Introducing David Van Drunen to David Van Drunen
Thanks for highlighting this issue and writing most of this up Mark Van Der Molen.
In the below statement it seems that David Van Drunen is amazed by conclusions drawn and at the responses he received from Jeffrey Waddington and Cornel P. Venema. He seems to indicate that there is no reason for their conclusions. But the scholars I have spoken with seem to indicate that these two men of God do have a place to rest their heads concretely for the statements they have made. They didn’t come to their conclusions by just pulling them out of thin air. As Mark Van Der Molen suggests, maybe David Van Drunen needs to be reintroduced to David Van Drunen.
Here is what this is about. David Van Drunen states, “Yet Jeffrey Waddington and Cornelis Venema, for example, think they know a lot about my views and offer bold critical comments; see Waddington, “Duplex in Homine Regimen: A Response to David VanDrunen’s ‘The Reformed Two Kingdoms Doctrine: An Explanation and Defense,’ ” The Confessional Presbyterian 8 (2012): 192–93; and Venema, “One Kingdom or Two?” 106–11. I’ll mention just one issue among several they raise: the unbeliever’s ability to profit from natural law. Waddington (193) states: “Clearly Dr. VanDrunen’s understanding of the efficacy of natural law/natural revelation is significantly different from the clear and unambiguous statement made in the Canons of Dort [3/4.4].” Similarly, Venema (108-9) also implies that I am at variance with Canons of Dort 3/3.4 and writes: “in the two kingdoms paradigm, non-believers are almost as apt as believers to profit from their discernment of the natural law.” Neither of them cite a single example from my writings to prove these claims; nor could they, I am quite sure. I agree entirely with the statement in Canons of Dort 3/4.4 and have never argued against it. And I cannot think of where I have said anything along the lines of Venema’s charge.” David Van Drunen, Footnote (5) Ordained Servant, July 2013
It appears that there are things that might indicate Dr. Cornel P. Venema and Jeffrey Waddington do have a just reason for their conclusions. Here are a few quotes from David Van Drunen.
“Scripture is not the appropriate moral standard for the civil kingdom.” David Van Drunen, “A Biblical Case for Natural Law”,p. 38 (2006)
“Biblical moral instructions are given to those who are redeemed and are given as a consequence of their redemption. The Ten Commandments, for example, provide not an abstract set of principles but define the life of God’s redeemed covenant people. David Van Drunen, “A Biblical Case for Natural Law”, (p. 39)
“Since membership in the civil kingdom is not limited to believers, the imperatives of Scripture do not bind members of that kingdom. These imperatives are not “directly applicable to non-Christians” (40).” David Van Drunen, “A Biblical Case for Natural Law,” p.40.
“Natural law is the only moral standard for which there is a common (though implied) indicative that grounds common imperatives: All people are created in God’s image and have this law written upon their hearts; therefore, they should conduct themselves according to the pattern of that image and the demands of the law.” David Van Drunen, “A Biblical Case for Natural Law”, p. 40.
“Scripture is not given as a common moral standard that provides ethical imperatives to all people regardless of their religious standing.” David Van Drunen, “A Biblical Case for Natural Law”, (p. 53)
Canons 3/4.4:”There is, to be sure, a certain light of nature remaining in man after the fall, by virtue of which he retains some notions about God, natural things, and the difference between what is moral and immoral, and demonstrates a certain eagerness for virtue and for good outward behavior. But this light of nature is far from enabling man to come to a saving knowledge of God and conversion to him–so far, IN FACT, THAT MAN DOES NOT USE IT RIGHTLY EVEN IN MATTERS OF NATURE AND SOCIETY. Instead, in various ways he completely distorts this light, whatever its precise character, and suppresses it in unrighteousness. In doing so he renders himself without excuse before God.” [Emphasis added].