Abraham Kuyper, Conservatism, and Church and State
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Written by Mark J. Larson
Students of Reformed theology recognize that Abraham Kuyper was one of the premier theologians of the last two centuries.
He was also a notable politician, founding the Antirevolutionary Party and serving as a member of the Dutch Parliament and eventually becoming prime minister of the Netherlands. He produced a body of neo-Calvinist political thought that has enduring value for the political engagement of the Christian community in our time. His political theory stands in continuity with John Calvin's doctrine of the church and social reformation, even as the current James Madison's teaching on church and state impacted it.
While contemporary Kuyperians at times reflect a leftward political orientation, Kuyper was a champion of political conservatism who stood in the trajectory of fundamental conservative principles affirmed by Edmund Burke and more recently by Ronald Reagan. He believed that the conservative emphasis upon natural law, the need for limited government, and the importance of freedom was rooted in biblical revelation and was therefore valid for all nations at all times.
"This primer on political conservatism is a reappraisal of the prominent Neo-Kuyperian interpretation of Abraham Kuyper. . . . While potentially troubling to leftward leaning Neo-Kuyperians, Larson argues for a firm intellectual bond between the towering Dutch statesman-theologian and notable political conservatives such as Edmund Burke, James Madison, Ronald Reagan, and even Chief Justice Roy Moore. [This book] is a worthy read as Kuyper speaks into the din of the controversial sphere of public theology." --Peter A. Lillback, President, Westminster Theological Seminary, President, The Providence Forum
"In this important book, Mark Larson demonstrates that Kuyper's political thought is a fecund vein of political theory upon which American conservatives can draw. He argues convincingly that Kuyper's political thought is . . . exemplary in its promotion of religious liberty and church disestablishment, and enables the church to resist governmental tyranny of any shape, including contemporary judicial usurpation. Larson demonstrates that Kuyper's thought has enduring value for contemporary Christian political engagement. Highly recommended." ---Bruce Ashford, Associate Professor of Theology and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Paperback, 124 pages, notes, bibliography, Subject Index