Tuesday Mar 10, 2020

Two Kingdoms, 20th and 21st Century Edition

Can a distinction between the religious and governmental realms hashed out in the sixteenth century be remotely useful for us today? Well, we give it an honest try. If in the past the danger was religion invading the realm of the state and making use of violent coercion to advance its ultimate goals, today the danger (at least in the parts of the world we've lived in) is the other way around: the state attempting to assert itself in realms of conscience, mind, and ultimate salvation. We explore totalizing ideologies and share our insights on how to keep on distinguishing the two kingdoms for the good of all people, whatever their religion or politics.


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1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes about secularism and the French vs. American revolutions in “Inheritance and Decay” in Ethics

2. Alasdair MacIntyre observes how “we’re all liberals now” in Whose Justice? Which Rationality?

3. John Locke’s political essays mentioned in this episode are the Second Treatise on Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration

4. Dad calls Robert Benne a liberal in his essay “Luther and Liberalism” in A Report from the Front Lines: Conversations on Public Theology, A Festschrift in Honor of Robert Benne

5. John Witte Jr. discusses early Lutheran political theology in Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation

6. Robert P. Ericksen, Theologians under Hitler

7. Martin Luther reminds us that the kingdom of God will come regardless of our efforts or obstructions in the Small Catechism

8. The excerpt of the song goes “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” and it’s from “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who. If you didn’t already know that, you should probably drop everything and go listen to the album Who’s Next

9. Here’s a link to info about the memoir I mentioned (still forthcoming, but if you sign up for my Theology & a Recipe e-newsletter you’ll be notified about publication details… plus, of course, you’ll get Theology & a Recipe), as well as an article I wrote called “A Primer on Luther’s Politics

More about us at sarahhinlickywilson.com and paulhinlicky.com!

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