Friday, January 04, 2013

Abraham Kuyper, Part I

No education in the concept of a worldview is complete without a mention of Abraham Kuyper. The grandfather of contemporary presuppositional apologetics and the propagator of the concept of worldview, Kuyper is an all but forgotten giant. Yet, in a survey of academic works on worldview and presuppositional apologetics, Kuyper continues to pop up in the footnotes and historical overviews, and rightly so. Kuyper, more than any other figure of his time, is responsible for spreading the idea of worldview to Christians, not only in his own Netherlands, but also in American through the Stone Lectures he gave at Princeton. His words and ideas influenced the next generation of theologians, including Cornelius Van Til, who developed the presuppositional method of apologetics, whose ideas, in turn, influenced not only his students-turn-apologists, such as Francis Schaeffer and Greg Bahnsen, but also noted contemporary Christian philosopher, Alvin Plantinga.

I first heard about Abraham Kuyper through studying worldviews and apologetics. I cannot remember where I first heard his name, but as noted before, his name has a habit of popping up in footnotes and introductory chapters. A few years ago, I finally got a hold of Lectures on Calvinism, and experienced Kuyper in his own words. While looking up Christian philosophers while in college, I came across an essay chronicling the three different branches of Christian philosophical thought that all have their roots in none other than Abraham Kuyper. Kuyper was a visionary who saw and understood the rising conflict between Christianity and modernism. While liberalism did not begin affecting American life and culture in full force until the 20th Century, Kuyper lead the fight in Holland against liberalism at the end of the 19th Century. More than just understanding the scope of the war, Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism are evidence that he could effectively communicate that understanding as well. More than just sitting in an armchair as an academic, Kuyper’s life bears witness that he truly believed all spheres of life belong to Christ, as he personally interacted with more than a few of these spheres (at the same time, no less).

For this reason alone, Kuyper is worth studying and learning from. I hope that as a result of this little introduction to Kuyper, you will be interested in reading more about this giant of the Faith and inspired to follow his example by involving yourself in ever sphere of life.

Abraham Kuyper: Part II, Part III, Part IV.

1 comment:

Baus said...

Do please visit:
The Kuyperian