Original Research

The political responsibility of the church: On the necessity and boundaries of the theory of the two kingdoms

I.W.C. van Wyk
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 61, No 3 | a457 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v61i3.457 | © 2005 I.W.C. van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2005 | Published: 12 October 2005

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I.W.C. van Wyk, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The political responsibility of the church: On the necessity and boundaries of the theory of the two kingdoms

The voice of the church has fallen silent in the new political dispensation in South Africa. Many people in the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (Nederduitsch Hervormde Church) argue that the church should keep its distance from politics. They are of the opinion that they could defend this position with the “Lutheran twokingdoms theory”. This article shows that the theory of the two kingdoms is not a uniquely Lutheran, but also a Calvinistic interest. It furthermore shows that this theory is not only interested in separating the two kingdoms, but also in bringing these kingdoms in relationship with one another. A plea is made for loyalty to both the Lutheran and Calvinistic traditions. The article also calls for a concentration on the three new challenges in South Africa, namely democracy, pluralism and Africanisation.


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