Saturday, February 17, 2018

Rejuvenation from the Right Hand Kingdom for our witness in the Left Hand Kingdom

As we anticipate the release of my new book Faith That Sees Through The Culture on June 13th, 2018 (Concordia Publishing House), we are constantly challenged by the duality of the two kingdoms. To keep the kingdom of the left or the kingdom of power in proper perspective we need the dual lens. Balance comes only when we also know the kingdom of the right or the kingdom of grace. We feel pain -- vicerally -- and shake our heads at the myriad of problems in the left-hand kingdom which includes the government. And yet, we are informed by the Word of God: "For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God (Ro 13:1)." This does not mean that what those governments do is always right, but it does mean that God has not relinquished control. And in respect to God working -- for His people -- He is always (not sometimes) working for their good. Even if a nation is in decline therefore, the decline itself will often lead people to remember that their hope is not in the power of men (Psalm 146:3: "put not your trust in princes"), but only in God. Sometimes cultural decline -- as painful as it might be -- is the mediate cause for spiritual revival. This does not mean that Christians are to become passive in culture. Not in the least. We are called to engage the culture. We are called to be salt and light (Matt 5). But to know both kingdoms is to draw strength from the Right-Hand Kingdom (through the Church's ministry of Word and Sacrament), so that we may launch into the Left-Hand Kingdom to be God's witnesses with hope overflowing even in the face of cultural disintegration.

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