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.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Declaration on Sport and the Christian Life

From for the declaration in full

These are the key points:

1. Sport has a legitimate place in the Christian life.

2. Sport touches all dimensions of human life.

3. Sport can be a means of spiritual formation.

4. Sport can glorify God.

5. Competition is an essential element of sport.

6. The true value of sport is inherent in the experience itself.

7. Sport has many benefits but they are conditional.

8. God created our bodies for His service and our enjoyment.

9. We do not control whether God favors one player or team over another.

10. Christian virtues are revealed in behaviors that go beyond obeying the rules.

11. Sport programs are a vital component of Christian education.

12. Sport is powerful.

The General Theory of Not Dancing

After the general theory of non-gardening we have:

From Lisa 1999.  Philosophers on Holiday 2(3):4.

The General Theory of Not-Gardening by Leszek Kolakowski

The General Theory of Not-Gardening
A Major Contribution to Social Anthropology, Ontology, Moral Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Political Theory, and Many Other Fields of Scientific Investigation

Leszek Kolakowski

From Ch 21 of Modernity on Endless Trial

Those who hate gardening need a theory. Not to garden without a theory is a shallow, unworthy way of life.

A theory must be convincing and scientific. Yet to various people, various theories are convincing and scientific. Therefore we need a number of theories.

The alternative to not-gardening without a theory is to garden. However, it is much easier to have a theory than actually to garden.

Marxist Theory

Capitalists try to corrupt the minds of the toiling masses and to poison them with their reactionary “values.” They want to “convince” workers that gardening is a great “pleasure” and thereby to keep them busy in their leisure time and to prevent them from making the proletarian revolution. Besides, they want to make them believe that with their miserable plot of land they are really “owners” and not wage-earners, and so to win them over to the side of the owners in the class struggle. To garden is therefore to participate in the great plot aiming at the ideological deception of the masses. Do not garden! Q.E.D.

Psychoanalytical Theory

Fondness for gardening is a typically English quality. It is easy to see why this is so. England was the first country of the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution killed the natural environment. Nature is the symbol of Mother. By killing Nature, the English people committed matricide. They are subconsciously haunted by the feeling of guilt and they try to expatiate their crime by cultivating and worshipping their small, pseudo¬natural gardens. To garden is to take part in this gigantic self-deception which perpetuates the childish myth. You must not garden. Q.E.D.

Existentialist Theory

People garden in order to make nature human, to “civilize” it. This, however, is a desperate and futile attempt to transform being-in-itself into being-for-itself. This is not only ontologically impossible; it is a deceptive, morally inadmissible escape from reality, as the distinction between being-in-itself and being-for-itself cannot be abolished. To garden, or to imagine that one can “humanize” Nature, is to try to efface this distinction and hopelessly to deny one’s own irreducibly human ontological status. To garden is to live in bad faith. Gardening is wrong. Q.E.D.

Structuralist Theory

In primitive societies life was divided into the pair of opposites work/leisure, which corresponded to the distinction field/house. People worked in the field and rested at home. In modern societies the axis of opposition has been reversed: people work in houses (factories, offices) and rest in the open (gardens, parks, forests, rivers, etc.). This distinction is crucial in maintaining the conceptual framework whereby people structure their lives. To garden is to confuse the distinction between house and field, between leisure and work; it is to blur, indeed to destroy, the oppositional structure which is the condition of thinking. Gardening is a blunder. Q.E.D.

Analytical Philosophy

In spite of many attempts, no satisfactory definition of garden and of gardening has been found; all existing definitions leave a large area of uncertainty about what belongs where. We simply do not know what exactly a garden and gardening are. To use these concepts is therefore intellectually irresponsible, and actually to garden would be even more so. Thou shalt not garden. Q.E.D.

[HT Richard Russell]

Someone else added:

Economic theory

Like any human process, gardening is a method to achieve some result — products if you will. The products of gardening are tangible and intangible. The tangible products of gardening are fruits and vegetables that can be eaten by the gardener. The intangible product of gardening is the “enjoyment” that some gardeners report by engaging in gardening itself.

In terms of tangible products we can show that gardening is an inefficient and wasteful process. The total cost of gardening starts with the direct costs such as seed, fertilizer, and tools. We add the opportunity cost of what might have been done with the land were it not a garden (the “highest and best use” of residential property). Lastly, we add the assumed labor cost of the gardener’s effort (which is by far the largest input). The sum of these direct and indirect costs show gardening to be a net capital loss activity. Indeed, it is more efficient for an individual gardener to buy all his produce from his neighborhood supermarket delivered from high-volume farms.

Knowing the direct and indirect costs of gardening, and the market value of the tangible products grown, we can deduce the value of the intangible “enjoyment” that gardeners report. We can show that, for the average gardener, the value of that enjoyment, when divided by labor hours invested in gardening, yields an extremely low “enjoyment per hour” quotient. Indeed, holding the dollar value constant, most gardeners could yield the same amount of enjoyment with FEWER hours (thereby having more hours available to generate other income) by attending movies. Or they could yield MORE enjoyment in the same amount of hours by doing virtually anything else.

Gardening is a irrational expenditure of resources, both capital and labor. QED

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Common Grace, Natural Law, and the Social Order

The Christian understanding of the created order is fraught with danger. Christians must carefully avoid two opposite forms of error. On one extreme, there is the tendency to conflate the created with the Creator, which leads to a kind of paganized divinization of the world. On the other, there is the temptation to conclude that this world holds merely illusory value and therefore can essentially be ignored or abused. A proper approach to the created order, however, holds together the temporal and the eternal, properly relating and valuing them both. 
This is a challenge for all Christian traditions, but has been especially acute for Protestantism. The Reformed tradition, in particular, has often been accused of having (and, in some cases, has understood itself as having) a pervasively negative view of the fallen world, leading to a devaluation of God’s creation. A major theme of the Reformation and its inheritors, however, is the need to rightly discern the ways that God continues to work, in preservation as well as redemption, amid the realities of sin.

The Dutch Reformed theologian Abraham Kuyper (1836-1920) engaged these challenges directly through his articulation of the doctrine of “common grace.” This doctrine is one of the most significant—and controversial—aspects of the great theologian’s legacy. A new multi-volume translation of his exhaustive treatment of the doctrine is intended to provide deeper insights into Kuyper’s understanding of this crucial, and oft-misunderstood, element of divine action. Kuyper’s work sheds light on the moral significance of common grace, especially for natural law, social order, and our contemporary challenges. ...

Politics, Church, and Kingdom: A Critique of Neocalvinist Politics by A.A. Van Ruler

translated by Ruben Alvarado

From the chapter “Church and State,” in Droom en Gestalte [Dream and Reality] (Amsterdam: Holland Uitgeversmaatschappij, 1947), pp. 189—214.

New version of Groen van Prinsterer's Unbelief and Revolution

Unbelief and Revolution
Full details here
Format: Print
God’s word illumines the darkness of society.

Groen van Prinsterer’s Unbelief and Revolution is a foundational work addressing the inherent tension between religion and modernity. As a historian and politician, Groen was intimately familiar with the growing divide between secular culture and the church in his time. Rather than embrace this division, these lectures, originally published in 1847, argue for a renewed interaction between the two spheres. Groen’s work served as an inspiration for many contemporary theologians, and as a mentor to Abraham Kuyper, he had a profound impact on Kuyper’s famous public theology.

Harry Van Dyke, the original translator, reintroduces this vital contribution to our understanding of the relationship between religion and society.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Completed concept map of Basden's Dooyeweerd

I have over the last few days posted concept maps taken from my interpretation of Basden's discussion of Dooyeweerd's philosophy from Chapter 3 of his book Foundations of Information Science

To complete the posts here's a black and white version of all the maps put together - click on the image to enlarge it.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Kuyperania 2017 - Koers 83(1)

My review of books and articles on Kuyper published during 2017 is now online at the Koers website.

Bishop, S., 2018. Kuyperania 2017. KOERS — Bulletin for Christian Scholarship, 83(1). Available at:

In it I look at the following:

Bartholomew, C.G. 2017. Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.
De Brujine, A. 2017. Abraham Kuyper’s surprising love of the Jews. 
Journal of Reformed Theology, 11(1-2):24-46. 
De Jong, J.A. 2017. The heart and soul of Abraham Kuyper: reflections on his meditations. Calvin Theological Journal, 52(1): 37-61.
Douma,  J. 2017. Common Grace in Kuyper, Schilder, and Calvin: Exposition, Comparison, and Evaluation. Lucerna: CRTS Publications.
Eglinton, J. 2017.Varia Americana and race: Kuyper as antagonist and protagonist. Journal of Reformed Theology, 11(1-2): 65-80. 
Henderson, R. 2017a. The development of the principle of distributed authority, or sphere sovereignty. Philosophia Reformata, 82(1):74-79. 
Henderson, R. 2017b. Rumours of glory: Abraham Kuyper’s Neo-Calvinist theory of art, Pro Rege, 45(4):1- 9. Available at:
Jeom Ok Kin, Luther. 2017. A. Kuyper’s View of Sphere Sovereignty and the Korean Church: For its Preparation of the Post-Secular Society. Atlanta, GA: Covenant Innovation Pub.
Joustra, R. 2017. Abraham Kuyper among the nations. Politics and Religion, 1-23. 
Kennedy, S. 2017. Review of Pro Rege (volume 1) and Common Grace (volume 1) by Abraham Kuyper. International Journal of Public Theology 11(3): 365-367. 
Kuyper, A. 2017. On Islam: Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Translated by Jan van Vliet; edited by James D. Bratt with Douglas Howard. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Kuyper, A. 2017. Pro Rege: Living Under Christ the King: Volume 2. Translated by Albert J. Gootjes; edited by John Kok and Nelson D. Koosterman. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Liou, J. 2017. Taking up #blacklivesmatter: A neo-Kuyperian engagement with Critical Race Theory. Journal of Reformed Theology, 11(1-2): 99-120. 
Mouw, R.J. 2017. Of pagan festivals and meta-narratives: Recovering the awareness of our shared humanness. Scottish Journal of Theology, 70(3): 251-263.
Pass, B.R. 2017. A shy hope in the heart? Religious journalism in Australia and the Kuyperian legacy. Stellenbosch Theological Journal, 3(1): 327–342.
Van der Velde, A. 2017. Johanna and Henriette Kuyper: Daring to Change their World. Philipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
Van der Jagt, H. 2017. Coffee-colored Calvinists: Neo-Calvinist perspectives on race in the Dutch Colonial Empire. Journal of Reformed Theology, 11(1-2):47-64. 
Van Vliet, J. 2017. Islam according to journalist Abraham Kuyper. Pro Rege, 46(1): 12 - 25.
Wagenman, M. 2017. The Power of the Church: The Ecclesiology of Abraham Kuyper. Independently 

Concept maps of Basden on Dooyeweerd (2 of 8) - starting points

Concept map of Basden's description of Dooyeweerd's philosophy: Starting points 

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Concept maps of Basden on Dooyeweerd (1 of 8)

In a previous post, I put up some 'concept' maps of Danie Strauss' Introduction to Dooyeweerd. In the next few days, I'll post concept maps of Andrew Basden's description of Dooyeweerd's philosophy.

The maps are taken from Chapter 3 of Basden's excellent book Foundations of Information Systems.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Recent articles from Glenn Friesen

Glenn Friesen has posted two interesting pieces on his blog:

J. Glenn Friesen

Jonathan Chaplin’s analysis of Dooyeweerd’s philosophy is helpful in discussing (1) the state’s role in harmonizing and protecting individual and communal interests within various societal spheres and (2) Dooyeweerd’s ideas of public justice and public interest, which he uses to justify state intervention in other societal organizations. But Chaplin continues a conservative reading of Dooyeweerd. This is due to (a) his misunderstanding of the ideas of individuality structures and enkapsis (b) his misunderstanding of enkaptic relations among institutions, natural communities, organized communities and free associations, (c) a consequent incorrect distinction between internal and external functions of the state and (d) an inadequate discussion of the idea of human rights. Dooyeweerd’s use of enkapsis allows him to develop a view of societal sphere sovereignty very different from that of Abraham Kuyper, and one that allows the intervention of the state in other societal organizations because there is a one-way enkaptic relationship
by Glenn Friesen

Many writers claim to follow reformational principles, but have used these principles in very regressive and reactionary ways to support and to promote the political ideas of the religious right. They have used ideas of religious presuppositionalism, worldview and religious antithesis to argue that those who do not share their own worldview do not know the true facts. They have misused the idea of sphere sovereignty to argue for the minimal state. And they have rejected the idea of human rights and have discriminated against others. This complicity with right wing politics has become clearly evident in their support for the policies of President Trump.

Also, Glenn's piece I've mentioned before is now online: New Research on Groen van Prinsterer and the Idea of Sphere Sovereignty Philosophia Reformata

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Concept map of Dooyeweerd's philosophy - based on Danie Strauss' outline

Danie Straus has written an excellent introduction to Herman Dooyeweerd's Philosophy (2015):

It is available as a pdf here.

I have attempted to summarise it in one concept map (the term is Novak's). Here it is (clicking on the image will enlarge it):

Here's the text outline of the map:

Dooyeweerd's philosophy by DFM Strauss
    1. Herman Dooyeweerd
      1. Dogma of the autonomy of theoretical thought
        1. Human reason
          1. Autonomous
          2. No prior theoretical assumptions
          3. Self-sufficient
      2. Early works
        1. 1920s Struggle for Christian Politics
        2. 1926 Inaugural lecture
          1. Free University
        3. 1931 Crisis in humanistic political theory
        4. 1935-36 NCTT
          1. Science of law
        5. 1917 PhD
      3. Philosophical trends
        1. Orderliness of creation
          1. A theoretical view of reality
            1. Can't be avoided
      4. Alternative approach
        1. Theoretical thought
          1. Theoretical view of reality
            1. Ground motive
              1. Christian scholarship
                1. Christian life and worldview
      5. Transcendental critique
        1. Theoretical thought can't have it's starting point within itself
          1. Then other aspects will be the sole mode of explanation
          2. Must transcend the diversity of all aspects
            1. Needs supra-temporal point of departure
      6. Ground-motives
        1. Communal driving forces
        2. Form-matter
        3. Creation, fall, redemption
        4. Nature-freedom
        5. Nature-grace
    2. Ultimate commitments
      1. Religion
        1. 1. Giving direction to all - life-encompassing
        2. 2. Faith
    3. Basic contours
      1. Creation
        1. Subject to God-given laws
      2. Creator
      3. Theory of Modal law-sphere
        1. Everyday experience
        2. The 'how' question
        3. Subject-object
          1. All function in all aspects
            1. Humans function actively in all aspects
            2. Plants object functions in post-biotic aspects
            3. Animals object functions in post-sensitive aspects
        4. Multi-aspect of humans
        5. Law side
        6. Factual side
          1. Presuppose
            1. Uniqueness
              1. Sphere-sovereignty
            2. Coherence
              1. Sphere universality
              2. Retrocipations 
              3. Anticipations
                1. Opened up through process of meaning disclosure
        7. Faith Ethical Jural Aesthetic Economic Cultural-historic Logical-analytical Sensory Biotic Physical Kinematic Spatial Arithmetical 
          1. Meaning-nucleus
            1. Irreducibility
            2. Indefinability
              1. Primitive terms
            3. Uniqueness
    4. Dimension of ontic time
      1. Time
        1. Embraces all aspects & entities
        2. Law side
          1. Time duration
        3. Factual side
          1. Time order
    5. Dimension of (natural & societal) entities
      1. Entities & events 
        1. Function in all modal aspects
      2. State
        1. Citizens
          1. Quantitative
          2. Alive
            1. Biotic 
        2. Territory
          1. Spatial
        3. Freedom of movement
          1. Kinematic
        4. Power of the sword
          1. Force
        5. Law enforcement
          1. Jural
        6. Tax paying
        7. Sense of belonging- feeling at home
          1. Sensory-psychic
        8. National identity
          1. Logical-analytic
        9. Political parties
          1. Credo
      3. Societies
        1. Differentiated
          1. Qualifying/ guiding functions
        2. Undifferentiated
          1. Extended family
          2. Sib/ clan
    6. Legacy of reformational philosophy
      1. Foundation for Reformational philosophy
        1. 5 yearly conferences
      2. Scholars
        1. Physics
          1. Stafleu
        2. Maths
          1. Strauss
        3. Biology
          1. Diemer
          2. Duyvene De Wit
        4. Linguistics
          1. Weideman
        5. Economic
          1. Goudzwaard
        6. Law
          1. Hommes
        7. Politics
          1. Koyzis
          2. Chaplin
        8. Theology
          1. Ouweneel
          2. Troost
      3. Universities
        1. Special chairs in the Netherlands
      4. Dooyeweerd's collected works
        1. Published
        2. Translated

Here are the sections from the complete map:

Monday, 13 August 2018

Friday, 10 August 2018

David Ceri Jones (2105) Ch 3: A Glorious Morn

Hugh Williams' painting Y Sasiwn Gyntaf - the first Joint Association of English and Welsh Calvinistic Methodism, Watford, nr Caerphilly (1943):

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

David Ceri Jones (2015) Chapter 1

The map for chapter 1 got rather large - so I've had to chop it up into section (click on the maps to enlarge)

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

David Ceri Jones (2015) Prologue

I've recently been rereading David Ceri Jones' book on the Evangelical Revival, The Fire Divine (IVP, 2015). As I've done so, I've drawn out a few concept maps - over the next few days I'll post them.

Here's the first one from the prologue:

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Review of Bruce Ashford's Letters to an American Christian

Letters to an American Christian
Bruce Riley Ashford
ISBN 978-1535905138
Pbk, 256 pp, £12.85

In Letters to an American Christian, Ashford, professor of Professor of Theology and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has done the Christian world a great service. He has, in a clear accessible way, provided an excellent introduction to many contemporary political and ethical issues from a broadly kuyperian perspective. I say broadly because not all kuyperians (me included) would agree with all of his positions (and I’m not sure Kuyper would either).

The letter format, which Ashford adopts, is a well recognised literary trope from Diego de San Pedro’s Prison of Love in 1845 to C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape and more recently, Jamie Smith’s Letters to a Young Calvinist. Ashford has utilised this approach to great effect. Ashford’s letters are written to Christian, a (fictional) new Christian studying political science and journalism at the (left-leaning) university of DuPont. He is also an intern at a conservative news outlet. 

The book has three parts thee parts. The first deals with ‘A Christian view of politics and public life’. The second with ‘A Christian view of hot-button issues’, this includes letters on religious liberty, free speech, racism, gun regulation and transgender. The final section, part three, deals with ‘A Christian hope for American politics’.

The first part is an excellent introduction to a Christian view of politics and culture. I have mapped this part: 

Here Ashford poses and answers some important questions. Questions such as such religion and politics mix? Is politics good? Does the gospel affect political policies? Does Christianity have anything to do with culture? Does the church have a role to play in politics?  He answers all in the affirmative. He draws upon Kuyper’s sphere sovereignty and Kuyper’s distinction between the church as organism (scattered) and organisation (gathered). This section concludes with a discussion and critique of the ideologies of liberalism, conservatism, nationalism and socialism.

In Part 2 he looks at several important hot-potato issues. These include free speech, political correctness, abortion, racism, small and big government, gun legislation, homosexuality, transgender, immigration, global warming, war and fake news - the contents itemised below show the range of topics covered. Inevitably, in such a short space justice can’t be done to all these issues, nevertheless, Ashford makes as an excellent attempt at mapping the options and alternative approaches. I wouldn’t agree with all his points, particular his approach to gun legislation and to his slight reservation about global warming, for example. 

Ashford is sensitive to both the scriptures and to culture - his approach is well grounded. There is, for example, no trite biblicism, such as cities had walls in the Bible, so we should build a wall across the Mexican border. Ashford’s approach is far more nuanced. For those who want to know what a Christian approach to many contemporary issues, this book will be a great place to begin.

Part 1: A Christian View of Politics and Public Life
Chapter 1: No Public Nudity, Please 
What is the relationship between religion and politics? 
Chapter 2: The Good of Politics 
Is politics a necessary evil or a positive good? 
Chapter 3: Jesus Is Lord and Congress Is Not 
What does the gospel have to do with politics? 
Chapter 4: Christianity Is Not Our Side Hustle 
What does Christianity have to do with culture? 
Chapter 5: The One Political Rally American Christians Shouldn’t Skip 
Where can I go to learn to be a good citizen? 
Chapter 6: Swim in Your Own Lane, Please
What is the best way to think of the relationship between church and state? 
Chapter 7: Let God Be True and Every Ideology a Liar 
To which political ideology should I subscribe? 

Part 2: A Christian View on Hot-Button Issues
Chapter 8: If You Can Keep It 
What is so important about religious liberty? 
Chapter 9: There Are No Safe Spaces in the Real World
Why should I value free speech? 
Chapter 10: Unborn Lives Matter 
Why shouldn’t a woman have the right to choose? 
Chapter 11: Black Lives Matter
What should I think of the Black Lives Matter movement? 
Chapter 12: Nobody Throws a Tantrum like a Politically Correct American
What’s so wrong with political correctness? 
Chapter 13: Beware the Giant Octopus 
Which is better: “small government” or “big government”? 
Chapter 14: No Need for Mullahs at 1 First Street
What is all the ruckus about Supreme Court interpretation? 
Chapter 15: Hitting the Bull’s-Eye on Gun Legislation 
How do I navigate the debate about restrictions on gun ownership? 
Chapter 16: The Best Education for a Twenty-First-Century American 
What’s so “great” about the great books? 
Chapter 17: One Man and One Woman 
How should I respond to Obergefell? 
Chapter 18: To Shave a Yak 
Should I be concerned about the environment? 
Chapter 19: What Hath Justice to Do with Mercy?
Why are Christians so divided about immigration reform? 
Chapter 20: I Pledge Allegiance
What should I think about the surge of “nationalism” in the United States? 
Chapter 21: Pray for Peace, Prepare for War 
What does it mean to engage in a “just war”? 
Chapter 22: Restoring the Self 
What is a Christian view of gender dysphoria and the transgender movement? 
Chapter 23: Fake News and Alternative Facts
How can I orient myself in a posttruth political environment? 

Part 3: A Christian Hope for American Politics
Chapter 24: If You Can Keep It (Reprise) 
If “Christian” is my primary identity, does “American” even matter? 
Chapter 25: Recovering the Lost Art of Christian Persuasion 
How should we relate to people who believe differently from us? 
Chapter 26: Public Witness from the Political Margins
How should we respond to the marginalization of historic Christianity? 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Hendrik Gerhardus Stoker's Conscience newly translated

Hendrik Gerhardus Stoker's PhD has been translated into English by Philip Blosser and is now available:

Full details here:

Conscience: Phenomena and Theories was first published in German in 1925 as a dissertation by Hendrik G. Stoker under the title Das Gewissen: Erscheinungsformen und Theorien. It was received with acclaim by philosophers at the time, including Stoker’s dissertation mentor Max Scheler, Martin Heidegger, and Herbert Spielberg, as quite possibly the single most comprehensive philosophical treatment of conscience and as a major contribution in the phenomenological tradition.
Stoker’s study offers a detailed historical survey of the concept of conscience from ancient times through the Middle Ages up to more modern thinkers, including Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud, and Cardinal Newman. Stoker analyzes not only the concept of conscience in academic theory but also various types of theories of conscience. His work offers insightful discussions of problems and theories related to the genesis, reliability, and validity of conscience. In particular, Stoker analyzes the moral, spiritual, and psychological phenomena connected with bad conscience, which in turn illuminate the concept of conscience.
The book is deeply informed by the traditions of western Christianity. Available for the first time in an accessible English translation, with an introduction by its translator and editor, Philip E. Blosser, it promises to be of interest to philosophers, especially in Christian philosophy and phenomenology, and also to all those interested in moral and religious psychology, ethics, religion, and theology.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer (1801-1876)

There has been a resurgence of interest in Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer (1801-1876) of late.

A new book has recently been published - a translation of by Harman Boersema:
Smitskamp, H. 2018. Building a Nation on Rock or Sand: Groen Van Prinsterer for Today. Ontario: Guardian Books

Also is the recent biography
Gerrit J. Schutte 2016 Groen van Prinsterer: His Life and Work. Translated by Harry Van Dyke. Neerlandia, Alberta: Inheritance Puiblications.

There is a short YouTube trailier:

Also there is this:

Schlebusch, Jan Adriaan 2018. Strategic Narratives Groen van Prinsterer as Nineteenth-Century Statesman-Historian PhD thesis. University of Groningen.

Available online:

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Recent #kuyperania

Bräutigam, Michael 2018. Protestant European politics yesterday and today: The example of Adolf Schlatter, Adolf Stoecker and Abraham KuyperEuropean Journal of Theology 27(1):43-54.

Abstract: Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) and Adolf Schlatter (1852-1936) were both in touch with Adolf Stoecker, 1835-1909} at the end of the nineteenth century. Their interaction with the German Lutheran politician and party-founder is fascinating in many respects. In this essay. I compare Reformed and Lutheran approaches to politics using the example of the interaction between Kuyper, Schlatter and Stoecker. This historical case study offers much food for thought as we today seek to deal with the growing support for right-wing parties in Europe, and as we intend to offer a theologically balanced approach to Christian engagement in the realm of politics.

Hiemstra, John 2018. What did Kuyper really say? Christian Courier  28 May
John Hiemstra explains this article: 'Should churches speak out on key political issues? Or should they simply focus on churchly tasks? My denomination, the Christian Reformed Church, is discussing this hot topic, partly due to the election of President Trump, in its annual Synod. The two "overtures" to Synod, opposing public engagement by our church, both use the 19th century theologian, Abraham Kuyper's principle of sphere sovereignty to argue against churches engaging public issues. I argue, in this CC article, that they have seriously misunderstood Kuyper's thinking on sphere sovereignty.'
Schaap, James C. 2018.  Square inches and Project Blitz. Stuff in the Basement blog
Looks at the Christian Right's Blitz project and the misappropriation of Kuyper's square inch quote.
Dagley, Logan,  Greeson, Dennis and  Ng, Matthew 2018. Review of five of the recent translations in the Kuyper Translation Project. Themelios 43(1):147-150.

Wagenman, Mike 2018. Review of: Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction by Craig Bartholomew  Themelios 43(1):160-
Wagenman concludes: Those new to Kuyper or the Kuyperian tradition may find themselves struggling to fully appreciate the explosive power of Kuyper’s thought for life and ministry today. As Bartholomew notes repeatedly, specific retrieval and application of Kuyper’s thought for today is still needed. Therefore, those looking for practical or application-oriented treatments of Kuyper’s thought will need to consult the notes or postscript for other resources within the Kuyperian tradition. This is not a fault of Bartholomew’s work but a sign of the rich resources that remain to be unearthed from this prolific public theologian. But Bartholomew’s grasp and presentation of Kuyper’s daunting genius is inspiring and full of the joy of working in the fields of the Lord.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Bruce Ashford's Letters to An American Christian (B&H Publishing )- maps of Christian politics

I've recently started to read Bruce Riley Ashford's new book Letters to an American Christian. (My thanks to B&H Publishing group for a review copy.)

So far, I've read part 1 dealing with a Christian approach to politics. It really is very good - and not just because he mentions Kuyper! Below I've posted some maps of the first 6 chapters that comprise Part 1.

The outline of part 1:

Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:
Chapter 3:

Chapter 4:

Chapter 5:

Chapter 6:

Chapter 7: