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Common Grace Every Day

Common Grace, Part 5


The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19.1-3

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A neglected discipline
I suppose I could muster several convincing arguments for why you should spend more time reading and contemplating poetry.

Instead, I’ll let Dana Gioia argue for me. Gioia, a poet and critic, and former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, has written a very useful article entitled, “Poetry as Enchantment,” in the summer, 2015, issue of Dark Horse magazine. The idea that poetry can “enchant” seems directly aimed at our secular age, the way evolutionary and naturalistic thinking has “disenchanted” the world, in the words of Charles Taylor. Poetry can help us to bring some wonder back to life.

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Common Grace to Humankind

Common Grace, Part 4


But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5.44, 45

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In your face
In his 1903 novella, “The Beast in the Jungle,” Henry James tells the story of John Marcher, a young man persuaded that something amazing or catastrophic lay ahead for him in life. One day it would leap out at him, like a beast in the jungle, and he would either wrestle it into submission or be overwhelmed and destroyed by it.

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The Witness of Common Grace

Common Grace, Part 3


Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” Acts 14.17

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The doctrine of common grace
We have been considering the Biblical teaching concerning the doctrine of common grace.

Common grace is the life-sustaining, fructifying love of God which brings everything into being, endows every creature with purpose and significance, and makes of the cosmos a showcase of beauty, wonder, delight, power, mystery, and wisdom. Common grace reaches to everything in the cosmos, because God created everything and everything belongs to Him. And because God is love, His stewardship of everything He has made is characterized by love as well.

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The Extent of Common Grace

Common Grace, Part 2


The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. Psalm 104.13

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So loved
The basis for common grace – grace that reaches to every nook and cranny and creature in the creation – is nothing other than the love of God.

Jesus explained that God loves the cosmos, loves it so much that He gave His only-begotten Son for its redemption (Jn. 3.16). How could He not? He made it, after all, and He sustains and upholds it by His Word of power (Jn. 1.1-13; Heb. 1.3). One does not exert continuous attention and sustaining strength on something he does not care about deeply. God loves the cosmos, the whole vast creation and everything in it. The common grace of God thus flows from the depths of His eternal and unchanging being.

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What Could Be Common about Grace?

Common Grace, Part 1


“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5.44, 45

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Reason not enough
In his book, How the West Won, Rodney Stark argues that Western culture and the modern worldview came to prevail through the centuries on the strength of sound reason. If we want to understand why science, the arts, technology, business, education, and government, based on Western models, are the preferred forms and systems throughout the developed world, the answer is the power of sound reason.

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Delight

Dynamics of the Spiritual Life, Part 7


Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring
it to pass. Psalm 37.4, 5

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The spiritual life
In this series we have been trying to understand, access, and improve our experience of the spiritual life. Our approach has been to simplify and organize the life of faith under three headings, define, depend, and demonstrate.

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