The Wedding of Exclusive Redemptive-HIstorical Hermeneutics with neo-Two Kingdoms Theory


I’m convinced that the wedding of exclusive redemptive-historical hermeneutics with neo-Two Kingdoms theory, resulting in the view that pastors shouldn’t teach/preach on public policy issues lest they jeopardize “the spirituality of the pastoral call,” would have excluded from ordination and the pastorate John Calvin, John Knox, and pretty much all the English Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, including pretty much all the members of the Westminster Assembly. A theory the implication of which would be that is, I think, simply not credible.

Let the neo-Two-Kingdom guys urge that we maintain the centrality of the focus on the gospel; let them urge that we keep our priorities straight; let them urge that before pastors speak on public policy issues they take the time really to learn enough about them to speak credibly; let them even recommend, as a matter of prudence, that no pastor devote more than, say, 5 hours a week to studying a public policy issue, and therefore that he not presume to teach on it until he’s been studying it (i.e., the broad principle question–a specific legislative or regulative proposal might be new and susceptible of much quicker understanding) for at least two years, or something like that. But, unless they really just want to jettison the Reformed/Presbyterian heritage (and for that matter the heritage of all the Biblical prophets), let them not say that pastors must simply eschew teaching about public policy issues. The members in the pews, some of whom must fill public offices and all of whom are called, in this democratic republic, to vote for those who will fill public office, need their Biblically–and economically or historically or scientifically, etc.–informed wisdom.

E. Calvin Beisner