The year nineteen hundred and ninety-eight saw the 100th anniversary of the Dutch theologian-statesman Abraham Kuyper’s presentation of his justly famous Stone Lectures on Calvinism at Princeton Theological Seminary. In that series of six lectures, Kuyper strove to demonstrate that Calvinism was not simply a religious dogma that some might argue was relevant for confessional purposes only, but was a thoroughgoing “life-system.” Kuyper himself described the life-system of Calvinism as “all embracing,” “comprehensive,” and “far-reaching.”
The centennial of Kuyper’s Stone Lectures has been the occasion for critical reassessment and reappraisal of Kuyper’s in general and with regard to the Stone Lectures themselves as can be seen in the recent publication of Peter Heslam’s Creating a Christian Worldview: Abraham Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism, a compilation of previously unavailable (in English) writings of Kuyper edited by James Bratt entitled Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader, and John Bolt’s forthcoming volume Abraham Kuyper and American Political Theory Today. We have clearly entered into a time when a critical reassessment and perhaps even a reappropriation of Kuyper’s basic insights is called for. Of course, Westminster Theological Seminary stands in conscious debt to the hoary tradition of Dutch Reformed thought as exemplified in the Stone Lectures through the salutary influence of men like Cornelius Van Til.
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