Friday, January 18, 2013

Abraham Kuyper, Part III

In Part I, I introduced Kuyper as a forgotten figure who has played a key role in developing the intellectual tools that many Christians today take for granted when defending the faith. In Part II, I gave a short biographical overview of Kuyper. Today, we continue the biography and look at how he waged his war on modernism.
Abraham Kuyper once said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'” Since God is the creator of all things, all things belong to him. Thus, all areas of human existence owe homage to God. What he is expressing is the same idea found in Psalm 24:1: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” If all parts of reality belong to God, then his truth is supreme and affects all areas of life: philosophy, economics, education, government--everything.

Driven by this belief, Kuyper took the field against modernity in every sphere of life he could. He became involved in politics and helped found the Anti-Revolutionary Party, whose main aims were to resist the secular spirit of the bloody French Revolution. He also founded and edited two newspapers, De Heraut, and De Standaard. These papers allowed him to communicate and appeal to the people of the Netherlands. When the state-controlled church went too far, Kuyper helped found a new church. Not content to stop there, he was also instrumental in the founding of the Free University of Amsterdam. The university helped train and educate pastors in Christian doctrine, free from the liberal taint of the state-run universities, such as the one that Kuyper himself had gone to. Kuyper’s involvement in politics increased when he won a seat in Parliament, and culminated when the coalition he formed won control and made him Prime Minister.

In Part IV, I will conclude this introduction to Kuyper and focus on some of his ideas as well as list some resources for those interested in learning more.

Abraham Kuyper: Part I, Part II, Part IV

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