Partial Christianity

The most radical choice man faces is for or against the living God, our Father in Jesus Christ. Life and world views can therefore be divided into Christian and non-Christian. This is the most fundamental division of life and world views.

However, because there are Christian worldviews wherein syncretistic fundamentally non-Christian beliefs are incorporated, and, alternatively, where there are non-Christian worldviews that incorporate fundamental Christian beliefs, the fundamental division cannot always be applied consistently. These syncretisms are rife with internal conflicts and dialectic tension because they try to accommodate conflicting foundations.

Dr. Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch theologian, offers a principle that applies to the Christian part of the description above, namely that of universal or totalitarian Christianity as opposed to partial Christianity. Universal Christianity maintains that the Christian truth is universally valid for the whole creation, including all of the human life.

Partial Christianity accepts that the Christian truth is valid for the churchly, religious and moral parts of human life, but that the rest of creation, including the other spheres of human life (including science, art, economics, politics, technology, sport etc), are religiously neutral. Partial Christianity states that these areas are neither Christian nor non-Christian.

In the modern church, this is all too apparent. In the modern movement, Christianity applies only to that which is self-serving to human interest. It seeks to accommodate a bewildering array of non-Chistian worldviews under the guise of neutrality. We see acceptance of primitive and paganistic worldviews. Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist beliefs are tolerated and respected in favor of world peace and unity. Atheistic, pantheistic, pancosmological, humanistic and naturalistic principles are generally considered neutral middle ground. Cultural and geographically diverse worldviews are built into the “give the audience what they want” quasi-religious systems.

The reformed faith (or Calvinism), on the other hand, is a universal Christian faith, that rests on the Scriptural truth that God created all that is, and He maintains, decrees and completes all of creation. That includes the following three principles:

  1. From, through and to God are all things.
  2. Everything that God created belongs to Him.
  3. God is absolutely sovereign over everything He created.

It is clear then, that there is a conflict between these three statements, and that which seeks to accommodate beliefs that are in conflict with God’s sovereignity. It is easy to see how a self-serving culture can deny these principles.

We do not belong to ourselves. We, with our whole existence, and with everything we have and do, belongs to God: All our possibilities, nature, structures and talents, functions and behavior, our control of the cosmos, and resultant ourforming of culture, including pre-scientific knowledge as well as science, forming and use of language, creation and appreciation of art, manufacturing and use of consumer-goods, definition and enforcement of laws, morality, attitudes, motives and actions.

We take care of humankind in and for marriage, family, nation and state, in education, industry and healthcare; all our education, work, and rest and entertainment, our forming of history, our entire religious and churchly life, our all-inclusive calling-fulfilling service to God, our entire life on all terrains, belong not to us, but to God.

Our choices should reflect the stewardship we have. Live your life in the full knowledge that you and all you affect are possessions of God, through His creation.

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