I must have read a biography of Abraham Kuyper for the first time somewhere after 1978. Kuyper quotes became my mission statement for life and teaching way back then as well. I am not alone. Many people have been reading and quoting Kuyper for years. It is amazing that a one-time Prime Minister of the Netherlands should be such a memorable figure. But it is not his political rule that most of us remember.
It’s the books. Or rather, it’s the ideas in the book. With many books to his credit, and some not yet translated into English, the gist of Kuyper’s teaching is captured in one life-and-mind-changing statement: “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!”
The development and expansion of Kuyper’s thought is still the subject of books. Here are three that I just recently received and look forward to perusing and reading.
The co-editor Steve Bishop is an e-friend of mine. An Englishman, Steve maintains a web-site called All of Life Redeemed (http://www.allofliferedeemed.co.uk/). It is a goldmine of Reformational articles about Kuyper, Herman Dooyeweerd, and other pivotal Christian thinkers.
This book consists of great thinkers’ thoughts about a great thinker. The subsections reveal the vast labors of the man. For example, note these areas:
Kuyper, the man and his context
Kuyper the politician
Kuyper the church reformer
Kuyper the theologian
This is just the first section of essays. Other topics include cultural trends, education, common grace, sphere sovereignty, science art and more. Contributors include some great scholars, past and present, including Herman Dooyeweerd, D. H. Th. Vollenhoven, Harry Van Dyke, James McGoldrick, Vincent Bacote, and Danie Strauss.
On Kuyper is published by Dordt Press.
There have been quite a few biographies of Kuyper over the years, and I have read several of them. His life is dizzying. He was, after all, a pastor, theologian, a co-founder of a political party, an office holder of several political posts, an editor and contributor of 2 newspapers, a founder of a Christian university, and a prolific author. Most of the biographies have been rather short. Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat by James D. Bratt is not only a new work by a capable Kuyper scholar, but a more thorough biography than most. (I have the book, but have not yet peeked inside.)
For more on these two books and for a good discount on these works, check out this site: http://www.capitalcommentary.org/abraham-kuyper/politics-and-prose.
Kuyper’s most famous book is Lectures On Calvinism. It contains the six lectures he gave at Princeton University in 1898. Anyone wanting a defense and explanation of the Five Points of Calvinism had best look elsewhere. Kuyper is dealing with the wider ramifications of the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God over all creation. Peter S. Heslam’s Creating a Christian Worldview: Abraham Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism is a book about Kuyper’s book.
Here is where it all begins.