1837 - 1920
Abraham Kuyper, an extraordinary and historic figure, was a pastor, theologian, scholar, journalist, educator and statesman. Though beginning in the parish ministry, he moved on to become editor of two Christian periodicals, founded the first Dutch political party and the first Christian Democratic party in the world and established the Free University in Amsterdam, a Christian university founded on Reformed worldview principles. He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1901 to 1905. He was also a courageous advocate for equality regardless of social status, race or gender at a time when that notion was not the overwhelming sentiment of the day.
Kuyper articulated more clearly than anyone the importance of recognizing that everyone has a worldview—a personal and also corporate way of perceiving and interacting with reality. Kuyper taught us that we must discover and understand what this means to each individual and to the mind and systems of the culture we are trying to reach with God's word and grace. This is the essence of effectively carrying out God's great commission throughout the world.
As Kuyper explained it, a worldview that is Reformed in character holds that all of life is to be lived unto the glory of God. In this, there is no area of life that is not subject to the Lordship of Christ, the witness of the believer and the work of the church. The Bible is the inspiration, insight and guide that informs, instructs and motivates the Christian to give effective witness in the context of his and her day. The direct application of scriptures into every area of our lives, and in addressing the nature of the world around us, makes our faith both a public as well as private matter.
Today, Kuyperian cultural and social thought, along with his biblical worldview, are the subject of theological, scholarly and societal studies at the Kuyper Center for Public Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, The Kuyper Scholars Program at Dordt College, The Kuyper Foundation in England and at seminars in colleges and seminaries throughout the world.
"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!' " Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920)