NEWS FROM THE CENTER FRIDAY DIGEST - September 2, 2022 - A Unique Public Voice of Blessing for All: Part 1
In a time of cancel-culture, partisan-politics, pandemics, violence, and mistrust, it’s important to affirm even more boldly that God is at work in history for the sake of the world. A biblical, two-kingdom (2KG) perspective boldly asserts this even as it clearly differentiates between God’s preserving and saving work for all. But powerful voices that puritanically yearn for the secularization of the culture and other smaller, but engaging voices that yearn for the cultural “christianization” of America through better laws, have tempted us to believe in false narratives that conflate rather than differentiate God’s gracious preserving and saving intervention. America is primed again to be blessed by an idea from one of its smallest and most insignificant cultural voices. The message of 2KG theology for the sake of the culture and for the sake of the Gospel, emanating from a small, confessional Lutheran Church, might indeed be positioned to be a positive force in the community, one which can be a civilizing blessing to the culture even as it proclaims the uniqueness of humanity’s salvation by grace through faith in Jesus alone.
Who would have thought that the healthy differentiation of the roles, methodologies, and spheres of influence of the Church and State, a message that some caricature as the “separation of Church and State,” is in actuality a perspective rooted in a biblical, Christian worldview? Who would have imagined that such a view is pregnant in Jesus’ simple words in Matthew 22:21, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesars, and to God what is God’s?” Or, that the impulses to differentiate clear the work of the Church and the State could be traced all the way back to the Reformation in the 2KG theology of Martin Luther? Finally, who would have believed that 250 years after the Reformation such a theological and philosophical position could exert its influence historically in a culture like America? But, in a quiet, unassuming way it has.
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz is the executive director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. This is the first in a series regarding the two ways in which God is at work in the world and how we as Lutherans are given to embody that message anew for the world in which we live.
Is your child’s academic success linked to family structure? Dr. Brad Wilcox of the Institute for Family Studies draws interesting conclusions in a recent Issues, Etc. interview.
Who gives life, and how does that shape our understanding of its worth? Read the Rev. Dr. John T. Pless’s A Small Catechism on Human Life.
“Doctor Martin Luther often expressed to others that pain in this life works to remind us of our need for our Risen Savior. Christians . . . are not like the unbelievers who wonder
whether they are being punished for their own sin or for the sin of their parents. We preach Christ crucified. We preach that His sacrifice redeems poor wretched sinners, which is all of us, not just a select few.” –Dr. Stephen Saunders
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