Book Review: Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat by Abraham Cho

By Louis Kahn

Poverty. Sex trafficking. Gay marriage. Environmentalism. Education reform. These are just some of the causes that vie for our attention as Christians today. Add evangelism, worship, discipleship, and global missions into the mix and we have a bewildering list of things we should "be about" because, of course, Jesus would be about these things.

Meanwhile, others have rightly wondered whether we aren't losing our distinctive Christian identity and calling amid this well-intentioned activism. Are we forfeiting our collective soul, as it were, in order to gain the world?

These important questions warrant careful thought about the nature and extent of Christian cultural engagement today. And there may be no better guide than Abraham Kuyper, the 19th-century Dutch theologian, statesman, journalist, political organizer, pastor, and entrepreneur. Until more recently, Kuyper's works haven't been widely accessible to an English-speaking audience (except perhaps his Lectures on Calvinism). And if his works have been hard to find, an introduction to the man and his context has been virtually nonexistent.

James Bratt's eminently readable Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat is the first full-length biography of Kuyper in English-and it couldn't have come at a better time. Here is a work of great scholarly precision that speaks with relevance to the pressing questions of our day. Whether you're a scholar, a pastor, a Christian, or just someone who cares about your culture, you'll quickly learn from this book that you have much to learn from this life.

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