The practical outworking of Kuyper’s doctrine of common grace demanded a commitment to seeking Christ’s glory in every sphere of human life. Christians are called to witness to the lordship of Christ through sacrificial service, not domination, and such service calls us to seek charity and justice for all people.
In this anthology of articles and reflections, Kuyper articulates a Christian vision for engaging with society. Though his analysis was intended for his late-nineteenth-century Dutch context, his thoughts remain strikingly relevant for Christians living in the modern world. For Kuyper, God’s law preserved civil justice, making humane life possible. However, the law itself could not save society—only the gospel can transform the heart. But the gospel is for all of life. Kuyper elaborated a social Christian approach to politics, resulting in a distinct perspective on property, human dignity, democracy, and justice.
English-speaking inquirers into Kuyper’s formidable and influential social, economic, and political thought have so far had to rely on a restricted set of translated works mostly presenting his ideas in a general way. This collection offers us Kuyper in fine grain—steeped in the dynamics of European culture and politics, powerfully seized of the complex and fast-moving events of his day, and strikingly able to show how Scripture speaks effectively to those events. On social justice, poverty, labor, civil liberties, democracy, the place of the family, and much more, Kuyper is repeatedly a fresh and arresting read, even when we must depart from his specific analyses and prescriptions.
–Jonathan Chaplin, director, Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics; member of the divinity faculty, University of Cambridge
Lexham Press is pleased to announce the publication of a major series of new translations of Kuyper’s writings in public theology. Created in partnership with the Abraham Kuyper Translation Society and the Acton Institute, the Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology will mark a historic moment in Kuyper studies, and we hope it will deepen and enrich the church’s interest and engagement in public theology.
Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) was one of the most extraordinary individuals of his time. A prolific intellectual and theologian, he founded the Free University in Amsterdam and was instrumental in the development of Neo-Calvinism. He was also an active politician, serving as a member of Parliament in the Netherlands beginning in 1874 and serving as Prime Minister from 1901 to 1905.
At this intersection of church and state, he devoted much of his writing towards developing a public theology. His passion was to faithfully understand and engage culture through a Christian worldview. The most famous example is his articulation of the doctrine of common grace. His work has influenced countless others, including Francis Schaeffer, Cornelius Van Til, and Alvin Plantinga.
Jordan J. Ballor (ThD, University of Zurich; PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is a research fellow at the Acton Institute and serves as executive editor of the Journal of Markets and Morality. He is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.
Melvin Flikkema (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is Senior Advisor at the Acton Institute. He coordinated the translation of the Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. He was previously the Provost of Kuyper College.