Beyond two- versus one-kingdom theology

Abrahamic community as a Mennonite paradigm
for Christian engagement in society

by Gerald W. Schlabach

Conrad Grebel Review 11 (Fall 1993): 187-210.
  • The Need for a Paradigm
  • Paradigm Shift? Or Paradigm Breakdown?
  • Sifting Through Two- and One-Kingdom Theologies
    • Two-Kingdom Theology: Strengths and Limitations
    • One-Kingdom Theology: Strengths and Limitations
    • A Partial Integration
  • Beyond Two- Versus One-Kingdom Theology
  • Problem-solving, the test of a paradigm
  • Notes

    Mennonites ought to rework what is left of their theology of two kingdoms before it and they are left hopelessly fragmented. That is what I wish to suggest. Yet such a suggestion risks at least two kinds of reactions. From Mennonite intellectuals, disdain. From Mennonites in the pews, yawns. Two-kingdom theology sounds sociologically quaint to some, philosophically arcane to others, simply moot to most. And all for some very good reasons that may make the image of two kingdoms, though not the intention of two-kingdom theology, problematic. Yet two-kingdom theology remains alive — diffuse but influential — in the way Mennonites frame discussions that may never mention it by name. Consider a case study:

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