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Living in God's Two Kingdoms: A…

Living in God's Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and…

by David VanDrunen

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This is an important book in that there are few popular treatments of two kingdom theology. A transformationalist/Kuyperian/neo-Calvinist understanding of Christians' interaction with culture seems to be the predominant view of today's younger evangelicals, particularly the "young, restless, and Reformed" crowd, and VanDrunen sets out to provide a clear alternative to transformationalism.

While VanDrunen points out some valid flaws in the Kuyperian paradigm, his argument has some serious weaknesses, which is a shame since I sympathize with two kingdom theology. (If you're interested in reading a thorough beatdown of VanDrunen's argument, check out Keith Mathison's review.)

Overall, Living in God's Two Kingdoms is a helpful intro into the discussion, but it is far from a definitive answer to neo-Calvinism. ( )
  codyacunningham | May 9, 2016 |
I love this book. It is the clearest, most consistent explanation of the biblical foundations for Christian living I've come across. For all the confusion that exists in the church over how Christians ought to relate to the world, this book helps give us biblical categories to navigate the often confusing prospect of being in but not of the world.

Christ has completed all the work of redemption this world requires. As his people, we are simply meant to live in light of what he has already done. There is no redemption of culture that we can do. People make culture; it is people who need redemption. Christ died for us, not for a Christian America (or Europe or any other earthly culture). VanDrunen's book helps us understand this essential truth for the Christian life. I hope it serves to refocus the church's attention upon what Christ has called it to and avoid the many distractions of "Christianity + ________" that keep us from faithfulness. ( )
  jeffclocke | Mar 2, 2011 |
A good book on how not to over-Christianize our normal affairs. Argues that this world is passing away, and we are to do our work here, not in an effort to redeem this world for the world to come, or to do Adam's work (accomplished in Christ), but simply because we are humans & we are called to do certain things. (This is a gross over-simplification of the book's arguments). Basically - the author tries to achieve a good balance between two issues he views Christians as having: either viewing this present world as completely useless & therefore ignoring or disdaining our vocation, cultural endeavors, politics, etc on the one hand, or on the other hand thinking that the good (redeemed, Christian) culture, politics, etc that we do here & now will last into the new heavens & new earth. He points out that believers are to engage in all these activities hand-in-hand with unbelievers, and that often, unbelievers will be better at them then believers are. He draws from the imagery of the patriarchs and Israel in Babylon, viewing our path in this world as he shows that the New Testament does - as sojourners, citizens of another world, who are nevertheless to strive for the good of this world, while we inhabit it.

One of the strongest parts of this book I think is how he is very clear on the role of the church & its centrality to the believer's life. He carefully defines the role of the church, its extent, and tries to draw boundaries where there is scriptural reason to do so. He does this for the family and the government as well, but to a lesser extent.

This book was well & carefully thought-out and is written in a way that respectfully disagrees with those whose arguments he is opposing, he acknowledges where they are right, but tries to draw the church back to a biblical level of engagement where he sees from scripture that they have taken things too far. There are many references to both supporting and opposing books & papers in this book, so it is a good resource for beginning to look at the issue of the church & culture from a variety of viewpoints. ( )
  deferredreward | Jan 17, 2011 |
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