An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Snippets from Kuyper's Pro Rege by Nelson Kloosterman

In his excellent piece Peering Into a Lawyer’s Brief: An Extended Examination of David VanDrunen’s Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms Nelson Kloosterman quotes Abraham Kuyper:
Christ does not undo the work of creation, but joins himself to that creation and builds upon it. This same truth applies to Christian society. If the foundation of society is provided in creation, and if sin has deformed the edifice of that society, then Christ comes not to establish an entirely new kind of society alongside it, but his kingly authority rather extends in order to restore the original, to correct what had become deformed, to perfect the unfinished construction. The church is an entirely new establishment, one that is added to the work of creation, but family and society were present at the origin of humanity’s life. Christ recovers both of them, and does not establish them anew, and where his authority governs both, this authority proceeds according to the laws of life ordained for both of them from Paradise onward. . . . At the moment we can suffice by letting the general rule guide us: ‘Christian’ does not mean a new invention and a new creation, but a return to the original creation, and a further building upon that ancient foundation, always involving the struggle with and the atonement for the sin that incessantly seeks its ruin (Pro Rege, 3.23).
And provides an excellent summary of Pro Rege the soon to be translated work of Kuyper:

In order to show the reader what is “out there” in those pockets of Kuyper-land accessible only in the Dutch language, permit this embarrassingly brief summary of these volumes. Volume 1 of Pro Rege treats the kingship or rule of Christ in his exaltation, discussing in turn the darkening of Christ’s kingship, the undermining of Christ’s kingship, and the kingship of Christ according to Scripture. Interestingly, chapter 22 explores “De twee Rijken” or “The Two Kingdoms,” where Kuyper analyzes the kingdom of Satan in opposition to the kingdom of Christ. Volume 2 examines the kingship of Christ in its operation, paying attention to the subjects of Christ’s rule, to Christ’s rule in his church, together with the relation of Christ’s kingship to the Christian (!) family, including a discussion of headship, of feminism, of authority, of family worship, and of childrearing. This examination continues in volume 3, where Kuyper devotes entire sections with multiple chapters to explaining the relationship of Christ’s kingship to society, to the state, to science, and to art. In these magisterial volumes, Kuyper wrestled with the relationship between creation and redemption. Precisely in that context, he explained extensively the nature of Christian activity within the creation and within culture. He spoke frequently of a Christian society, with Christian institutions, Christian policies, and Christian practices. If the life of society is indeed grounded in creation, then the kingship of Jesus Christ over society is exercised according to creational ordinances. A Christian society is not a novel invention that came into existence with the incarnation of Christ, but rather a Christian society consists in the perfecting of what had been established at creation (which clearly resembles the “grace restores nature” motif championed by Kuyper’s contemporary, Herman Bavinck!).

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