Dual Citizens: Worship and Life between the Already and the Not YetPosted: September 2, 2009 Filed under: Reformation Trust 5 Comments
Last week on Thursday (1st day of the Puritan Reformed Conference) I received from Reformation Trust my copy of Dual Citizens. I hadn’t even heard of the book until I took it with me to read during the Conference when people left and right started coming up to me and asking, “How much will you take for that book?” I told them you can purchase a copy like always on Ligonier’s store. Looking at the book, I had not a clue who Jason Stellman was, but looking at the title, Dual Citizens: Worship and Life between the Already and the Not Yet, I figure he had graduated from Westminster Seminary California.
Seems that today’s younger Reformed crowds are starting to make quite the distinction between Redeeming the Culture Kuyperianism and the old school Puritanism Two Kingdom Theology. Then there are some that think they can take the middle ground… Ha! Good-luck with that! Nonetheless, when I was 21, 22 graduating College I remember coming to Neo-Calvinism, redeeming everything in my path I touched, I saw, I listen to… You get the picture of what I mean. However after about two-years studying at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary that left and seeing the importance of being a Citizen of Two-Kingdoms made much more theological sense.
After Kevin DeYoung spoke two months ago at my churches “family-camp” on Two Kingdom Theology and Neo-Kuyperians taking a middle ground on the theological issue, I myself was quite concern. Exactly what am I concern about? I am concern of the of the younger generation in theology that happens to always try two things.
Always standing in the middle trying to bridge a gap between to theological stances.
Thinking that we can actually take the best of both theological stances then make our own in the middle which is then perfect… Or better.
On August 14 Kevin then summarized what he had spoke of at Harvest OPC churches family-camp. For more information on dealing with these stances in theology see:
1. White Horse Inn Blog – Why Two Kingdoms, More on two Kingdoms, Another 2 Kingdom Perspective
Kevin DeYoung’s respond to White-Inn Horse
Darryl Hart’s Interviews on 2 Kingdom Theology – Part I & Part II
Darryl Hart’s post, “Two Kingdom Theology is the Change We’ve Been Waiting For”
Anyways back to the book…
What is Dual Citizens about?
New covenant believers live between “the already” and “not yet,” a point in redemptive history between the partial and complete fulfillment of God’s promises. This means they are exiles and pilgrims in the divinely ordained overlap of the ages. As Rev. Jason J. Stellman argues in his book Dual Citizens: Worship and Life Between the Already and the Not Yet, this biblical motif shapes the identity of Christians at every turn and affects their every activity in both the sacred and secular realms. Stellman explores the Christian pilgrimage with deep biblical insight, humor, and relevance to our contemporary context, revealing how Christians are to think of themselves and their role this side of heaven.
Who is Jason Stellman?
is a native of Orange County, California, and became a believer through the ministry of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in 1989. After coming to understand and embrace Reformed theology, Pastor Stellman received his M.Div. degree from Westminster Seminary California, where he studied under such scholars as Dr. Michael Horton, Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, and Dr. D. G. Hart. After graduation, he was ordained by the Pacific Northwest Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America and called to plant Exile Presbyterian Church in the Seattle area. Rev. Stellman has written articles for Modern Reformation and Tabletalk magazines.
Who endorsed this well of course!
“The subject of Christ and culture has never been as popular among conservative Protestants in the United States as it is today, and the topic has never needed as much attention from the perspective of the church. It gets that attention in this important book by Jason Stellman. Dual Citizens will certainly upset those used to thinking of Christ as mainly the transformer of culture. But for genuine wisdom not only on the culture wars, but on the culture, ways, and habits of the church, Stellman’s discussion is the place to go.”-Dr. D. G. Hart
“For too long I struggled to recommend reading on the subject of living the Christian life as a ‘resident alien.’ Often I was reduced to directing readers to liberal Methodists (such as Hauerwas and Willimon) as the best embodiment of Christian convictions. At last I can point to practice that is firmly grounded in Reformed theology. Dual Citizens is written by someone who loves the world: its movies, its music, and its authors. But this is a rightly ordered love because it is a penultimate love. Here is a robust pilgrim theology that marches on to Zion while avoiding the pitfalls of asceticism and legalism. By putting earthly kingdoms in their proper place, Pastor Stellman demonstrates how rightly to use the present world even as one eagerly awaits the next.”- John Muether
Table of Contents and Sample Chapter
High-Res Image: Front Cover | Back Cover
In my personal opinion, not like it matters much, but this may be the best yet (besides RC’s The Truth of the Cross) that Reformation Trust has publish yet.
“Seems that today’s younger Reformed crowds are starting to make quite the distinction between Redeeming the Culture Kuyperianism and the old school Puritanism Two Kingdom Theology”
Interesting, would you say that the 2k theology of WSCAL/Stellman corresponds directly with ‘old school Puritanism’? or would you identify some breaking points?
Either way any recommendations on Puritan works directly addressing the 2k issue?
Now I don’t want to get into an argument over which historical party fits into my modern category but do you really think the puritans were dual-kingdom in their approach? That seems much more consistent with Luther. It seems to me that the puritans were more into transforming culture into their view of what it meant to follow Christ.
Either way I have also noticed the resurgence of the dual-kingdom perspective. I think this is a reaction to the Christian right and theonomists who claim to be transforming culture but are really conforming Christ to their ideal version of culture. This sounds like a good read. Thanks for the recommendation.
Yea, for the most part I do believe the later Puritans to be for sure 2K theology.
I quote from p 143: “According to this view, under law means under the condemnation of God’s moral law, and under grace speaks of the deliverance from this condition. Some problems arise from this view. First, Paul usually uses the word law to refer to the law of Moses in particular…When Paul spoke to those saints in the churches of Galatia who desired to be under the law, was he talking to people who longed to be under the condemnation of the law?…When Paul wrote that Jesus was born under the law, did he mean that Christ was born under the condemnation of the law? Under law means under the jurisdiction of the Mosaic covenant. Furthermore, if under law and under grace are existential categories describing an individual’s condemnation or justification, then Paul’s argument is a non-sequitur. It is not justification but sanctification that frees us from the dominion of the sin.”
It is that last sentence which is the most objectionable (to me) in Stillman’s book. Of course, that reading of Romans 6 is very common to many Reformed people. Like John Murray, or Lloyd Jones, or Sinclair Ferguson, they tell us that “freed from sin” in Romans 6:7 cannot mean “justified from sin” because this chapter is about sanctification and not about justification. It seems obvious to me that this is simply begging the question.
What use does J. Murray’s doctrine of definitive sanctification have on this?