By Uri Brito
Dr. W. Geensink observed of Abraham Kuyper that he was ” a man of his time as for his time.” God placed him in an uniquely suitable time for his gifts and wisdom. Kuyper published over 150 works ranging from the Holy Spirit to Art. Kuyper saw life as a display of the artistic nature of the Triune God he worshiped. For Kuyper, creation was God’s art show. He understood the need to wrestle with the needs of his countrymen, who were the beneficiaries of his wisdom. There was nothing left untouched by God. And this presupposition propelled him to not only articulate the Reformed faith in a remarkably comprehensive fashion, but also made it appealing to the common people.
We need more Abraham Kuyper because Kuyper understood that the whole man needs a whole gospel. Every square inch is tattooed with Jesus’ Name, and so every man must also. Though Kuyper understood that the unbelieving man lives a life of inconsistency, Kuyper believed that he too could benefit from the goodness of God. This common grace was the natural outflow of a God who created and who sustains his creation.
It is true we could offer some critiques of Kuyper and his policies. But what Kuyper accomplished was monumental. He was not just a savvy politician and a brilliant theologian, he laid the roots for a consistent Calvinism. His lectures lay out these principles. Calvinism for him was not just a set of theological ideas, but a comprehensive system that exalted Jesus as Lord and called us as servants to declare that reality to the world. The world may be blinded to that truth, but Kuyper taught us that the Holy Spirit is in the business of opening blind eyes. Kuyper was certainly a man of and for his time, but I’d like to argue that he is a needed man for our time.
Uri Brito is the founder of Kuyperian Commentary.