Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), a Dutch theologian, statesman, journalist, and politician was prime minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905.
In 1862, he became a Dutch Reformed Church minister. Inspired by the simple reformed faith of a farmer’s wife, he began to oppose centralization in the church and the role of the King in that centralization. He became a proponent of separation of church and state because of those strongly held beliefs.
Here in North America, his political and theological views have appreciably impacted the Reformed community. He is considered the father of Dutch Neo-Calvinism. Here are a few of his words:
In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, “That is mine!”
He is your friend who pushes you nearer to God.
It is not your idea, not your understanding, not your thinking, not your reasoning, not even your profession of faith, that here can quench the thirst. The home-sickness goes out after God Himself… it is not the name of God but God Himself whom your soul desires and cannot do without.
Whatever man may stand, whatever he may do, to whatever he may apply his hand – in agriculture, in commerce, and in industry, or his mind, in the world of art, and science – he is, in whatsoever it may be, constantly standing before the face of God. He is employed in the service of his God. He has strictly to obey his God. And above all, he has to aim at the glory of his God.
When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.
The “book of nature” must always be read in light of God’s special revelation, the Bible.
The curse should no longer rest upon the world itself, but upon that which is sinful in it, and instead of monastic flight from the world the duty is now emphasized of serving God in the world, in every position in life.
We can exert power for good, therefore, only if we are prepared to drum it into our heads that the church of Christ can never exert influence on civil society directly, only indirectly.
Original Content: Copyright© 2014 by Susan E. Johnson
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