Tuesday, April 10, 2012
That's a question that was, in effect, posed to David VanDrunen and discussed by Steven Wedgeworth (here). VanDrunen ultimately came to saying "it doesn’t mean that we can always put every single activity and every single plot of ground here in one kingdom bucket or another. Sometimes it’s more complex than that." What VanDrunen does not seem to recognize is that the complexity may be on the other foot. In other words, it may be only the occasional thing that clearly is in one bucket or the other. Everyone needs to eat to live, so it might appear to be a "common" activity but we are taught that one ought to give thanks to God for our daily bread. Likewise, prayer may seem like a "spiritual" activity, but it involves language skills that are "common." Moreover, aside from a handful of atheists, everyone prays. Some pray to the true and living God, others pray to a god or goddess of their imagination (Roman practices come to mind). In short, VanDrunen's complexity problem is not limited to independent seminaries, but is far more extensive. Indeed, the more extensive it is, the more it appears that the real problem is an ill-formed set.