Lectures on Calvinism 8

jpegIn his Lectures on Calvinism, Abraham Kuyper critiques what “Romanists taught,” that “there existed two spheres of life, the earthly or the merely human here below, and the heavenly, higher than the human as such.”  In this schema, “the clergy, severing the earthly tie in celibacy, rank higher than the laity, and again, the monk who turns away from earthly possessions also and sacrifices his own will, stands, ethically considered, on a higher level than the clergy.”  On top of that is “the stylite, who, mounting his pillar, severs himself from everything earthly, or by the yet more silent penitent who causes himself to be immured in his subterranean cave.”  

This, Kuyper says, finds its “embodiment in the separation between sacred and secular ground” under which “everything uncountenanced and uncared for by the church is looked upon as being a lower character.”  

But a Calvinist differs: “In his judgment, not only the church, but also the world belongs to God and in both has to be investigated the masterpiece of the supreme Architect and Artificer.”  Rather, “looking upon it as his task to know God in all his works, he is conscious of having been called to fathom with all the energy of his intellect, things terrestrial as well as things celestial.”  This, Kuyper says, is what “common grace” does.

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