What is Common Grace?

Standard

Common Grace denotes God’s continued benevolence to humanity since the fall. It comprises the knowledge of God that humanity retains through general revelation, as well as the myriad blessings that we continue to enjoy: artistic skill, technological innovations, moral goodness, decent and civil behaviour, etc.   Below is a paraphrased outline of an article by the American pastor, Tim Keller, on the topic.

Common Grace helps us to acknowledge God’s goodness in all of creation and enables us to pursue mission with love in a fallen world.

Biblical basis

It is taught in Psalm 19, Romans 2:14-15, James 1:17, Isaiah 28:23-29.

  • Every good thing ultimately stems from God (James 1:17).
  • God reveals Himself to humanity through the design of the universe and through human culture.

Effects of the Fall

  • As the Protestant pastor and theologian, John Calvin, pointed out, our natures are sinful and perverse. We reject God and operate out of a false view of things.
  • However, we still retain some knowledge about God, human nature and creation.

Why Christians must understand Common Grace

  • It will help us understand the world
  • It will help us realize we cannot merely work within a ‘sub-culture’ of other believers.
  • It encourages us to study the world and other human cultures.
  • It will help us understand why non-Christians so often surpass Christians in morality and wisdom.

 

 

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