Friday, June 21, 2013

Morning twilight and evening twilight.

     No, this is not a post about the "Twilight" vampire series.

     I was driving along the highway, when I happened to notice the scenery. It was evening twilight, and the observation was made that at a certain point, one cannot really tell whether it is morning or evening twilight.

Here is a picture of (supposedly) morning twilight, from the internet.

 Ok.. Now here is a picture of (supposed) evening twilight, from the internet. 

Both pictures are pretty much the same. If I were to ask you whether you could tell which is which without giving you any other information and only those pictures, you wouldn't be able to do it with any **degree of confidence**. 

How does this mundane example relate to presuppositional apologetics and also in discussions about ethics? 

We know that one cannot understand truth (any kind, moral or ultimate etc...), especially truth about God's existence, by simply going off one's senses. In the "How to Answer a Fool" apologetics DVD, Sye Ten Bruggencate laser focuses in on this assertion when it is made by atheists. 

"From my observations from the natural world, I conclude that God does not exist!" (typical atheist response). 

How does this relate to the evening and morning twilight? Simply just looking at the morning and evening twilight, without any additional information.... or a standard being given (revealed) to you, you cannot know for certainty whether or not what you are observing with your eyes (using your senses) is the morning or evening. In this mundane example, it is easy to see how your senses cannot ever tell you this information, on something as simple as determining whether you are seeing a morning or evening twilight picture.

You ***know*** that it is an evening twilight because you have a watch that tells you the time (or at least, you have been informed on what time the pictures were taken). You have clear "revelation" (the information from the watch) that informs you and makes *sense* of what your senses are giving you. Based on what you know (from your watch), then that knowledge then enables you to interpret what your sensing (seeing). 

From those two pictures above, there is no other way for you to know whether the twilight is morning or evening without that information, or standard. 

The same goes for ethical truths. We cannot simply "sense" or feel that something is wrong or right. While this deals with the motivational aspect of ethics, this is never the foundational reason why a particular action is wrong. It is wrong because of a normative standard. This normative standard has to be revealed to you (which it has been, through nature and ultimately through Scripture, Rom 1) so that you can know based off the normative standard. 

If we cannot even determine something as simple as the truth of which twilight is which from our own senses (visual perception in this case), how can atheists possibly make the bold assertion that through their observations about the natural world (senses) that they can **for certainty** determine and **know** that there is no God? 

You can't. You can **never** determine the truth of a knowledge claim based on your senses.

It's crazy, but we know why they make this claim: because of the total depravity that has infected their mind and their heart. 

I think that this twilight example is a very easy and yet very effective way of helping atheists to see how their senses cannot determine truth at all and cannot be used to make knowledge claims, and that the truth has to be revealed to them, and it has been.. again, according to Romans 1. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Is our republic at stake?

Please read this. In the next day, I am going to attempt to provide some sort of boiler plate template to reach out to your representatives for this issue.

Original article here.

By Garth Kant
WASHINGTON — Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has two dire warnings for America in an exclusive interview with WND.
* Don’t count on the House to stop amnesty.
* And, if amnesty passes it will end our constitutional republic as we know it.
Bachmann says she doesn’t want to sound alarmist but when you boil it down, that is what is really at stake.
She says there is one solution — only a grassroots effort can stop President Obama’s plan to fundamentally transform America.
So, she is issuing a call to arms to all WND readers and all Americans, contact your representatives in Congress to stop amnesty before it is too late.
Bachmann explained, step by step, how a bill she believes conservatives should naturally oppose easily could be approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Bachmann explained, step by step, how a bill she believes conservatives should naturally oppose easily could be approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
“The Senate is going to pass a very bad bill. The House will pass what will sound like a pretty good bill. But I’m just here to tell you, it’s a Trojan horse.”
The lawmaker said the bill will say “We’re going to secure the borders,” so all the Republicans will vote for this bill. Then the bill will go to a conference committee where it will undergo a dramatic change.
“The good guts of the Trojan horse bill will be pulled out. The very bad amnesty provisions will be put in the bill. The bill will go to the House floor and it won’t be Republicans that pass it.
“It’ll be Nancy Pelosi leading all the House Democrats to vote for it, and just enough Republicans will vote for the bill and you’ll have amnesty,” predicted Bachmann.
She said that’s been the strategy behind the scenes all along.
“I think the master plan of the ruling class that runs Washington, D.C., is to ram this bill through before the American people know what has hit them, and before members of Congress even know what has hit them.”
Bachamnn said there is only one person who can stop the master plan and that person is “you.”
“I’m just telling WND viewers that if you sit this one out and you don’t start hitting the phone lines and email, calling and visiting your representatives now and saying, ‘No amnesty now, no amnesty ever,’ we’re going to have perpetual amnesty for illegal immigration.”
She predicted if amnesty becomes the law “the whole political system will change.”
“This is President Obama’s number one political agenda item because he knows we will never again have a Republican president, ever, if amnesty goes into effect. We will perpetually have a progressive, liberal president, probably a Democrat, and we will probably see the House of Representatives go into Democrat hands and the Senate will stay in Democrat hands.”
The lawmaker said that would create a permanent progressive class and the country would never return to its constitutional foundations.
“That’s what’s at risk right now. It may sound melodramatic, I don’t mean it that way, but this is that big and that important.”
Bachmann said as much harm as Obamacare is doing to the country, amnesty could be even worse.
“It could bankrupt us even faster. That’s why we need the WND audience to weigh in now and hard. Let your member of Congress know. We need to hear from you.”
She called this “a total call to arms. Don’t count on politicians to stop it. They won’t.”
The congresswoman said the political class in Washington, both on the right and on the left, made a decision to have what it calls immigration reform, but it really will be nothing more than amnesty and a disaster for our economy and our country.
“It’s going to lower wages, lower benefits, bankrupt the United States and take away job opportunities for our kids. This will change our nation forever and the future of our nation. And I think it could very likely mean that we will never again have an opportunity to reclaim our constitutional republic.”
Bachmann feels we owe more than that to our ancestors who died to give us this country, and to our children and future generations.
“We will not successfully pass the torch of liberty if we have perpetual amnesty. It won’t happen.”
That’s why she is issuing a call to arms, one more time.
“I hate to tell people once again you’ve got to rise up, but this is the most important bill we are going to deal with in the next two years, and so, if people are going to weigh in at all, now’s the time.
“The Republic is at stake.”

Read more at 

Speaking boldly from the pulpit.

     Over the years, even before I became a theonomist, I have occasionally asked my pastors at the various churches that I have attended to pray about certain issues... (So, I guess I wasn't always a consistent (R)2K advocate but I was still positive that theonomy was "clearly" wrong... How did that one turn out?).

     In the past 10 years, due to job moves and not whimsical moves such as I didn't like the new carpet at church, I have attended 6 different churches. In three of them, I have asked the pastors to pray issues that I felt were very pressing. I didn't even ask them to preach on them, just to do some sort of supplicational congregrational prayer. And I didnt even ask that often: I asked one time each at two separate churches, and two times at another. Given the number of months that I attended each church, that amounts to less than 1% of the time.

    -Right as my business trip to Kuwait ended, I asked one of the local chaplains to befriend a local Bengladeshi dry cleaner guy that I had befriended in hopes that the chaplain could share Christ with him. Over email, he told me that he would not share Christ with my dry cleaner friend because of the regional policy on no proseltyzing in the region.
Would my dry cleaner friend really have reported him to the law enforcement if the chaplain shared Christ with him?

     -I once asked a pastor to pray against a particular legislation that was being generated that would ***make it illegal*** to bring up any future legislation against abortion in any way, restrict it, make it more difficult to get one etc...
Legislation that would make murdering babies legal all the time without opposition??? Surely this was something that would garner an important and specific prayer topic for congregation prayer. The response I got was that he wouldn't pray against this specific legislation, but he would pray for abortion generally. When I asked him about it afterwards, he told me that he didn't want to lose his tax exempt status, and that it was a "political" matter and it wasn't appropriate to bring up politics from the pulpit, even if that meant talking about forever allowing "doctors" and mothers to be able to murder babies without any fear of further legislation to prevent them from exercising their "right".

    -I once asked another pastor to pray for the German family that is currently potentially going to be deported back to Germany. They left Germany because they were going to be arrested for taking their kids out of public school and attempting to homeschool them. He never prayed about them specifically, but to be fair, he at least prayed a very general prayer about govt persecution and control. Another time, I asked the same pastor to pray for the DOD move that would attempt to court-martial military members for "prosiletyzing" to others. Same response. A general prayer, and no specifics.

     As I reflect back on these requests being either ignored, shot down, or answered in a very vague way, this seems to be a large swath of the church that is either afraid, or unwilling to preach God's law to every area of life, even in the face of seemingly strict government restrictions.

     Esp. now with homosexual marriage having the great potential to be "upheld", our churches will have to deal with this and there will be a lot of legal maneuvering and suing going on. The church is being actively persecuted and yet no one is able to speak out against these things, and in fact is unwilling to face the facts that the church is being persecuted by outside forces.

    Where are our ministers boldly preaching the law and driving people to the gospel? Why is it that Glenn Beck, a conservative talk show host and a Mormon, is rebuking pastors for something that Christians should understand better than a Mormon does?

     This has been going on for years, and not just pastors, but Christians in general refuse to become involved. Greg Bahnsen said in a lecture about 25 years ago that the church is being punished for its cowardice and apathy. I mentioned my feelings to my friend that I felt that with all of these things going on in our society today (abortion, marriage, marginalization of the church in the public square etc...) that the church was being punished and judged by God. He then told me about the Bahnsen lecture which I was unaware of until he told me.

     I don't know how long it is going to take before we wake from our slumber, and I don't know if our country will be able to last the next 50 years, given the moral decay in our society in general.

     Please continue to pray for boldness and loving action in your own life and for the church and her officers. If our country isnt around in the next 50 years because of our unwillingness to speak out and become involved, there won't be any more church to pray for and that will be further (temporal) judgement from God that we rightfully deserve.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Political conservatism is not enough.

     I have been a Christian since Dec1996. During the first ~3-4 years of my Christian life, I really had no real concept or clue about the the debates concerning the law of God (theonomy, (R)2K, Kuyperianism etc...). I was eventually exposed to Lee Irons' teaching. As I continued to study more and more of Lee Irons' stuff, I got more and more immersed into the whole "Klinean" way of looking at redemptive history and the law of God. The more I studied, the more I became convinced that his view of the law was correct. This was before the (R)2K movement really crystallized at WSCAL, but of course, with Kline on the faculty, (R)2K was there at the school. After several years of reading a bunch of WSCAL and Lee Irons' material, I was probably (R)2K in the same vein as Dr Clark or Matt Tuininga. I drank deep from the (R)2K fountain and was probably just as anti-theonomic as Dr Clark and Matt Tuininga.
     Around the time of about 2008, I started listening to conservative talk radio in my car. Before this time, I was very politically very ignorant and grossly uninformed. As I started listening to conservative radio, I began to really see just how uninformed I was and just what exactly was going on in the political realm.
     I continued to listen to conservative radio, and during this time, I continued to attend (R)2K churches. During the times that I listened to conservative radio, I would always feel very upset at some story about how the liberals were doing something ridiculous, or republicans were doing something dumb or this or that happening etc... But, during all this time, I never made the connection between how the things that I hear on the radio should be influenced by my Christian beliefs in that how I as a ***Christian*** should respond, not simply how I as a ***citizen*** should respond. And at every (R)2K church that I attended, there was never any mention of cultural or social issues, no mention of anything outside the four corners of the church building... So, this continued to contribute to my lack of logical connection of my political conservatism with my Christian convictions.
     In early 2012, I picked up and finished reading Van Til's Defense of the Faith. Embarrassingly, this was really the first time that I had read anything about presuppositional apologetics and its relation to the Christian faith and the gospel. I honestly think that it was at that time that my theonomic beliefs really started to form. My eyes were opened when it came to all facts, knowledge, logic, ethics, etc... came from God, and that we must presuppose God in order to make sense of anything etc...
     I started to think about how my political beliefs were to merge with my Christian convictions, but it was still a little foggy, to be honest. In the middle of 2012, I began to read Theonomy in Christian Ethics, which I had actually bought back in 2004, but really hadn't gone past the first 50 pages. I finally finished that book in late 2012, and during the next month or two of various readings on-line and reflection, I came to be a full fledged theonomist in the Bahnsen tradition.
     As I look back on my previous beliefs, I am struck by how I never thought through the logical implications of my (R)2K beliefs, and how it was only through a careful examination of presuppositionalism and Theonomy, that I come to understand that what I previously believed about (R)2K was inconsistent with the logical conclusions of presuppositionalism. Additionally, through Theonomy, I came to see how other nations were still under the Mosaic law, and how we as NT Christians are to obey the Mosaic law as fulfilled/confirmed/completed etc... by Christ.
     All of this boring biographical background as context, the point behind this is that I came to realize that the political conservatism of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Glenn Beck etc.. to fight against liberalism and the ridiculous things going on in our society is not enough. Political conservatism is not enough, and never will be enough to help bring about the change that our society needs (politically speaking). These talk show hosts think that it is enough.
     Yes, conservatism has many values that overlap with the (theonomic) Christian worldview, and yet the (theonomic) Christian worldview goes much deeper than political conservatism ever could. In the end, political conservatism is simply another idea that is "equal" in the marketplace of multiple ideas because it ultimately does not consistently rely upon the revealed standard of God. There are many atheists who are politically conservative, and may be Christian or Jewish friendly, but ultimately, they are still sinners in a depraved state who are just as lost and without hope as the non Christian politically liberal.
     Only through the (theonomic) Christian worldview can we ever really hope to provide any sort of real and fundamental and lasting change in our society as Christ commanded in the Great Commission. Conservatives come with very good principles (which in some cases is identical to the law of God, and this can be expected due to natural law) that they try to pass into law etc... However, in the end, that is all they are.. "Good" principles... with no real power behind them because those principles are not fully recognized as the law of God and not backed up and supported by the gospel.
     It is only when we as Christians stand up as Christians (not merely as citizens), proclaim the law of God through our neighborhoods, churches and the public square and the legislative process that we can ever hope to be real salt and light as Christ commanded. Not through some talk show host. But through the Word of God.
     And as we proclaim the law of God, we drive people to the gospel as well to repent of their sins, just as Jonah did to Ninevah and as Daniel did to Belshazzar.
     Conservatism has brought about many great benefits, and I still am a big fan of conservative talk radio. However, with a very firm and crystallized theonomic conviction, I now realize that conservatism has never been enough, and can never bring about the "dominion" that God commands of us. I never understood or even made these kinds of connections when I was (R)2K... I never realized and never saw by not having a Christ centered view of EVERYTHING (instead of having only a "conservative" view of things, such as politics), that I was not putting my Lord in his proper place. When I was R2K, I never realized just how disobedient our churches have been to the Great Commission when they actively refused to discuss anything cultural or "political" at the pulpit through a Christ centered way.
    I do now. And with my renewed and corrected conviction, I have better clarity to encourage my pastors to speak the entire counsel of God and to encourage my fellow members to take action for Christ through his gospel and law.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

     I have been watching with some interest concerning the debate that has been becoming very charged within the URC about the (R)2K doctrine.

    Matthew Tuininga (PhD student at Emory) has posted about this issue, here, and here. This was started in part by some posts by Mark Van Der Molen (elder in the URC), here, PDF version here and there are some additional articles by Dr Kloosterman (former prof at Mid America Seminary), here and here.

   And of course, other folks have jumped in. Bayly bros, here. And Pastor McAtee (CRC pastor) here.

   And, if there is any doubt on where WSCAL lies in this debate, you can find it here.

    Both in Matt Tuininga's blog and in the advertisement of that particular blog post on the WSCAL site, the main point behind this is about properly representing your "opponent", you must be responsible in presenting him accurately: "It is time for serious Reformed people to step up and demand that whatever concerns people may have about two kingdoms theology, they raise them in a responsible way." (Tuininga blog)
     On the WSCAL site, it says "(1) when we critique another position, how accurate is our representation? And, (2) how accurate is our theological engagement of the issues?'

     In and of themselves, I appreciate the statements that both Mr. Tuininga and WSCAL are making regarding the need to be academically and intellecually honest when looking at another's position.

     I simply wish that they actually realized that they not only need to be preaching this to others who do not agree with them, but they need to apply it to themselves as well.

     To say that WSCAL is anti-theonomic is probably an understatement, but part of the problem that the school has is that they are not understanding theonomy correctly, and so what they are attempting to refute has nothing to do with the actual theonomic position.

     For instance, Dr Clark has recently wrote a blog series on "We Are Not Polishing Brass On A Sinking Ship" in several parts. In part 2, here, he goes on to talk about the so-called errors associated with the theonomic movement. It seems that Dr Clark is not listening to his employer's own advice when attempting accurately represent opposing views:

     -RSC: "Supported by their postmillennialism, theonomy/reconstructionism looked forward to a future Christian “dominion“ through the gradual leavening of the culture by Christian cultural and political influence"
     -CSL: This particular quote is very subtle and most people will miss the fallacy of association here. It is no secret that WSCAL is militantly amillenial. The problem comes about because Dr Clark as well as Dr Gaffin (former prof at WTS PA) have both associated theonomy with postmilleniliasm in a fallacious manner. One of their many anti-theonomic contentions is that since postmillenialism is wrong (and amil is correct), and since theonomy means postmillenialism or theonomy is associated with postmillenialism, therefore, theonomy is wrong.
     This is fallacious reasoning. While certainly many theonomists are postmillenial, theonomy itself does not **automatically equate** to postmillenilaism. Theonomy is what should be. Postmillenialism states what will be. People can agree on what should be without actually agreeing on what will be. And by intentionally and subtly (and fallaciously) associating postmil with theonomy, Dr Clark seeks to discredit theonomy in this sentence on that fallacious basis.

You can't prove your conclusion true by using a fallacious argument, which he attempts to do here.

     Dr Clark assumes that his readers will see the connection between post mil and theonomy and make the fallacious association as he does that therefore theonomy is wrong (since his premise is that amil is true).

     -RSC: "Even the true believers, the theonomists/reconstructionists seem to have given up their original program of cultural transformation through direct political action (Rushdoony’s followers). Instead, they’ve turned to a program of cultural transformation through sacerdotalism, via their theology of baptismal election-union-justification etc ostentatiously self-glossed as “The Federal Vision.”
     -CSL: It is amazing to me how uninformed, misleading and/or misinformed, and not clear Dr Clark is being when he writes statements like these. Again notice the fallacy of association and now also the fallacy of misrepresentation that he brings to bear when attempting to connect theonomy with federal vision. Any person who is not extremely familiar with this on-going debate will then conclude from Dr Clark's post that theonomy now (by definition) equals federal vision.
     To be fair, there are many well known theonomists who have gone the federal vision route such as Doug Wilson and James Jordan. However, I could also easily conclude that (R)2K leads to Roman Catholicism due to Jason Stellman's defection to Rome after having prosecuted the cases against Peter Leithart (FV advocate in the PCA). And Mr Stellman was a hard core (R)2K advocate, even writing a book about it, Dual Citizens. Even the church that he planted has a (R)2K name: Exile Presbysterian Church. I have read enough of the (R)2K position to know that while there are blatant and gross inconsistencies in this doctrine, if it is faithfully followed in accordance to how Dr Van Drunen espouses it in such books as Living in God's Two Kingdoms, (R)2K will NOT lead to Roman Catholicism.
     Dr Clark's statements commit the fallacy of association by linking theonomy with FV in such a way that is similar to theonomy and postmil.
     He commits the fallacy of misrepresentation also because he is representing theonomy as if it logically means FV, which a faithful adherence to theonomy will not. The RPCUS, which is a proudly theonomic presbysterian denomination, recently generated an open letter to those who are FV to publicly repent here. And the website Theonomy Resources is a theonomic webiste that calls FV a heresy. Both the RPCUS and Theonomy Resources logically and faithfully adhere to theonomy. For Dr Clark to say that theonomy automatically logically equals FV or that all theonomists (as he seems to suggest in his post) are FV is wrong and goes against reality. If he doesn't mean that all theonomists are FV, he certainly didn't make that very clear in his blog post.
     In other blog posts of his, Dr Clark has claimed to read theonomic literature such as Bahnsen's Theonomy in Christian Ethics, and has claimed to think very deeply about theonomy in years past, but either he read it such a long time ago that he forgot what Bahnsen's book says, or he didn't read it carefully enough because even a cursory glance at any theonomic literature by Bahsnen will clearly reveal that he understood that law and gospel are clearly separate in that the law can never save.

From these two points above, it should be obvious that WSCAL needs to be very careful to follow its own advice on properly representing those who disagree with them. 

It really concerns me that legions of students and laymen are so heavily influenced by WSCAL, and while a good portion of what WSCAL does is godly (focusing on Christ centered preaching etc..), it is also mixed in with flat out wrong and grossly misrepresented views on what exactly theonomy is. And since many people are so influenced by WSCAL, they will take anything that the school says as "gospel"... even gross misreprentations of theonomy because other things that WSCAL espouses is godly.  

I remember my friend having a discussion with a WSCAL student about 10 years ago about theonomy, and the WSCAL student said that theonomy was bad and wrong. When my friend pressed him, the student couldn't come up with any real reason other than saying "Well, because Dr Van Drunen said so in class." (a wonderfully fallacious appeal to authority).

Everyone has disagreements, and that is simply a fact of life. But, to simply disagree based on a gross caricature of theonomy or simply because WSCAL says so, or because a certain professor says so is the height of theological, academic and intelletcual dishonesty. It is deeply concerning to me that this kind of thing is coming out of a seminary that is highly regarded and very influential in the reformed world. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

The logical implications of homosexual activity.

     In Oct 2012, a Columbia political science professor was charged with incest committed with his 24 year old daughter. The original article is here. As disgusting as that is, what he ended up saying in response to his charge was very interesting:

"It's ok for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home. How is this so different?
'We have to figure out why some behaviour is tolerated and some is not.'"

     I have come across many people who do not see the implications of their support for homosexual activity and marriage. What this political science professor said was logically correct.

     When we as a society wrongly acknowledge that there is any acceptable sexual activity beyond husband and wife and extend that to anything beyond this, we end up with situations like this. What the professor mentions about figuring out why some behavior is acceptable and other behavior is not is very significant. Only a fully consistent Christian worldview would be able to properly articulate and comprehend what behavior is acceptable and which is not.
     Also, any reference that simply stops at "natural law" is (as I have said many times) epistemologically deficient and also not fully sufficient from a normative (standard for right and wrong), motivational (why we should right things) or consequential (the effects of our behavior) perspectives of ethical behavior. And as we preach the law and stand for moral truth to those in the public square, at the same time, we also must wisely integrate this with preaching the gospel so that we can offer the lost a way for ethics and ultimately the law of God to not be their condemnation but to be their joy as they worship God.
     Challenge any non-married "couple" why extra marital sex is wrong, and any reason that they give will at best from a consequential ethical standpoint, and weak from the motivational standpoint. However, they will never be able to understand why from a normative standpoint extra marital sex is wrong.
      In order for ethics to be understood properly, by anyone whether Christian or non-Christian, all three aspects of ethics must be discussed and examined through the lens of the Christian worldview and the gospel.

This can never be done going no higher than natural law as espoused by the (R)2K doctrine.

This cannot be done when reformed Christians absolutely refuse to CONSISTENTLY understand that God's law as reflected in the Word of God is the basis for the normative perspective, it is the loving reason for the motivational perspective and it is the true lens by which we can examine the consequences of ethical actions.

     Only through a gospel infused and proper Christian worldview can we understand all of these perspectives on ethics and be able to provide an epistemologically consistent answer to the political science professor as to why his behavior is wrong and what other non-marriage sexual behavior is wrong and how we can know that that other behavior it is wrong.

Reference: "By This Standard", Greg Bahnsen.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Response to a response to a response to a response (Part 1)

     On the website, Dr. Vandrunen wrote a response to Ryan McIlhenny's article that he wrote for DVD's review of Kingdoms Apart,  which is a book that McIlhenny wrote, here
     DVD's response to Ryan McIlhenny's response to DVD's review (confusing yet?) is here
     I found DVD's response very interesting and somewhat descriptive on the (R)2K debate and I thought to offer some meager comments. 

     First, regardless of the fact that I do not agree with some of DVD's formulations and conclusions, personally, he is a very charitable man. Years ago, when I was stationed in San Diego, I visited the OPC congregation that was in Santee (around the time that Escondido OPC was being planted), and he was there with his wife and his son. He invited me over to his house for dinner and I still remember how I was about 45 min late for that dinner appointment because I lost my way. I don't really remember the conversation, but I remember having a lot of fun and DVD's penchant for good beer. Sometimes, it is easy to demonize a person that you don't agree with, and so I wanted to put this little anecdote out there to put a somewhat personal aspect to this post.
     In the Ordained Servant post, DVD comments on natural law for a little bit. He says,

     "McIlhenny asks some questions about natural law and its relation to a Christ-centered perspective. To try to answer them briefly I believe it is crucial to make a basic distinction between, on the one hand, natural law itself as an aspect of God’s objective natural revelation and, on the other hand, the subjective response to natural law on the part of sinful human beings. As objective revelation, natural law is sufficient for the purposes for which God gives it. The same is true for all divine revelation: whether special or natural, God’s revelation is sufficient for the purposes for which he gave it and insufficient for other purposes. One purpose of natural law, I think we’d all agree, is to hold all people accountable before God’s judgment for their violations of his moral law. This is explicit in Romans 1 and implicit in many other biblical texts, such as Amos 1. This means that the substance of the moral law is revealed in natural law; otherwise, many people could stand before God’s judgment and legitimately claim excuse for their sins. Therefore, natural law must objectively reveal sufficient moral knowledge for a human being to live a blameless life in the present world. But immediately one must add that, subjectively speaking, no sinner could possibly respond to this revelation blamelessly. Natural law reveals God’s perfect law but does not convey the ability to respond without sin. Fallen sinners distort the truths that they know through natural revelation, as Romans 1 also teaches. So in response to McIlhenny’s questions regarding an advantage for Christians: Christians do not have, objectively, an information-advantage with respect to the moral law; Scripture reveals the same substance of the moral law that natural law reveals.[4] But Christians may be said to have a moral advantage in that Scripture clarifies many aspects of natural revelation for our dull minds and in that Christians’ sanctified hearts should be less prone to distort natural revelation"

     After having read DVD's Living in God's Two Kingdoms, I was a little disappointed because I originally thought that he would discuss natural law, but he in fact never even mentioned it in this book. His book was good in that it helped me to understand the (R)2K position much better, but without any mention of natural law, I would say that Living in God's Two Kingdoms was incomplete in providing a full picture of (R)2K. 

     First, I was always somewhat confused that he always seemed to be somewhat surprised that he was regarded as a chief proponent of the (R) two-kingdoms perspective. Between him, Dr Scott Clark and Dr Michael Horton, it actually seems surprising to me that he DOESN'T regard himself as one of the chief proponents. I would venture to say, ask any reformed believer who has any inkling of (R)2K and all three of these names will come up. 

     Second, sometimes, it is difficult to "pin down" (R)2K to a certain extent because certain people have very different interpretations and applications of (R)2K. 
For instance, Matt Tuininga (PhD student at Emory) and Dr Scott Clark would probably be the most "theonomic (my slang description, not theirs)" and "conservative" of (R)2K advocates in that they feel that ministers should be able to speak out on social issues (obviously from the lens of natural law) while Dr. Darryl Hart and Rev. Todd Bordow, and Dr. Michael Horton would probably be considered the extreme "liberal" of (R)2K advocates. It would be safe to say that Dr Hart and Rev Bordow couldn't care less if the world literally burned around them. However, even with these widely differing applications of natural law theory, they all appear to have commonality on what natural law is in relation to DVD's formulations, even though they may all differ on applications. For that reason, I am going to focus more so on DVD's formulations since this will be a fairly wide ranging coverage on what all (R)2K advocates would believe. 

Part 2 next time...