Calvinism for a Secular Age
Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch Neo-Calvinist theologian, pastor, and politician, was well-known for having declared that there is "not a square inch" of human existence over which Jesus Christ is not its sovereign Lord.
This principle is perhaps best reflected in Kuyper's writings on Calvinism originally delivered as the Stone Lectures in 1898 at Princeton Theological Seminary. These lectures reflecting on the role of the Christian faith in a variety of social spheres—including religion, politics, science, and art—have become a touchstone for contemporary Reformed theology.
How might the lectures continue to inform the church's calling in a secular age? In this volume, Jessica Joustra and Robert Joustra bring together theologians, historians, scientists, and others to revisit Kuyper's original lectures and to critically consider both his ongoing importance and his complex legacy for today.
"Even as more of Abraham Kuyper's voluminous writings become available to Anglophone audiences, revisiting his seminal English-language source, the Stone Lectures of 1898, is a worthwhile and important endeavor. In the intervening century, Kuyper's addresses at Princeton Seminary have been the main touchstone for worldwide familiarity with Kuyper and neo-Calvinism more broadly. This edited volume provides a valuable point of entry to that reception as well as to the significance of the legacy for both today and tomorrow. We should be grateful to the editors and contributors for providing an accessible as well as substantive guide to some of the most salient features of Kuyper's fertile thought."
"What does Abraham Kuyper have to offer to our fractured, twenty-first-century world? With one eye on Kuyper's own context and another on the challenges facing Christians attempting to bring their faith to bear on public life today, this volume of essays offers an essential guide to the relevance—and limitations—of Kuyperian thought in our contemporary moment."
"I have felt ambivalent about Kuyper's Stone Lectures since I first encountered them. The world and life vision set forth in the lectures are vital to my theological outlook. But Kuyper's racist asides trouble me deeply, especially when set against tragic appropriations by later interpreters. Calvinism for a Secular Age thus offers a welcome tonic, amplifying my gratitude and acknowledging my grief, making it an essential companion to Kuyper's lectures. It clarifies his aims, complicates his legacy, and challenges his flaws. When necessary, it moves forward by reading Kuyper against himself. Most importantly, it continues Kuyper's project, offering a generative and generous vision for all of life, one sorely needed in our secular age."
"In recent months, Kuyper has been misquoted and co-opted by some to justify nefarious political agendas and misinterpreted by others who have argued he should be 'canceled.' The Joustras provide a timely resource for those seeking to be honest heirs of Kuyperian thought while being committed to refining, at times renouncing, and finally innovating out of this tradition. It is a creative engagement with the complex man whose blatant sins stand alongside the many gifts he offers to those who seek to live all of their lives in light of the gospel of Christ."
"How might an ancient faith connect with modern questions of science, politics, the arts, race, religion, and more? This outstanding collection of essays explores the intersection between faith and public life with a rich and profound theological imagination. This book represents a long-awaited gift for readers of Reformed theology and Abraham Kuyper. Some of the best Kuyper scholars in the world are gathered herein to bring new life and new perspective to Kuyper's groundbreaking Lectures on Calvinism."
"Looking to Abraham Kuyper as a guide who can help us navigate the complexities of this cultural and political moment, this timely volume provides an accessible introduction to Kuyper's thought as it probes ways that we can continue to learn from Kuyper's contributions. Each essay, from one among an exceptional lineup of contributors, invites us to consider what faithful Christian engagement looks like in such important areas as politics, science, and the arts. These essays not only mine the wisdom of Kuyper's thought from the past, but they urge us to imagine what it means that God is renewing and redeeming all things today. This volume will be of interest to all who believe that the gospel involves both personal devotion and public engagement."
"In an age when doubt as to the public usefulness of Christianity is precisely the point at which its private obeisance is bleeding out, this primer on an imperfect but magisterial social thinker will grant a compass once more for all those Christians who desire to serve the whole of their society with integrative courage, creativity, and smarts."
Preface, James D. Bratt
Introduction, Robert J. Joustra
1. Kuyper and Life-Systems, Richard J. Mouw
2. Kuyper and Religion, James Eglinton
3. Kuyper and Politics, Jonathan Chaplin
4. Kuyper and Science, Deborah B. Haarsma
5. Kuyper and Art, Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin
6. Kuyper and the Future, Bruce Ashford
7. Kuyper and Race, Vincent Bacote
8. Lost in Translation: The First Text of the Stone Lectures, George Harinck
Conclusion, Jessica R. Joustra
List of Contributors