01 February 2009

By God’s grace, common and special, much is still possible

Knowing how the “story” ends, or even knowing when it ends (as some claim), seems to lull at least some Christians into living as if there isn’t much point in anything. “It’s all going up in flames anyway, even if we don’t know when,” they seem to be saying, even if not aloud. They sound like John Maynard Keynes, who constructed a miserable theory of economics on the hypothesis, one must surely believe, that in the long run we’re all dead.

One of the attractions, for me, of Reformational Philosophy, especially as a Calvinist, is that the approach is one of, “In the long run, creation may be cursed, but it’s still ours, in Christ, who calls every last inch of it His own.”

[There is no] realm of common grace independent from a realm of special grace in Christ Jesus. The Fall turned the heart, the root of creation, away from God. Creation therefore, had to be reborn in its root through Christ. Special or saving grace can therefore not be a separate realm. It touches, as did the Fall, the supra-temporal core, the heart, the root of all temporal creation. Common grace does not touch this supra-temporal root, but only the temporal ordinance of life: God halts the decomposition caused by sin. But this common, merely temporal grace of God has no other root than Christ Jesus. The grace of rebirth, given to us by God in Him, is the true hidden root of common grace which must be made evident in the church as organism, that is, in Christian unfolding of life within all temporal structures of reality. When, by God’s common grace in this sinful temporal life, culture, learning, art, family and political life, etc., are still possible, the inescapable call comes to the Christian to make Christ, as true Root of creation, as King of all temporal life, visibly manifest. For the Christian this task makes political life also a holy Christian calling. It is true that under the rule of common grace Christ’s kingdom cannot come to unbroken realization, for the power of sin continues to turn itself against this kingdom until the last day, but fundamentally in the root of Creation the victory has been won by the Lamb of God, and creation, in all its structures, has been maintained, saved, redeemed! ~ Herman Dooyeweerd, The Christian Idea of the State, (John Kraay, Tr., R. J. Rushdoony, Intro., Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1978), 32-33, (internal quotations and italics removed).
Now, maybe Reformational Philosophy constitutes philosophically barking up the wrong tree. The alternatives, however, all strike me as sophisticated ways of hanging around, trying to stay out of trouble, and staving off boredom, while waiting for the Rapture or the Second Coming.


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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