The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Thursday, December 13, 2007
Salvation, Lordship and Culture
Here is a quote I discovered at Ironink blog which is part of post that is an excellent critique of the Two Kingdom View of culture.

“Because Salvation is a total concept, a savior has dominion and authority over every realm of life. If His Lordship is not total, his salvation is not effectual. Therefore, anyone who claims to be a savior must of necessity assert an overlordship over every realm of life and thought…. Churchmen, by withdrawing the idea of salvation to the soul, so that Jesus Christ is the Savior of men’s souls and not Lord of heaven and earth and the only Savior of all things, have thereby in effect denied that Jesus is savior. None can be savior who is not also Lord.”

-- R.J. Rushdoony, Christianity & The State – pg. 27

There is no doubt that Rushdoony is polarizing figure. Yet I think he is very insightful in this quote. I wonder what the neo-calvinist readers of this blog think of his quote?

Rushdoony's view is sharply opposed to the TKV understanding of salvation. This came up recently in a critique of Doug Wilson by OPC pastor Todd Bordow (see Wilson's thorough response here.) Here is what Bordow says about Wilson:

This abuse of language is common among FVers. DW states how the salvation Christ came to bring is not only the salvation of souls, but salvation of governments and cultures. How is a culture “saved?” What did Jesus mean then when he said he came to “save” the world? Is the “saving” of the soul the same as the “saving” of a culture? If so, what is the saving of the soul? Did Jesus have two definitions of salvation in mind? In FV speak, it is not even clear what “salvation” means.

Bordow later continues:
Again, anyone familiar with DW’s writings notes how commonly DW mocks those concerned with the soul’s eternal salvation over against the reformation of culture and society, labeling them “Gnostics.” DW is fully aware what a Gnostic really is, but this is a common scare tactic to draw true Christians away from the biblical Great Commission to preach the gospel to every creature. DW tries to squirm out of this accusation by redefining the gospel and salvation in such a way as to include his vision for politics and culture. Thus everything DW teaches about how society should be formed and how you should act is included under “gospel,” a classic liberal ploy. Both liberals and DW find their passion in reforming the cultures of this world, though their specific agendas to attain this goal may differ somewhat.

Obviously Wilson (& Co.) are using gnostic in a novel way to point to the "spiritual" character of the TKV position on culture and salvation ("spiritual" is their own choice of words). This neo-platonic-sounding dualistic approach to salvation really does seem to ignore the full reality and implication of Jesus' resurrection (as well as his incarnation - Word became flesh - yuk!). Salvation is physical and spiritual, ecompassing the restoration of all things: bodies, souls, thinking, creation, culture, etc.

That culture is being restored and transformed is good news as far as I can tell.