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The clear distinction between the spiritual and the earthly was thought to be the articulation of a theology for a secularized world in which religion and everyday life could and should be kept apart. My task here is to address the question of justification and justice in the context of the "two kingdoms doctrine," and draw implications for its relevance in contemporary theology and ethics. How and where did this doctrine emerge and what are its problems?
Can these problems be traced back to Luther himself?
But the parameters of the debate would remain basically the same and would become, particularly in the 70s, the litmus test for diagnosing a Lutheran's stance on any social issue.
Flanked by the classical Reformed tradition of a "third use of the law," on the one side, and the Roman Catholic natural law tradition on the other, the two kingdoms became the Lutheran identifying badge.
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On the one side there were the Barthians in the Lutheran camp calling for the primacy of the lordship of Christ in dealing with questions of justification and justice.For over half a century it has been the way Lutherans framed the relationship between justification and justice.How did this "doctrine" come to be regarded as a central piece in Lutheran theology when it has such a remarkably short history as a doctrine and has for the last decades even faded into oblivion?On the other side we find an array of liberally inspired theologies proclaiming a hands-off approach to Christian claims over what were regarded as autonomous spheres of public life.
The issue was not settled; it was evaded by exhaustion.Is there something that ought to be retained from this "doctrine"?