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On Transformationalists, Participators, and Withdrawalism

June 5, 2010

How’s that for three big words?

This month, Matt and Shaun are joined by Paul Manata in discussing Christ, Culture, and the Kingdom. Paul does a remarkable job of showing how the various “kingdom” views inadvertently cut themselves off into “reductionistic camps” (those three in the title), rather than developing consistent systems for interacting with the world.  The solution is not to take a camp, but to be a Christian: someone transformed by Christ, called out to Christ, and actively living for Christ in the world.

This closes out our multi-month series on two kingdom theology, what D.A. Carson calls the “issue for the church to wrestle with today.” Don’t miss out on these related interviews:

And of course, we mentioned books:

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris E permalink
    June 6, 2010 11:07 am

    I think a lot of the debate between Transformers and Participators comes down to views on Santification.

    A lot of the 2K people want to preserve the fact that santification doesn’t have a direct correlation with external change.

    Historically – as Rodney Stark and others have pointed out – communities of Christians have had an effect on society both because of the faithful call to love their neighbour (e.g the roman empire in the 2nd/3rd centuries), and because of personal transformation (the missionary concept of “Lift”). The New Testament at least seems to see transformation on an aggregate level (John 13:34,35 and 1 Peter 2:12) though again pointing out that some of the fruits of that transformation may not be seen except in the light of eternity (1 Peter 2:12 again).

    Of course, is does not imply ought, and the problem for the transformers is that they seek to direct this external change, along specific lines (ignoring Christian Liberty in the crasser cases), and run the danger of seeing personal santification in these terms.

    Again, even an optimistic amillenial view does not negate the possibility that the Church’s ultimate victory comes through service and suffering, rather victory and transformation.

  2. mbohling permalink
    July 14, 2010 5:38 pm

    The last comment is well put and the last paragraph particularly helpful. I don’t personally know an optimistic amillenialist who thinks “total” victory will happen in this age. But we do think some progress – even substantive progress – can be made and should be made and sought AS the gospel transforms individual by individual and thus effecting communities through the transformed lives of individuals.


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