Sunday Citation

“Just as the failure to distinguish law covenant from promise covenant leads to manifold confusions in our understanding of salvation, tremendous problems arise when we fail to distinguish adequately between God’s general care for the secular order and his special concern for the redemption of his people.

“Religious fundamentalism tends to see the world simply divided up into believers and unbelievers. The former are blessed, loved by God, holy, and doers of the right, while the latter are cursed, hated by God, unholy, and doers of evil. Sometimes this is taken to quite an extreme: believers are good people, and their moral, political, and doctrinal causes are always right, always justified, and can never be questioned…This perspective ignores the fact that according to Scripture, all of us – believers and unbelievers alike – are simultaneously under a common curse and common grace.

“Religious liberalism tends to see the world simply as one blessed community. Ignoring biblical distinctions between those inside and those outside of the covenant community, this approach cannot take the common curse seriously because it cannot take sin seriously…No one is under any divine judgment, and everyone enjoys God’s richest blessing…

“A biblical doctrine of common grace and covenant will help us to avoid both of these erroneous perspectives. First of all, the human race is not divided at the present time between those who are blessed and those who are cursed. That time is coming, of course, but in this present age, believers and unbelievers alike share in the pains of childbirth, the burdens of labor, the temporal effects of their own sins, and the eventual surrender of their decaying bodies to death. And they also share together in the common blessings of life, such as fruitful wombs and vines, abundant natural resources, marital pleasures, and liberty to realize temporal dreams. Fundamentalists need to learn that salvation and damnation are not the only categories in Scripture. There is in this present age a category for that which is neither holy nor unholy but simply common.”

-Michael Horton in God of Promise (2008), p. 116-117

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