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Kuyper's Common Grace 'Christianizing of Culture'--Reformed Calling or Ecclesiastical Suicide?


Answers to all of the questions have been posted on the Questions & Answers page. Audio and Video of the speech is now posted on the Audio & Video page of the website. CDs and DVDs are also available for order here.

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Kuyper's Common Grace 'Christianizing of Culture'--Reformed Calling or Ecclesiastical Suicide?


Answers to all of the questions have been posted on the Questions & Answers page. Audio and Video of the speech is now posted on the Audio & Video page of the website. CDs and DVDs are also available for order here.

    A public lecture, "Kuyper's Common Grace 'Christianizing of Culture'--Reformed Calling or Ecclesiastical Suicide?" was given at Sunshine Christian Reformed Church on the East Beltline in Grand Rapids, MI on September 26, 2014 sponsored by Southwest Protestant Reformed Church.

    The speaker was David J. Engelsma, professor of theology in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. 

    The occasion for the lecture was the significant project of the translation into English for the first time of the noted Dutch theologian and statesman, Abraham Kuyper's, influential work, Common Grace (originally three volumes in Dutch).  The first volume of the translation has just appeared with the title, Common Grace:  Noah - Adam, intro.  Richard J. Mouw, tr. Nelson D. Kloosterman and Ed M. van der Maas, ed. Jordan J. Ballot and Stephen J. Grabill (Grand Rapids:  CLP Academic, 2013). 

    This publishing venture is mainly the cooperative effort of conservative Reformed theologians and the Roman Catholic organization, the Acton Institute.  Involved are also Kuyper College, Calvin College, Dordt College, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Mid-America Reformed Seminary.

    The purpose of the publication in English of Kuyper's work on common grace is the "Christianizing" of the increasingly depraved culture of the United States, as of the West generally.  The possibility and power of such a "Christianizing" of the culture are supposed to be a common grace of God, shared not only by conservative Reformed believers and Roman Catholics, but also by decent unbelievers.

    The lecture was an examination of the present project of "Christianizing" the culture by a common grace of God in light of Scripture, the Christian creeds, and the history of Kuyper's common grace project in his own Netherlands.

    The occasion of the lecture indicated the interest it ought to have for all Reformed Christians and for members of the Roman Catholic Church.  The topic itself--the relation of the Christian to the increasingly corrupt way of life in the United States, not excluding Western Michigan--ought to be of vital concern to every man, woman, and child who confess themselves disciples of Jesus Christ in a wicked world.


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(We intend to answer as many questions as possible during the speech, if time does not allow they will be answered in the Question & Answers section of the website.)

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Professor David J. Engelsma


Professor David J. Engelsma


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He has earned his A.B. from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. B.D. from the Protestant Reformed Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI where he studied for three years under Herman Hoeksema. Th.M. from Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. His Master's thesis was a 140-page study of the relation between the Trinity and the covenant.

He has been pastor of the Loveland, CO Protestant Reformed Church for 11 years, from 1963 to 1974. Pastor of the South Holland, IL Protestant Reformed Church for 14 years, from 1974 to 1988.

He was appointed to the Protestant Reformed Seminary in Grandville, MI in 1988 as professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament studies, which position he held until 2008. He also served as editor of the semi-monthly Reformed magazine, the "Standard Bearer." from 1988-2002. He has authored several books: "Marriage, the Mystery of Christ and the Church"; "Hyper-Calvinism & the Call of the Gospel: An Examination of the 'Well-Meant Offer' of the Gospel"; "Better to Marry: Sex and Marriage in I Corinthians 6 & 7", and "Reformed Education: the Christian School as Demand of the Covenant", among others. All of these books are published by the Reformed Free Publishing Association.

In addition to frequent lecture and preaching tours in North America, Prof. Engelsma has lectured and preached throughout the British Isles on behalf of the British Reformed Fellowship, which is devoted to the spread and defense of the Reformed faith in the United Kingdom. He lives in Grand Rapids, MI with his wife and is the father of 9 children. 

   He was made emeritus professor at the Synod of 2008.  He continues to teach catechism classes and lecture.  He is also working on additional books on doctrine.