Acton Institute Powerblog

Common grace, community, and culture

Earlier this year I had the honor of moderating a panel discussion, “Common Grace, Community, and Culture,” at the Kuyper Conference at Calvin College and Seminary.

The discussion featured J. Daryl Charles, with whom I have the pleasure of coediting the Common Grace volumes in the Kuyper series, Vincent Bacote of Wheaton College, and Jessica Joustra of Redeemer University College and TU Kampen.

It was a wide-ranging and substantive discussion. The video is now available and I commend it to you:

Volume 2 of Common Grace is now available, and features a new editors’ introduction focused on the relationship between common grace and the moral and social order (excerpted here). Kuyper’s doctrine of common grace is multifaceted, but in part he intended it to provide an explanatory framework and a basis for the engagement and development of culture and civilization in a world marked by sin and corruption. Common grace helps preserve the possibility and actuality of human community, which otherwise would be destroyed by sin and alienation.

In this way the Common Grace trilogy (which will be completed next year) complements the Pro Rege trilogy (the third volume of which just appeared, and which is briefly introduced here). As Kuyper puts it, “Pro Rege can be seen as a sequel to Common Grace. Whereas in the latter we showed how also the life of the nations both before and after his appearing owed all its beauty and nobility to the grace of God who had compassion on them, so in Pro Rege we have attempted to demonstrate how the kingship of Christ also governs the course of all human life.”

Jordan J. Ballor

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.