Saturday, December 05, 2009


The Unpopular Opinionator has not converted to Roman Catholicism--not yet anyway. However, I've never been closer to Rome than at the present.

Jesus' Messianic office is both a spiritual and a political office. His Ascension to rule over all things was an inheritance granted once he completed his earthly course of obedience, proving to be simultaneously the faithful Israelite, the faithful son of Adam, and the faithful Son of God.

The Son does not rule according to his divinity over creation by a "providential" reign and as man over a "redemptive" realm. The sphere of redemption encompasses the whole cosmos already, though manifested but partially in the present. We are living in the Age of Faith after all!

The Two Kingdoms conception of Christ's rule is an error derived from a faulty hermeneutical principle, the Law-Gospel distinction. Entirely absent from Scripture is a covenant of pure law. Likewise, a simple promissory covenant is nowhere to be found. Every biblical covenant is qualified by conditions of obedience. Luther was wrong.

The glory of the New Covenant is not that God removed the requirement of obedience as a condition to inherit eternal life. The glory of this new and better covenant is that it imparts the power to obey to all those who trust in Jesus' atoning sacrifice.

What is true for all men, everywhere & at all times, is that if they would come to God they must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Jesus is Lord.


charles said...

Hello Andrew,

Isn't the two kingdom doctrine older than Luther?

I agree with your point on law-gospel, but I think distinction between the two remains important. For example, the sacrifice and promise was always there (even before the cross). But this does not cease to make the cross a historic event which the saints either looked forward or back upon. There is a vantage point; and the birth, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension indeed marked a 'new heavens and earth'. The historic event (incarnation, sacrifice, and resurrection) has to be as important as the eternal Promise, more so for polity concerns?

So, while there is a unity between law and grace, this doesn't mean they have the same economy. It is not unlike the Trinity-- distinct persons (distinct in economy) yet one God (in substance). I think the same can be said of church and state. While both share in the substance and rule of Christ, they minister differently. I don't see how this is a problem any more than plurality of bishops.

I would say Rome endangered if not overthrew that economy, and that was the problem. For example, should a bishop be able to tax/deprive property directly? If so, what is the reasoning-- circumstance or essence? The papacy claimed 'essence'.

The real question is if the Pope is the rock, or was the rock given to all bishops? And, does primacy translate to supremacy?

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, esteemed friend. Mandatory, covenantal obedience is a non-negotiable of having a place in what Paul describes as "the manifestation of the sons of God."

One of the glories of the New Covenant is that the death, resurrection and ascension of the incarnate Word and the gift of the Spirit, makes it possible for men to walk in God's law, with a consistency and sanctity that was unthinkable before the arrival of the New Covenant.

Without that, the New Testament teaching-you can find it in both the Gospels and the Epistles- that inheriting the kingdom, on the great and terrible day of the Lord, will turn on one having fulfilled the law, particularly in terms of maintaining personal sanctity,and in act's charity towards one's neighbor, is incomprehensible.