The good Rabbi posits once again that I am a dunce (along with all 2kers) for not recognizing that the church and the state are all part of one cosmic government under the authority of God. (One of his fans suggests I am not regenerate.) Actually, I do understand this. Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of divine sovereignty and powers delegated to parents, churches, and magistrates knows that God’s rule extends to the secondary means by which he orders all things.
The problem for the Rabbi is that he goes back and forth between this cosmic government and the specific relations between nations and their churches. Talking about divine sovereignty and human institutions in the abstract is one thing. Talking about the relations between church and state in a particular polity is another.
The signs of this confusion come when the Rabbi concludes:
1.) Darryl is saying Calvin was wrong and that Geneva was a unbiblical model. Sinful Calvin. Sinful Geneva. I’m sure glad we have a clearly superior model working for us now in these uSA that we can look to for an example.
2.) In an ideal social order the Pastors serve God by obeying God’s revelation for the Church and civil magistrates serve God by obeying God’s revelation for the Civil realm. The Pastors don’t work for the Government and the Magistrates don’t work for the Church. Both, however are subject to God in His revelation. This isn’t that difficult.
First, I am wrong to challenge the superiority of Geneva even though Christ and Paul did not establish a polity anything like Geneva. This would suggest that the Rabbi is not pleased with the early church that did nothing to make sure that the magistrate was following God’s law. Personally, I’d rather be in the camp of criticizing Calvin than the one that questions Christ. But most critics of 2k never really look at what’s happening in Acts to understand what the church’s mission properly is. Instead, they pine for the days when pontiffs in Rome were christening Holy Roman Emperors.
Second, the Rabbi takes as soon as he gives. Geneva by his reckoning was not an “ideal” social order because the pastors did work for the government. So Brett is no fan of Calvin’s town either, but this leaves him with no historical home (maybe that’s why he kvetches so much).
Third, this is easy stuff. Yes, despite the long and troubled history of relating religion to politics, from Israel to Kuyper’s Netherlands, it’s not difficult. Pass the mints.
One last point to notice is this notion of an “ideal social order.” The Rabbi presents himself as a true-blue political conservative and loves to deconstruct the social engineers on the Left who are trying to usher in the kingdom of justice and equality. He should know then that conservatives don’t believe in ideal social orders. They refuse to immanentize the eschaton. It’s the Stalins of the world who actually believe ideal social orders are possible. Conservatives simply endure the infirmities and woes of this world.
Turns out life in this world is difficult.