(From Outside the Camp Vol. 8, No. 2)
Christianity Today (July 8, 2002, Vol. 46, No. 8, p. 50) conducted an interview with Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary and former Professor of Christian Philosophy and Ethics at Calvin College, about common grace. The following are excerpts from that interview:
CT: "How does common-grace thinking consider the good things in other religions? Are they graces of God or are they mere counterfeits?
Mouw: "I think they're a grace of God. ... Is there truth in Islam? Is there truth in Buddhism?, the answer is that there is. I was on a panel awhile back with an imam, a rabbi, a Buddhist, and a Hindu. The rabbi, the imam, and I agreed on a lot ... the rabbi, the imam, and I said that there's something radically wrong with human beings and that enlightenment isn't the answer. Our wills have to be turned toward God. ... How do we account for the clear truths that Muslims articulate from their Islamic perspective? Their grasp of a truth is due to something that God does in their lives. Calvinists like me don't have a very good explanation unless we posit something like common grace. ... A powerful message of common-grace theology is that I need to acknowledge that there may be some divine giftedness in what my Muslim neighbors say and do. ... Do I want to say that about bin Laden? I don't see God's giftedness operating in his life. But if I could talk to him, my common-grace theology would say that it's worth having the conversation because there just may be something of God's Spirit at work in his consciousness."