catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Something's missing


Jan 02 2004
11:08 pm

Anton, I think you’ve misrepresented he Kuyperian (neocalvinism) view. First, Kuyper is one of the major developers of common grace. He took what Calvin had to say about God’s providence (see Calvin’s Institutes Book I, Chapter 16 and came up with a “Christian perspective” of social action. To say that neocalvinists focus on the antithesis at the cost of common grace is incorrect.

Second, it is incorrect to say that neocalvinists would like to see a Christian America. Check out the Center for Public Justice ( for an idea of what neocalvinist political theory looks like. You’ll see that they are fond of the idea of “principled pluralism.” By this they mean that the state is different than the church and also “that no philosophy, ideology, or religion should be given a privileged place that leads to public discrimination against other communities of conviction.” From a neocalvinist perspective, a “Christian America” makes very little sense, since it doesn’t properly distinguish between the state and the church.

You are correct when you say that “They engage in politics using Scripture as base.” And not just politics, but music and science and baseball and anything else you can imagine. But that doesn’t mean that Scripture should act as a science textbook or a book of laws or baseball rulebook. Maybe a better way of putting it would be to say “They engage in politics in light of Scripture.” Or “They do science in light of Scripture.”

From the eyes of a neocalvinist, the problem with the two kingdoms approach is that it runs the risk of falling into a sacred/secular type of dualism. Where “Christian music” is good and “secular music” is bad, etc.