Kuyper began these at the peak of his career, the books were published when he was prime minister. The first volume of the English translation covers the first third of the first Dutch volume (from Noah to Abraham). The first Dutch volume covers the historical sections. The complete English translation will be in ten volumes - it is proposed that the tenth will be a comprehensive index.
This volume of dedicated to Dr Rimmer De Vries. It is translated by Nelson Kloosterman and Ed M. van der Maas on behalf of the Abraham Kuyper Translation Project and the Acton Institute. There is a foreword by Jordan Ballor and Stephen Graybill the editors, and an introduction by Richard Mouw. The books has 29 chapters in 249 pages.
The editors note that “There is often a temptation, particularly among evangelicals, to engage in social reform without first developing a coherent social philosophy to guide the agenda” (xi) They hope that Kuyper’s idea of common grace will help to provide that social philosophy. They see common grace as the “capstone of of Kuyper’s constructive public theology” (xi).
In his introduction Mouw describes Kuyper as an activist (xxix) as well as churchman (xxiv) and “multi-tasker” (xxiv) who did “theology on the run”(xxiv). Mouw stresses that Kuyper with his emphasis on common grace does not reject the notion of the antithesis. Kuyper was a good Calvinist and held to the doctrine of “total depravity”. Kuyper saw his common grace project as a development of Calvin, though Calvin never used the term common to preface grace, he seems to prefer the term “peculiar”. Mouw is keen to stress this continuity between Calvin and Kuyper. Indeed this is something that Kuyper acknowledged. Mouw sees Kuyper’s common grace as “a divine strategy for bringing the cultural designs of God to completion” (xxv).