Kuyper's Lectures on Calvinism is essential reading for any Christian who wishes to reflect on the relationship of Christian faith to the state, the church, the sciences, the arts, and other spheres and endeavors of life. First delivered as lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary in the last decade of the 19th C., these thoughts of Kuyper, who ...
Kuyper's Lectures on Calvinism is essential reading for any Christian who wishes to reflect on the relationship of Christian faith to the state, the church, the sciences, the arts, and other spheres and endeavors of life. First delivered as lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary in the last decade of the 19th C., these thoughts of Kuyper, who went on to become the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, have enormous relevance to our day. Contrary to what the title may lead you to think, it is NOT a treatise on Calvinist doctrinal distinctives. It is a study of the beneficial historical effects that the Calvinistic Reformation has had on various areas of endeavor in the societies it has impacted, and why it produced those effects. Anyone who has appreciated the writings of Francis A. Schaeffer will discover in Kuyper an important source of Schaeffer's key ideas. One need not be Calvinist, nor even Christian, to learn through this book something of the factors that have shaped the most positive aspects of Western culture. But, then, that could put such a person in dangerous territory, couldn't it....Kuyper believes that a light was lit in this world some 2000 years ago, and that this light has made its impact felt in diverse areas and in concrete ways, in turn, over the course of Christian history. A torch, once ignited in Jerusalem, has been passed, lighting up in succession various places as well as aspects of life, allowing each to come into their own and realize more fully the potentials God intended for them. The following quote, actually taken from another important work of Kuyper's, will give you a flavor of Kuyper's concept of the historical unfolding of the blessings of the gospel of Christ that is also present in Lectures on Calvinism: "Christianity conceals in its womb a much greater treasure of rejuvenation than you surmise. Until now it has exerted its power only on the individual and only indirectly on the state. But anyone who, as believer or as unbeliever, has been able to spy out its secret dynamic, must grant that Christianity can exert a wonderful organizing power on society also; and not till this power breaks through will the religion of the cross shine before the whole world in all the depths of its conception and in all the wealth of the blessings which it brings."
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