Kuyper, Roman Catholics, and Common-Cause Cooperation: Ecumenical Reflections on the Cultural Task
Abraham Kuyper is perhaps best known for three emphases – sphere sovereignty, antithesis, and common grace. Common grace (de gemeene gratie) places an accent on our shared humanity, common moral ground, and hence public participation and social responsibility. In Kuyperian thought, common grace and special or saving grace work together, with common grace preventing a culturally irrelevant and ineffectual Christianity, given its commitment to the common good. To the surprise of some, Kuyper – despite deep theological differences with Roman Catholics – acknowledged Protestant unity with Rome regarding wider issues of cultural witness. Using Kuyper as a model, this session is devoted to common theological motifs – particularly, the importance of natural law – as well as spheres of common-cause cooperation between Protestants and Romans Catholics that strengthen Christian presence in a “post-Christian” cultural environment.