Kingdom of God

Linked Glossary of Terms
(references to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, unless indicated. See concordance for correlation with pages in the New Critique. The concordance is in pdf format.)

Kingdom
Kingdom of God NC III, 30

Neo-Calvinism emphasizes the importance of scientific and theoretical thought as a building up of the Kingdom of God. This kingdom is not only eschatological, but begins within cosmic time. For example, Kuyper says,

Christianity, besides its yearning for eternal salvation, has to perform on earth, by divine commission, a grand task with regard to the cosmos.… the Calvinist became a pilgrim, who, while on his way to our eternal home, had yet to perform on earth an important task. The cosmos, in a the wealth of the kingdom of nature, was spread out before, under, and above man. This entire limitless field had to be worked. (Lectures on Calvinism, “Calvinism and Science,” 130 )

There is an “already,” and also a “not yet” to Dooyeweerd’s eschatology:

“It may be that this antithesis has been reconciled by the Redemption in Jesus Christ, but in temporal reality the unrelenting struggle between the kingdom of God and that of darkness will go until the end of the world.” (NC II, 33)

This already/not yet also applies to the apostate direction. We may compare this to Baader, who says that we are moving either to the eternal or the infernal. Dooyeweerd says that the unhampered influence of evil does not yet exist in the cosmos. But he says that it may happen, although he does not speculate on what this looks like. And yet Dooyeweerd also says,

Nothing in our apostate world can get lost in Christ. There is not any part of space, there is no temporal life, no temporal movement or temporal energy, no temporal power, wisdom, beauty, love, faith or justice, which sinful reality can maintain as a kind of property of its own apart from Christ. (NC II, 34).

Now he may only mean that there is no independent power of evil. Nevertheless, I am content to believe that in the end, all will be well, because our redemption has already occurred by Christ, the New Root. But this does not take away from our task to take part in the redemption of ourselves and of creation. Unless we fulfill this task, we do not experience our true self (WdW I,vi, 31 not in the NC), nor do we experience temporal things and events “as they really are” (III, 11; NC III, 30).

Baader says that there are four moments in Kingdom of God:
–Its foundation [Begründung] through the first creation (not that reported by Moses)
–the Fall into sin and its restoration through a Saviour
–the leading of this restored Kingdom of God in the present time
–the completion of the same in our future life in the Kingdom of God
(Speculative Dogmatics,Werke 8, 9, 55)

It can be seen that he, too has an already/and not yet to the Kingdom. The motive of creation, fall and redemption is also clearly seen here.

He says that the Kingdom is in heaven, earth and hell: In Heaven, as the completed Kingdom of God, the will of God occurs in unison with the will of the creature; on Earth without the latter, and in Hell it occurs against the will of the creature. (Ibid, p. 56).

Revised Dec 27/04

Advertisements