#1 — “A two-kingdoms doctrine, distinguishes what is uniquely ‘Christian’ from what is simply ‘human’ [….] Generally speaking, to be ‘human’ here and now means living in the common kingdom under the Noahic covenant. Christians share the life and activities of the common kingdom with all human beings. What differentiates them from the rest of humanity is their identification with the redemptive kingdom and all that that entails.” (p.167)
#2 — “Learning, working, and voting are not uniquely Christian tasks, but common tasks. Christians should always be distinguished from unbelievers subjectively: they do all things by faith in Christ and for his glory. But as an objective matter, the standards of morality and excellence in the common kingdom are ordinarily the same for believers and unbelievers: they share these standards in common under God’s authority in the covenant with Noah.” (p.31)
#3 — “[T]he normative standards for cultural activities are, in general, not distinctively Christian. By this I mean that the moral requirements that we expect of Christians in cultural work are ordinarily the same moral requirements that we expect of non-Christians, and the standards of excellence for such work are the same for believers and unbelievers.” (p.168)
#4 — “[A] writer promotes a ‘contemporary Christian perspective on business,’ which promotes the principles of fair trading practices for workers, healthy local businesses, and Christian-run start-up businesses that ‘lovingly serve the needs of fellow citizens.’ [These] principles are admirable, but there is nothing distinctively ‘new creation’ or ‘Christian’ about […] them. All of these principles are grounded in the present created order and the terms of the Noahic covenant.” (p.193-4)
Living in God’s Two Kingdoms
#1 — Note how R2K aficionado VanDrunen abstracts Christian from human identity as if one can be human without at the same time being Christian or non-Christian. VanDrunen sets up a human identity that operates in his common realm that is undefined by that identities relation to or non relation to Jesus Christ.
Also note on this score that any thinking that suggests that the embrace of Christ makes one more truly “human” according to God’s original design must necessarily be seen as fatuous. To be human, according to VanDrunen, is to live in the common realm. Whether we are Christian or non Christian is irrelevant as it relates to identity as “human.”
Finally, we see on this quote that once again, Van Drunen has dualistically compartmentalized the common realm from the redemptive realm. In the redemptive realm we can call ourselves “Christian,” with all that that means but in the “common realm,” we are merely abstracted humans who engage along with those who hate Christ in common cultural endeavors and callings.
#2 / #3 — It is true that “as an objective matter, the standards of morality and excellence in the common kingdom are ordinarily the same for believers and unbelievers: they share these standards in common under God’s authority in the covenant with Noah,” but what is not true is that those who are Christ haters recognize and embrace these standards of morality and excellence. I very rarely use the language of a “self evident” truth, but I would think that VanDrunen would recognize that the very issue he insists Christians have in common with those who hate Christ are the issues that our current culture is tearing itself apart fighting over. The morality of the Ten Billion dollar a year porn industry and its standard for “excellence,” is quite a different morality and quite a different “excellent” than most Christian humans living in his common realm. The morality and excellence of outcome based education in the government schools is quite a different morality and excellence than most Christian humans have who are living in this common realm.
#4 — In VanDrunen’s common realm world who defines “fair” and what is the standard being used to define “fair?” In VanDrunen’s common realm where exactly do we find these principles grounded in the created order? I thought nature was red in tooth and claw? Does VanDrunen really believe that the evolutionary Capitalist or the Businessman who is seeking to advance the cause of Allah is going to have the same standards of fairness for their business as is the Biblical Christian?
It is difficult to believe at times that the R2K crowd is serious in all of this. Do they really believe that such a social order can be governed by their Christian dualism?