Learning about common grace

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The theme of common grace has been neglected in the Church.

It’s time to correct this neglect.

The many challenges of our times call for an intense focus on the relationship between common grace and the common good.

Use the quotes below for deeper discussions 

“The Bible consistently teaches what theologians have come to call ‘common grace,’ a non-saving grace that is at work in the broader reaches of human cultural interaction. This gift of God’s grace to humanity in general demonstrates a desire on God’s part to bestow certain blessings on all human beings, believer and non-believer alike” (Tim Keller).

“The term ‘common grace’ should be defined as every favor of whatever kind or degree, falling short of salvation, which this undeserving and sin-cursed world enjoys at the hand of God” (John Murray).

“Common grace curbs the destructive power of sin, maintains in a measure the moral order of the universe, thus making an orderly life possible, distributes in varying degrees gifts and talents among men, promotes the development of science and art, and showers untold blessings upon the children of men.” (Louis Berkhof).
“Understanding common grace provides the basis for Christians to cooperate with and learn from non- Christians.” (Tim Keller)

“God has indeed lawfully ordered his creation, and there are biblical passages that make it clear that all human beings have some sort of cognitive access to that lawfulness” (Richard Mouw).

“The standard formulations of common grace teaching have often had an unfortunate feel of passivity for Christians. They have depicted a transaction between God and unbelievers with virtually no attention to the active role of the Christian community in ‘delivering the goods,’ so to speak, of common grace” (Richard J. Mouw).

“I think God takes delight in Benjamin Franklin’s wit and in Tiger Wood’s putts and in some well-crafted narrative paragraphs in a Salman Rushdie novel, even if these accomplishments are in fact achieved by non-Christian people. And I am convinced that God’s delight in these phenomena does not come because they bring the elect to glory and the non-elect to eternal separation from the divine presence. I think God enjoys these things for their own sakes.”

“The above examples of God’s delight do not necessarily involve moral approval of the ‘inner’ lives of non-elect people. When an unbelieving poet makes use of an apt metaphor, or when a foul-mouthed major league outfielder leaps high into the air to make a stunning catch, we can think of God as enjoying the event without necessarily approving of anything in the agents involved—just as we might give high marks to a rhetorical flourish by a politician whose views on public policy we despise” (Richard Mouw).

“…because the cultural labor of unregenerate men is vitally important to the forward progress of the world, and to God’s long-range redemptive scheme, and because that labor stems from gifts that God has given, the product of unregenerate culture is pleasing to God. However, these observations do not lessen the “antithesis” Kuyper spoke of—the fact that there is, and always shall be, a fundamental difference between the Christian and the non-Christian cultural agent by virtue of the Cross” (John Barber ).

This entry was posted in Anthropology, Art, Common Good, Common grace, Communication, Culture, Democracy, Government, Grace, Politics, Theology, Witness and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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