Friday, January 11, 2013

Abraham Kuyper, Part II

In Part I, I introduced Abraham Kuyper as an important example in the context of Christian apologetics, worldviews and cultural contribution. Today, I will be giving a brief overview of Kuyper’s life and the ways in which he sought to influence his culture.

Abraham Kuyper was born in 1837 into the family of a Dutch Reformed minster. He studied at the University of Leyden, focusing on theology as his father had. While at Leyden, he was indoctrinated by the latest liberal theology of his day, rooted in German theories of higher criticism. It was not until he went to his first church in the rural dutch countryside that he became a Christian, largely due to the faithful example of the simple farmers in his congregation. Despite being indoctrinated into the liberal spirit of the age at the university, it is Providential irony Kuyper was converted by pious low- and middle-class Dutchmen. Kuyper then devoted the rest of his life to fighting modernity and its liberalizing influence on the dutch church as well as the culture in general. He saw the conflict as a war, describing it thus:
Two life-systems are wrestling with one another, in mortal combat. Modernism is bound to build a world of its own from the data of the natural man, and to construct man himself from the data of nature; while on the other hand, all those who reverently bend the knee to Christ and worship Him as the son of the living God, and God himself, are bent upon saving the “Christian Heritage.” This is the struggle in Europe, this is the struggle in America, and this also, is the struggle for principles in which my country is engaged, and in which I myself have been spending all my energy for nearly forty years.
In Part III, we will learn more about how Kuyper waged his campaign against modernity.

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

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