Download Abraham Kuyper. Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat by James D. Bratt PDF

By James D. Bratt

The definitive biography of Abraham Kuyper, tremendous of Dutch Calvinism

This is the 1st full-scale English-language biography of the hugely influential and astonishingly multifaceted Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) — theologian, minister, baby-kisser, newspaper editor, academic innovator, Calvinist reformer, and major minister of the Netherlands from 1901 to 1905.

James Bratt is the correct student to inform the tale of Kuyper's outstanding existence and paintings. He expertly lines the beginning and improvement of Kuyper's signature strategies — universal grace, Christian worldview, sphere sovereignty, Christian engagement with modern tradition — within the dynamic context of his life's story.

Based on voluminous fundamental and secondary Dutch resources, Bratt's Abraham Kuyper: smooth Calvinist, Christian Democrat will turn out to be the go-to biography of this significant determine whose principles and impact expand some distance past his personal time and position.

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Extra resources for Abraham Kuyper. Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat

Sample text

He held a positive conception of government, not as an all-purpose solution to every problem, but as the God-given “sphere” ordained to adjudicate disputes among other spheres, to defend the weak against the strong, and to maintain the state’s natural duties for developing infrastructure and promoting the general welfare. At the highest level, he held both that God had gifted all humanity with the ability to contribute meaningfully to the common good (“common grace”) and that regeneration in Christ created a community, a mind, a predisposition, and a sensitivity utterly opposed to everything of the world (“the antithesis”).

His earliest biographers, looking for portents of his remarkable life to come, rehearsed bits of family lore about his birth. Supposedly, an old neighbor woman prophesied greatness at seeing the caul that clung to the newborn’s head, and a visiting “wonderdokter” (a “quack,” perhaps a phrenologist) expressed astonishment at the sight of the lad’s prodigiously large head. Others saw in his big dreamy eyes the token of a Romantic visionary. Kuyper’s head was big by any measure. Far too big, according to his enemies.

Both sets of Kuyper’s grandparents frequented such meetings. Besides yielding personal edification, these sessions cultivated hopes and prayers that a reformation of public morals, a return to confessional rigor, or simply a more heartfelt repentance on their own part might restore the Reformed church, the Netherlands, the House of Orange — any or all of these — to their former glory. In vain. In the second half of the eighteenth century the Republic, by now “inherently hollow and precarious,” became a pawn on the chessboard of international politics.

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