The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Friday, March 24, 2006
Taking Common Grace Too Far?
The following is an excerpt from the essay The Radical Life and Thought of Abraham Kuyper by Matt Swanson.
Kuyper's doctrine of common grace is also very empowering for Christian engagement in the world, because it eliminates the idea that the world is an evil place, and that in order to remain holy, Christians must flee from it. Rather, the world is the sphere of God's common grace, where he allows Christians and non-Christians alike to do good. Therefore, truth can be found in the philosophy of non-Christians, beauty can be found in their art, and very beneficial developments can and have been made by non-Christian science. However, it does not call for naïve assimilation in the world. The doctrine of the antithesis balances the idea of common grace, and is instructive for understanding the radically different conclusions Christians and non-Christians can come to in all these fields. Thus, there is room for Christians to work faithfully in a non-Christian workplace, but also for the development of distinctly Christian schools, businesses, etc.

It raises a couple of questions for me: First, is this an accurate summation of what Kuyper thought? Second, is it reasonable to say that "the world" isn't and "evil place"? How does this interact with the Kuyperian doctrine of the antithesis?