In the current issue of Books & Culture, artist, writer, speaker, and cultural influencer Makoto Fujimura has written a review of Wisdom & Wonder: a fresh translation of the last 10 chapters of Volume 3 in the Common Grace set. Volume 1 is slated to be released in early 2013.
Fujimura begins the review expressing his indebtedness to Kuyper whose experiences cover a variety of areas reminiscent of Fujimura’s upbringing and are still very much relevant today though they were written more than a century ago:
As an artist of Christian faith with a father as a research scientist, brother as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, mother as an educator, grandfather as a governmental official in the education department of postwar Japan (he was asked to document the aftereffects of the atomic destruction in Hiroshima two weeks after the bombing), and wife as a psychotherapist, I am indebted to Abraham Kuyper. Who else could cover the range of disciplines, as in a vast sweep of historical reflections, to integrate them and begin to make sense of the way they cohere?
One of Kuyper’s distinctives was addressing the modern day “secular vs. Christian” debate. He did not advocate for any division in areas of life in terms of their ownership. In fact, one of Kuyper’s most famous quotes is,
Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a single inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!
Following this position, Kuyper does not advocate approving all positions leading to relativism, but simply showing how the Scriptures should inform all of life providing clarity and authority leading toward human flourishing.
Kuyper calls upon Christians to be “voices of moral clarity” in the science and art realms resulting in restrained evil and a flourishing humanity.
Unfortunately, the church, where it lacks enthusiasm and at times understanding, has come to be seen in both spheres of art and science as a hindrance, rather than a supporter. Though there is certainly sufficient cause for disagreement within these spheres, Kuyper challenges the church to celebrate the arts and science as gifts from God’s hand and a foretaste of the future. By encouraging these spheres rather than holding them back, we can act as agents of common grace helping to bring about “safety and ultimate shalom” to our culture.
Read an excerpt of the review here (subscription required for full review).