Michael Sean Winters is reading James Bratt’s biography of Abraham Kuyper and quotes the following assessment of the Dutch statesman:
Nowhere did he so minimize the effects of sin as in his assumptions about the macro level of social development. Sometimes – for instance, in his speech against “Uniformity” – he could spy a fearful momentum that was greater than any particular part, and on many occasions he noted individual persons, policies, agencies, or communities perverting their social potential. But in formal theory Kuyper more often celebrated than worried about the direction of the whole. Here he shared in his era’s cult of “progress.”
Notice the connections. Minimize the effects of sin to think that the whole of society is improving.
How do people invariably view 2k? Too pessimistic, nothing we can do.
How do 2kers respond? Yes, things are bad but God has done great things. Salvation comes from him. Improving social conditions may be positive — don’t let the unintended consequences hit you between the eyes, DOH! — but social improvement is not salvation.
How do 2kers perceive neo-Calvinists? As blurring the gospel into social or holistic aspects, or as being excessively optimistic about human potential for overcoming sin and its consequences.
2k puts the total in Total Depravity. Neo-Calvinists have plans for restoring creation to its original order.
Can anyone possibly explain why Calvinists would be optimistic about anything other than the plan of salvation?