02 December 2016

The Sacralist Two Kingdom Theology of Westminster West (Escondido)


I include this as a supplement to the Lutheran Two Kingdom piece which extensively referenced and interacted with the Two Kingdom theology advocated by Westminster Theological Seminary (West) in Escondido California.

I rather enjoyed this 45 minute talk. Though I did not agree with everything said, I appreciated the reflections and found it worthwhile.

Robert Godfrey makes it very clear that the framework of Westminster West's theology of the Kingdom is not at all of the radical Two Kingdom variety. In this conference speech he comments extensively about the state of American culture and the influence of the Church upon it.

While he is to be commended for avoiding the rabid Dominionism and Christian Nationalism that dominates Evangelical and in particular Reformed circles, nevertheless the basic assumptions are the same. He doesn't argue for a formalised Christian society, one in which the institutions are explicitly Christian but he still strongly believes in and advocates for a so-called Christian culture and clearly believes America at one time represented Christ in its beliefs and values.

In addition he offers praise to Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the PCA and rising star in the Evangelical world. The endorsement of a Christian politician who essentially echoes the Kingdom equals the West theological view of Dominionism is not something a radical Two Kingdom advocate would be willing to do.

On the contrary a proper Biblical grasp of the Kingdom puts no confidence in any political programme nor celebrates the triumphs and accomplishments of the West. The West did not turn away from Christ in the 1960's but rather in the 360's, 460's and every century thereafter. The ideological frameworks of the West are not Christian and never have been. Its political frameworks and geopolitical triumphs are an affront to God and the current cultural collapse is the fruit of its idolatry and centuries of prideful greed and wanton bloodshed. While certainly other cultures have been worse, spiritually speaking the celebrated 'West' represents the greatest threat to the Church that has ever been manifested, and in fact it is Christendom itself that is the Great Apostasy foretold in Scripture.

Godfrey's Sacralism is certainly better and closer to Scripture than the rank heresy proffered by the disciples of Rushdoony and yet it is telling that one such as Francis Schaeffer is still to this day praised in the halls of Escondido.


  1. Thank you for taking the time and energy to review Cooper's lecture. Like I said before, even though he's still relatively young, he nevertheless possesses a keen mind. Also, based on his Twitter account, I can tell that he's one of a few up-and-coming theologians who are highly suspicious of any manifestation of Sacralism. He has openly stated his detestation of conflating Christianity with political conservatism and Western European culture.

    By contrast, I googled Ben Sasse after reading your follow-up article. He has two master's degrees and a doctorate from Harvard and Yale. He worked in management consulting and university administration before transitioning into politics. An impressive resumé to be sure. However, if you visit his twitter page, it's laden with quotes of General James Mattis about killing enemy combatants in war. There's comparatively little there about theology.

  2. Sasse appeared not long ago on Westminster California's podcast hosted by RS Clark. Definitely an impressive guy... just wrong.