The Roots of Western Culture. Chapter 5: The Great Synthesis

The Roman Catholic attempt to bridge the Greek and Christian ground motives created a new religious dualism. The Greek conception of nature and the Christian teaching of grace were placed over against each other in dialectical tension. Only papal authority could preserve the artificial synthesis between these inherently antagonistic ground mo­tives. The Reformation limited this papal authority. Thus, to the extent that the ground motive of nature and grace permeated the Reformation movement, its inner dialectic could unfold itself freely. Hence in the debates concerning the relation between nature and grace within Protes­tantism, we note the rise of theological trends which denied any point of contact between “natural life” and divine grace in Jesus Christ.

By Herman Dooyeweerd

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