“The R2K crowd is willing to cede the point that Christ’s spiritual kingdom or mediatorial kingdom is synonymous with the church. This is the classic non roman position. But they are unwilling to admit that Christ’s kingdom of power exists at all. The Kuyperians are unwilling to admit that there is a distinction between the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of power at all. Thus they are unable to draw a distinction between grace and the natural order. Or if they do nature is bad and so must be eliminated. Grace eats up nature and your church membership becomes more fundamental to your being than your father’s blood.
Both are errors. Neither comport with magisterial Protestantism or confessional Christianity.”
Over the years here at Iron Ink two of my main foils (though not my only adversaries) have been R2K and “Christian” Alienism. What Robert offers above shows the reason for that. There is linkage between these two errors. Now, Robert and I do not agree on Natural Law scholastic theology but all theologians talk about the relationship between nature and grace. It has been a Reformed motif over the centuries that “grace restores/renews nature.”
The CREC wants grace at the expense of nature. This is seen in Doug Wilson’s silly diatribes against biblical Kinism…. well, except when it is his Kin who are at stake. When it is his kin at stake then suddenly we begin to smell ethnic puffery. Take for example these two paragraphs from Pope Douglas read back to back;
I.) Doug “I hate white Kinism” Wilson
“We of course reject all such ethnic pufferies, and we do so with just the right amount of loathing…By making absolutely everything about superficial ethnicity indicators, it turns out that some have learned this lesson in reactionary ways, and have embraced their superficial ethnicity indicators. Instead of being ASHAMED of this made-up reality, they became PROUD of this made-up reality. And that’s how we got a collection of Proud Boys going down to heckle folks at an Antifa rally, with the Boys in question made up of Scots, Norwegians, Germans, and a Ukrainian, arms locked, singing a Celtic war song. This is nothing more than playing tribal dress-ups, or ethnic cosplay, and all of it based on nothing more than a shared susceptibility to sunburn. ” –Doug Wilson
II.) Doug “I love me some Jewish Kinism” Wilson
“My affection for Israel is personal, in addition to being theological and political. My wife’s great-great-grandfather was Rabbi Cohn, one of my co-grandfathers is a Christian Jew, my kids and grandkids have cousins who are Israeli, and according to AncestryDNA, I myself am 2% European Jewish. Nancy is 11% European Jew, her mother 26%. What all this amounts to is that our family would be much more involved on an active personal level if terrorists overran Israel than we would be if terrorists overran Vermont.” — Douglas Wilson
At least in the first paragraph nature is just so much “ethnic puffery” that is to be met with just the right loathing of all those ethnic pufferers who share the common trait of susceptibility to sunburn. However, in the second paragraph its all bagels and matzo ball soup serious.
The CREC would replace the ethnic puffery of the first paragraph with ecclesiocentrism and grace. White boy summer ethnic puffery is not important. What is important for the CREC (at least for white boy summer) is grace over nature unless, of course unless all your grandchildren are descendants of Rabbi Cohn. This may be accounted by the wide spread admission of ecclesiocentrism that is found in the CREC. What is important per the Moscow boys is not the family (the ground zero for ethnic considerations). What is important is the Church. Apparently, for the CREC types it is in the Church we live and move and have our being.
However, not to be outdone, R2K comes along with their famous condescending “tut, tut, tutting,” to remind us that the CREC is wrong. It is not grace eclipsing nature. Rather, it is grace and nature set in dualistic compartmentalization from one another. This explains why the grand Pu-bah of R2K can say things like;
“God is not redeeming the cultural activities and institutions of this world”…“Those who hold a traditional Protestant view of justification consistently should not find a redemptive transformationist perspective attractive.”
David Van Drunen — Westminster Seminary California Professor
“Living in God’s Two Kingdoms”, pp. 13–21.
One readily sees here that grace and nature have been compartmentalized from one another. Grace is an upper story reality and nature is a lower story reality and never the twain shall meet institutionally speaking.
So to reduce to a Venn diagram
CREC = Grace Supplants Nature (No unapproved of ethnic puffery allowed)
Materialism = Nature is all there is (The Cosmos is all there is)
R2K = Grace and Nature exist in a dualistic ying & yang (Secularism forever)
Rome = Nature must come under Grace for Nature to count
(This explains why for Rome everything had to come into the Church to be Holy.)
Animism = Spiritual is all there is
To the contrary, for right-minded people it is the case that the Church is a central expression of the Kingdom but it is not the only expression of the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God, being among us, or in our midst (Luke 17:21) is a Kingdom that is not only redemptive as it works in the Church with its means of Grace in the Word and Sacrament unto the end of opening and closing the Kingdom, but the Kingdom is also authoritarian as it works as under Christ’s Kingship through redeemed Kingdom men, who, by the means of taking every thought captive to Christ and doing all things to the glory of God unto, labor unto the end of the ongoing expansion of the already present Kingdom of God so that one day the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
The model is found in the Incarnation. Taking seriously the Council of Chalcedon’s definition of the incarnation is how one avoids going off the road into either the R2k ditch or the CREC ditch which in the end both lead to Gnosticism by either over materialization or over spiritualization.