The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Two-Kingdom Dualism
Most reformed proponants of the two-kingdom view of culture (Hart, Horton, et al) are quick to affirm that they are not dualists. They insist that they have a positive view of physical creation, the body, food, alcohol, art, etc. But when you look at their rhetoric, they almost always use platonic, dualistic language to affirm their position. Consider this paragraph from a recent post at the De Regnus Duobus blog:

...two-kingdoms thinking does not deny that there is cultic/cultural intersection and overlap in discussion about difficult issues. But it is crucial to remember that the tension does not lie in the kingdoms themselves. The kingdom of Christ is concerned with spiritual and eternal affairs and advances by Word and sacrament. The kingdom of man, on the other hand, is furthered by carnal weaponry for earthly and temporal ends. Both are legitimate and God-ordained, but distinct nonetheless.

Note the words used to describe the two kingdoms. The "kingdom of Christ" is spiritual and eternal; the "the kingdom of [mere!] man" is carnal, earthly and temporal.

Is spiritual better than carnal? Is eternal better than temporal? (Note that Rev. 22:2 makes it clear that life in the New Jerusalem will still be temporal - note that there will months in heaven!)

Much could be said about the prima facie dualism. I will point out my strong disagreement about the temporal/eternal claim. Even though scripture uses "passing away" language to describe what will happen to creation and culture, the bulk of the scriptural view favor renewal and healing, not total destruction (for example: Romans8; Rev. 21:24,26; Mt. 5:5, etc.). I argue for this position under the last section of my book.

Why is it that the TKV fall back on this kind of language to defend their position? Is culture good enough for heaven? Or is it strictly second class?