Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kersten on Common Grace

G.H. Kersten, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 1, pp. 72-73:

Common Grace
Although, as we stated, special grace receives the prime emphasis, nevertheless we can speak of grace in a broader sense, hence of common grace. The Word of God gives us liberty to do so, when it speaks of grace being bestowed upon the ungodly, which does not lead to salvation. "Let favor (Dutch: genade, which is grace) be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness". (Isa. 26:10) "Turning the grace of God into lasciviousness." (Jude: 4) 
The confessions also speak of common grace, although they do not use that name. Thus in Article 14 of the Belgic Confession of Faith, the innate knowledge of God is called a few remains of the image of God in which man was created. These few remains are left in all men after the fall. Common grace is also indicated in Article 35, where we read, "Now those, who are regenerated, have in them a twofold life, the one corporal and temporal, which they have from their first birth and is common to all men." Also the Canons of Dort speak of common grace under the Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine, Art. 4. Calvin was the first in this, and was followed by a long line of orthodox theologians, with which God has richly blessed the Church of the Netherlands. Also the Walcheren Articles deal with common grace in the first chapter. There is therefore no objection to speaking of common grace, provided that we insist against all those that hold the universal doctrine of redemption, that the blood of Christ was shed only for the elect, and the application of it was given only to the elect.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Andrew, A friend has sent me this link to support her claims about different denominations and their beliefs on the Holy Spirit. Specifically I asked her to reference her comments on the Huguenots and this is what she has sent me.
    I notice one mention of tongues says they spoke in a known language (French). What do you think of the references to prophecy, falling down, tongues etc. Would you have any links to articles by actual Huguenots of the time?
    My friend is a Quaker who believes she is called to preach and has visions, has heard actual utterences of God etc. I do not feel the need to debate her but this link, on a Charasmatic website, seems dubious to me and I think others will read it and take it as gospel.
    Hope I am not bothering you :-)
    Julie (AKA Ruby from PB and my blog)