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Title: Grace without Christ? : the doctrine of common grace in Dutch-American neo-Calvinism
Author: Campbell-Jack, Walter Campbell
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1983
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Within neo-Calvinism's involvement in cultural activity the doctrine of common grace has played a major part in being the legitimisation of Christian activity in the world. The purpose of the present work is to examine, from a standpoint sympathetic to the concerns of neo-Calvinism, the nature, function and validity of the doctrine of common grace as an understanding of the relationship of God with fallen creation and the effectiveness of the doctrine in harmonising our understanding of nature and grace within that branch of theology known as neo-Calvinism. The historical context of the common grace problem is introduced in Section I. Section II consists of a survey of how the doctrine has been treated in neo-Calvinist theology, with reference to representative theologians within this tradition, Kuyper, Hoeksema, Van Til, Schilder and Dooyeweerd. The response of Calvin to the questions raised in common grace is then examined. The greatest flaw in the construction of common grace is the distinction made between the incarnate Christ as Mediator of Redemption and the eternal Son as Mediator of Creation. The dualising tendency this introduces into the neo-Calvinist system of theology has serious effects which can only be overcome by re-asserting the importance of the Cross for the creation. In Section III there is an attempt to construct an approach to the relationship between God and creation which whilst avoiding the dualising tendencies of common grace is faithful to the Reformed tradition. The thesis pursued is that the doctrine of common grace is unable to harmonise completely the tensions within modern neo-Calvinism following from the manner of its federally based distinction between nature and grace.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available