The Modern Impact of Abraham Kuyper

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Abraham Kuyper’s influence has been felt throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the Netherlands and the Dutch Reformed church. But his legacy had been largely washed away by the churning of history. As modern Christians think through our place in a secular society, Kuyper’s thoughts and wisdom are reemerging. The church today is searching for guidance for how to construct a positive and responsible public theology. Kuyper’s unique insights and vast array of experiences provides us with a model for constructing a culturally engaged Christian witness.

Kuyper’s impact

Kuyper’s work has influenced countless others, including Francis Schaeffer, Cornelius Van Til, and Alvin Plantinga, and continues to influence modern theologians and scholars.

In his final interview before his death, Chuck Colson discussed the impact Abraham Kuyper had on his life:


In Every Square Inch, Bruce Ashford draws upon the example Kuyper set as a model for Christian cultural engagement.

Kuyper was a savvy and insightful commentator on the culture of his day, knowing his context well enough that he could identify where it was misdirected and corrupted and needed to be redirected toward Christ. He was a skilled interpreter of Scripture, but also a skilled interpreter of his culture. Kuyper was not only a cultural commentator; he was a culture-maker. He founded a university, a church, a political party, and a newspaper and wrote numerous books and articles. Kuyper serves as an example of how we should seek to allow Christ his lordship in every aspect of our lives. Although Kuyper was an extraordinarily talented person whose life is, in some ways, out of reach for most people, he still serves as an example of the way in which we should try to honor Christ in everything we do and say.

What others are saying

Kuyper_Collection_7_OurProgram_7x10Recently, the first volume in the Abraham Kuyper’s Collected Works in Public Theology was released in print and digital formats. Reviews and endorsements of Our Program have been flowing in. Here are some of the ways this volume has impacted the political thought of Christians today.

On his blog, Derek Rishmawy gave a glowing review of Our Program, calling it “stimulating” and “challenging.” He goes on to say:

Much of the theology stands the test of time because it is rooted in the trans-historical truths of the gospel, such as its unique anthropology and eschatology. Kuyper shows time and again the way–without desiring or advocating a “theocracy”–specifically Christian theology ought to inform our political engagement.

From all that I’ve read so far, I’m quite looking forward to the rest of the Kuyper series. And you should be as well.

Here are a few endorsements of this volume:

Our Program served for decades as an inspiration to Kuyper’s followers and set a high standard for his opponents to match. For us it sets out the challenge of envisioning what might be an equivalent witness in our own day.

—James D. Bratt, Professor of History, Calvin College

Abraham Kuyper’s Our Program has been much quoted by those who share his convictions about the lordship of Christ over all times, places, things, people, and societies. It is, therefore, a real advantage to see a capably translated and helpfully introduced edition of the whole document appear in English. For those concerned about Kuyper’s own historical situation, as well as about contemporary social and political controversies, this edition should be a real boon.

—Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

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Created in partnership with the 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. Order today and save 38% on the entire collection!