Natural Law and Two Kingdoms in Stereo (Updated)

The book is now in the bookstore. You can order your copy from The Bookstore at WSC. If you have been wondering what all the discussion about “two kingdoms” and “natural law” is about, here’s the book for you.

To accompany the release of the book, we’ve produced a special edition of Office Hours that lets you hear David explain why he wrote the book and about the two main themes of this survey of the history of Reformed social thought. Follow the Office Hours link above to find the interview. You can subscribe to Office Hours in iTunes or via RSS.

If these things interest you, then be sure to find your way to the campus of WSC for the upcoming faculty conference, Christ, Kingdom, and Culture or to a computer near you to watch the live, streaming video.

UPDATE: Here are some additional resources on these questions:

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    • Thanks Rich!

      Indeed. As He mentioned in the interview (done last week — we were surprised to see the books arrive in the bookstore yesterday!) the new volume is historical in nature. I’ve got my copy right here.

    • No, but they have a below-Amazon price and $5.00 shipping. Eerdmans price is $35.00. The WSC Bookstore price is $22.00 plus $5.00 shipping. Further, when you go to the Bookstore at WSC through the HB it helps me. How much more incentive does one need?

  1. “The radical two kingdom approach within the Reformed world represents a fundamental capitulation to one of the central tenets of the Anabaptist project.” -Doug Wilson

    • Frank,

      This comment by the Mullah of Moscow once again demonstrates his near complete ignorance of and indifference to the actual history of Reformed theology. Just as he did not understand the doctrine of justification or covenant theology before he started fiddling with them so this comment is evidence that he doesn’t understand the first thing about the history of Reformed social thought.

  2. Once more, here’s that Anabaptist Calvin on the 2 kingdoms From the 1559 Institutes 3.19.15 (Battles edition):

    Therefore, in order that none of us may stumble on that stone, let us first consider that there is a twofold government in man (duplex esse in homine regimen): one aspect is spiritual, whereby the conscience is instructed in piety and in reverencing God; the second is political, whereby man is educated for the duties of humanity and citizenship that must be maintained among men. These are usually called the “spiritual” and the “temporal” jurisdiction (not improper terms) by which is meant that the former sort of government pertains to the life of the soul, while the latter has to do with the concerns of the present life—not only with food and clothing but with laying down laws whereby a man may live his life among other men holily, honorably, and temperately. For the former resides in the inner mind, while the latter regulates only outward behavior. The one we may call the spiritual kingdom, the other, the political kingdom. Now these two, as we have divided them, must always be examined separately; and while one is being considered, we must call away and turn aside the mind from thinking about the other. There are in man, so to speak, two worlds, over which different kings and different laws have authority.

  3. The kingdom of man always seems to drift towards a politics of power. Power struggles take place in the various political parties which kind of negates and diminishes a man with a conscience to rise to a status of political influence and authority. It is almost similar to a mafia type style of leadership in the political realm. This seems to be a matter of indifference to those who hold a two-kingdom theology position and one in which many critics of two-kingdom theology hold. How would you answer this criticism? I am almost to the point of not even concerning myself with politics and the legal system any more? I know that is not the proper route to go either. The kingdom of God should be our top priority and concern but we are still deeply influenced in the here and now by the kingdom of man. How much time should we be devoting to understanding the issues and concerns of the kingdom of man?

  4. Here’s another interesting resource I’ve found on natural law and Calvinism:

    Thank you so much for your interesting blog, Mr Clark. As a young and rather isolated Christian, a Calvinist-turned former Evangelical in a predominantly Roman Catholic country, I have found your blog to be very helpful in developing a Reformed worldview. I am also planning on reading the RRC in the near future.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Rev. Matthew Winzer of the Australian Free Church is in the process of writing a review of this book which should appear this fall.

    Does anyone know what postion he is taking?

    I would encourage anyone who is interested in knowing more about how best to interact with this subject to read VanDrunen”s book before this review comes out.

    IMO, his book provides a good overview of the history of social thought concerning this subject. There seems to be many views to consider but generally it always seems to conclude with “what to do with the first table of the law” being moral.”

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