Lectures on Calvinism 5

jpegIn his Lectures on Calvinism, Abraham Kuyper says the ultimate purpose of the church is “the re-creation both of our human race and of the Cosmos as a whole.”  (It cannot simply be “human or egoistic, to prepare the believer for Heaven” because “the Church exists…for the sake of God.”)

How does this play out in the life of a Christian?  “When our respiration is disturbed, we try irresistibly and immediately to remove the disturbance, and to make it normal again, i.e. to restore it, by bringing it again into accordance with the ordinances which God has given for man’s respiration.”  In the same way, “in every disturbance of the normal life the believer has to strive as speedily as possible to restore his spiritual respiration, according to the moral commands of his God, because only after this restoration can the inward life again thrive freely in his soul, and renewed energetic action become possible.”  

Kuyper says this is in opposition to the “Anabaptists” who “announc[ed] themselves as ‘saints’ [and] severed from the world.”  This type of “avoidance of the world has never been the Calvinistic mark” for “it is not true that there are two worlds, a bad one and a good one, which are fitted into each other.”  Instead, the world is “one and the same world which once exhibited all the glory of Paradise, which was afterwards smitten with the curse, and which, since the Fall, is upheld by common grace.”  

As a result, a Calvinist “feels…his calling to push the development of this world to an even higher stage, and to do this in constant accordance with God’s ordinance, for the sake of God, upholding, in the midst of so much painful corruption, everything that is honorable, lovely, and of good report among men.”

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