Gary Steward

The Divine Purpose for Education

Kuyper has been much talked about in recent years, but too seldom read.  He understood the threat that secular ideology posed to Christian ways of thinking and viewing the world.  He understood how the ideological conflict was working itself out in the debates over politics and society.

The latest issue of Credo Magazine focuses on Christian Platonism. The following is one of the issue’s featured book reviews by Gary Steward. Dr. Steward serves as Associate Professor of History at Colorado Christian University.
Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) is one of the few Christian theologians in the modern era who articulated a full-orbed political theology and labored to implement specific policies as a political leader of a nation.  As the founder and leader of the Antirevolutionary Party (so named for its opposition to the ideology of the French Revolution) from 1879 to 1920, Kuyper worked out his Reformed theological convictions into a complete political program, serving as the Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1901 to 1905.  In addition to this, Kuyper wrote much in the area of theology and founded the Free University in Amsterdam in 1880.
Public Theology
So much of Kuyper’s work in the area of public theology and political thought has not been accessible in English until now.  Thanks to the work of the Abraham Kuyper Translation Society and the Acton Institute, the Collected Works in Public Theology have now at last been made available in twelve large volumes that contain a trove of Kuyper’s thought on matters of politics and society.  These volumes contain many pieces that have not been published before in English, and each volume contains helpful explanatory introductions that situate Kuyper’s thought within its historical context.  The editors have gone to great lengths to make sure that the reader can work his way through Kuyper’s works and understand the significance of each piece in its historical and theological setting.  In addition to this particular volume, On Education, the Collected Works contain Kuyper’s Our Program (his political manifesto), Common Grace, Pro Rege, and other volumes with shorter pieces on the Church, Islam, business, economics, charity, and justice.
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