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 director of research at the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy, an initiative of the First Liberty Institute. He has previously held research positions at the Acton Institute and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and has authored multiple books, including a forthcoming introduction to the public theology of Abraham Kuyper. Working with Lexham Press, he served as a general editor for the 12 volume Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology series, and his research can be found in publications including Journal of Markets & Morality, Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Faith & Economics, and Calvin Theological Journal. He is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary and the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity & Politics at Calvin University.