Monday, March 5, 2012

Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art

Abraham Kuyper
It has frequently happened in the history of the church that Christians, fearful of the influence of a secular and hostile culture, closed themselves off from that culture and sought their strength in isolation and inwardness. That temptation is again strong in modern times, when secular forces are steadily increasing their control of the public square. In such circumstances believers are easily tempted to abandon their place and calling in society and, as often as not, in the universities as well. Although the trend has traditionally been associated especially with evangelicalism, today it threatens to affect also churches that in the past made a point of engaging the surrounding culture, attempting to serve also in this area as a salt and a light. Reformed churches, including our own, are not immune to the danger.

Reformed Christians have the benefit, however, of belonging to a tradition that stresses the believers’ duties with respect to the world and human society. Well-known among scholars who have guided them in this area is Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), the man who reminded his followers that “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence whereof Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not say: ‘Mine!’” One of the works in which Kuyper teaches us the need of an appropriate this-worldliness is his 3-volume study on common grace. That study is presently being translated, on behalf of the Kuyper Translation Project, by Dr. Nelson Kloosterman. The first volume is expected to appear later this year. Meanwhile a brief introduction to the study has already seen the light under the title Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art, also translated by Dr. Kloosterman, and published by the Christian’s Library Press. (Also of interest is Kloosterman’s new venture, Worldview Resources International.)

Nelson Kloosterman
The booklet reminds us that God created man and woman in his image, appointed them as his representatives, and gave them the task of knowing God and of glorifying him in his works. While this applies, as Kuyper teaches elsewhere, to all aspects of creation and of human culture, in this work he reminds us specifically of the need to get involved in the important areas of science and the arts. We are happy to announce this booklet. May it, and the succeeding volumes when they appear, inspire God’s people to apply themselves fully and fearlessly to their cultural tasks, in accordance with God’s will.

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