Common Grace, 2.12

Common Grace, 2.12 December 1, 2020

This post is part of a series walking through the second volume of Abraham Kuyper’s Common Grace.

Yet, God’s truth and creation are an organic whole, and must not be dissolved! This is not to remove the place of the elect or to rebuke our predecessors, who worked with the tools and ideas available to their own times. Though we do need to accuse recent (i.e. the last 200 years) theologians of laziness, and call them to a clarifying creativity for our own time. Common grace slipping through the theological cracks makes this an especially necessary renewal, given its clear necessity to the doctrine of predestination–otherwise Adam and Eve would have died the day they ate the fruit! So too common grace preserves the pre-conversion elect, provides space for the pre-destined church to flourish, prepares the way for the predestined Incarnation, prepares the world for predestined missions, and prepares individuals and families for the coming of particular grace. “Particular grace presupposes common grace”, as evidence Kuyper thinks we should just look at their “Christian educational system”! (109)
The theologians missed this, and so missed the link that ties the whole thing together. We must not get lost in the infra-/supra-lapsarian debate, but must instead see the unity of creation and election, as well as the diversity of creation that will dwell in glory. This coming diversity in glory also unites predestination and creation.

Dr. Coyle Neal is co-host of the City of Man Podcast and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO

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