Horton’s inglorious “two kingdoms” theology

An old post from Joel McDurmon Horton’s inglorious “two kingdoms” theology raises concerns about the logical consequences of what he calls “Radical Two Kingdoms theology”, which is a particular type of two kingdoms theology that incorrectly argues for an epistemological dualism: natural law for one kingdom, Scripture for the other.

The remedy: preach the whole counsel of God to every area of life.

I agree, and so does Voddie Baucham:

Either what we’re trusting in is human beings and their ability to determine what is right in and of themselves. Or we believe that there is a God. That that God has spoken. And that we are responsible to that God when it comes to every area of our life.

But as he said in his recent conference on Religion & Politics, the whole counsel of God must be properly interpreted before it can be applied. This entails (among other things):

  • Discerning the relationship between the Old and New Covenants (they are two different covenants, not two administrations of the same covenant)
  • Relationship between national Israel and the Church (can’t treat America like it’s the new Israel)
  • Relationship between the church and the state (liberty of conscience)

By which he concludes:

Jesus answered ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world my servants would have been fighting that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.’ Folks, we are a citizen of that kingdom. That kingdom of which Jesus spoke. We are citizens of that kingdom. His kingdom is not of this world. His kingdom is not America. America is not the kingdom of God. America is the whore of Babylon. Amen somebody. And every other kingdom on this earth is as well! Because when the kingdom is established, it will not be in Texas. And if it won’t be here, it won’t be anywhere, amen?”

McDurmon objects that if we believe the Bible must be the source of our civil laws, then we must look to Old Testament civil laws because only here does Scripture give such content for civil laws. But this is actually a rejection of the idea that the Bible speaks to every area of life.

Are you exempt from applying the Bible to your job if you design shoes for Nike, since there are no shoe design case studies in Scripture? No, you study God’s word to discern not just what is explicit, but what may be deduced from Scripture as well. Claiming that we may only be informed by what is explicit in Scripture is a rejection of deduction as a legitimate means of interpreting Scripture.

Bottom line: the proper interpretation of Scripture does not allow us to apply Israel’s judicial case laws today, but it does allow us to deduce the necessary foundations for civil government from Scripture.

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