By James D. Bratt
The definitive biography of Abraham Kuyper, colossal 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 suitable student to inform the tale of Kuyper's impressive existence and paintings. He expertly strains the beginning and improvement of Kuyper's signature innovations — universal grace, Christian worldview, sphere sovereignty, Christian engagement with modern tradition — within the dynamic context of his life's story.
Based on voluminous basic and secondary Dutch assets, Bratt's Abraham Kuyper: smooth Calvinist, Christian Democrat will end up to be the go-to biography of this significant determine whose rules and effect expand some distance past his personal time and position.
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Extra info for Abraham Kuyper. Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat
And at every low point in the subsequent war it was Calvinist conviction, organization, and inspiration that proved to be the irreducible nugget of resistance. On the other hand, the iconoclasm of the south (present-day Belgium) was little seen in the north (the future Netherlands), where the Catholic establishment melted away under apathy more than by Protestant zeal. In fact, when Calvinist preachers started filtering up from the south, they discerned an alarming religious vacuum. In the United Provinces that finally did gain their independence, hard-core, positive Protestants amounted to about ten percent of the population.
The dry-goods store that Jean Jacques, now Jan Jacob, operated on Leidsestraat suffered along with grandfather Abraham’s shop and much other Dutch trade and industry during the French occupation of the Netherlands (1795-1813), especially when Napoleon’s Continental System shut down sea-borne commerce. That the Hubers’s only son was conscripted into the Grand Army that Napoleon led into Russia in 1812 redoubled the family’s animosity toward French rule. Young Samuel deserted — and survived. The Hubers, and the Kuypers too, thus entered the nineteenth century seared by some epochal events of history.
He was deeply committed to “sphere sovereignty,” the belief that God had organized the creation into discrete theaters of activity (family, business, art, education, church, state) with each one given specific purposes by the Creator and each possessing its own integrity. 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.
Abraham Kuyper. Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat by James D. Bratt