Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Louis Praamsma on Abraham Kuyper

Louis Praamsma, Let Christ Be King: Reflections on the Life and Times of Abraham Kuyper (Jordan Station: Paideia, 1985), 198pp., ISBN 0888150644.

Thanks to Steve Bishop who links to this popular level biography of Abraham Kuyper.

The whole book can be downloaded as a 8 MB pdf here.

Praamsma begins by looking at Kuyper in the context of his own time, a time of many great names – of Schleiermacher and Hegel, of Darwin and Marx, of Bismarck and Gladstone, of Newman and Kierkegaard...

‘Among these great names, the name of Abraham Kuyper deserves to be mentioned. When he was young he assimilated all the new ideas of his time. However, when it pleased God to convert him, he used all the remarkable powers of his mind to renew the Dutch Reformed church and to liberate the people of God in the Netherlands, together with their children, from a house of bondage. In his activities in both church and state, the cry of his heart was: “Let Christ be king!”’

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unforunately this author is wholly uncritical and positive toward Kuyper's sources and worldview based in German historicism and romanticism. He even agrees with Kuyper's antisemitic conspiracy theory about Jewish control of European financial systems and glosses over other racism and antisemitism in Kuyper's writings.

Kuyper's immersion in German romanticism and historicism provided a source of bigotted volksnationalist thought for him to mix with his Calvinism. Is it any wonder his joined the Waffen SS, his fellow countrymen at home and abroad (e.g. South Africa) were often approving of Hitler or ideas related to Naziism? Who from Kuyper's followers stood in the way of Hitler as strongly as Barth and Bonhoeffer did?

Interestingly Barth rejected Christian "worldview" thinking and Kuyperian theo-politics, rightly seeing where they would lead.