness.

      Let’s think about a King of kings who has no law, no dominion. (???)

      What about Matthew 5:14-20 (Isa 51:4-5)? Mat 6:5? Mat 28:18-20?

      I think we are supposed to teach and show justice/righteousness to the nations.

      • John Hendrickson says:

        Right. Why must the NT say such?

        What is wrong with Genesis’ command to mankind to subdue the earth and have dominion over it? Was God joking? Did He really not mean it?

        How about the idea that man is made in God’s image, man must live out that image, fallen man can no longer do that because his heart is desperately wicked , the only way for man to overcome his fallen heart’s misguided state is with the Revelation God provides, that the great news of the Gospel is that man can be restored to fulfill his original purpose (subdue the earth, etc) with that including eternal life?

        How about the Father’s promise to the Son in Psalm 2? Did the Son say, no thanks? Or maybe the Father will deliver up technical rulership over the nations, just that the nations are in complete rebellion, still casting His cords from them? And, of course, then the warning to “kiss the Son lest they perish in the way” is nothing more than an empty threat.

        • Josh says:

          “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5.

          I cannot see how to interpret that passage to mean anything less than that we are called to bring Christ into every aspect of life. Last I checked, government was based on ideas. To obey Christ, we must necessarily think how to take captive the ideas of government and make them obedient to Christ.

          That’s a New Testament passage for you. As you can see, the New Testament agrees with the Old (as in most things, actually, save ceremonial cleanness and sacrifice).

  11. john cummin says:

    You hit it on the nail once again. This 2 Kingdoms Theology is Schizophrenic at best and permanent madness at worst and Mohler and his ilk need to abandon it…or their sanity…permanently!

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