Anthony W. Brooks
“No single piece of our mental world is to be sealed off from the rest and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” -Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920)
As we come upon the 100th anniversary of Abraham Kuyper’s passing it is good to remember his contributions to Christian thought. I am one of the many black sheep in my denomination, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, because I don’t see a strict separation between the sacred (church) and the secular (not church). It has been apparent to me for some time that it would be hard for me to be ordained in the OPC because of this issue (not that I don’t want to be, but theonomy is a hard thing to miss in my theology).
I’ve mentioned in my post on Calvinism, here, how I came to my Calvinistic convictions. It was a natural outworking of my views on God and it filled in the holes of my worldview which resembled a slice of baby Swiss at the time. But eventually this new found doctrine of sovereignty needed to be carried to its logical conclusion.
“…there is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”Abraham Kuyper
If Christ is truly sovereign then he has to be sovereign over everything. “18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:18-19 Notice “all authority in heaven and on earth…” has been given to Christ. This is not a hard concept.
I think Kuyper’s philosophy of sphere sovereignty fits nicely with the concept of God’s sovereignty as classically defined. Christ is lord over government, education, business, agriculture, etc… he hasn’t given any of his authority away. And I agree with him that this is a part of the great commission. As we go out and deliver the gospel we are to teach these new converts to observe all that Christ has commanded us, Matthew 28:20. And the word of God covers all of these aspects.
People are scared of the idea of theonomy. They compare the theonomic idea of reclaiming these spheres of influence for Christ as having Marxist tendencies. The idea that we want to go in and blow up the system or something. That’s not it. Kuyper believed that the gospel transforms. As individuals are changed the culture changes. There is nothing to be afraid of. We theonomists are not occupying the Branch Davidian’s compound to try to bring about the apocalypse. Jonestown isn’t our name. If I give you kool aid it is safe to drink.
There are areas of disagreement when it comes to theonomy, different types of theonomy, different emphasis on certain standards etc. But I believe that is for the future generations to work out.
I know this subject is boring and I’m not as witty as I could have been but I believe that full transparency is important. I need to lay my entire mind before the reader to tell you where I am coming from most of the time. I look at life as all for Christ. Not just my life but also the lives of every living being. He created it all. So he must be sovereign over all.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Picture: Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920)