The previous post in this series may be found here.
In the fourteenth chapter of Common Grace, Kuyper emphasizes the historicity of the Genesis narrative. We must read this as both real and reliable history. It must have come to us in words real words of actual comprehensible meaning. It must mean what it says not merely in general but in specifics.
We must conclude thus on two grounds. Without a truly speaking God, we do not have Scripture: This speaking by God is the great fact that is placed in the foreground throughout Holy Scripture, ceaselessly and with stress and emphasis. It is that which makes Scripture [to be] Scripture. The crucial point in Scripture is not what man thought or contemplated, but precisely that which God spoke. (120)
The speaking is true speech; not that it is sound made by a mouth and airwaves. Rather speech is the conveyance of the content of one mind to another mind, “speaking takes place only when from the consciousness of the speaker consciousthoughts are transferred into the consciousness of the hearer.”
We need this text of the speaking God because we need a basis upon which to understand the world and place within it. These narratives provide the basis upon which we can understand ourselves and our place in this world. Calvin beings the Institutes with the observation that true knowledge of ourselves must begin with true knowledge of ourselves in relation to God. Without the Genesis narrative we have no way of putting ourselves into that context.
The distinction between the Christian and the non-Christian, the distinction between the Protestant the Roman Catholic lie in the way in which we understand these narratives: What is the image of God, what happened to that image with the Fall, what is the state of the human being past the Fall? The distinctions among human understanding begin here in the distinction of our understanding of Genesis.
On this point, Kuyper singles out the doctrine of common grace as critical to a Reformed understanding of human history, and thus our preaching of grace and salvation.