Acknowledgement Page

Expressing gratitude can be a losing proposition because once one begins one is bound to not express enough gratitude to enough people and so one can disappoint those who were instrumental in a project that should not have been overlooked. Forgive me for overlooking you.

The way these acknowledgement pages work, I’ve noticed, is to remind the reader that any insights are the fruit of learning from others more intelligent and wise than one’s self while any errors belong uniquely to the author of the finished product. That is true again in what is now in your hands. I have come up with nothing originally original. Any ability to pick apart R2K is due to the mentoring of Dr. Glenn R. Martin that began in 1977. Dr. Martin taught us to see life as a unity underneath the express authority of Jesus Christ.  I extend thanks thus to this great saint who though now part of the Church at rest, still speaks through me.

I am thankful for the conversation partners Mark Van Der Molen and Mark Chambers. They spent countless hours with me on the phone and in person listening to my rants and adding their important insights. They have both been good friends and fellow warriors in this project and have been pushing me to write this book for some time. Thank you Mark & Mark.

I extend sincere gratitude to Dr. Adi Schlebusch. Dr. Schlebusch connected me with his Pactum Institute and then asked me to write this book. That was a gamble and I am thankful he took it. Thank you Adi also for proof-reading. I likewise am thankful for Ruben Alvarado and Pantocrator press for publishing this modest work.

I shouldn’t forget thanking my R2K enemies. You know who you are. In your contrariness and vitriol expressed against me you only sharpened my arguments and made me more convinced that “Rabbi Bret” was right. Thanks gang. You made this book possible.

I cannot forget to tell the congregation I serve “Thank You.” They have patiently allowed me to pursue this subject. They have listened to numerous sermons and lessons on this subject. Many of them could probably write this book by now since I have banged so hard on the subject over the years. Thank you Saints of Christ members at Charlotte Christ the King Reformed Church.

Then there are my children, Laura-Jane, Anna, and Anthony. Y’all brought the stability into my life that made such a project possible. Y’all were patient while I read late into the night and wrote later into the wee hours of the morning. You put up with me carrying my books to your every event and didn’t mind me (too much) multi-tasking. All of you will never know how thankful to the Lord Christ I am for your presence in my life.

Finally, I owe a debt of gratitude to my wife to whom I dedicate this volume. Jane, you have been both my muse and my sounding board. Thank you for your patience with me being distracted while I continued to sort all this (and much more) out. No minister ever had a better woman to be “the Pastors wife.” Thank you seems insufficient but all the gratitude I have is all yours.

And now this portion of the project is complete. More could be said but enough has been said for now. It is my prayer that this book contributes to the destruction of Radical Two Kingdom Theology.

The Whoppers R. Scott Clark Tells About R2K

In a blog post at Heidleblog Dr. R. Scott Clark basically tells us that if we were smart like him and had the smart books he has read we would see how foolish we are for daring to disagree with him on Radical Two Kingdom theology. Clark, the anti-nomian, accuses R. J. Rushdoony of writing a talmudic three volume set on God’s law. Well, I suppose to RJR does look talmudic when viewed through the lens of those who hate God’s law.

Anyway, here is the take-away quote from Scott’s first blog post;

“There has been a certain degree of controversy in some quarters of the confessional Reformed world over the recovery of the “two kingdoms” as a way of thinking about Christ and culture and ethics. The qualifier some is important here because anyone who knows the history of Reformed theology knows that faithful, confessional theologians have been speaking of God’s “twofold government” (duplex regimen and duplex regnum) or “two kingdoms” since the 16th century. It is not a novelty but so divorced are enough contemporary Reformed Christians from their own tradition and heritage that when this way of speaking re-surfaced in 2010 it was taken, in some quarters as a radical departure from Reformed theology.”

R. Scott Clark
R2K Theologian


Now here we have to say that either R. Scott Clark is historically ignorant beyond plumbing the depths of said ignorance or he is a liar.

It is true that Reformed Two Kingdom theology has been around for centuries. It’s also true the R2K theology is a completely different beast from historic Reformed Two Kingdom theology. This has been admitted to by no less a person then Scott’s colleague and R2K guru David Van Drunen. In an office hours interview Van Drunen admits;

“I have tried my best to make a kind of NEW Biblical-theological argument for why there needs to be a generous measure of tolerance and religious liberty and I am happy to hear back from other people who want to engage that argument seriously.”

Notice the bold print. This is another key admission. Forever, R2K has flip-flopped on the issue of whether their version of “Christianity” is the faith once and forever delivered unto the saints or something completely innovative that no Christian has ever seen before. Here, in the bold print, we have admission from one of the key architects of R2K that what he has done is completely innovative. No Christian who has ever lived as ever seen what DVD has done with R2K. I find this beyond significant.

The historic Reformed Two Kingdom was not interested in tolerance and so called religious liberty as sundry quotes on Iron Ink have demonstrated repeatedly. Here are just a couple;

“Then let us not think that this Law is a special Law for the Jews; but let us understand that God intended to deliver us a general rule, to which we must yield ourselves … Since, it is so, it is to be concluded, not only that it is lawful for all kings and magistrates, to punish heretics and such as have perverted the pure truth; but also that they be bound to do it, and that they misbehave themselves towards God, if they suffer errors to rest without redress, and employ not their whole power to shew greater zeal in their behalf than in all other things.”

John Calvin
Sermon on Deuteronomy
Sermon 87
Deuteronomy 13:5

In a treatise against pacifistic Anabaptists who maintained a doctrine of the spirituality of the Church (just like R2K) which abrogated the binding authority of the case law (just like R2K) Calvin wrote,

“They (the Anabaptists) will reply, possibly, that the civil government of the people of Israel was a figure of the spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ and lasted only until his coming, I will admit to them that in part, it was a figure, but I deny that it was nothing more than this, and not without reason. For in itself it was a political government, which is a requirement among all people. That such is the case, it is written of the Levitical priesthood that it had to come to an end and be abolished at the coming of our Lord Jesus (Heb. 7:12ff) Where is it written that the same is true of the external order? It is true that the scepter and government were to come from the tribe of Judah and the house of David, but that the government was to cease is manifestly contrary to Scripture.”

John Calvin
Treatise against the Anabaptists and against the Libertines, pp. 78-79

“But it is questioned whether the law pertains to the kingdom of Christ, which is spiritual and distinct from all earthly dominion; and there are some men, not otherwise ill-disposed, to whom it appears that our condition under the Gospel is different from that of the ancient people under the law; not only because the kingdom of Christ is not of this world, but because Christ was unwilling that the beginnings of His kingdom should be aided by the sword. But, when human judges consecrate their work to the promotion of Christ’s kingdom, I deny that on that account its nature is changed. For, although it was Christ’s will that His Gospel should be proclaimed by His disciples in opposition to the power of the whole world, and He exposed them armed with the Word alone like sheep amongst the wolves, He did not impose on Himself an eternal law that He should never bring kings under His subjection, nor tame their violence, nor change them from being cruel persecutors into the patrons and guardians of His Church.”

John Calvin
Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses – p. 77.

What Clark and Van Drunen have done, in a act of linguistic deception, is emptied the previous meaning of historic Reformed Two Kingdom and have filled the words “Historic Reformed Two Kingdom” with a completely different content. There is no way in Hades that a Knox, or a Calvin would recognize Escondido’s R2K as having anything in common with their R2K project.

 Can it really be the case that Church Historian Dr. R. Scott Clark doesn’t realize that Escondido’s R2K is a altogether entity as compared with historic Reformed Two Kingdom theology? I mean, it seems to me that Scott is giving us a classic example of gaslighting. He can’t really be this dumb.

Responding To R. Scott Clark’s Vicious Attack on Bahnsen & Theonomy

Over at the “HIDEOUSBLOG” Dr. R. Scott Clark demonstrates (yet again) that he is stupid. If you search engine “R. Scott Clark Hideousblog” you will find the site. The column title is; “Stemming Another Rising Tide Of Theonomy: Hebrews 7:11–14 (1): Background.” I am not going to link it here because the thought of Iron Ink giving HideousBlog traffic makes me ill.

Herein follows the list of Clark’s errors;

1.)   “no Republican was going to win the White House that year” (1976 election).

I only include this rather off hand comment by Clark in order to demonstrate that the man doesn’t know what he is talking about. If Clark can be wrong here, in such an obvious manner, then it gives support to the idea that Clark doesn’t know what he is talking about in any number of any other “factual” accounts he gives.

Briefly put, Republican chances in 1976 were good. Ford ended up losing in the closest Presidential race of the 20th century at that time, save one. Many experts believe that if Reagan had received the nomination that Republicans would have indeed won. Failing that if Ford would have just run more to the right he might have pulled out Ohio and won. Clark is just in gross error here, as he continues to be throughout this piece. For Pete’s sake Ford won 27 states, the most states ever carried by a losing candidate.

2.) “Still, Bahnsen’s book, which advocated the (future) reimposition of the Mosaic judicial laws, went off like a bombshell, provoking reviews and responses in Christianity Today and a volume of essays by the faculty of Westminster Seminary.”

Throughout the history of Westminster Seminary the faculty had never, to that time, put out of a volume of essays denouncing anything. Never a joint volume denouncing Dispensationalism. Never a joint volume denouncing the sexual revolution. Never a joint volume denouncing liberalism in the Church. Only upon Greg Bahnsen’s publication advocating respecting God’s Law did the Westminster faculty determine that they had to put out a joint volume of essays in order to squash Bahnsen. That volume of essays has since been torn from limb to limb and scattered to the wind as it has been exposed as to how shallow and errant it is.

While we are on it, a good booklet to get that overturns Westminster’s and Clark’s silly hostility to Bahnsen’s theonomy is “Theonomy and the Westminster Confession” by Martin Foulner.

3.) “His (Bahnsen’s) argument was shocking to the consciences of many American evangelical Christians for a variety of reasons. First, many American evangelicals had been reared in Dispensational fundamentalism. As strict as they might have been in their piety and personal morality, theologically and practically they were antinomian. The Old Testament was thought generally to belong to previous “dispensations” in history and thus not even the Ten Commandments were thought to be “for today,” let alone the Mosaic judicial laws.”

Yeah, antinomian Dispensationalism was and is kind of like Clark’s antinomian R2K buddy, David Van Drunen writing,

“Scripture is the sacred text given to God’s covenant people whom he has redeemed from sin. . . . Given its character, therefore, Scripture is not given as a common moral standard that provides ethical imperatives to all people regardless of their religious standing.”


Even antinomian R. Scott Clark reveals his antinomian slip by writing;


“It is not the magistrate’s duty to police every sort of violation of natural law and sin. For example, no one but theocrats want the state enforcing obedience to the first table of the law. The magistrate’s natural sphere of concern and authority is in the second table.”

Heidelblog, October 27, 2008

So, per antinomian R2K Clark Magistrates should not be concerned to create and then enforce blasphemy laws, laws supporting the sabbath (old “blue laws”), and laws against perjury?  Antinomian anyone?

Yes, Bahnsen and all Biblical Christians oppose both Dispensationalism and R2K on these matters. Theonomists do believe that God’s law applies in the common realm today.

It’s not a wonder Clark hates theonomists so. It is the same hatred that the Dispensationalists have for theonomists. Wait … could that mean that R2K is really just “Reformed Dispensationalism?” Some have thought and said so.

4.)   Nevertheless, Bahnsen argued for the “abiding validity of the law of God in exhaustive detail.” Specifically, what was at issue was the abiding validity of the Mosaic judicial laws. This is what he intended by “theonomy.”

First, Bahnsen went out of his way to demonstrate that general equity remained. There were OT Judicial laws that were no longer in force such as building a fence around the roof of one’s house, though Bahnsen pointed out that as a principle that law remained in force with the idea that since it was about protecting people from harm (since the ancients entertained on their roofs) therefore building fences around swimming pools would be an example of how the general equity of the law remained.

Second, what the libertine Clark and his R2K buddies desire is to throw out the whole law, including, as we saw above, the 10 commandments. R2K says incest may be OK since incest was a OT judicial law only for OT Israel. R2K says that bestiality is OK since bestiality was a OT judicial law. R2K says that public square blasphemy is ok since the forbidding of that is OT judicial law.

So, yes, Bahnsen taught the abiding validity of God’s law. And R2K teaches the abiding eclipse of God’s law. Now, dear reader,

“Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region where Escondido is, or the gods of the R2K-ites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

5.) “Major mainstream media outlets are paying attention to the new locus of the theonomy movement, to Moscow, Idaho, and to the plans of theonomic-reconstructionist church to Christianize Moscow and, from there, the rest of the world. “

First, I could only wish that Moscow, Idaho was theonomic the way Bahnsen was theonomic. Clark needs to keep in mind that Wilson himself has said that he is NOT Rushdoony 2.0 but that he is trying to be Rushdoony 0.5. Wilson is no theonomist. Wilson, like Clark, is just another version of an Elmer Gantry cult trying to rope in the rubes. Imagine how petrified Clark would be if Wilson were really a theonomist.

Second, notice Scott’s problem with the very idea of anything being “Christianized.” Scott is miffed because someone — anyone might want to see some small social-order potentially Christianized. Scott’s R2K infection driven fever prevents him from ever entertaining the thought that even his own family might be Christian someday — never mind a whole city or even country. Scott has taken dark oaths of allegiance per his militant R2K eschatological amillennialism that he is duty bound to stop the Christianization of anything because that is not possible. Good grief, Clark is the one who has said that the disappearance of Christendom is a good thing.

6.)  Further, apparently ignorant of the classical and traditional Christian usage of the term “general equity” (natural law)…

Maybe Scott would be kind enough to list all of the theologians who exactly equated “general equity” with natural law. I would find that interesting.

7.) History has not been a strong suit of the theonomists

Says the guy who makes stupid history claims about the 1976 election.

8.) “After all, this argument is really about the progress of revelation and redemption. Were the specifically Israelite laws temporary or not? With the church universal, the confessional Protestant traditions have said that they are.”

Again, I refer the reader to Martin Foulner’s “Theonomy & The Westminster Confession,” in order to give the lie to Clark’s assertions.

9.) Several of the Anabaptists postulated a future glory age on the earth when Christians shall have conquered their enemies.

Here Scott just tells us that he hates postmillennialism and tries to suggest that theonomists are really Anabaptist. Yeah … right … the postmill theonomists see the world they are seeking to conquer by the Spirit of Christ as for Christ as evil (that “the world is evil” is classical Anabaptist thought) refuse to baptize their children (like the Anabaptists), and believe in the community of goods (like the Anabaptists). Scott is just throwing cow dung against the wall here to see if it will stick. Any smear will do. Of course, being antinomian he can get away with that without coming under any conviction.

10.) The Reformed biblical theologians recognized that the Mosaic theocratic-state was intentionally temporary. They recognized that it was intended to point to the New Covenant and to Christ. They recognized and repeatedly said that the judicial and ceremonial laws were part and parcel of the types and shadows which have been fulfilled by Christ.

Hey, Scott, was Martin Bucer a Reformed Biblical Theologian?

“But since no one can desire an approach more equitable and wholesome to the commonwealth than that which God describes in His law, it is certainly the duty of all kings and princes who recognize that God has put them over His people that follow most studiously his own method of punishing evildoers. For inasmuch as we have been freed from the teaching of Moses through Christ the Lord so that it is no longer necessary for us to observe the civil decrees of the law of Moses, namely, in terms of the way and the circumstances in which they described, nevertheless, insofar as the substance and proper end of these commandments are concerned, and especially those which enjoin the discipline that is necessary for the whole commonwealth, whoever does not reckon that such commandments are to be conscientiously observed is not attributing to God either supreme wisdom or a righteous care for our salvation.

Accordingly, in every state sanctified to God capital punishment must be ordered for all who have dared to injure religion, either by introducing a false and impious doctrine about the Worship of God or by calling people away from the true worship of God (Dt. 13:6-10, and 17:2-5); for all who blaspheme the name of God and his solemn services (Lv. 24:15-16); who violate the Sabbath (Ex. 31:14-15, and 35:2; Num. 15:32-36); who rebelliously despise authority of parents and live their own life wickedly (Dt. 21:18-21); who are unwilling to submit to the sentence of supreme tribunal (Dt. 17:8-12); who have committed bloodshed (Ex. 21:12; Lv. 24:17, Dt. 19:11-13), adultery (Lv. 20:10), rape (Dt. 22:20-25), kidnapping (Dt. 24:17); who have given false testimony in a capital case (Dt. 19:16-21).”

Martin Bucer
16th century Magisterial Reformer
The Fourteenth Law: The Modification of Penalties

Hey, Scott, was John Calvin a Reformed Biblical Theologian?

“But this was sayde to the people of olde time. Yea, and God’s honour must not be diminished by us at this day: the reasons that I have alleadged alreadie doe serve as well for us as for them. Then lette us not thinke that this lawe is a speciall lawe for the Jewes; but let us understand that God intended to deliver to us a generall rule, to which we must tye ourselves…Sith it is so, it is to be concluded, not onely that is lawefull for all kinges and magistrates, to punish heretikes and such as have perverted the pure trueth; but also that they be bounde to doe it, and that they misbehave themselves towardes God, if they suffer errours to roust without redresse, and employ not their whole power to shewe a greater zeale in that behalfe than in all other things.”

Calvin, Sermons upon Deuteronomie, p. 541-542

And again, in a treatise against pacifistic Anabaptists who maintained a doctrine of the spirituality of the Church which abrogated the binding authority of the case law Calvin wrote,

“They (the Anabaptists) will reply, possibly, that the civil government of the people of Israel was a figure of the spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ and lasted only until his coming, I will admit to them that in part, it was a figure, but I deny that it was nothing more than this, and not without reason. For in itself it was a political government, which is a requirement among all people. That such is the case, it is written of the Levitical priesthood that it had to come to an end and be abolished at the coming of our Lord Jesus (Heb. 7:12ff) Where is it written that the same is true of the external order? It is true that the scepter and government were to come from the tribe of Judah and the house of David, but that the government was to cease is manifestly contrary to Scripture.”

John Calvin
Treatise against the Anabaptists and against the Libertines, pp. 78-79


11.) “Thus, it is no surprise that Bahnsen’s biblical exegesis in Theonomy is spectacularly unpersuasive. His interpretation of Matthew 5:17–20 has been dismantled more than once.”

I’m just wondering here. If Bahnsen’s work on Matthew 5:17-20 has been dismantled more than once than why is it that almost 30 years after his death Clark still is spilling cyber ink trying to refute theonomy?

Oh, and by the by, if Bahnsen’s work on Mt. 5 doesn’t satisfy you then maybe B. B. Warfield’s work on the same text promoting the same end as Bahnsen will satisfy.

Finally, I would only note that Clark repeatedly accuses Bahnsen and theonomy of being guilty of the sin of Judaizing. I am sure that rabid antinomians find Judaizing everywhere.

Van Til & T. S. Eliot Contra Mike Horton on the Validity of R2K Gnosticism

“We (Christians) not only claim our rightful place among the commonwealths of education but we have a definitely imperialistic program. No mere Monroe doctrine will suffice. We are out to destroy—albeit with spiritual weapons only and always—all our competitors. We do not recognize them equals but regard them as usurpers. Carthage must be destroyed.”

Cornelius Van Til

When we seek special political favors for the church, we communicate to the masses that Christ’s kingdom is just another demographic in the US electorate.

Michael Horton
Reformed ‘theologian’

“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.”  (Proverbs 25:26)
To the contrary Michael, when we don’t seek the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the public square, we communicate to the masses that Christ’s kingdom is just another demographic in the US electorate.

Horton is operating off the assumption that the State can be neutral in its political favors. Horton assumes the State can be so neutral that it can make sure that the Kingdoms of the various gods can all be kept equal in the public square by the State. None of the kingdoms and their gods will be favored politically. None of the kingdoms and their gods will be disfavored politically. On these premises, Horton thus proves that the State is god over the gods and god over God. The god-state is the institution which will make sure God knows His place so that, along with the other gods, He or His Kingdom is not favored. According to Horton God and His law is not to be favored above any of the other gods and their laws.

Horton’s problem is Gnosticism. If you read this article you will learn that Horton believes that the Kingdom of God is spiritual and does not have any legs in the civil social sphere. Per Horton to believe that the Kingdom of God can have instantiation in the public square of political bodies via Christian magistrates ruling consistent with God’s word is to ‘confuse the kingdoms.’ Horton thus has the Kingdom of God located in some timeless spiritual realm which is cut off from the temporal corporeal realm in which we now live. Per the school of thought Horton is advancing (R2K) we can have the Kingdom individually, and when we attend Church Sunday, but the Kingdom is NOT present and not to be present in our politics, in our families, in our education, or in our nation. This is why he insists that there is no such thing as Christian nations, Christian families, Christian politics, Christians business, or even Christendom, etc.

Horton has formed two impermeable bubbles around the Kingdom of God and this present age and never the twain shall meet. This is a Christianity which only Cerinthus could be proud.

Horton proves true the words of T. S. Elliot, “We derive our theory of education from our philosophy of life. The problem turns out to be a religious problem.” Dr. Horton has a religious problem.

Deconstructing R2K

I’m doing something with this that I don’t know of any other previous Reformed theologian has done exactly what I’m doing.”

Dr. David Van Drunen

This book is dedicated to the proposition that Radical Two Kingdom theology is not Reformed. There is little argument here with historic Reformed 2K theology. The argument here is pointed at Radical Two Kingdom theology of the type being produced now by nearly every brick and mortar “Reformed” Seminary in America, finding its real impetus from a Seminary in Southern California.

The goal in this humble volume is to do something akin to what both J. Gresham did in “Christianity and Liberalism,” and then later what Cornelius Van Til did in “Christianity and Barthianism.” As Dr. Machen said in his introduction;

The purpose of this book is not to decide the religious issue of the present day, but merely to present the issue as sharply and clearly as possible, in order that the reader may be aided in deciding it for himself.”

And this writer thinks the same way about R2K as Van Til spoke about Barth in his preface to his magnum opus;

“The present writer is of the opinion that, for all its verbal similarity to historic Protestantism, Barth’s theology is, in effect, a denial of it.”

I claim not to be the equal of Machen or Van Til. Not even close. The touchstone between myself and my betters is the desire to strangle the heresy du jour while it yet remains in the cradle. In my wildest most expansive dreams I would do to R2K what President Andrew Jackson’s recorded on his deathbed that he did to the the second National Bank when he was reputed to have said; “I killed the Bank.”

The word “radical” itself derives from the Latin radix meaning root. The radicals in Radical Two Kingdom land have birthed a theology that completely attacks the roots of traditional and historic Reformed theology. In this reformulation the R2K boys have completely rejected temperance and moderation in their push to redefine the Reformed faith. In attacking the roots of the Reformed faith the consequence is that the whole tree of the Reformed faith is changed into something that it heretofore has never previously been. Like any arch-heretic throughout history, Radical Two Kingdom theology is done in the context of the fierce insistence that they alone are preserving the faith once and forever delivered unto the saints. In all of this there is a disorienting push me, pull you between their simultaneous claims that they are both staying true to the tradition of the faith while at the same time insisting that they are indeed theological innovators.

The Jesuit trained chief guru of R2K explicitly does just this at the 37minute mark of the below linked interview.

Within just a few short seconds Dr. Van Drunen manages to invoke that he is on the side of the angels (Voss, Kuyper, Bavinck) while at the same time admitting that he is being innovative. Now add to this that you will see quotes in the subsequent chapters from the types the Van Drunen invokes that will testify that they would have never have recognized Van Drunen’s theology as related to their Reformed theology. If you follow at all the R2K debate within the Reformed church you will find this “push me – pull you” phenomenon repeatedly.

This push me-pull you argumentation has been identified by some as an informal fallacy called the Motte and Baily argument technique. R2K makes some outlandish claims that reveals their real out of bounds theology (the Bailey). However when they are called out on the transparently ridiculous claims they hightail it to safer ground (the Motte) insisting that they were merely advancing traditional historic 2K arguments. If the Bailey is more controversial territory, the Motte is a modest and easily defensible position. It all becomes very convenient as it becomes a device whereby legitimate charges of heresy can be easily snuffed out by insisting; “that all I was saying was ….” From there the R2K boys can claim that their original transparently ridiculous claims have not been refuted. Failing that the R2K boys will act all butt hurt because the R2K critic has been unreasonable for attacking an imagined Bailey when all they were championing was a long accepted Motte. You see the trick here is conflating the push me with the pull you / the Motte with the Bailey. It is as clever as Hades.

To repeat what was said earlier the problem that is being attacked in this book is not historic traditional 2K theology (the Motte). Instead what is being attacked is the Bastardized version of 2K known now popularly as R2K (the Bailey).

So as to be clear as to what is and is not under assault in this volume let us take a look, in this introduction of some of the differences between historic traditional 2K theology and R2K “theology.”

R2K desires to split the two kingdoms as between the grace realm (Institutional Church) and the common realm (everything else that does not pertain to the Church). The grace realm is to be ruled by God’s special revelation while the common realm is ruled by natural law. This bifurcation is the steroid application of “Law vs. Gospel” thinking to literally every area of life. The common realm is law. The grace realm is Gospel. Never shall the twain meet.

The problem with this is when Calvin talked about the Two Kingdoms this is not what the man had in mind. The reality of the Two Kingdoms is not as simplistic as the R2K fanboys desire to make it. Calvin’s vision of the Two Kingdoms can not be reduced to a common realm that is ruled by natural law and a grace realm ruled by gospel. First of all in this arrangement one wonders where the Kingdom is that Paul says we were delivered from (Colossian 1:13)? Perhaps R2K should become R3K?

Calvin was far more nuanced in his explanation of two kingdom theology. Consider:

In 4.20, Calvin writes:

Still the distinction does not go so far as to justify us in supposing that the whole scheme of civil government is matter of pollution, with which Christian men have nothing to do. Fanatics, indeed, delighting in unbridled license, insist and vociferate that, after we are dead by Christ to the elements of this world, and being translated into the kingdom of God sit among the celestials, it is unworthy of us, and far beneath our dignity, to be occupied with those profane and impure cares which relate to matters alien from a Christian man. To what end, they say, are laws without courts and tribunals?

But what has a Christian man to do with courts? Nay, if it is unlawful to kill, what have we to do with laws and courts? But as we lately taught that that kind of government is distinct from the spiritual and internal kingdom of Christ, so we ought to know that they are not adverse to each other. The former, in some measure, begins the heavenly kingdom in us, even now upon earth, and in this mortal and evanescent life commences immortal and incorruptible blessedness, while to the latter it is assigned, so long as we live among men, to foster and maintain the external worship of God, to defend sound doctrine and the condition of the Church, to adapt our conduct to human society, to form our manners to civil justice, to conciliate us to each other, to cherish common peace and tranquillity.

All these I confess to be superfluous, if the kingdom of God, as it now exists within us, extinguishes the present life. But if it is the will of God that while we aspire to true piety we are pilgrims upon the earth, and if such pilgrimage stands in need of such aids, those who take them away from man rob him of his humanity.

(Institutes 4.20.2)

Here we see where R2K departs from Calvin on two kingdom theology. Per Calvin the spiritual kingdom touches on the eternal life that is begun in us; and “it is not to this kingdom” that the external worship of God belongs, but rather the external worship of God belongs to the kingdom of courts and tribunals “so long as we live among men” (having the purpose of) “maintaining the external worship of God, to defend sound doctrine and the condition of the Church…”

Calvin is unmistakably clear here: “the external worship of God belongs to the civil or temporal kingdom.” This statement stands in shark contrast to the claims of the R2K fanboys. For Calvin the worship of God and the condition of the Church are matters of public concern that belong, in R2K language, to the common kingdom. Tell it not in Gath. Publish it not in the streets of Askelon. Proclaim it not in the citadels of Escondido.

Clearly there is a distinction between the two kingdoms but the distinction is not the divorce that R2K envisions.

The purpose of this book is not to wade into the the various nuances of two Kingdom theology throughout history. A subject that probably is fitting for some doctoral dissertation. The purpose is to show that R2K’s insistence that their understanding of 2K theology is the traditional historic Reformed 2K is completely bunk. Further, the purpose is to examine what R2K “theology” does to the various theological categories of Reformed theology.

Perhaps the most grievous injury to the Reformed church that R2K inflicts is to mute the prophetic voice of the pulpit. Because R2K insists that the pulpit must be silent about all that lies in R2K’s “common realm” the minister therefore has his tongue cut out from him in inveighing against the moral meltdown of our broader culture. Because of the “theology” of R2K God’s people have no compass … “have no thus saith the Lord” echoing from the pulpit and so are left blind and dumb as to how to lean into the pagan culture we are now living in. A mist in the pulpit leads to a fog in the pew. And R2K loves it so.

R2K theology also guarantees that no future Calvin, or Knox will ever be ordained to Reformed pulpits. Can you imagine a young John Calvin trying to defend these statements before a R2K infested Presbytery?

The Lord does not give Kings the right to use their power to subject the people to tyranny. Indeed when Liberty to resist tyranny seems to be taken away by princes who have taken over, one can justly ask this question; since kings and princes are bound by covenant to the people, to administer law in truest equality, sincerity and integrity; if they break faith and usurp tyrannical power by which they allow themselves everything they want: is it not possible for the people to consider together taking measures in order to remedy the evil?”

John Calvin

Sermon I Samuel Chapter 8

I have read a volume of sermons by Calvin from Deuteronomy 27 & 28. The volume is entitled “The Covenant Enforced.” Upon finishing it I pushed away and said to my imaginary R2K Seminary Professor, paraphrasing Lloyd Benson to Dan Quayle; “I’ve read John Calvin. Sir, you’re no John Calvin.

Go ahead and read Calvin’s sermons Deuteronomy 27 & 28. Upon reading it I sincerely don’t understand how R2K can even begin to argue that it is an expression of Calvinist theology. The theology of John Calvin as exhibited in this volume (and this is not the first Calvin I’ve read) screams at David Van Drunnen, mocks R. Scott Clark, laughs at Mike Horton and sticks its tongue out at J. V. Fesko. Whatever these men are, they are in no way partakers of Calvin’s Calvinism. Based on these sermons alone John Calvin could not be ordained in many Presbyterian Presbytery today because he would be accused of not having a proper understanding of the distinctions between law and grace.

Calvin does see much of the OT civil law as applicable today. Calvin does see the law coming to people groups and nations and not just to individuals. Calvin does believe that the Magistrate has a responsibility to enforce God’s Law — and that from both Tables. Calvin does not put law and grace in absolute antithesis. God’s Law-Word has a place as a guide to life in the Christian’s life and that Law-Word should resound from the pulpit just as much as the Law-Word in the role of a street lamp to expose sin.

Like it or not Calvin was the worst of all things.. Calvin was a pioneer Theonomist who believed that cultures of all nations needed to be Reconstructed in the direction of God’s revealed Law-Word. Calvin did not hold to a “Law Gospel” hermeneutic as that is currently defined. Calvin was neither Lutheran nor Anabaptist.

If Calvin were alive today he’d make me look like a wimp in this book with his thunderings against the modern antinomian R2K Reformed Church.

The book before you begins by looking at the implications of R2K for several standard Reformed theological categories. In Chapter 1 we take a look at the Epistemological problems of R2K. In chapter 2 we consider the inherent dualism in R2K. Chapter 3 finds us looking at R2K soteriology vis-a-vis Reformed soteriology. In chapter 4 it is on to considering R2K covenantal malfeasance. In chapter 5 we map out R2K’s belief that religion is an escapable category for magistrate and state. In chapter 6 we are on to matters eschatological. Chapter 7 finds us exploring R2K from the mouth of the R2K fan boys. In Chapter 8 we look at R2K and its views of family life. In chapter 9 we take a peek at R2K’s theocratic fears. In chapter 10 we briefly consider some of the “proof” texts R2K appeals to in order to support their cause. In Chapter 11 we consider R2K’s transformation-phobia. In chapter 12 we spend a little bit of time looking at the history of ideas mapping out the strange ideological bedfellows of R2K. These chapters are followed by several appendixes where I provide some of my apologetic encounters with some of the R2K “theologians.”

Pull up a chair, pull out your highlighter, and let’s have a go.