Beeke and David Dickson Destroy R2K Innovation

Completed Jonathan Beeke’s work “Duplex Regnum Christi; Christ’s Twofold Kingdom in Reformed Theology.” Like all Academics Beeke’s work seeks to be irenic but when read closely, Beeke’s work tears the guts out of Radical Two Kingdom dualism theology. It exposes the glaring weaknesses of the completely innovative theories of the R2K chaps like Van Drunen, Tuiniga, Littlejohn and their ilk.

Beeke’s work needs to get into the hands of polemicists who will use this work as a crowbar to pry apart the “theology” of R2K and if needs be to knock R2K on the proverbial cranium a few times.

If you are in the ministry and are infatuated with R2K I highly recommend you read this work if you can find it. (It’s now out of print.) If you’re and Elder in a local Church I highly recommend you read this work so you will not be buffaloed by the Escondido Spirit of the age.

I reproduce a few of the highlights of Beeke’s work here;

“Lastly, it should be observed that Dickson did not limit the regnum mediatorium (mediatorial reign) to the incarnate Son’s rule over His church. While Dickson certainly believed that the focus of the specific kingdom is the mediatorial and redemptive work of Jesus Christ within His church, he nevertheless stressed that the kingdom ‘committed’ to the God-man (i.e. – the regnum mediatorium) is ‘over everything in the world’ (in omnia quae in mundo sunt). This again buttresses one of the primary arguments of this study, namely, that the Reformed orthodox did not primarily differentiate the twofold kingdom of Christ as to its scope (i.e., determining what areas of each life each kingdom pertained to), but as to the mode of Christ’s rule (as Dickson argues, whether the Son rules immediately as one person of the Trinity, or mediately as God-man). Evidence of this mediated kingdom, give to the Son by the Father, is also found in Dickson’s co-authored work ‘The Sum of Saving Knowledge.’

Jonathan Beeke

Regnum Duplex Christi


This is the money quote. This is a thumb in the eye of R2K but the way it is so academically stated one would never know the Beeke just torpedoed the R2K project with this observation. Read it carefully. Beeke just said that dividing the world up into a “common realm” where Christ ruled by Natural Law vis-a-vis a “grace realm” where Christ ruled by Revealed Law was not the way the Reformers understood the idea of Two Kingdoms.

Beeke goes on to write and by doing so wreaks absolute mayhem and havoc with the theory of R2K;

“Despite the essential differences that Dickson sees between the church and magistrate, he nevertheless argues, like many Reformed orthodox that cura religionis is proper to the duty of the magistrate. According to Dickson then,

‘The Lutherans, Anabaptists, Arminians, Quakers, and all sorts of heretics, and sectaries err, who maintain (under the pretext of Christian Liberty) that the civil magistrate is not in duty to punish any man with the sword for errors in doctrine, but that they ought to be tolerated and suffered, providing such persons as own them do not trouble or molest the commonwealth.’

In defense of this claim, Dickson points to the godly example of OT kings (such Hezekiah, Josiah, Asa, and Jehoshaphat), as well as key scriptural passages such as Isaiah 49:23 (where in his view it is foretold that under the NT kings ‘shall be nursing fathers to the church, and queens nursing mothers’). Because the magistrate is to suppress all blasphemy and heresy according to the example of these godly kings, the civil leader is custodian of both tables of the law  (custos utriusque tabluae). Dickson’s language is particularly forceful here; with the ‘assistance of the church and her censures,’ the magistrate duty is TO FORCE (if necessary) ALL SUBJECTS TO CONFORM TO THE ‘TRUE WORSHIP, SOUND DOCTRINE, AND DISCIPLINE OF THE CHURCH. Dickson concludes:

‘If then [the magistrate] may punish evil doers who offend against the second table and force and compel them to obedience by the sword of justice which God hath put in his hand, much more may he punish idolaters and blasphemers who offend against the first table and force and compel them to obedience, seeing there are many sins against the first table which are more heinous and odious than the sins against the second table.’


Dickson’s conclusion is admittedly surprising for the modern reader: According to this 17th century Edinburgh theologian, the Roman Catholic practice of forcefully compelling others to convert was not ‘sinful’ in principle, but was wrong only because the Church of Rome taught a ‘superstitious and idolatrous religion. For those ‘who have the true religion among them,’ however, this practice is legitimized, even if, Dickson acknowledges, ‘our blessed Saviour and His apostles did not use such means for propagating the gospel.'”

Jonathan Beeke

Duplex Regnum Christi — pg. 212-213


Just in case you missed it I will repeat again a portion of the above quote for those R2K types who are slow of learning. All of this is from David Dickson who was a 17th century Reformed Theologian who was platformed @ Edinburgh as the 6th Divinity Professor at that prestigious Reformed school. Dickson, though not widely known now, was a major figure during his time.

Dickson, in the quote you’re about to read, reveals that R2K is just outright lying when it wants to suggest that it has “recovered the Reformed confessions” when it comes to Reformed Two Kingdom theology. Dickson, at the same time, also blows apart the worldview of classical Liberalism which is really the worldview genesis of R2K.

Ask yourself as you read this quote, “where do the R2K acolytes fall in Dickson’s list cited? Are Van Drunen, Horton, Clark, Hart, T. David Gordon, Matthew Tuiniga, and Littlejohn (to name but a very few) Lutherans, Anabaptists, or Arminians, or are they numbered with all sorts of heretics and sectaries who err?

‘The Lutherans, Anabaptists, Arminians, Quakers, and all sorts of heretics, and sectaries err, who maintain (under the pretext of Christian Liberty) that the civil magistrate is not in duty to punish any man with the sword for errors in doctrine, but that they ought to be tolerated and suffered, providing such persons as own them do not trouble or molest the commonwealth.’

David Dickson

Truth’s Victory Over Error — p. 173-174

Clearly, if Rev. Dr. David Dickson was correct, then at the very least we can say that R2K is not Reformed theology.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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