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Abraham Kuyper – The Birth of Common Grace

15 May

1837-1920. Dutch pastor, theologian, politician, and even Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Founded the Free University of Amsterdam, formed the Anti-Revolutionary Party. Known for his lectures “On Calvinism” and his views on Common Grace.

Among the perfections of God, it is particularly his forbearance that is not exhausted in this common grace, but rather is magnified in a moving way. God’s holiness and majesty respond against all sin, not merely in part, but completely, in the most absolute sense. If this outworking of God’s holiness against sin were to proceed unimpeded in all of its dreadfulness, there would be no common grace. But the Lord our God is not merely holy, but also in his holiness he is at the same time forbearing, and it is from that forbearance, which yields the divine patience of the Almighty for bearing temporarily with sin, that common grace is born.

~Abraham Kuyper~





Common Grace, Volume 1: God’s Gifts for a Fallen World: The Historical Section. Edited by Jordan J. Ballor, Melvin Flikkema, and Stephen J. Grail. Translated by Nelson D. Kloosterman and Ed M. van der Maas. Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press; Acton Institute, 2015), 7.

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John Calvin – Engraven on Human Hearts

18 Mar

From this, my present contention is brought out with greater certainty, that a sense of divinity is by nature engraven on human hearts. For necessity forces from the reprobate themselves a confession of it. In tranquil times they wittily joke about God, indeed are facetious and garrulous in belittling his power. If any occasion for despair presses upon them, it goads them to seek him and impels their perfunctory prayers. From this it is clear that they have not been utterly ignorant of God, but that what should have come forth sooner was held back by stubbornness.

~John Calvin~






The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Louisville, KY; Westminster John Knox Press; 1974) Vol. 1.4.4. p. 51

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John Calvin – Superstition vs. True Worship

9 Mar

3. We are not to fashion God according to our own whim
Thus is overthrown that vain defense with which many are wont to gloss over their superstition. For they think that any zeal for religion, however preposterous, is sufficient. But they do not realize that true religion ought to be conformed to God’s will as to a universal rule; that God ever remains like himself, and is not a specter or phantasm to be transformed according to anyone’s whim. One can clearly see, too, how superstition mocks God with pretenses while it tries to please him. For, seizing almost solely upon what God has testified to be of no concern to himself, superstition either holds in contempt or else openly rejects that which he prescribes and enjoins as pleasing to himself. Thus all who set up their own false rites to God worship and adore their own ravings.

~John Calvin~






The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Louisville, KY; Westminster John Knox Press; 1974) Vol. 1.4.3. p. 49

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John Calvin – The Hearts of All Give Tacit Confession to God

28 Feb

There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity. This we take to be beyond controversy. To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted in all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty. Ever renewing its memory, he repeatedly sheds fresh drops. Since, therefore, men one and all perceive that there is a God and that he is their Maker, they are condemned by their own testimony because they have failed to honor him and to consecrate their lives to his will. If ignorance of God is to be looked for anywhere, surely one is most likely to find an example of it among the more backward folk and those more remote from civilization. Yet there is, as the eminent pagan says, no nation so barbarous, no people so savage, that they have not a deep-seated conviction that there is a God. And they who in other aspects of life seem least to differ from brutes still continue to retain some seed of religion. So deeply does the common conception occupy the minds of all, so tenaciously does it inhere in the hearts of all! Therefore, since from the beginning of the world there has been no region, no city, in short, no household, that could do without religion, there lies in this a tacit confession of a sense of deity inscribed in the hearts of all.

~John Calvin~






The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Louisville, KY; Westminster John Knox Press; 1974) Vol. 1.3.1.

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John Calvin – The Fountain of Every Good

16 Jan

Although our mind cannot apprehend God without rendering some honor to him, it will not suffice simply to hold that there is One whom all ought to honor and adore, unless we are also persuaded that he is the fountain of every good, and that we must seek nothing elsewhere than in him. This I take to mean that not only does he sustain this universe (as he once founded it) by his boundless might, regulate it by his wisdom, preserve it by his goodness, and especially rule mankind by his righteousness and judgment, bear with it in his mercy, watch over it by his protection; but also that no drop will be found either of wisdom and light, or of righteousness or power or rectitude, or of genuine truth, which does not flow from him, and of which he is not the cause.

~John Calvin~






The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Louisville, KY; Westminster John Knox Press; 1974) Vol. 1.2.1. p. 40-41

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