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:
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).