Living in God's Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture

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9781433514043: Living in God's Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture
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Modern movements such as neo-Calvinism, the New Perspective on Paul, and the emerging church have popularized a view of Christianity and culture that calls for the redemption of earthly society and institutions. Many Christians have reflexively embraced this view, enticed by the socially active and engaged faith it produces.

Living in God’s Two Kingdoms illustrates how a two-kingdoms model of Christianity and culture affirms much of what is compelling in these transformationist movements while remaining faithful to the whole counsel of Scripture. By focusing on God’s response to each kingdom—his preservation of the civil society and his redemption of the spiritual kingdom—VanDrunen teaches readers how to live faithfully in each sphere.

Highlighting vital biblical distinctions between honorable and holy tasks, VanDrunen’s analysis will challenge Christians to be actively and critically engaged in the culture around them while retaining their identities as sojourners and exiles in this world.  

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About the Author:

David VanDrunen (PhD, Loyola University Chicago) is the Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, California.

Review:

“For those interested in a Reformed two-kingdom model, I can think of no better book to start than Living in God’s Two Kingdoms. Redemptive-historical in scope, heavenly minded in emphasis, and gentle in tone, David VanDrunen has made a great contribution to the ongoing discussion of the relationship of Christianity and culture.”
Danny E. Olinger, General Secretary, Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

“Any Christian perplexed by the Bible’s challenge to live as a dual citizen of God’s eternal and temporal kingdoms will find VanDrunen’s wise and charitable book an indispensable guide in sorting out the confused thinking that entangles the church today. This succinct and timely alternative to neo-Calvinism’s transformationist vision lays the groundwork for a wide-ranging and urgently needed discussion about two-kingdom theology’s implications for education, the workplace, and politics.”
Richard M. Gamble, Anna Margaret Ross Alexander Professor of History and Political Science, Hillsdale College

“For some years now, I’ve been asking students to read works by Prof. David VanDrunen of Westminster Seminary California. VanDrunen has a gift for recovering themes from the political theology of the Reformation and demonstrating their continuing relevance. In this book, VanDrunen shows that the Reformation’s two-kingdoms theology allows Christians to faithfully navigate a course between, on the one hand, investing excessive hope in earthly government or, on the other, retreating from political life into isolationist enclaves. Particularly welcome is his emphasis on the liberty of biblical Christians to reach differing conclusions about how our political engagement might glorify God.”
Randy Beck, Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law

“Evangelicals today, including those within the Reformed community, have become annoyed by the competing (and, in a few cases, embarrassingly inadequate) ‘transformationalist’ programs offered by leading Christian thinkers. With clarity and concision, David VanDrunen has offered an alternative perspective that liberates the Christian conscience to sincerely engage society without relegating the sovereignty of God over ‘every square inch’ of it. Living in God’s Two Kingdoms will certainly stimulate debate and force Christians to reevaluate the relationship between Christ and culture.”
Ryan McIlhenny, Assistant Professor of Humanities, Providence Christian College

“The Apostle Peter writes that Christians are God’s own people, sojourners and exiles in this age. What does this calling mean for the way in which believers work in their jobs, raise their families, educate their children, and vote at the polls? In Living in God’s Two Kingdoms, David VanDrunen addresses these questions and more, offering a robust and reasoned alternative to transformationalist understandings of Christianity and culture. Whether or not readers agree with every argument in Living in God’s Two Kingdoms, they will find themselves engaged and challenged to think constructively and biblically about a critical issue in the life of the church. VanDrunen has done a great service to the church in promoting continued reflection on Christianity and culture, and in offering sound practical counsels to Christians eager to serve God in their pilgrimage heavenward.”
Guy Prentiss Waters, James M. Baird Jr. Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary

“Over the past century, evangelicals have jumped out of the frying pan of quietism into the fire of worldliness. Taking his cue from Scripture rather than merely responding to cultural trends, David Van Drunen outlines a biblically grounded theology of cultural engagement that reflects both the lordship of Christ over all creation and the special mission and calling of the church. This book, bold and unapologetic, provides some extraordinarily helpful categories for thinking clearly about what it means to live faithfully and wisely in the present age.”
William S. Brewbaker III, Professor of Law, University of Alabama

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