Kuyper on Natural Law

[We insist] that sin refers to moral fall and guilt, and further, that this fall consisted in three things: a darkening of the light of reason, an impairment of the power of the will, and a corrupting of our affections. From this it follows that without spectacles, as Calvin expressed it, the book of nature can no longer be read, such that neither from nature nor from the light of our reason can we know whether, and if so, in what way, there is any means whereby we may escape the power and guilt of sin. From this flows the need for a further special revelation to be added to nature, having two purposes: both to teach us to understand again the book of Nature, and to open for us the path to reconciliation with God. So we receive a word of God in twofold form: A word of God within the creation, and a word of God with which he adds to created things (Band aan het Woord, 10).

Kuyper, quoted in Nelson Kloosterman – Peering Into a Lawyer’s Brief (Review of VanDrunen’s Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms)

I agree (though I disagree with the term “book of nature”).

Also referenced:

There is, to be sure, a certain light of nature remaining in man after the fall, by virtue of which he retains some notions about God, natural things, and the difference between what is moral and immoral, and demonstrates a certain eagerness for virtue and for good outward behavior. But this light of nature is far from enabling man to come to a saving knowledge of God and conversion to him—so far, in fact, that man does not use it rightly even in matters of nature and society. Instead, in various ways he completely distorts this light, whatever its precise character, and suppresses it in unrighteousness. In doing so he renders himself without excuse before God.

Canons of Dort III.4

4 thoughts on “Kuyper on Natural Law

  1. Another intriguing Kuyper quote for baptists:

    4. Even though both institutions, the church as well as the state, have been established on account of sin, and thus are by nature mechanistic [rather than natural], they nevertheless differ in principle in this way, that the state is an institution of common grace, whereas the church is an institution of particular grace. From this it follows that the state has existed among all peoples wherever there have been people groups, whereas the church has existed as an independent institution only since Pentecost. The church as organism has existed, of course, since Paradise, but not as an independent institution. That came into existence for the first time through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, having been prefigured by the small band of Jesus and his disciples.

    De Gemeene Gratie, translated and quoted in Kloosterman review


  2. Kloosterman refers to neo-Calvinism as “worldview Calvinism.” If my choice is between “worldview Calvinism” and NL2K, then I’m a worldview Calvinist, though the specifics of that worldview will differ from neo-Calvinists of the Dutch tradition


  3. The idea that natural law, natural revelation, or natural reason can provide any knowledge whatsoever is to deny special revelation in Scripture. For Dr. Gordon H. Clark all knowledge begins with Scripture. Scripture is the starting point or beginning axiom for the Christian faith and all other branches of knowledge.


  4. Pingback: God the Benevolent Scientist | Reformed Libertarian

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