Remember when two-kingdom theology was the easy and quick explanation for Reformed churches friendly to homosexuality? Steven Wedgeworth clarifies what everyone knew when anti-two kingdom folks were using Meredith Kline as the whipping boy for moral relativism. The folks at Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Louis who sort of oversaw the production, “Transluminate: A Celebration of Transgender, Agender, Non-Binary, Genderqueer and Genderfluid Artists,” are not two-kingdom proponents:
To understand how the Transluminate event could happen within the PCA, readers should see it as an extreme but perhaps predictable ramification of a certain philosophy of ministry, common in our day. Evangelical and particularly “missional” churches routinely advocate for various kinds of parachurch ministry in the world of arts and culture. Some call for an aggressive or confrontational approach, while others say that mere “faithful presence” is a more effective strategy. This term, “faithful presence,” was originally coined by James D. Hunter in his book To Change the World, but has become a shorthand way, not unlike the term “common good,” to express the concept of Christians interacting with the secular public realm, not in overtly distinctive ways, but simply according to basic morals and friendly manners. This posture is frequently described as winsome or hospitable. It argues against direct criticism or evangelism, at least in any public way, in favor of building more long-term relationships. After these relationships of trust are sufficiently built, opportunities for evangelism may make themselves apparent. Some proponents of this philosophy even deny that specifically evangelistic activity, arguing that the relationship itself or the image and reputation such faithful presence creates will itself be a sufficient Christian testimony. Memorial Pres. certainly seems to promote this view of evangelism and outreach.
Jake Meador partly agrees:
Our outreach to the world cannot simply be a gesture of welcome, but must also include a call to repentance and to adopt the practices of Christian piety in grateful response to God’s offer of grace in the Gospel. What conservatives fear is that this inherently confrontational aspect of Gospel proclamation is lost or watered down by some on the church’s progressive side. And this is not a wholly groundless concern.
Parachurch ministry in the realm of arts and culture, welcoming congregations, “faithful presence” — these are all features (not bugs) of Redeemer New York City and its spin offs. And yet, the Gospel Coalition has not clarified the missional approach to ministry. In fact, they have benefited from Tim Keller’s presence and stature.
3 thoughts on “Two Kingdom Theology and Same Sex Attraction”
“They are more focused on reaching people with Jesus and the gospel than putting their Reformed commitments up front. As one PCA pastor I know who I would put in this camp puts it: We’re like Ross (the Dept/Fashion store) for Reformed Churches: We give you the dress for less! ”
I just threw up a little in my mouth.
I think we also must guard against a bait and switch…. For BETTER or worse we are what we are,
“The first topic the authors address is the relationship of the church to the world. This is a logical place to begin, for many churches today take their cues in worship from unbelievers, deliberately providing a service that will make unbelievers comfortable. But the authors conclude that true worship “will be odd and perhaps even weird to the watching world. This oddness is not lamentable but essential to the church’s faithfulness and witness” (page 34). In fact, the church must take a posture that is antithetical to the world if she is to resist worldliness and idolatry. The clash with church growth principles is further enforced in the next chapter where the authors discuss the purpose of the church.”
Their lead pastor is gay. Let’s start there…