FAQ - Frequently Answered Questions
Where did you get the name?
The name 2realms.com is derived from the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Realms, or Two Kingdoms.
What else do you talk about here?
Just about anything is fair game, but we like to see things through the great dichotomies or tensions as expressed in historic Lutheranism. These include not just the Two Realms, but also Law and Gospel, Vocation, Church and Ministry, and (as the motto suggests) the Christian, the Church and the World.
Isn't this way too ambitious? How can you deal with all this?
Yep, it sure is. We don't know how we're going to do it. We may not, or we may try, and later discover we did something else. But we should try anyway.
Is this some sort of Christian or Lutheran evangelism web site? Are you trying to convert everyone?
The long answer is yes and yes, but no and no. We would love to evangelize everyone, and have them all become Christians, Lutherans, etc. However, we admit that we're probably not very good at evangelism, and this website isn't the best tool for this purpose. We may not be any better at what we're actually trying to do, but we're going to try it anyway.
We do take evangelism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ very seriously, and we hold the traditional, orthodox Christian teaching about God, man, heaven and hell, and that all have sinned and are separated from God, our works cannot make us acceptable to Him, and only God can by what His Son, Jesus Christ, has done for us.
The short answer is, we only said we were Christians, but we never said we were very good at it.
So is this just more religious propaganda? If so, what's the party line here?
You can call it propaganda if you like, but I prefer to think of it as the absolute unvarnished truth. I like to think of my positions and what I have to say as entirely true and earnest, and your positions and what you have to say as ignorant and superstitious rantings (but only when you disagree with me). But you might prefer to think the same (just apply the first person pronouns above to yourself, and the second person pronouns above to me).
The party line here is conservative, confessional, historic Lutheranism, which holds to Scripture as its sole source and norm for faith and life, and the Book of Concord of 1580 as a true and correct exposition of Scripture.
Will there be any other points of view here?
Yes, there will, for several reasons. The articles are going to engage a variety of topics, and that means (we hope) a number of responses and challenges. We want to include representative articles that disagree, challenge and correct what's written here. We also want to echo and applaud when we think other people get it right, especially when we think they're wrong in other areas.
Why should we take any of this seriously? How can you be objective with all this ideological and subjective baggage?
The short answer is you have to figure out what's serious, and what's not, what's objective, what's subjective, and where you think the ideology is good, bad, right, wrong, true, false, etc. In other words, think for yourself. And, if you decide this web site isn't serious or worth your time and effort, that's OK, we're adults, and we can handle rejection (some of us, in fact, handle lots and lots of rejection!).
The long answer is that we think arguments should be evaluated on their merits, presuppositions should be clearly stated when possible, and arguments and assertions should be supported when possible by citation and reference. This is a large part of intellectual honesty and fairness. We also think that this is as close as anyone can get to objectivity.
A growing number of Americans see the claim to objectivity on the part of major news media (not to mention advocacy groups, churches, government Bureaucracies, non-profits, and others) as suspect at best, and mendacious at worst (mendacious is the nicest word we could find at thesaurus.com). While we may differ on the particulars and how accurate this is for every member of these groups, we think this assessment has a lot of merit, and we hope we can make a contribution by treating the reader like citizens rather than clients and thinkers rather than passive receivers.
So you're for more speech, rather than less speech?
Technically, we're for freedom of speech, but not necessarily for freedom of expression. The first term is actually in the U. S. Constitution, and connotes an active marketplace of actual ideas, each speaker making an argument for their cause. The second term is an interpretation of the first (we would say fabrication), is found nowhere in the U. S. Constitution, and is used to justify obscenity, filth, and other offenses against common decency, and is sometimes funded by the very taxpayers which it offends.
This means we will try to observe civility, decency and respect in treating our topics. These are compatible with, even supportive of, freedom of speech. This does not mean, however, that we will necessarily refrain from harsh criticism of ideas, topics, and theses. As an example, we can respect an individual, and respect the individual's freedom of speech. The idea the individual espouses, however, and the actual speech used to express the idea, may not be worthy of respect at all, and deserves to be criticized, lampooned, etc.
Put negatively, we will avoid obscenity, vulgarity, political correctness, and a host of other ills which have crippled our modern ability for civil discourse. Put positively, the editor makes the decisions about what goes into the site, and the editor is a dictatorial prude.
So how do we communicate with 2realms.com?
At present, that communication is pretty much one way. You can send us email (the info is in the contact article, but we probably won't be able to respond. If you do write to us, please observe the suggestions above. Do not send us hate mail, obscene rants, and similar missives. Users of this site agree to our Acceptable Use Policy, which forbids threatening, abusive, defamatory, libelous, or obscene email and using this site for spam. In addition to whatever other remedies we may have, we may also report the sender and the email to the relevant authorities, and we may post the offending email on our site (perhaps edited, perhaps not) so that the world can see the sender's handiwork (think of how proud their parents will be!). Probably 99% of those who email us don't need to hear this, but we get just as tired as everyone else of the incivility and garbage on the internet.
So, if you're offended by not getting a response, or you can't behave, be civil and avoid obscenity, threats, etc., don't write. If none of this applies to you, go ahead and write.
Are you some kind of church or non-profit organization?
No, we're not, though we will include articles related to various churches, including the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the American Association of Lutheran Churches, and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, among others. We can't give an exhaustive list here, because there are just too many churches.
Neither are we a non-profit, but we are limited in how we can make a profit. We cannot, for example, accept many of the advertisers that pay for other web sites, because they are not compatible with our philosophy and content. If you believe your advertisement would be compatible with this site, or you have other profitable ideas, please email us using the info in the contact article.