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.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Nature and grace in the nativity

Dualism has distorted most of Christian thought. From Aquinas onwards it was the dualism of nature and grace. This battle between nature and grace can be seen in nativity art (see Francis Schaeffer's Escape from Reason IVP, 1968).

Here grace subsumes nauture - there is nothing natural in this twelfth century icon.

In Van Eyck's Madonna of the Chancellor Rolin (1435) Rolin is facing Mary and he is the same size: there is a battle between nature and grace - no side is dominant.

In Fouquet's painting the king's mistress is painted as Mary with one breast exposed - nature has swallowed grace.

Schaeffer points out:
... when nature is made autonomous it is destructive. As soon as one allows an autonomous realm one finds that the lower element begins to eat up the higher.
The Christians worldview knows nothing of dualism - there is no battle between nature and grace - no one aspect is greater than the other. In the Christian worldview grace restores nature.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Damn, I was just warming up to dualism.