Steven Peterson sent me a link to an article by the Reformed theologian Richard J. Louw. It deals with vocation and the Two Kingdoms, but he comes at it from a completely different perspective than Lutherans do. He uses the concept of “common grace,” as well as Kuyper’s “sphere sovereignty.”
In the early days of my Lutheranism, I referred to “common grace” and was chastized for it by a colleague in Concordia’s theology department, who explained that Lutherans reserve “grace” to refer to God’s unmerited favor by which He justifies sinners. For God’s blessings that He bestows on entire His creation, Lutherans use other terms, such as “God’s First Article gifts,” a term referring to the exposition of the Creation article of the creed in the Small Catechism. (But aren’t those gifts unmerited, and thus proceeding from a kind of grace?)
Read the article by Prof. Louw, linked after the jump. Does he arrive at the same place that Lutherans do, arriving at an objective truth from a different angle? Or is there a difference, however subtle, between the Lutheran and the Reformed view on these issues, one that comes from their different approaches and terminology?