A Quick and Easy Chart on Two Kingdoms and Neo-Calvinism

Posted on March 26, 2015


This debate has only just begun among Jerusalem Anglicans, yet the lines of the debate already exist. I heard a recent lecture that argued the Neo-Calvinist position is the Anglican one, although I would have argued a Classical 2K. In light of Richard Hooker’s natural law principles, any Radical 2K’ers out there?

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Two Kingdoms

The doctrine of “two kingdoms” has received a lot of attention in Reformed circles lately. Some say the idea is clearly Calvinistic, while others reject it as a “Lutheran” distinctive. To clear up some of the confusion over these issues, I recently created this chart and posted it publicly. It has generated a lot of discussion—mostly positive, but with some questions and criticisms. Here I would like to offer some further explanations.

  • I identify Calvin as “partly” Classical 2K because he did in fact speak of two kingdoms (or “two regiments;” see Institutes 3.19.15; 4.20.1-2), even though he devoted less attention to it than Luther. However, he did not conceive of these two kingdoms as two compartmentalized spheres of temporal life (pace Radical 2K). Rather, like Luther, he spoke of a distinction between the visible/temporal/outward and the invisible/spiritual/inward, with the purpose of maintaining Christian freedom in the spiritual realm while…

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