Lectures on Calvinism 6

jpegIn his Lectures on Calvinism, Abraham Kuyper comments on why Christians bifurcate the world into sacred and secular this way: “wherever two elements appear, as in this case the sinner and the saint, the temporal and the eternal, the terrestrial and the heavenly life, there is always danger of losing sight of their interconnection and of falsifying both by error or onesidedness.”  This “dualistic conception…has…neglected to give due attention to the world of God’s creation” and “has, on account of its exclusive love of things eternal, been backward in the fulfilment of its temporal duties.”

On the contrary, the Bible makes plain that “the object of the work of redemption [of Christ] is not limited to the salvation of individual sinners, but extends itself to the redemption of the world, and to the organic reunion of all things in heaven and on earth under Christ as their original head.”  The “final outcome of the future…is not the merely spiritual existence of saved souls but the restoration of the entire cosmos, when God will be all in all under the renewed heaven on the renewed earth.”   

On a related note, Kuyper believes the dualistic conception neglecting creation “has led…to a mystic worshipping of Christ alone, to the exclusion of God the Father Almighty, Maker of heavens and earth” because, in that conception, “Christ was conceived exclusively as the Savior, and His cosmological significance was lost out of sight.”  Furthermore, while “our salvation is of substantial weight,” “it cannot be compared with the much greater weight of the glory of our God, who has revealed His majesty in His wondrous creation.”  While “the mediatorship of Christ is and ever will be the burden of the grand hymn of the tongues of men and the voices of angels…even this mediatorship has for its final end the glory of the Father; and however grand the splendor of Christ’s kingdom may be, He will at last surrender it to the God and the Father.”  This is why, according to Kuyper:

Calvinism puts an end once and for all to contempt for the world, neglect of temporal and under-valuation of cosmical things.  Cosmical life has regained its worth not at the expense of things eternal, but by virtue of its capacity as God’s handiwork and as a revelation of God’s attributes.

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