Leeman: Two Ages, Not Two Kingdoms

Jonathan Leeman at TGC: Not Two Kingdoms, But Two Ages.

For centuries Christians have considered different ways of relating the church and the world, particularly with respect to the God-established authorities in each domain. Well-known proposals include Augustine’s “two cities,” Gelasius’s “two swords,” Luther’s “two kingdoms,” and Kuyper’s ideas about sphere sovereignty, which operate inside of what might be called a “one-kingdom” framework.

I would like to offer an alternative that learns from each of these, but that also draws on the last half-century of New Testament theology. In a nutshell, I would propose that the Spirit-given power of the new covenant requires a doctrine of two ages. A doctrine of two ages or inaugurated eschatology is a popular way among New Testament theologians for characterizing how creation history and redemptive history bifurcated when Christ’s kingdom was inaugurated but not consummated through the giving of the new covenant. The history of new creation began even while the history of the old creation continued.

I think Leeman offers a helpful perspective. Read the whole thing.

Two Kinds of Counter-Culture

Andrew Dragos at Seedbed offers some great observations in Lent is Not Counter-Cultural

We live in a popular culture that currently takes pride, however ironic, in describing itself as counter-cultural. . . . Yet the followers of Jesus, those who take up their cross, who follow Jesus around, should not be defined by the culture. At its root, to be counter-cultural is to be determined by the culture. It’s to be counter to something, and therefore at a basic level to defined by it. Some church splits are like this. Groups emerge as the antithesis of the other group, defined by that which they supposedly dislike. . . .

Lent is the Church’s refusal to be defined by anything except the story of Jesus.

Scary Ghost Stories at Christmas?

There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.

I always thought the presence of the ghosts in Charles DIcken’s A Christmas Carol was odd. Who puts ghosts in a Christmas story? Apparently, that was all the rage in 19th century England – yet another remnant of ancient winter solstice traditions carried into the Christian era.

The Internet Monk is on the case in The Haunting of Christmas.


Mankind was my Business

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol