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"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.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Kuyper's Common Grace #CG1.1 Chapter 25

25 The Probationary Command

The issue of language discussed in the previous chapter is important as when Adam and Eve  were told “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” it must mean something to them. If they did not understand this prohibitory command then humans are not culpable.
Adam knew nothing theoretical about the animals, yet they were not unfamiliar to him through “life contact”. 
“Man had been created in God’s image, and thus in human measure and human form, God mirrored his own knowledge in man’s consciousness. Man knew nothing by way of study, and even less from within himself. Neither did nature as such teach him. All his knowledge in which he had been created was light from God that glowed in the mirror of his consciousness” (233).
Adam would have filed a biology assessment yet his “immediate awareness nevertheless functioned impeccably”. Kuyper thus rejects the idea that Adam’s moral self-awareness was only awakened through the eating of the tree. Sin did bring an opening of the eyes, but sin brought darkness not clarity of insight. 

 The probationary command was a “sovereign ordinance based on nothing but the sovereign determination of God’s will” (235). It stands outside of the moral world order and of the law of God, “the eating or not of the tree was such as morally indifferent”. What mattered was not the tree but “but only that God presses upon man his absolutely sovereign will and forbids him something by virtue of that sovereignty.” (235)
“[I]f Adam had continued entirely to follow the good for the sake of the good, because that good drew him and comported with the inner exhortation and sense of his heart, then he would have been a lover of virtue but of such a kind that he would have denied the God of his life in whose image he had been created. “ (236) 

The content of the command is in one sense irrelevant as Kuyper in his final sentence notes: “The more insignificant the matter, the more decisively and certainly it would be clear whether obedience was because of God’s will.” (238)

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