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Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art Paperback – November 10, 2011
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The appearance of this treatise in English translation is for me the beginning of a large dream come true. Kuyper's writings on common grace are much needed 'for such a time as this', and Wisdom & Wonder is a marvelous foretaste of more that is to come! --Richard J. Mouw, President and Professor of Christian Philosophy of Fuller Theological Seminary
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Top Customer Reviews
This new translation by Nelson Kloosterman is a wonderful addition to the existing works of Kuyper's already in English translation. Vincent Bacote guides us through the political and social ramifications of Kuyper's theology in a short but insightful introduction. Seeking to understanding Kuyper and common grace, Bacote writes, "Common grace is God's restraint of the full effects of sin after the Fall, preservation and maintenance of the created order, and distribution of talents to human beings" (26). While modern people might still make sharp distinctions between science and art, Kuyper brought together both fields under the domain of scientific investigation. This new translation is a great joy for many, including myself, because we need Abraham Kuyper to help elucidate a vision of cultural engagement and theological maturity that is neither `Club Christianity' nor dominated by a secular worldview. How does Abraham Kuyper engage the cultural capital of his time while remaining true to the faith he held so dear?
In his first section on Wisdom, Kuyper makes a claim regarding humanity made in the image of God that is more than just a recognition that we belong to God's race. He writes, "If this is so, then it follows automatically that in relation to the image of God, no single human being bears this feature of God in its fullness, but that all talent and all genius together comprise the capacity for incorporating within itself this fullness of the thought of God" (43). Rather than keep the discussion of the image of God and humans to a description of attributes (communicable and incommunicable), Kuyper reveals that there is a harmonious functionality to the rich talent and aptitude of human nature.Read more ›
Kuyper reads the Bible literally, in particular the Garden of Eden and mankind's fall, and ponders some provoking issues about what the Fall meant for the development of science and art. His writing, while dated and in many places relevant only to the most conservative Christian, is intelligent and opinionated, and the translation is elegant. It's a pleasure to read.
Kuyper sees Adam's fall from grace as a major setback in both science and art, and the beginning of human attempts to recapture the beauty of both. Never can we approach what we once shared in paradise, nor can we begin to imagine the beauty of the world to come, but God has been gracious in awarding us at least a little glimpse of the beauty of his creation, through the avenues of science and art.
Both can be misused, of course. It requires a proper Christian outlook to remain on track, lest we fall into the dangers of Darwinian thinking or (shudder) nude modeling. Certainly the charm of this book is its antiquated quaintness, while simultaneously uncovering Kuyper as a profound theologian. The translation is superb, a perfect tone for the discussion.
Whether you are a conservative seeking comfort in old time religion or a historian of post-enlightenment Christianity, this book is a gem.
Last fall, a friend of my husband's recommended that he read Abraham Kuyper's book on Common Grace. So, I was excited to come across a new translation from Christian's Library Press titled Wisdom and Wonder: Common Grace in Science and Art. Kuyper's book De Gemene Gratie was actually a large three volume work. There aren't any full translations of Kuyper's book into English, but the Acton Institute (which published this book) has embarked upon a project to fully translate this book. Wisdom and Wonder is the first selection from this project--it is two sections that were mistakenly omitted from the first edition of De Gemene Gratie and were added to a later edition.
Abraham Kuyper lived from 1837-1920. He founded a university and political party in the Netherlands. He also served as prime minister of that country for four years from 1901-1905. He believed strongly in the role and responsibility of Christians to be involved in the culture they live in.
Kuyper saw common Grace ..."(as) God's preserving work in the created order." Pg. 25 Interestingly, "Common grace is God's restraint of the full effects of sin after the Fall, preservation and maintenance of the created order, and distribution of talents to human beings." pg.Read more ›
Recommended reading for any Christian wanting to grow in the ability to recognize God's common grace in the world and think critically about how to engage a secular world of art and science from a Biblical worldview.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was difficult going but well worth it. It's taken me awhile to get through it because I had to stop so many times to re-read sections.Published 4 months ago by jkracker
This book is a gem, providing valuable perspective on common grace. It is not long and is a manageable read with in depth content. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Superheroes fan
This book will leave you thirsty for more of Kuyper's excellent thought and discernment on Christian engagement in all of life.Published on February 25, 2014 by Ben W
This wad my first foray into the world of Kuyper & his work on common grace. It wad an excellent read that is highly applicable to our own day.Published on December 11, 2013 by Lisi
Kuyper integrates all areas of life into a comprehensive view of life and the world. It will stretch your understanding of the relationship of the Christian faith with all areas... Read morePublished on September 25, 2013 by David Vander Ploeg
Excellent and thought-provoking discussion on common grace that exists in this fallen world where even unbelievers pursue what God has granted them in the undeserving gifts of... Read morePublished on September 25, 2013 by Godly John
Abraham Kuyper is possibly one of the most influential of the reformed faces of the 19th and early 20th centuries, but as I am finding out, on of the least spoken of. Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by Don Haflich
Abraham Kuyper's thoughts are quite interesting and stimulating. This is a good intro to his thinking and I hope to read more and apply his thinking to contemporary directions in... Read morePublished on December 14, 2012 by Jack Kremers