“It is true that in the Reformed theology a great change occured on this point [a change from the Roman Catholics view of the kingdom]. Particularly in Calvin the idea of the soveriegnty of God was the central point of view of theology. And for this theocentric character of Calvin’s theology the idea of the Kingdom of God was naturally an important one. Still it cannot be said that the Reformers were typically Kingdom-of-God theologians. Their viewpoint was theocentric, but in a rather static manner. The historical and eschatological aspects of the biblical revelation of the Kingdom of God were not prominent in their theology.Herman Ridderbos, When the time had fully come. pg. 10

I want to suggest something to you that I’ve had suggested to me on several occasions by a teacher of mine at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Part of the reason the role of the church in cultural transformation is contested and diverse inside the Reformed communities, be that Reformed Baptists or Presbyterians (UPDATE: and it appears Aglicans as well, thanks Stephen), is that there are two different hermeneutical pendulum points leaders are hanging upon at either end of the axis.

The pendulum that is more systematic, propositional, and static; and the pendulum that is more redemtive-historical, narratival, and dynamic in orientation. In Dutch Calvinist terms there is a difference between placing weight upon an ordo salutis reading or an historia salutis reading of the scriptures. One danger to absolve oneself from would be the tendency to asume these descriptive terms onto the person’s position who opposes your viewpoint. If we give into this we end up with either saying, “You’re just breathing in the air of pomo sentiments.” Or saying, “You’re just locked away in the glory of a past that was never really that glorious.”

My prayer in the matter is that we love each other well in the presence of differences, defend what is true, and acknowledge the hermeneutical pendulum points we favor in our readings; turning neither a blind eye to our theological tradition, nor a deaf ear to the 2nd Temple world of literature and what contextual New Testament studies are turning up in light of it.

Waiting, praying, reflecting, discussing, forming preliminary conclusions, and repenting where necessary; REPEAT – waiting, praying, reflecting, discussing, forming preliminary conclusions; and repenting where necessary; REPEAT.

Resting in Jesus’ benefits and living from his resurrection power while repeating these…