The previous post in this series may be found here.
Kuyper continues on with the issue of original righteousness in Adam: Was righteousness a supernatural addition to human nature? In this chapter Kuyper examines the issue from a different direction: Whence disordered or rebellious desire in human beings?
He presents the contrast between the Roman Catholic and the Reformed understanding of the question.
The Roman Catholic view (he cites to Bellarmine) explains it thus: The mater which makes up human nature is inherently subject to this defect. To create a human being is to create a being capable of defecting and such defection is an unavoidable consequence of making human beings from matter:
Bellarmine, the skillful Roman Catholic polemicist, who has argued the case for the Roman Catholic side of this doctrine most thoroughly, returns time and again to the point that the temptation to sin lies in the makeup of our nature. Thus he says among other things, “The desire of the flesh is at present a punishment for sin, but for man in his natural state this condition would undoubtedly have been natural, not as a given positive aspect of his nature, but as a deficiency, yes, even as a certain sickness of his nature, that flowed from the constitution of matter.”
If this is so, then there is something matter which is inherently contrary to God. If God could have created a human without this defect inherent in matter, then God could have/should have done so. That God did not create such a human being argues that God could not make such a being and still use matter. There thus must be something ultimately incorrigible in matter.
So, the “fountain of sin” lies in the very fact that we are human beings: which is a deduction Kuyper makes from Bellarmine’s understanding of human nature. Since this “fountain” bubbles up as its own accord, a sinful desire is not sinful. It only become sinful when the will consents to the desire. There must be a second move to turn a desire for sin into a sinful desire.
He makes the observation that the Reformed and Roman Catholic positions differ not on the doctrine of the Trinity but on the doctrine of humanity. Our anthropologies differ: this is the place where the two diverge. Sin does not have its origin in something inherent in the physical body and the soul, but rather has its source in the spiritual (not the physical). Satan a pure spirt without body introduced humanity to sin.
Human beings were created with original righteousness, not as a supernatural addition but as something inherent in humanity – but that this original righteousness exists in our dependence – not independence from God.
Kuyper then draws out an implication from this fact of dependence: Human beings were not created with humanity as the end, the purpose of humanity. Human beings were created for God and God’s purposes. Human beings were specifically created to glorify God; God creates us for His glory.
There is another corollary which Kuyper draws: If human beings have some purpose other than God’s glory, if there is some purpose, some end which we should/may achieve other than God’s glory, then God becomes an instrument to help us achieve that end. God becomes a tool in our effort to achieve our glory.
God created Adam in such a way, with excellency and glory, because such an Adam was needful for God’s aim. God did not need Adam, but it did please God to create Adam and to work through Adam and to so sustain Adam by grace.
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