A former dorm floor friend from seminary days, Vince Bacote, now teaches at Wheaton College and has become an expert on Kuyperianism (His latest book is entitled The Spirit In Public Theology: Appropriating The Legacy Of Abraham Kuyper). He presented a paper at the Evangelical Theological Society and then again at Covenant College called A Neo-Kuyperian Assist to the Emergent Church (which I have published at my website). In it, he talks about how Kuyper’s ideas about Common Grace can help the missional emphasis of the Emergent Church.
Kuyper’s doctrine of common grace is incredibly helpful because it allows us to remember a basic tenet of the Christian faith: “the Savior of the world is also the Creator of the world” (Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism, 173). Christ does not merely have significance for the believer’s soul, but also for “[his] body, for the visible world, and for the outcome of world history” (Kuyper, 172). If we miss this point, we run the risk, as Kuyper points out, of living in two different worlds, only one of which is directly tied to our Savior. Suddenly scholarship, drama, literature, business, law, politics, etc., are all unholy disciplines.”
Bacote calls this notion a possible “assist” to the Emerging Church. This could be a helpful piece of the puzzle as emergent-types try to figure out how the church can reach out to the 21st Century world around them.
As Brian McLaren said in the Worship Leader Magazine article on the Emerging Church
“The focus [is] on God’s kingdom coming down to earth, so God’s will is done down here—in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and even churches—as it is in heaven…People who are blessed to be a blessing, blessed not to the exclusion of others, but so that we can be a blessing to others. If we get that straight - blessings will flow to the unchurched, blessings of evangelism, and blessings of compassion, justice and peace too.”
As Vince Bacote says in his paper, “The doctrine of common grace can provide the emergent church with a significant theological rationale for Christian participation in every area of society.”