Monday, November 16, 2009

The Politics of Omnipresence

Bucer outlines the similarities and differences between the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdoms of this world. He says that one significant difference is that while kings of this world must have "representatives, vice-regents, and other authorities, and also have in their power men outstanding in prudence and wisdom, whose counsel they may use in their royal administration," our King on the other hand, "is according to His promise, with us everywhere and every day," and "He himself sees, attends to, and accomplishes whatever pertains to the salvation of his own."

Bucer immediately recognizes that Christ does have ministers and a number of specific offices which are established for "his work of salvation," but he says this is quite different than representatives in the ordinary, civil realm. Those representatives act with some degree of autonomy and must make decisions independent of their sovereign and prove their worth through their diligence, industry, and judgment. The work of Christ's ministers on the other hand "is vain unless he himself gives the growth to their planting and watering... For they cannot even think that they of themselves contribute anything to the administration of this Kingdom..." (De Regno Christi, 179-180)

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