What have Kuyperians, the New Perspectivists on Paul, and the emerging church have in common?

According to David VanDrunen, they all think that “the redemptive transformation of culture is central to the Christian life.”

VanDrunen places this expansive notion of salvation directly in his crosshairs in his latest book Living in God’s Two Kingdoms, a work that provides a helpful theological challenge to the notion that human salvation is essentially restoration or re-creation.

In place of the narrative that humans play a role in the redemption of the arts, the sciences, or other aspects of culture, VanDrunen argues for a “two kingdoms” approach that shrinks the point of continuity between this world and the next to the individual human body.   For VanDrunen, it is humans who are the proper object of redemption, which many of the popular approaches to Christianity and culture today obscure.

Where people loosely talk about “redeeming the arts” and where N.T. Wright talks about “building for the Kingdom,” VanDrunen’s more narrow way of putting things emphasizes that the things of this world are passing away.  That doesn’t mean he’s in favor of letting it all burn.  On the contrary, “we are to spend time on things that do not last.  We are like the Israelite exiles, who built homes and planted gardens in Babylon, though they knew they would leave after seventy years.”

You’re not going to agree with everything in VanDrunen’s book.  I didn’t.  But it’s an interesting and at points bracing challenge to the looseness of our speech about “changing the world” that doesn’t fall prey to the problems of James Davison Hunter’s lurking social constructionism To Change the World.

And for that reason, we’re giving away two copies of the book to interested parties.  To enter, you must put your name in the comments below after doing one of the following:

1)  Subscribing by RSS or Email

2)  Subscribing to Mere-O Monthly

3)  Following us on Facebook

4)  Friending or following me on Twitter or Facebook respectively

5)  Telling a friend about Mere-O.

6)  Making an apologia in the comments for your favorite TV show.

Contest ends this Friday at midnight.  Again, once you do any of those things, put a comment below.  Multiple entries are accepted, but require separate comments (so that I can pick winners easily).

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

0 Comments

  1. Matthew,
    I’ve been an RSS subscriber for months now, and just followed you on Twitter and “friended” you on Facebook. I’m also a friend of Christopher Benson’s here in Denver. I love Mere Orthodoxy and find you a kindred spirit with my own ways of thinking Christianly about culture and politics (as I do on my blog).

    How’s this for a comment about wanting a free book?

    Grace and peace,
    Dave

    Reply

  2. I’ve been an RSS subscriber for a while but (surprisingly) I’ve never mentioned Mere O to my wife. Now I have.

    Thanks,
    Eric E.

    Reply

  3. I subscribe via RSS feed.

    Reply

  4. I also subscribe to Mere-O Monthly.

    Reply

  5. Told a friend about Mere-O.

    Reply

  6. And just for the humor of it, and because I’d like a free book, I thought I would give an apologia for Star Trek.

    Why is Star Trek my favorite TV show?
    (1) Because as a young boy is inspired me with adventures in a universe that was much bigger than earth. It was a source of enjoyment, wonder and adventure.

    (2) It introduced me to epic themes and often used drama to engage in life events.

    (3) It provided provided a vision of the future that was optimistic and hopeful. Unfortunately, it is a bit too rooted in modernism and it clashed with my Augustinian theological sensibilities. But this clash of worldviews is still stimulating and fun as it plays out in sci-fi.

    (4) It has influenced pop culture for more than 40 years and has probably impacted said culture more than other television franchise in history.

    (5) It’s impact on science and future scientists is almost incalculable as it has inspired real people to go out and do real things for the benefit of us all.

    (6) It’s way more intelligent and far less mystical than Star Wars will ever be. ;)

    (7) Five TV series, and 11 movies, probably secure it as the most productive science fiction drama ever. (not to mention books, comic books, an animated series, countless fan productions, conventions, and memorabilia)

    (8) It’s enculturated and adapted itself to every generation since the 1960s at the same time it offers continual subtle critiques of current themes and current events.

    (9) I’ve learned some Shakespeare and classical litearature from watching it.

    (10) It gives me something to theme my blog around and retain my geek creds in an area beyond just theology and Biblical studies.

    (11) It has created its own subculture in the world of fandom.

    Reply

  7. VanDrunen’s book sounds intriguing, particularly for someone like me who finds N. T. Wright’s perspective persuasive. It might stretch me to read someone who challenges one of my favorite Anglican bishops.

    Also, I am pleased to follow Mere Orthodoxy on Facebook.

    Reply

  8. I subscribe via RSS feed.

    Reply

  9. […] Mere Orthodoxy is giving away a copy of David VanDrunen’s Living in God’s Two Kingdoms. […]

    Reply

  10. subscribes to RSS feed…for the book! :)

    Reply

  11. I have been reading Mere-O for about a year, but just signed up for the newsletter. I am reading Hunter’s _To Change the World_ currently, and would love to see what VanDrunen has to say about a contentious, but highly important topic.

    Also, does Arrested Development really need a defense?

    Reply

  12. The earth is round, the sun is hot, and Seinfeld is the best tv show ever. Period.

    Reply

  13. I’ve added Mere Orthodoxy to the list of selected few “Likes” on Facebook… Much as I would argue that there are few shows on TV that should truly be liked, but that is for another comment.

    Reply

  14. I am subscribed to Mere-O via RSS.

    Reply

  15. I am subscribed to Mere-O via Facebook.

    Reply

  16. I am subscribed to Mere-O via Twitter.

    Reply

  17. My favorite TV show is Huff (cancelled after two seasons). The writing is witty and funny, the subject matter is light yet thought-provoking, the characters are well-developed, and the acting is stupendous (particularly by Hank Azaria).

    Reply

  18. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ntwrightnews, Matthew Anderson. Matthew Anderson said: I am giving away copies of David VanDrunen's *Living in God's Two Kingdoms* from @crosswaybooks: http://bit.ly/8ZuoYb […]

    Reply

  19. I am subscribed to Mere-O monthly.

    Reply

  20. i’m following on Twitter.

    Reply

  21. Just “liked” you on FB, and am now following you on twitter.

    Reply

  22. Thanks Matthew. I’m following on twitter.

    I really look forward to reading this book. I am planning refocusing my blog on this issue of Christ and Culture.

    Reply

  23. Greetings Matthew!

    Just sent you a friend request on Facebook.

    Have a blessed week.

    Reply

  24. I subscribed to your RSS feed via Google Reader!

    Reply

  25. I am following you on Twitter (@kevinfiske).

    Reply

  26. I subscribed to Mere-O Monthly.

    Reply

  27. I’ve been following Mere-O for 6 months now, it’s been a great resource. Keep up the good writing. I subscribed to Mere-O monthly and will add on facebook shortly. And offering a copy of VanDrunen’s new book on Two Kingdoms Theology? The blog keeps on giving. I’m particularly looking forward to reading VanDrunen after having been steeped in Kuyper at Calvin College, where we heard more of Kuyper than Calvin by far.

    Reply

  28. I RT’d the giveaway/blog on Twitter…so, it’s like telling 200+ of my friends about Mere-O! http://twitter.com/#!/kevinfiske/status/2432158304051200

    Reply

  29. Book GiveAway – Keep up the good work!

    Reply

  30. Favorite TV show is…MAN vs. WILD. Any show that makes a special episode by taking Will Ferrell into the middle of a frozen wilderness with a former member of the British Special Forces and supplies a Twinkie for sustenance is genius!

    Reply

  31. Matt, I’d like to put myself in the running for a copy of this book. I am most decidedly not of the same mindset as Van Drunen but I’m interested in his argument. I’m willing to give his book a shot.

    I follow you on Twitter and FB, and have subscribed to the RSS feed for Mere-O. I obviously can’t get enough!

    My favorite TV show of all time is LOST. The story was compelling, and as soon as they gave an answer to one mystery, they introduced 3 more. It kept you coming back each week even though you knew you’d be frustrated at the end. The characters were well-developed. I think the aesthete in me was also drawn to the way the show itself was shot; it was movie quality.

    Reply

  32. Subscribed on RSS and FB fan.

    Reply

  33. I was first to post, and right now I’m last to post. Does that show how much I’m checking back, hoping to get the book?

    Reply

  34. Christopher Benson November 11, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Pastor David Strunk: Grovel no more for a copy of LIVING IN GOD’S TWO KINGDOMS. Why? Crossway sent me two copies, and you get the extra! That should be incentive enough for us to grab coffee again. :-)

    Reply

  35. I’ve added you on Facebook. Love Mere O and have been looking forward to this book …

    Reply

  36. […] VanDrunen’s Living in God’s Two Kingdoms, which I received as part of a promotion by Matthew Lee Anderson. Although I still have a ways to go, I recently read one little piece about kingdom economics that […]

    Reply

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