I need serious help. I have been conversing (yes, snarkly) with the good Dr. K. about 2k after all that Rodney King mojo that descended like a dove on Lookout Mountain last week when Mike Horton ascended the same. He keeps faulting 2kers for many faults — basically giving away the faith — and then in comments he does a great impersonation of Muhammad Ali, dodging and weaving against any untoward construction, at once sounding biblicist, then bobbing like a Dutch Calvinist, and then ducking like a 2ker. It’s enough to give you vertigo.
Here are some samples from the comments and exchanges. On the one hand he wants the Bible to be the norm for all of life:
Declaring the Bible to be authoritative over all of human living, and acting accordingly, are confessional matters. Nevertheless, all of us continue to wrestle with how the Bible is authoritative (for example, more directly / less directly; by way of norm, orientation, or example; and the like). The concretization of the principle, however, need not be a confessional matter. . . .
The neo-Calvinist vison is that together Christians cultivate their witness and walk in the various spheres of cultural activity. Insofar as they seek to apply the principles of God’s Word in the particular area of politics, the neo-Calvinist vision aims to pursue biblical justice for all members of society according to the divine norms relevant to various kinds of human activity.
One of those norms involves protecting unborn life. Another involves protecting the divine institution of marriage, which, as we know even from Scripture, by divine permission allows divorce for the hardness of the human heart. Another norm involves truth-telling, such that biblical teaching requires fidelity to one’s oath, the enforcement of contracts, punishing perjury, anti-libel laws, etc. I know of no neo-Calvinist who would argue that politicians must advocate to ban heresy or false religion. Some might advocate punishing blasphemy. Most would seek to do everything politically feasible to limit non-marital sex.
On the other hand, Dr. K. strives (why, I don’t know) to distance himself from advocating a Christian state or the state’s enforcement of Christian norms:
The prohibition of polygamy is most certainly entailed in the Seventh Commandment. As WLC 139 puts it, among the sins forbidden in the Seventh Commandment is “having more wives or husbands than one at the same time.” (Though the WLC list of sins prohibited also includes “allowing, tolerating, keeping stews.” I’m not sure if I’ve ever done that; I’ll look in the fridg.) You compare polygamy with divorce, with respect to how Christians should respond to this in the public square. If it were possible for me as a Christian legislator to introduce now, in 2012, a law that upholds monogamy over against polygamy, should I do so, or would I be forcing my morality on the public? By the way, in none of my comments, questions, or observations, have I called for the state to enforce any commandment—Seventh, Third, Ninth, or any. Rather, I have simply pointed to specific duties or obligations, whose wording I have borrowed conveniently from the WLC, which we have as Christians, we who presumably who adhere to the WLC. That as a Christian living in a democratic republic I should want the state legislatively to promote and preserve unborn human life, monogamous heterosexual marriage, and truthful contracts is not at all to desire that the state somehow become Christian, or that the state enforce what are merely Christian values. These values are universally binding moral values. (emphasis mine)
I emphasize this line because in the previous quote (all in the same discussion thread) Dr. K. did speak about Christian politics and the application of biblical norms of justice to all members of society.
What is also worthy of emphasis (hence the bold) is Dr. K.’s assertion that pro-life, heterosexual marriage, and honest contracts are matters that we recognize as true universally, in other words, apart from the Bible. Here he adopts the 2k logic of natural law.
Finally, the kicker is that Dr. K. believes 2k is in fundamental opposition to Reformed Protestantism:
For my part, our disagreement begins with the Bible—with the exegesis of the entire biblical story from Genesis through Revelation. It continues with the Confessions—both the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Standards. It moves from there to the application of the truths and principles harvested from these sources to all of Christian living in the world. None of this denigrates the institutional church, the office of minister of the Word, the pivotal, crucial role of the means of grace, the essential ecclesiastical activities of catechesis, family visiting, discipling, and service. It is simply saying: the gospel is for more than these.
I’d like to say I understand where Dr. K. is coming from but I cannot. Perhaps my neo-Calvinist friends, few though they may be, can help me translate. Is this a function of not understanding Dutch?