Tim Keller on Common Grace

Tim Keller on Common Grace October 3, 2012

by Tim Høiland

Ahead of the November release of Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work (Dutton), co-authors Tim Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf are featured in brief videos on the book’s website, discussing some of the motivation behind the project. The book’s introduction is also available at the site to whet our appetites for what’s to come.

I was also interested to see an affiliated article by Keller on common grace, something he’ll certainly cover in more detail in the book. “The doctrine of common grace,” he writes, “helps us to acknowledge God’s goodness in all of creation and enables us to pursue mission with love in a fallen world.” He goes on to warn that those who don’t properly understand common grace are likely to “fall prey to many misconceptions,” including the false belief that we can earn God’s blessings:

[W]ithout an understanding of God’s common grace, the world will be a more confusing place. In the movie Amadeus (1984), Salieri is totally confused and bitter that he, a morally good person, has so little talent, while Mozart, a morally despicable person, has obviously been blessed with a rare, God-given musical talent. Salieri perceived this situation as a failure of divine justice; but in fact his problem was a failure to understand the doctrine of common grace. God gives good gifts of wisdom, talent, beauty, and skill graciously, that is, in completely unmerited ways. He casts them across the human race like seed, in order to enrich, brighten, and preserve the world. Far from being unfair, God’s unmerited acts of blessings make life on earth much more bearable than it should be given the pervasive effects of sin on all of his creation.

The full article is available here. For more on common grace, here are my thoughts on Rich Mouw’s excellent little book on the topic.

In the Every Good Endeavor trailer below, Keller discusses how the gospel changes our work.

Every Good Endeavor from Redeemer City to City on Vimeo.

re-posted with permission. You can view the original post here.

Tim Høiland is a writer, editor, and connector for the common good. His blog is dedicated to exploring the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace in the Americas. You can view his writings here.

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