An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Monday, 29 August 2011

God's Renaissance Man by James E. McGoldrick

God's Renaissance Man 
 The Life and Work of Abraham Kuyper
James Edward McGoldrick
Evangelical Press: Darlington, 2000
ISBN 0852344465
320 pp.

Kuyper was an incredible man - he seemed to polarise peoples' opinions of him, a bit like marmite you either loved him or hated him. This is the first biography of Kuyper published in English this century.  McGoldrick, a church historian, seeks to build upon the previous two English biographies by Vanden Beg and Praamsma. He rightly says that Vanden Berg is far too uncritical, but then seems address this by over stressing the criticisms of Kuyper.

McGoldrick starts by addressing two criticism of Kuyper and ends with two slightly negative chapters. This is rather strange, almost as if he is bracketing Kuyper between these negatives. The penultimate chapter laments the loss of legacy in the Anti-Revolutionary Party and at the Free University. The final chapter 'Conclusion and critique' look at Kuyper's 'superlapsarianism', his views on 'presumed regeneration' and the way his views have been misappropriated and misapplied to support apartheid. These are almost petty in-house Reformed arguments. The criticisms McGoldrick presents could almost be construed as points on which McGoldrick disagrees with Kuyper. This is particularly evident when he accuses Kuyper of mysticism. The mysticism here is because Kuyper maintained that God still speaks (although Kuyper took great care to stress not in a way that adds to scripture) and that God still does miracles.

McGoldrick writes as an admirer of Kuyper but not as one without 'uncritical approbation'. It feels as if McGoldrick is tempering his enthusiasm for Kuyper by focusing on some of the negatives.

Rather more than a biography this book also covers a lot of Kuyper's theological views. Chapters 2 and 3 provide a helpful church and national background, though I think more could have been made of the role and influence of Groen Van Prinsterer.

Biographical chapters are interspersed with those that deal with Kuyper's theology. Well over a third of the chapters are theological.

I enjoyed reading the book. It is written for a popular audience, however, he has drawn upon a wide range of (English) secondary sources - cited in 9 pages of endnotes. As ever little is mention of the role and influence of his family and how he treated them and how he was able to do so much with a large family.

There is a very useful 48-page annotated bibliography which provided me with one or two avenues for further research.

A useful addition to the increasing amount of kuyperania - but the definitive English biography of Kuyper is still to be written.

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Spirit in Public Theology by Vincent Bacote

The Spirit in Public Theology
Appropriating the Legacy of Abraham Kuyper

Vincent E. Bacote

Baker Academic, 2005

Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2010
pbk, 172pp

Kuyper's book on the Holy Spirit was a ground-breaking book. It started life as series of articles in De Heraut , these were complied into the book in 1888 (English translation 1900). At the time very few books had been writtten on the Spirit. In this book Bacote looks at the links between Kuyper's theology of the Holy Spirit, common grace and his political perspectives.

Bacote's aim in this book is to 'reveal the interrelated character of the strands of a thread comprised of pneumatology linked to creation and history, public theology and the work of Abraham Kuyper' and 'to articulate a cntemporary formulation of Kuyperian public theology rooted in the Holy Spirit's role in creation and history' (p. 53)

Having got over my problem with the title: Public Theology (Kuyper was a theologian, but it wan't theology - public or not - that he was doing when he was doing politics. He didn't reduce politics to theology) - I was pleased to see that the book had endorsement from top Kuyper scholars including John Bolt, Harry van Dyke, George Harinck and Richard Mouw. So it was with high expectations I staretd this book.

Bacote, in chapter 1, starts by looking at some recent treatments of the Holy Spirit, these include diverse thinkers such as Geiko Muller-Fahrenholz, Sinclair Ferguson, Colin Gunton, Moltmann, Clark Pinnock and Mark Wallace. He then takes a brief look at the public theology of Max Stonehouse and Ronald Thiemann before turning to Kuyper.

Chapter 2 takes a look at the period 1890-1905. During this time Kuyper shaped the Anti-Revolutionary Party, formed the Free University and became primeminister; he also began work on the series on common grace in De Heraut, his Stone lectures on Calvinism were published, the lecture that became The Problem of Poverty was delivered, as was his work on The Holy Spirit.

Chapter 3 focuses on the main thesis of the book, examining in more detail the theological rationale of Kuyper's 'public theology', namely common grace. He also looks at some concerns expressed by sympathetic Kuyperians, Mouw, Klapwijk, van der Kooi and S. U. Zuidema. Bacote maintains, and makes a good case for, the Holy Spirit as the previusly unseen missing link in Kuyper's approach. He identifies three aspects that Kuyer discerns regarding the Holy Spirit's activity in creation:

1. the role fo the Spirit in the creative act;

2. as the animating principle of all life; and

3. in the restraint of sin.

Thus, in Kuyper's theology, the cosmic activities of the Spirit are implicitly linked to common grace.

Having made his case Bacote goes on in chapter 4 to compare Kuyper with A. A. Van Ruler. He also engages with Stanley Grenz, Amos Yong and Clark Pinnock. The final chapter summarises the book.

Bacote has shown that the concept of common grace is bought about by the Spirit and thast common grace is not someething that is a mere intellectual historical curiosity, but has its role today to play in the public square.




1 Weaving the thread

2. Abraham Kuyper's public theology at its zenith (180-1905)

3. The spirit of Kuyper's public theology

4. The Spirit and creation stewardship

5. Compelled to "go public"



Other Kuyer articles by Bacote include:

Called Back to Stewardship: Recovering and Developing Kuyper's Cosmic Pneumatology
Journal for Christian Theological Research 2:3 (1997). 
Common Grace And "Spiritual" Stewardship: Guidance for Development?
Princeton Seminary Bulletin 24.1 (2003): 84-93 
Abraham Kuyper's Rhetorical Public Theology with Implications for Faith and Learning
Christian Scholar's Review 37:4 (2008): 407-425.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Practice of Political Spirituality by McKendree Langley

The Practice of Political Spirituality
Episodes from the Public Career of Abraham Kuyper, 1879-1918
McKendree R Langley
Jordan Station, Ontario: Paideia Press
204 pp, pbk, $8.99
ISBN 0-88815-070-9

Available from here in hard copy or here as a pdf

McKendree Langley (1945-2005), was a professor of history at WTS. His dissertation was on the history of the Anti-Revolutionary party in The Netherlands, a party that Abraham Kuyper helped to shape. In this excellent book we have some insights into the political spirituality of Kuyper.

Langley explains that:

Kuyper's simple yet profound Christian vision was based upon a deep faith in Christ as the King over the entire cosmos. The exercise of this Christian vision in public affairs can be called "political spirituality"— the ability to discern the directions sin and grace take in public affairs. Political spirituality is an integrated Christian attitude which enriches both thought and action. This book will present and briefly evaluate aspects of Kuyper's public career as examples of political spirituality. This attitude of political spirituality must not be confused with Kuyper's political tactics. Tactics change as times and situations differ, "political spirituality" remains part of a Christian's obligation to do all things to the glory of God. The attitude of Christians towards secularized society determines what they think and do. (p 25)
The book is split into three main sections each dealing with a different periods in Kuyper's political career: party leader, primeminister and elder statesman.

For many Christians politics and Christianity don't mix - or if they do we get a right-wing American fundamentalist version. Kuyper is evidence that Christian faith does shape politics and it can in a distinctively Christian way. Kuyper steered a middle way between Conservatism and Liberalism, between individualism and collectivism. He was involved in politics because 'obedience to the Lordship of Christ and the future of the nation were at stake'. Kuyper shows that it is possible to serve Christ in politics.

Langley is an excellent tour guide, he explains and exegetes Kuyper's approach; showing Kuyper's desire to transform politics - but not just politics but education, insurance, labour conditions and suffrage - arose out of his deeply held Christian principles and convictions. Kuyper campaigned for principles not for votes. In all that he did he didn't fall into the trap of a social gospel, he knew that the Christian faith couldn't be reduced to politics but that politics had to be shaped by Christian principles.

As Langley shows Kuyper 'touched so many disciplines' hence this book will interest all those concerned to integrate Christin faith and society (and that should include all Christians!) - in whatever sphere. Kuyper provides no blueprint, but he does provide an excellent role model.


by H. Evan Runner

Introduction: Abraham Kuyper and the Contemporary Discussion on Faith and Politics

Kuyper as Party Leader, 1879-1901
  1. Anti-Revolutionary Centennial
  2. The Events of 1879
  3. Anti-Revolutionary Principles
  4. Defense and Encouragement
  5. Between the Cross and the Second Coming
  6. The Perils of Democratic Progress
  7. Prelude to Power

Kuyper in Power, 1901-1905
  8. Prime Minister in 1901

  9. Cabinet Policy in 1902
 10. The Great Railroad Strike of 1903
 11. The Higher Education Debate in 1904
 12. The Struggle Against Intemperance

Kuyper as Elder Statesman, 1905-1918
 13. The Transition
 14. A Practical Statesman with a Theological Background
 15. Final Statements

Kuyper's Legacy
 16. The Legacy of Kuyper's Political Spirituality

Bibliographical Note

McKendree R. Langley on the Anti-Revolutionary Party

Here is a brief piece by McKendree Langley on the Anti-Revolutionary Party. The party that Abraham Kuyper helped to shape.

It is taken from Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Politics edited by Roy Palmer Domenico and  Mark Y. Hanley (Greenwood publishing 2006)

ANTI-REVOLUTIONARY PARTY (THE NETHERLANDS). The Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) in the Netherlands was a significant political movement among evangelical Reformed Protestants from 1827 to 1980. 
The worldview foundations for the party were laid by the parliamentarian Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer in his important book Unbelief and Revolution (1847). Based on a principled rejection of the secularist worldview of the French Revolution in its liberal and radical forms, Groen argued for a Christian worldview on Augustinian/Calvinist lines as the basis for all of life including politics. Groen believed that if democratic voting procedures were divorced from biblical moral values and the national heritage, the result would be the end of true constitutionalism, with a pragmatic secularism as the final norm. Around this ARP worldview Groen began to gather a national following, especially on the issue of full freedom for Christian schools. His slogan was "The Gospel versus the Revolution" (or the Bible's principles versus secular humanism). Theocracy was rejected in favor of constitutional democracy. 
The ARP's organizer was Dr. Abraham Kuyper. He popularized Groen's worldview and emancipatory reformism in about ten thousand editorials in De Standaard daily newspaper between 1872 and 1918. He also led more than a dozen national parliamentary campaigns during that period. For example, during the 1873 campaign he wrote, "The other parties campaign for parliamentary seats, more or less. We campaign for our principles!" Between 1872 and 1879, Kuyper organized the ARP around the program of principles, a central committee under his chairmanship, and scores of local voters' clubs. It was Europe's first nationally organized Christian Democratic party. The ARP's most basic principle was that state authority derives from divine institution, not popular consent. Kuyper deepened the ARP worldview with the concepts of sphere sovereignty; common grace; the ordinances of God for family, church, and state; and the Kingship of Christ over all of life. Kuyper adopted a principled pluralism and saw the complete equality of Christian schools with all others funded by a voucher system as a key ingredient of that pluralism. Parity was achieved in the constitutional reforms of 1917. At elections between 1937 and 1972, the ARP received over 200,000 votes on average and was a major governing party with 16 percent of the national vote.

After World War II, the ARP persisted in carrying on with its worldview in spite of secularist pressures to introduce only pragmatic parties. During 1945-1952 the party stayed out of the government in protest against the surrender of Indonesia. At the same time, the party endorsed European federalism, NATO, and a provisional welfare state. By 1968 the party leaders decided to merge with two sister parties (one Catholic) with moderate policies to bring greater stability to governing coalitions. The public debate between the Catholic "open party" concept of all people of good will and the AR "closed party" of self-confessed Christians grabbed headlines during 1973-1976. The open party won, with no official place for the ARP worldview. 
The formal end of the ARP came in 1980, when it merged with the Christian Democratic Appeal party. While the party could be credited for supporting social emancipation, educational pluralism, a benevolent colonial policy, and a responsible governing record, it also tolerated triumphalism, imperialism before 1949, and some poor judgments in crisis situations. 
Bibliography. Langley. M. R. "Emancipation and Apologetics." Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Dissertation Services, 1995. Langley, M. R. The Practice of Political Spirituality. Jordan Station, ON: Paideia Press, 1984.
McKendree R. Langley

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Mark Roques on Australian Radio on teaching Religious Education

Click to listen to the broadcast.

Herman Dooyeweerd timeline

Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977)

Birth in Amsterdam

Doctorate in jurisprudence from the VU on the Dutch constitutional law "De Ministerraad in het Nederlandse Staatsrecht" - supervised by D. P. D. Fabius

Civil servant at the department of labour

Father dies

Assistant director of the Abraham Kuyper Foundation
Wrote The Struggle for a Christian Politics (English translation  Lewiston, NY: Mellen, 2009).

Begins to publish major articles

Debate with Scholten on 'State interference and individual freedom'
Discussions with brother-in-law D. H. Th. Vollenhoven

'The Calvinistic principles of sphere sovereignty as political principle'

Marries Jantiena Wilhelmina Fernhout on 19th September

Appointed as professor of jurisprudence at the VU

The Crisis of Humanist Political Theory as Seen from a Calvinist Cosmology and Epistemology (1931 [English translation  Grand Rapids: Paideia, 2010]).

De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee (Amsterdam, 1935–36) [English translation The Philosophy of the Cosmonomic ldea (Philadelphia: P&R, 1953–58)]

Opposed by VU's V Hepp
Synod dismisses accusations
Starts Philosophia Reformata with D H Th Vollenhoven
Founds the Association for Calvinistic [Reformational] Philosophy

Disagrees with GK over the disposition of Klaas Schilder

Writes a series of articles for newspaper  Nieuw Nederland which become Roots of Western Culture (English translation Wedge, 1979)

Delivers a series on lectures on sociologt at the University of Delft - these become A Christian Theory of Social Institutions (Engl. Transl. by Magnus Verbrugge; Dooyeweerd Foundation, 1986)

Introduction to transcendental criticism of philosophic thought. Evangelical Quarterly 19: 47-51

Member of the Dutch Royal Academy
Mother dies
Transcendental Problems of Philosophic Thought: An Inquiry into the Transcendental Conditions of Philosophy. Eerdmans: Grand Rapids.

'The contest about the concept of sovereignity in modern jurisprudence and political science' Free University Quarterly 1: 85-106.

Visits North America
In the Twilight of Western Thought (Craig Press, 1960)

Last article written for Philosophia Reformata
Interview with Pieter Boeles


Dooyeweerd Centre founded

Monday, 22 August 2011

Abraham Kuyper Presentation

Let Christ be King by L. Praamsma

Let Christ be King
Reflection on the Life and Times of Abraham Kuyper
Louis Praamsma
Paideia Press, St Catherine's Ont., 1985

ISBN 0-88815-064-4

Pbk, 198pp

Louis Praamsma (1910-1984), a church historian, moved from The Netherlands to Canada in 1910. His doctorate from the Free University was on 'Abraham Kuyper as Church Historian'. This book is a popular level biography of Kuyper. This book is perhaps a little less accessible than Vanden Berg's biography, but it provides an excellent complement to Vanden Berg.

 Both volumes deal well with the education and political issues Kuyper struggled with, but Praamsma provides more detail on the church reforms Kuyper was involved with. He also concentrates more on the religious and cultural background - the first three chapters provide an excellent summary, particularly for those unfamiliar with Dutch history and culture.

Praamsma is much more refereneced (10 pages of endnotes) than Vanden Berg. Both are 'friends of Kuyper' and so are largely uncritical. Though Praamsma does highlight some of the issues others had with Kuyper, he also quotes more from Kuyper.

If you have time read both - if time is at a premium go for Praamsma.

Unfortunately, the book is out of print but is available as a pdf here.

 1. The Spirit of the Nineteenth Century
 2. Trial and Error: Theology of the Time
 3. The Dutch Situation
 4. The Young Kuyper
 5. Conversion in the Parsonage
 6. Disturber of the Peace
 7. A Small Note
 8. A Great Enterprise
 9. Reformer of the Church
10. The Salt of the Earth: Kuyper and the Social Problem
11. Professor Kuyper
12. In the New World
13. The Two Graces
14. Christ Our King
15. On the Sidelines
16. Finishing Touches

Kuyper timeline

I am experimenting with this - the dates are meaningless, these need to be changed (eventually!)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Abraham Kuyper timeline 4 (posthumous publications)

1922    Dagen van goede boodschap
1923    J. C. Rullman publishes a bibliography of Kuyper's works; an online version is available here

1924    'Modernism, A Fata Morgana in the Christian World', in Gerrit Hendrik Hospers, The Reformed Principle of Authority. Grand Rapids: The Reformed Press: 15-35.

c. 1925 Political speeches by Kupyer and others - edited by H Colyn: Includes: Wat nu?; De Kleyne luyden; De wortel in de dorre aarde; De meiboom in de kap; Volharden bij het ideaal; Eer is teer

1928    His Decease at Jerusalem: meditations on the passion and death of Our Lord translated  by John Hendrik De Vries

           Keep thy Solemn Feasts, trans. John Hendrik de Vries. Grand Rapids: Eerdman

1929   The consummation [in Dutch] edited by H H Kuper
          When thou sittest in thine house: meditations on home life translated from the Dutch by John Hendrik De Vries
            In  the Shadow of Death: meditations for the sick-room and at the death-bed  translated by John Hendrik De Vries Grand Rapids: Eerdmans
           Asleep in Jesus (translated by J. H. De Vries) Grand Rapids: Eerdmans
          When Thou Sittest In Thine House Grand Rapids: Eerdmans

1933   Women of the New Testament: thirty meditations translated from the Dutch by Henry Zylstra

1934    The implications of public confession. Translated from the Dutch by Henry Zylstra [2007 version reprinted]
            The Biblical doctrine of Election (translated by G. M. Van Pernis) Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
            Chiliasm, or the Doctrine of Premillennialism (translated by G. M. Van Perris) Grand Rapids: Zondervan

1935    The Revelation of St. John  translated from the Dutch by John Hendrik de Vries [1999 version reprint]

           'Immanuel,' trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VI (December): 155-6.

           'Whatsoever ye Do, Do it Heartily, as to the Lord', trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VI (November): 130-31.

1936    'Blessed are the pure in heart' (translated by  John Hendrik de Vries) Christianity Today (Dec): 183-4
            'By the resurrection of the dead' (translated by  John Hendrik de Vries) Christianity Today (Oct): 137-9
            'But some doubted' (translated by  John Hendrik de Vries) Christianity Today (Sept): 111-2
            'The course of the age are His' (translated by  John Hendrik de Vries) Christianity Today (Jan): 183-4

           'Every one which seeth the Son,' trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VI (February): 203-4

           'The Firstborn from the Dead,' trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VI (April): 250-52

           'A Meditation on the Resurrection — "Highly Exalted",' trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VI (March): 227-9

           'The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ,' trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VII (July): 53-5.

           'The Sign of Jonas,' trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VII (November):160-62.

           'Swallowed up in victory,' trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VII (May ): 10-13.

           'Thou hast Shown me the Faith of Life', trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VII (August): 90-91.

           'Who Quickeneth the Dead,' trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VII (June): 33-5

1937  'The Signs of the Times,' trans. J. H. De Vries, Christianity Today, VII (January):  206-7.

1943    Lectures on Calvinism

1946   His Decease at Jerusalem, abridged & ed. Stuart R Garver. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans

1948   The Practice of Godliness trans. Marian M. Schoolland. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,

1950   Christianity and the class struggle translation of Het sociale vraagstuk en de Christelijke religie by Dirk Jellema
          Abraham Kuyper on Evolution edited by Steve van der Weede. Grand Rapids: Youth and Calvinism Group.

1954   Principles of Sacred Theology. Translated from the Dutch by J. Hendrik de Vries. With an introduction by B. B. Warfield

1955  'Concerning the antithesis' (tranlated by Henry R. Van Til) Torch and Trumpet 4: 31-2

1960   The Death and Resurrection of Christ: Messages for Good Friday and Easter. Translated by Henry Zylstra. Grand Rapids: Zondervan

1961  Women of the Old Testament, trans. Henry Zylstra. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House

1962   Women of the New Testament, trans. Henry Zylstra. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House

1972   'On Political Cartooning,' trans. Gordon Spykman. Reformed Journal, 26: 18-21

1977 - 86
A Pamphlet on the Reformation of the Church, trans. Herman Hanko, The Standard Bearer, vols 54-63

1980   Christianity as a life-System: The Witness of a World-View (abridgment of Stone Lectures. Foreword by Mckendree Langley.  Memphis: Christian Studies Center

1982   'The dominion of Christ's kingship'  Christian Renewal vol. 1 pp. 1-2, 20-1

          'The Lord Reigns,' Christian Renewal vol. 1, pp.1-2,14-15.

          'Glory to God in the Highest!' Christian Renewal vol.  1 , pp.5-6

1985  'The dogma of evolution' Christian Renewal vol. 3 p. 2 - a brief extract.

1991  The Problem of Poverty edited and introduced by James W. Skillen - update of 1950. [2011 version from Dordt College Press]
         'The Anti-Revolutionary Program' in Political Order and the Plural Structure of Society ed James Skillen and Rockne McCarthy.  Atlanta: Scholars Press. Extracts translated by Harry der Nederland and Gordon Spykman.

1996   'Evolution' (translated by Clarence Menninga) Calvin Theological Journal 31: 11-50. 

1998   Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader  James D. Bratt (ed.) Grand Rapids: Eerdmans

2001   Particular Grace: A Defense of God's Sovereignty in Salvation  translated from the Dutch by Marvin Kamps

2003  'Missions according to Scripture'. Translated by Pieter Tuit from Kuyper’s De zending naar de Schrift: inleidend woord voor het elfde jaarfeest der Nederlandsche Gereformeerde Zendings-Vereeniging (“Missions According to Scripture: Introductory Speech for the Eleventh Anniversary of the Dutch Reformed Mission Society”). Calvin Theological Journal 38: 237

2008  Days of Glad Tidings - Pentecost (with Ascension Day) vol. III (translated from Dagen van Goede Boodschap -Op den Pinksterdag (Met Hemelvaart) J.A. Wormser: Amsterdam, 1888 - by Jack Van Meggelen)

c. 2009  'Abraham Kuyper on Separate organizations' extract from Pro Rege, or the Kingship of Christ (Kampen: Kok, 1912), 3:184–94 (§ XIX) Translated and abridged by Harry Van Dyke

Friday, 19 August 2011

Incarnation of the Antithesis by R. E. L. Rogers

The Incarnation of the Antithesis
An Introduction to the Educational Thought and Practice of Abraham Kuyper
Dr R. E. L. Rogers
The Pentland Press, Durham, 1992 (out of print)
ISBN 1 872795 91 9
pbk, xvi+89 pp

This book on the Kuyper's educational achievements and thoughts started life as a MEd thesis at the University of Ulster.

It provides a good introduction to Kuyper's educational thought. Three elements of Kuyper's thought are singled out: his Calvinism, common grace and sphere sovereignty. His educational achievements, notably, the role Kuyper and his Anti-Revolutionary Party played in opposing the secularisation of education in the Netherlands. The 1876 Heemskerk higher education law paved the way for Kuyper and others to form the Free University - a university founded on distinctly Christian principles and philosophy, this story is the subject of chapter 4. It was a free university in the sense that it would be free from both church and State constraints.

Finally Rogers looks at Kuyper's influence. Here he brifly focuses on Bavinck, Dooyeweerd and Van Til and the way in which they developed Kupyper's work.

This book provides a good summary of Kuyper's influence in education. He draws extensively on secondary materials in particular Vanden Berg's and Praamsma's biographies of Kuyper and from Richard Russell's MEd thesis. He also utilises papers on Bavinck and van Til's educational ideas by C. Jaarsma and G. J. Maffet, respectively, of which I was previously unaware.

There is a helpful short bibliography of books, but the list of journal articles omits the author names.

Open Library page

Foreword (by Viscount Tonypandy)
1. Biographical Introduction
2. The basis of Kuyper's educational philosophy
3. Educational involvement: practical and legislative
4. The Free University of Amsterdam
5. The transmission of Kuyper's influence
Index of persons

Abraham Kuyper by Frank Vanden Berg

Abraham Kuyper: A Biography
Frank Vanden Berg
Paideia Press: St Catherines, Ontario, 1978
(Original edition Eerdmans, 1960)
ISBN 0-88815-015-6

This book does exactly what it says on the cover: its a biography of Abraham Kuyper.

Vanden Berg is a great admirer of Kuyper and this comes through in this workman like book. He covers the whole of Kuyper's career largely chronologically. The emphasis is very much on what Kuyper did and the motivations behind it. However, we find little of Kuyper the person and his family life. His wife and children get little mention.

Nevertheless, this is a great place to start to get to know Kuyper and his very many achievements.

There is an index but no bibliography. Though many of Kuyper's lecturers, articles and books are mentioned in the text, often with useful summaries.

Sadly the book is out of print - however, the good news is that it is available as a pdf here (11 MB)

Open Library book page


1.A Home by the Sea
2. Letters and Theology
3. Books and a Book
4. Village Clergyman
5. The Utrecht Pastorate
6. Minister of the Amsterdam Church
7. From Pulpit to Parliament
8. "Congressman" Kuyper
9. Dr. Kuyper Organizes His Forces
10. University Founder
11. University Professor and Builder
12.The Reformation of 1886 (I)
13. The Reformation of 1886 (II)
14.The Reformation of 1886 (III)
15. Political Leader
16. The Early Nineties
17. The Middle Nineties
18. The Later Nineties
19. Prime Minister (I)
20. Prime Minister (II)
21. Prime Minister (III)
22. At Home and Abroad
23. Elder Statesman
24. Eventide
25. The Last Year

Keller: Kuyper AND Hauerwas - salt and light

Abraham Kuyper online bibliographies: Princeton & Project Neocalvinisme

Kuyper blogs

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Abraham Kuyper timeline 3 (1901-1922)

1901    Becomes Dutch primeminister of a coalition government
            Moves to The Hague (5 De Kanaalstraat)
            At ARP national convention keynote speech on 'Perseverance in the pursuit of our ideal'
            Queen Wilhelmina marries the Duke Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
            Drie kleine vossen [Three little foxes - the three are: intellectualism, mysticism and practicalism]
            Evolutionismus: das Dogma moderner Wissenschaft [German translation]
            Volharden bij het ideaal [Insisting on the Ideal - remarks at a meeting of the deputies]

1902    Queen Wilhemina becomes gravely ill
            Common grace [Parts in Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 165ff] [CG Translation project]
            In Jezus ontslapen: meditatien [Asleep in Jesus: a meditation]

1903    Country plagued by strikes
            Vier uwe vierdagen: meditatiën
            Albert Hahn produces 'Abraham de Geweldige' cartoon

1904    Russian-Japanese war begins
            'Common grace in science' [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 441ff]
            German translation of Lectures on Calvinism published translated by Martin Jaeger
            'The Biblical criticism of the present day' in Biblica Sacra

1905    Higher Education Law enacted
             Becomes part of the opposition
             Sociale hervormingen [Social reform - bills devised by Kuyper's party]
             Herman Bavinck delivers keynote speech to ARP convention 

1905-07 Grand tour of the Mediterranean

1906    Verplichte verzekering
            150th anniversary of poet Bilderdyk- interrupts tour to give speech
            Bilderdijk in zijne nationale beteekenis - speech in Amsterdam

1907    Re-elected Chair of the ARP
            Resumes editorship of De Heraut - begins series on Pro Rege
            Om de oude wereldzee [Around the Ancient World Sea] - contains 'Mystery of Islam' [translated by Jan Boer]

1908    Honorary title of Minister of State bestowed on Queen Wilhelmena's birthday
            Returns to the House of Representatives for Ommen district
            Awarded honorary doctorate by Delft Technological University
            'Our instinctive life' [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 255f]
            Nabij God te zijn 
            Zelfstandig gemeentewezen
            Parlementaire redevoeringen [Parliamentary speeches]
            Verjaardag-album met motto's uit de werken van Dr. A. Kuyper A retrospective of his career to mark the end of his work at the VU

1909    Wij, Calvinisten - opening remarks to ARP national convention (400th anniversary of birth of Calvin)
            Brings into politics Hendrik Colyn
            Receives honourary doctorate from the Catholic university of Louvain, belgium           
            Book of cartoons of Kuyper published

            Nadere verklaring
            De leer der Verbonden
            Voor den slag
            Practijk der Godzaligheid [Translated as Practice of Godliness]
            Heils termen
            Honig uit den rotssteen
            Dat de genade particulier is
            Het heil ons toekomende
            Het heil in ons
1911    Begins a series on the consummation in De Heraut - completed in 1918
            Pro Rege: of Het Koningschap van Christus - [contains You Can Do Greater Things than Christ translated by Jan Boer]
            Onze Eeredienst [Translated as Our Worship] - began as a series of articles in 1897

1912    Leaves politics due to ill health
            40th anniversary of De Standaard
            Een geloofsstuk - address to VU society in Haarlem
            Uit het diensthuis uitgeleid [Brought out of the house of bondage]- speech in Leeuwarden, Groningen and Rotterdam
            Zijn uitgang te Jerusalem - meditations on the suffering of our Lord
            In Jezus ontslapen [Asleep in Jesus]

1913    Elected to the First Chamber
            De meiborn in de kap - delivered to the meeting of the ARP deleates/ deputies
            Der Jongelingen sieraad is hun kracht - address given at the Jubilee of the Confederation of Reformed Young Men
             Heilige orde- speech to ARP in Amsterdam

1914-18 Sided with the Germans in WWI – an anti-British rather than a pro-German stance; he opposed the British ever since the Boer War

1914    De eereposite der vrouw [Women in the Bible - articles first appeared in the Amsterdam Church Messenger]
           A kálvinizmus lényege - in Hungarian translated by Czeglédi Sándor with introduction by Sebestyén Jenö

1915    Starrentritsen: Editio castigata
            Eudokia  - speech delivered to the Eudokia Institute in Rotterdam 

1916    2000th issue of De Heraut published (Kuyper wrote about 2000 meditations for it)
            De wortel in de dorre aarde - delivered to a meeting of the Deputies
            Antirevolutionaire staatkunde: met nadere toelichting op ons program - this was the last book he wrote
           The Evolution of the Use of the Bible in Europe in Centennial Pamphlets, No. 2. American Bible Society: New York, 1916

1917    Luther herdacht in 1917
            De positie van Nederland
            De 'kleyne luyden' - at meeting opening of the Deputies

1918    To Be Nearer Unto God published in English translated by J. H. De Vries.
            Wat nu? - at opening of the Deputies

1919   Deaths of Jan Woltjer and  F. L. Rutgers
           Resigns ARP leadership
           Revd W. F. A. Winckel's Leven Arbeid van Dr. Kuyper [Life and Work of Dr A. Kuyper] published

 1920    Dies in The Hague
             Buried in the cemetry Oud Eik en Duinen

Photograph by Andre van der Veenen

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Abraham Kuyper timeline 2 (1879-1901)

This is the second part of a timeline/ chronology of Abraham Kuyper. Please let me know of any corrections/ additions etc.

1879    Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) becomes first national party under Kuyper
            Accepts seat in second chamber has to resign as a minister of the church
            'Our Program’ for the ARP is published
            Revisie der revisie-legende
            De leidsche Professoren en de Executeurs der Dordtsche Nalatenschap
            Twaalftal leerredenen (eerste en tweede zestal) [Dozen sermons]
            "perfectionism" [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 141ff]

1880    The Free University (VU) opens
            Family moves back to Amsterdam from The Hague
            Princess Wilhelmina reachers majority age and becomes queen
            "Strikt genomen" [Strictly speaking]
            Bede om een dubbel "Corrigendum," aan A.W. Bronsveld [Petition for double corrigendum to Bronsveld]
            "The antithesis between symbolism and meaning"
            Inaugural preached: ‘Sovereignty in the individual sphere’[In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 461ff]

1880-1901 Professor at the Free University

1881    VU has 5 professors and 5 students
            Serves as the first Rector of the VU
            Kuyper's mother and father die

1882    Mother and father die
            Appointed as an elder by the Electoral commission of the State church

1883    Starts writing a series on the Holy Spirit for De Heraut
             Publishes a monograph/tract on Reformation of the Churches


1885    Writes brochure ‘The threatening conflict’

1886    Withdraws from the National Church and forms Doleantie (grieving ones)
            "It shall not be so among you" [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 125ff]
            "The conflict has come" - three pamphlets

1887    Serves as Rector to VU for the second time preached on 'Calvinism and art'


1889    600 ARP delegates meet in 10th convention - Kuyper delivers ‘Not the liberty tree but the cross’
            "Manual labour" [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 231ff]

1890    King William III dies

1891    Wrote ‘Calvinism and confessional revision’ in response to a proposal to revise the Westminster Standards
            At ARP convention delivers speech on ‘Maranatha’ [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 205ff]
            Presids over a provisional Synod for the Doleantie in The Hague
            Delivers opening address at First Christian Social Congress - this becomes The Problem of Poverty
            Voor een distel een mirt 
            Student notes of Kuyper's lectures in dogmatics 

1892   Kuypers' nine-year-old son dies
           Reformed Church in Netherlands formed from Doleantie and Christian Reformed Church (of 1834 succession)
            Delivers lecture on panthesism ‘The destruction of the boundaries’ at VU [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 363 ff]

1893    Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology published
            E Voto Dordraceno a series of articles from De Heraut on the Heidelberg Cathechism is published
            In de Schaduwe des Doods

1894    Re-elected to House of Representatives for Sliedrect constituency
            Concentrates on suffrage, labour and foreign affairs
            Begins sereis on 'the angels of God' in Heraut
           Encyclopædie der Heilige Godgeleerdheid

1895    Begins a series on common grace in De Heraut - completed in 1901
            De Christus en de sociale nooden en democratische klippen
            Proeve van pensioenregeling voor werklieden en huns gelijken

1896    Biblia published - a transation of the Bible in Dutch with Bavinck and F. L. Rutgers

1897    Re-elected to parliament
            De Drie Formulieren van Eenigheid
            Openingswoord ter deputatenvergadering
1898    Becomes chair of the Dutch Circle of Journalism
            Serves as rector to the VU for the fourth time
            Invited by B. B. Warfield to USA. Gives the Stone Lectures at Princeton Seminary: Calvinism
            The full itinerary is given in John Bolt A Free Church, A Holy Nation Appendix B (20 Aug departs from Liverpool 27 Aug arrives, 10 Dec departs, 31 Dec arrives at Amsterdam)
            Honorary Doctorate in Law from Princeton
            Van het kerkelijk ambt  

1899    Kuyper's wife dies

Kuyper and his wife

            Moves from Prins Hendrikkade house to 164 De Keizersgracht next to the VU
            First peace conference
            Start of the Boer War
            Article on the South African crisis published in Revue des deux Mondes
            Evolutie - lecture delivered at VU [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 403 ff]
            Band aan het woord
            Amendement-Kuyper op de Ongevallenwet 
           Varia Americana 
           Als gij in uw huis zit 

1900   The South-African Crisis - published by Stop the War Committee in London [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 323ff]
           The Work of the Holy Spirit published in English translated by B. B. Warfield
           To Be Nearer unto God - a series of devotions published
           De Englen Gods (The angels of God) published

1901    Re-elected and becomes primeminster and Minister for Home Affairs

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Abraham Kuyper timeline 1 (1837-1878)

I'm on a Kuyper-fest at the moment. Reading a lot of stuff about Kuyper.
To help me get a handle on his life I started to produce a timeline. I've posted the first part below (1837-1878). This is very much a first draft. I'll update it as I read more materials. Feel free to add or correct anything in the comments.

[Updated with added links of online books and articles 17/08/11]
[Updated with links to images on]

1837     Born 29 October in Maassluis, Holland

Kuyper's parents Henriett Huber (1802-81) and Jan Fredrik Kuyper (1801-81)

1841     Moves with family to Middelburg in the province of Zeeland, where father is a minister

1849     Studied at the 'gymnasium' in Leiden, where father moved to be a minister

1855     Enrolled at Leiden University to study Literature
             Worked on a Calvin - a Lasco treatise which becomes part of his doctorat
             The 'miracle of the Lascania' 

1858     November Enrolled in theology at Leiden to train for the church ministry

1860     Commentatio describes Calvin’s and a Lasco’s concepts of the church 
             Niet de Vrijheidsboom maar het kruis  [Not the liberty tree but the cross]

1862     Reads the Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge during a nervous breakdown
             Admitted to the candidacy for the State Church
             Disquisitio historico-theologica: exhibens Joannis Calvini et Joannis à Lasco de ecclesia sententiarum inter se compositionem 

1863     Received DTh degree from University of Leiden. Supervised by Dr Scholten
             Marries Johanna Hendrika Schaay
             Takes up role as minister in DRC in Beesd - his inaugural sermon was on 1 Jn 1:7

                Meets Pietronella Baltus one of the Reformed 'pious malcontents' at Beesd
Pietje Baltus (1830-1914)

1864     Begins corresponding with Guillame Groen van Prinsterer (1810-76)
             Article 23 - Kuper’s response is published

1866     Published the works of à Lasco in Latin – with a 121 page introduction

1867     Moves to Utrecht to become pastor at the Domek
             Active in church government reform
             De menschwording Gods het levensbeginsel der kerk.
             Wat moeten wij doen: het stemrecht aan ons zelven houden of den kerkeraad machtigen? [What must we do? - addresses the question of democracy in the church]

1868     Writes brochure on Church Visiting: Kerkvisitatie te Utrecht in 1868
             Toelichting der memorie ingediend door den algemeenen kerkeraad van Utrecht ann het classicaal bestuur van Utrecht den 21 September 1868 

1869     Meets Van Prinsterer become friends and co-workers
             Starts writing articles for De Heraut
             De Nuts Beweging 
             Het beroep op het volksgewetern - speech to Christelijk Nationaal-Schoolonderwijs at Utrecht
             De kerkelijke goederen [The church property]
             De werking van artikel 23 [The effect of Article 23]
             Eenvormigheid, de vloek van het moderne leven ["Uniformity: the curse of modern life" [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 19ff]
             Vrijmaking der kerk [Liberalisation of the church]
             Zestal leerredenen [Six sermons]
1870     Moved to Amsterdam to be the pastor at Hervormde Kerk
             First sermon is ‘Rooted and grounded: the Church as organism and as institution’(in Dutch here)
             Conservatisme en orthodoxie - farewell speech at Utrecht cathedral [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 65ff]

             Struggles with the liberals in the Dutch Reformed Church
             Becomes editor in chief of the De Heraut after Dr C. Schwartz’s death
             Van Prinster breaks with the Conservatives to work with Kuyper
             De Schrift: het woord Gods [Scripture the word of God]
             De strijd over het Vrije Beheer te Sneek [The battle over free management in Sneek]
             De leer der onsterfelijkheid en de staatsschool [The doctrine of immortality and the stae school]
             De Hollandsche gemeente te London in 1570-71  [The Dutch church in London 1570-71]

1871     Delivers lecture ‘Modernism, a Fata Morgana in the Christian World' (in Dutch here) [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 87ff]
             Een perel in verkeerde schelp
             O, God! wees mij zondaar genadig!
             Tweede zestal leerredenen

1872    Given a house at 183 De Prins Hendrikkade as a birthday gift.
             Produces De Standaard as a daily newspaper – with 'For a free church and a free school in a free land’ in its masthead.           
             Cathechism classes for orphans in his home
             De Bartholomeusnacht [St Bartholomew]
             Het vergrijp der zeventien ouderlingen [The offence of the 17 elders]

1873    Stands for election for the constituency of Gouda
             Publishes ‘Confidentially’ [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 45ff]
             Lecture at Utrecht ‘Calvinism the origin and guarantee of our consitutional liberties: a Netherlands reflection’ – in print 1894.
             Eenheid rede, ter bevestiging van Ds. P. van Son, gehouden 31 Augustus 1873 in de Nieuwe Kerk te Amsterdam
             Vrijheid. Rede. Ter bevestigin van Dr. Ph. S. van Ronkel, gehouden den 23 Maart 1873, in de nieuwe kerk
             Ons huis - sermon in the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam
             Uit het Woord - Bible studies/ meditations

1874     Leaves pastorate to enter politics as member of the ARP won an interim election in Gouda district.
              Het Calvinisme: oorsprong en waarborg onzer constitutineele vrijheden. Een nederlandsche gedachte [In Bratt's Centennial Reader p. 279 ff]
             Grieven tegen de schoolwet en het geheim verraden

1875    Dr Gunning proposes the idea for a Christian University
             Travels to Brighton, England to hear D. L. Moody invited by Robert Pearsall Smith
             Series of articles on fasting
             De Scherpe Resolutie en het decretum horribile
             Het redmiddel
             De schoolkwestie [The school issue]
             De schoolwet voor de vierschaar van Europa [Education for the tribunal of Europe]]

1876     Complete nervous exhaustion
             Travels to convalesce in southern Europe
             Enjoys Alpine mountain climbing
             Van Prinsterer dies

1877-8  Writes ‘Our Program’ outlining the political ideals of the ARP as a series of articles in De Standaard

1877     Resigns seat in parliament
             De Heraut relaunched
             Begins sereis of articles on perfectionism

1878     Association for Higher Education on the Basis of Reformed Principles founded
             Petition to king not to sign Kappeyne’s education bill
             Liberalisten en Joden 


Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Family Feud by Gerrit Schutte

Gerrit Schutte
A Family Feud
Afrikaner nationalism and Dutch neo-calvinism


16,5 x 24 cm.
227 pag.
€ 26,50
ISBN 978 90 3610 168 4
NUR 740

According to many people, the Afrikaner Christian-National ideology (and its corollary apartheid) is a variant of Dutch Neo-Calvinism, the antirevolutionary theology and worldview of dr. Abraham Kuyper. A critical analysis of their histories (and the role of Kuyper's Vrije Universiteit as alma mater of many Afrikaner intellectuals) as well as their relative positions, however, reveals that Dutch and Afrikaner Calvinists are kin, but also that different fruits have grown from common roots, due to diverging social and political contexts.

Family Feud is a revised and abridged translation of De Vrije Universiteit en Zuid-Afrika 1880/2005, for which Gerrit Schutte, professor emeritys of history of Dutch Protestantism at VU University Amsterdam, received the 2006 Stals History Award of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

George Vandervelde

Letters To Lisa by John Van Dyk

Letters to Lisa
Conversations with a Christian Teacher
John Van Dyk
Dordt College Press: Sioux Center, Iowa, 1997.
ISBN 0-932914-37-3
paperback, 210 pages.

Although this book is almost fifteen years old it remains fresh and relevant and is still in print. It is an excellent introduction to teaching Christianly. It should be compulsory reading for all teachers who are Christian and want to be Christian teachers.

The quote on the back page states that 'Teaching Christianly may well be the hardest job in the universe'. If that is the case there is a need for resources to help us do that. This book is a great place to start.

It is a series of e-mail and letter conversations between John Van Dyk and his daughter, Lisa - between a Christian college education professor and a Christian teacher. In it Lisa raises the kinds of questions that confront all of us at the chalkface (or should that now  be interactive whiteboard face). In response we get the wisdom and insights of Van Dyk. The conversational format of the book means that it is highly accessible. This means the book is a great primer.

Issues covered in the 22 chapters include: what is teaching Christianly, learning objectives, academic excellence as a goal, the role of worksheets, should we be subject or student focussed, the role of questions, assessment, the role of competition, cooperative and collaborative learning, curriculum and classroom devotions.

The book will be of value to all teachers irrespective of the level they teach or where they teach.

I highly recommend the book.

Table of Contents
  1. Teaching Christianly: what is it?
  2. What learning objectives should I write in my lesson and unit plans?
  3. How important is academic excellence as a goal of Christian teaching?
  4. What is this discipleship that I should aim for?
  5. Do I teach subjects or students?
  6. Is there too much teacher-talk and note-taking in the classroom?
  7. Should I get rid of worksheets?
  8. Is there a Christian way to ask questions in the classroom?
  9. How important is the atmosphere in my classroom?
  10. How well should I get to know my students?
  11. Are my assessment and grading practices compatible with teaching Christianly?
  12. What about competition in my classroom?
  13. Is cooperative learning a Christian strategy?
  14. What if cooperative learning doesn't work?
  15. How can I meet students' needs in my classroom?
  16. When are students at risk in my classroom?
  17. What are some key questions about curriculum?
  18. What is a Christian perspective on curriculum?
  19. What types of Christian perspectives will I encounter?
  20. Can a Christian teach Christianly in a public school?
  21. How important are classroom devotions?
  22. Am I a professional Christian teacher?