Duplex Regnum Christi

Christ’s Twofold Kingdom in Reformed Theology


In this historical study, Jonathon D. Beeke considers the various sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Reformed expressions regarding the duplex regnum Christi (the twofold kingdom of Christ), or, as especially denominated in the Lutheran context, the “doctrine of the two kingdoms.” While a sampling of patristic and medieval sources is considered, the focus is on select magisterial Reformers of the sixteenth century and representative intellectual centers of the seventeenth century (Leiden, Geneva, and Edinburgh). A primary concern is to examine the development of these formulations over the two centuries in question, and relate its maturation to the theological and political context of the early modern period. Various conclusions are offered that address the contemporary “two-kingdoms” debate within the Reformed tradition.

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Jonathon D. Beeke, Ph.D. (2019), University of Groningen, is Adjunct Professor of Historical Theology and Director of Admissions / Registrar at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.

1 Introduction, Historical Method, and Statement of the Argument
 1.1 Introduction
 1.2 Overview of Secondary Scholarship
 1.3 Relevance of This Study
 1.4 Research Questions
 1.5 Method of Investigation and Outline of Study
 1.6 Statement of the Argument

part 1: Early Magisterial Reformers and the Duplex Regnum Christi

2 Laying the Patristic and Medieval Foundation
 2.1 Introduction
 2.2 John Chrysostom: “The Scripture Acknowledges Two Kingdoms of God”
 2.3 Augustine of Hippo: An Eschatological Tension between Two Cities
 2.4 Pope Boniface VIII and the Medieval Two-Swords Construct: Spiritual and Temporal Authority
 2.5 Thomas Aquinas: “That the Office of Governing the Kingdom Should Be Learned from the Divine Government”
 2.6 William of Ockham
 2.7 Conclusion

3 Martin Luther and the Two-Kingdoms Doctrine
 3.1 Introduction
 3.2 Luther and the Two Kingdoms: A Conceptual Framework
 3.3 Luther and the Two Kingdoms: Temporal Authority (1523)
 3.4 Luther on the Two Kingdoms and the Created Order
 3.5 Conclusion

4 Martin Bucer and John Calvin on Christ’s Kingdom
 4.1 Introduction
 4.2 Martin Bucer: De Regno Christi
 4.3 The Twofold Kingdom of Christ in Calvin’s Thought: The Institutes
 4.4 Calvin on the State of Sinless Adam
 4.5 Calvin’s Twofold Kingdom: Consistent or Confused Application?
 4.6 Conclusion

part 2: Development of the Duplex Regnum Christi in Reformed Orthodoxy

5 Introducing Terms and Concepts
 5.1 Introduction
 5.2 Terminological Considerations and Key Concepts
 5.3 Placement of the Duplex Regnum Christi in Theological Systems
 5.4 An “In-House” Debate
 5.5 Conclusion

6 The Duplex Regnum Christi in Reformed Orthodoxy: Leiden as Representative Center
 6.1 Introduction
 6.2 Contextual Considerations
 6.3 Franciscus Junius on the Twofold Kingdom of Christ
 6.4 Scholastic Disputations at Leiden University and the Duplex Regnum Christi
 6.5 Conclusion

7 The Duplex Regnum Christi in Reformed Orthodoxy: Geneva as Representative Center
 7.1 Introduction
 7.2 Contextual Considerations
 7.3 Francis Turretin on the Twofold Kingdom of Christ
 7.4 Bénédict Pictet and the Twofold Kingdom of Christ
 7.5 Conclusion

8 The Duplex Regnum Christi in Reformed Orthodoxy: Edinburgh as Representative Center
 8.1 Introduction
 8.2 Contextual Considerations
 8.3 Edinburgh University
 8.4 Johannes Scharpius and the Twofold Kingdom of Christ
 8.5 David Dickson and the Twofold Kingdom of Christ
 8.6 Conclusion

9 Conclusion
 9.1 Restatement of Argument
 9.2 Summary of Findings
 9.3 Reassessment of Secondary Literature
 9.4 Conclusion
 Primary Sources
 Secondary Sources
All seminary libraries, professors and students of theology, especially all interested in Reformational and Post-Reformational studies, Calvin and Luther scholars, anyone interested in two-kingdom theology.