Common Grace, 2.86

Common Grace, 2.86 March 15, 2022

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

Christ is the “common root” of both common grace and particular grace. The unity of the Trinity and the unity of God and man in Christ are relevant here. The relation between common grace and particular grace in Christ must be determined not from our perspective, but from God’s–that is where “things exist essentially.” (736) This was a function Christ had be decree even before He had it by practice. Even back to eternity past, therefore,

  1. the Son of God has always been Christ;
  2. His “mediatorship of redemption and the mediatorship of creation coincide.” (737)

We must not let our categories of thinking create false separations in Christ–however useful those false separations may seem to be.

But what of the question of sin and supralapsarianism? [“Supralapsarianism” being the idea that God decreed the plan of salvation–and who would be saved–even before creation.] This view creates an external unity in Christ, rather than one determined by the God who created all these external things. There is, of course, ultimately an irreconcilable mystery at work here.

All of this hinges on the nature of God’s knowledge of creation, which is based not on His observation of foreknowledge of what will happen, but on His decree determining what will happen.

“God does not know all things because this is how they are; rather, this is how they are because God knows them and has known them from eternity.” (738)

Christ the Creator/Sustainer and Christ the Redeemer are a whole. This is grounded in the Trinity–itself a mystery with analogues but ultimately beyond understanding. Even humanity’s image of God falls short here, both as a whole race and as individuals. Within the Trinity there is both unity of action and distinction of agents, and in this we see the unity of common grace and particular grace in Christ.

Dr. Coyle Neal is co-host of the City of Man Podcast an Amazon Associate (which is linked in this blog), and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO

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