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Thanksgiving & Neo-Calvinism? Bill explains the link...

Posted by admin on October 6, 2011

The transition of seasons makes me 'reflect-full', especially at Thanksgiving. 

It is important to be thankful for all that God has given to us. Thanksgiving also reminds us of God’s creative handiwork as we observe the changing seasons. The cool weather days we readily enjoy before our Canadian cold returns in a few months.

Recently, I read about the tremendous contributions of Abraham Kuyper in an article written by Clay Cooke in Cardus. Kuyper is best known as a Christian theologian and a Dutch politician serving as Holland’s former Prime Minister. Kuyper was also a Philosopher, writer and lecturer.

Less known about Kuyper is that he is considered the “chief Architect” of what is known as Neo-Calvinism. Kuyper and later Herman Bavinck (as Cooke points out in his article) agreed that reconciling Neo-Calvinism with conservative evangelicalism is “not only possible but in the end they are mutually enriching.”

What does this have to do with thanksgiving you might ask? Neo-Calvinism has a restoration theology that sees great value in the creation of God. That value is not just to be observed but to be part of the plan of salvation. God in Christ is in the process of restoring all of creation into the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells. Man as God’s unique image bearer has a mandated responsibility to be an active player in the conservation, oversight and enjoyment of God’s creation order. Classic evangelicalism might wrongly be perceived as disinterested or even dismissive of creation. With the belief that all creation/nature is decaying, full of corruption and heading for destruction, so why not concentrate solely on the gospel of man’s redemption.

This reconciliation may have many ramifications but for the purpose of this letter, it is a reconciliation that should cause us to see the glory of God in all of His creation. One way of glorifying the Lord is to be a joyful restorer of our environment.

So we together say "Thanks God" for all that You have made, all that You have restored in Christ for Your glory and our direct benefit.

 

La transition des saisons me fait « réfléchir à plein » surtout à l’Action de Grâces.

Il est important d’être reconnaissants pour tout ce que Dieu nous a donné. L’Action de Grâces nous rappelle aussi l’œuvre de la création de Dieu en observant les saisons qui changent. Nous profitons plus aisément des journées plus fraîches avant que notre froid Canadien revienne nous saisir dans quelques mois.

Récemment, je lisais un article écrit par Clay Cooke à Cardus, concernant les articles considérables d’Abraham Kuyper. Il est mieux connu en tant que théologien Chrétien et politicien Hollandais, ayant été ancien Premier Ministre de la Hollande. Kuyper était aussi un Philosophe, écrivain et conférencier.

Ce que l’on connait moins de Kuyper est qu’il est considéré comme étant “l’Architecte Principal” du Néo-Calvinisme. Kuyper et subséquemment Herman Bavinck (comme Cooke nous fait remarquer dans son article) s’accordent pour dire que réconcilier le Néo-Calvinisme avec l’évangélisme conservateur n’est « non seulement possible mais fini par être mutuellement enrichissant. »

Vous vous demandez peut-être ce que cela vient faire avec l’action de grâces ? Le Néo-Calvinisme a une théologie de restauration qui trouve une grande valeur dans la création de Dieu. Cette valeur ne doit pas seulement être constatée mais doit faire partie du plan du salut. Dieu en Christ est en train de restaurer toute la création dans les nouveaux cieux et la nouvelle terre dans laquelle la justice habitera. L’homme portant la seule et unique image de Dieu a la responsabilité obligatoire de participer activement à la conservation, à la surveillance et au plaisir de l’ordre de la création de Dieu. L’évangélisme classique peut être perçu à tort comme étant désintéressé et même comme dédaigneux de la création. Devant la croyance que la création/nature s’effrite et se dégrade, qu’elle est pleine de corruption et qu’elle s’en va vers la destruction, alors pourquoi ne pas simplement se concentrer sur l’évangile de la rédemption de l’homme.

Cette réconciliation peut avoir plusieurs ramifications mais pour le but de cette lettre, c’est une réconciliation qui devrait nous amener à voir la gloire de Dieu dans toute Sa création. Une des façons de glorifier le Seigneur est d’être un joyeux restaurateur de notre environnement.

Alors ensemble nous disons « Merci Seigneur » pour tout ce que Tu as fait, tout ce que Tu as restauré en Christ pour Ta gloire et notre plein avantage.

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