Church and State

“Many rightly recognize that the expression of God’s saving kingdom must go beyond personal piety, and they look to the state (or a new revolutionary order) to crush social evil and bring in divine justice.  But the state is not called to bring in the kingdom, nor to enforce the rule of God’s absolute righteousness.  Yet there stands another nation, the church of Jesus Christ, to be not only a witness and a refuge, but a people among whom the power of the kingdom is already at work, and Christ’s final salvation already realized.  Until the church manifests in corporate form the meaning of the coming of the kingdom in the Spirit, its witness will be hindered.  It will not appear as a city set upon a hill.  Not only will it fail to manifest the social dimensions of God’s saving righteousness:  it will diminish the gospel message that it seeks to proclaim” (Clowney, Edmund P., “The Biblical Theology of the Church,” in The Church In The Bible And In The World, ed. D.A. Carson).

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