two crowns

Two kingdoms: at stake is the distinction between law and Gospel

Augustine taught the two kingdoms approach. This view made it possible for profound Christian involvement and influence in secular society, while at the same time never giving in to the na├»ve assumption that any human culture or nation is – or can become – truly righteous or good. For only at the end of the age, when Christ returns, is the wheat separated from the chaff, and until that time, we work on two different agendas: one for the kingdom of Christ (salvation) and another for the kingdom of man (social improvement), and both for the glory of God. Accordingly, the earthly kingdoms establish diverse laws and customs that will engender earthly peace – no small accomplishment for humanity after the fall. But the heavenly city is always different in its ambitions, seeking heavenly peace and calling people out of the nations into the kingdom of God. This does not mean that Christians are no longer citizens of the earthly city, but that they do not derive their ultimate comfort, satisfaction or hope from it. Secular society is a gift of God before and after the fall, and it must be cultivated by Christians, as well as by their non-believing neighbours. Read the full article by Michael Horton.