This latter view is more common on the internet and is the kind most transformers (though I have pointed out that this label breaks down as a demarcating locution and becomes simply a sophism) attack. So there is some talking past (if not over) each other in this debate. It appears the first model (the one pushed by the more reserved and sophisticated of all two kingdomers) breaks down into a difference of degree instead of kind with the more sophisticated transformers (for lack of a better word). The problem with the second model is that it is unlivable. In addition, due to the loudness of its protagonists, as well as the typical ghettoizing and wagon circling all such radical groups eventually undergo, the constant drum beating will fade into the background making them irrelevant dialogue partners.
I previously pointed out David vanDrunen's two kingdom model as an example of the more cautious models antithetical with the second model. Another example is that of Neil McBride (Reformed Christian and key player in various Democratic campaigns and administrations). I should point out that it is heartening to know that there are strongly confessional and theologically conservative Reformed Christians inside the Democrat Party (and the Republican party for that matter!). Nevertheless, and quite apart from biblical reasons, I think liberalism is irrational. But enough of that. What is interesting to note here are the comments two kingdom proponent Neil McBride made in October/November 2008 issue of Modern Reformation magazine. McBride was part of a group interviewed by Mike Horton. I would like to draw attention to his views on the Christian in the public square as contrasted with the more radical of the models I mentioned above.
As a Democrat and a Reformed Confessional Christian, I often tease my Christian friends who are neither Democrat or Reformed that I may be to the left of them politically, but that I am to the right of them theologically--and it drives them crazy. But as the late James Boice pointed out, if you're Arminian, you're stealing a little bit of the glory of God when it comes to those great issues.That kind of talk is radically different from what we so frequently hear espoused as "two kingdoms" on the internet. But, I guess every group has its radicals. If what I consider the radical wing of two kingdoms theology wishes to correct me, ensuring that they all agree with men like McBride and vanDrunen, then it appears that thousands of pounds of crow need to be eaten--and that may not be healthy. But, if they do wish to make this apology, perhaps they can make amends by engaging in an internet campaign where many of their comments to (what they call) transformationalists will be deleted from public view. After all, it sounds rather hypocritical to chide some person for claiming that biblical principles inform his critique of government and culture while claiming that you have the special status to invoke biblical principles to inform your critique of government and culture. No matter what side you come down on, hypocrisy isn't a virtue in the left or right handed sphere. Neither is special pleading. But, perhaps we'll be told that there are two kingdoms governing epistemic virtues. In one kingdom, logical fallacies and intellectual vices are allowed, but not in the other. Unfortunately, if this is the case, it's not always clear in which kingdom these epistemic virtues don't apply.
I agree with Dan [Dan Bryant, another guest, and a two kingdoms advocate who is Republican and Reformed. Dan and Neil attend the same church in Washington D.C., by the way]. I would say at the outset that many times we hear, "You two kingdom folks, you Refomed folks, say that biblical principles should play no role in developing a coherent set of public policy." I don't understand that to be at all what the two kingdom doctrine says. I believe that our biblical faith can indeed inform how we think about public policy. It can and it should.