Abraham Kuyper

Abraham Kuijper (/ˈkaɪpər/; Dutch: [ˈaːbraːɦɑm ˈkœypər]; 29 October 1837 – 8 November 1920), publicly known as Abraham Kuyper, was Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905, an influential neo-Calvinist theologian and also a journalist. He established the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, which upon its foundation became the second largest Reformed denomination in the country behind the state-supported Dutch Reformed Church.

In addition, he founded a newspaper, the Free University of Amsterdam and the Anti-Revolutionary Party. In religious affairs, he sought to adapt the Dutch Reformed Church to challenges posed by the loss of state financial aid and by increasing religious pluralism in the wake of splits that the church had undergone in the 19th century, rising Dutch nationalism, and the Arminian religious revivals of his day which denied predestination.[1] He vigorously denounced modernism in theology as a fad that would pass away. In politics, he dominated the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) from its founding in 1879 to his death in 1920. He promoted pillarisation, the social expression of the anti-thesis in public life, whereby Protestant, Catholic and secular elements each had their own independent schools, universities and social organisations.

Abraham Kuyper
Abraham Kuyper 1905 (1)
Kuyper in 1905
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
In office
1 August 1901 – 17 August 1905
Preceded byNicolaas Pierson
Succeeded byTheo de Meester
Member of the Senate
In office
16 September 1913 – 22 September 1920
Parliamentary groupAnti-Revolutionary Party
Minister of the Interior
In office
1 August 1901 – 17 August 1905
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byHendrik Goeman
Succeeded byPieter Rink
Parliamentary leader in the
House of Representatives
In office
13 November 1908 – 18 September 1912
Preceded byJan Hendrik de
Waal Malefijt
Succeeded byGerrit Middelberg
In office
16 September 1896 – 1 August 1901
Preceded byJan van Alphen
Succeeded byJan van Alphen
In office
20 May 1894 – 1 July 1894
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byJan van Alphen
Parliamentary groupAnti-Revolutionary Party
Leader of the
Anti-Revolutionary Party
In office
3 April 1879 – 31 March 1920
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byHendrikus Colijn
Chairman of the
Anti-Revolutionary Party
In office
12 February 1907 – 31 March 1920
Preceded byHerman Bavinck
Succeeded byHendrikus Colijn
In office
3 April 1879 – 17 August 1905
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byHerman Bavinck
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
13 November 1908 – 18 September 1912
In office
16 May 1894 – 31 July 1901
In office
20 March 1874 – 1 June 1877
Parliamentary groupAnti-Revolutionary Party
Independent Protestant
Personal details
Abraham Kuijper

29 October 1837
Maassluis, Netherlands
Died8 November 1920 (aged 83)
The Hague, Netherlands
Political partyAnti-Revolutionary Party
(from 1879)
Other political
Independent Protestant
Johanna Hendrika Schaay
(m. 1863; died 1899)
ChildrenHerman Kuyper (1864–1945)
Jan Kuyper (1866–1933)
Henriëtte Kuyper (1870–1933)
Abraham Kuyper Jr. (1872–1941)
Johanna Kuyper (1875–1948)
Catharina Kuyper (1876–1955)
Guillaume Kuyper (1878–1941)
Levinus Kuyper (1882–1892)
Alma materLeiden University
(Bachelor of Theology, Master of Theology, Doctor of Theology, Doctor of Philosophy)
OccupationPolitician · Minister · Theologian · Historian · Journalist · Author · Academic administrator · Professor
Abraham Kuyper's signature

Early life

Abraham Kuijper was born on 29 October 1837 in Maassluis, Netherlands. His father Jan Frederik Kuyper served as a minister for the Dutch Reformed Church in Hoogmade, Maassluis, Middelburg and Leiden.

Kuijper was home-schooled by his father. The boy received no formal primary education, but received secondary education at the Gymnasium of Leiden. In 1855, he graduated from the Gymnasium and began to study literature, philosophy and theology at Leiden University. He received his propaedeuse in literature in 1857, summa cum laude, and in philosophy in 1858, also summa cum laude. He also took classes in Arabic, Armenian and physics.

In 1862 he was promoted to Doctor in theology on the basis of a dissertation entitled "Disquisitio historico-theologica, exhibens Johannis Calvini et Johannis à Lasco de Ecclesia Sententiarum inter se compositionem" (Theological-historical dissertation showing the differences in the rules of the church, between John Calvin and John Łaski). In comparing the views of John Calvin and Jan Łaski, Kuyper showed a clear sympathy for the more liberal Łaski. During his studies Kuyper was a member of the modern tendency within the Dutch Reformed Church.

Religious life

In May 1862, he was declared eligible for the ministry and 1863 he accepted a call to become minister for the Dutch Reformed Church for the town of Beesd. In the same year he married Johanna Hendrika Schaay (1842–1899). They would have five sons and three daughters. In 1864 he began corresponding with the anti-revolutionary MP Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer, who heavily influenced his political and theological views (see below).

Around 1866, he began to sympathise with the orthodox tendency within the Dutch Reformed Church. He was inspired by the robust reformed faith of Pietje Balthus, a single woman in her early 30s, the daughter of a miller.[2] He began to oppose the centralization in the church, the role of the King and began to plead for the separation of church and state.

In 1867, Kuyper was asked to become minister for the parish in Utrecht and he left Beesd. In 1870 he was asked to come to Amsterdam. In 1871 he began to write for the De Heraut (The Herald).

In 1872, he founded his own paper, De Standaard (The Standard). This paper would lay the foundation for the network of Reformed organisation, (the Reformed pillar), which Kuyper would found.


In 1886, Kuyper led an exodus from the Dutch Reformed Church. He grieved the loss of Reformed distinctives within this State Church, which no longer required office bearers to agree to the Reformed standards which had once been foundational.[3]

Kuyper and the consistory of Amsterdam insisted that both ministers and church members subscribe to the Reformed confessions. This was appealed to Classis, and Kuyper, along with about 80 members of the Amsterdam consistory, were suspended in Dec. 1885. This was appealed to the provincial synod, which upheld the ruling in a 1 July 1886 ruling.[3]

Refusing to accept his suspension, Kuyper preached to his followers in an auditorium on Sunday, 11 July 1886. Because of their deep sorrow at the state of the Dutch Reformed Church, the group called itself the Doleantie (grieving ones).

By 1889, the Doleantie churches had over 200 congregations, 180,000 members, and about 80 ministers.

Kuyper, (although at first antagonistic towards them), soon began to seek union with the churches of the Secession of 1834, the Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken (Christian Reformed Church). These churches had earlier broken off from the Dutch Reformed Church. This union was effected in 1892, and the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (Reformed Churches in the Netherlands) was formed. This denomination has its counterpart in the Christian Reformed Church in North America.


He vigorously ridiculed modernism in theology as a new-fangled fad based on a superficial view of reality. He argued that modernism missed the reality of God, of prayer, of sin, and of the church. He said modernism would eventually prove as useless as 'A Squeezed Out Lemon Peel,' while traditional religious truths would survive.[4] In his lectures at Princeton in 1898 he argued that Calvinism was more than theology—it provided a comprehensive worldview and indeed had already proven to be a major positive factor in the development of the institutions and values of modern society.[5]

Political life

Member of Parliament

In 1873, Kuyper stood as candidate in the general election for parliament for the constituency of Gouda, but he was defeated by the incumbent member of parliament, the conservative Jonkheer Willem Maurits de Brauw. When De Brauw died the next year, Kuyper stood again in the by-election for the same district. This time he was elected to parliament, defeating the liberal candidate Herman Verners van der Loeff.

Kuyper subsequently moved to The Hague, without telling his friends in Amsterdam. In parliament he showed a particular interest in education, especially the equal financing of public and religious schools. In 1876, he wrote "Our Program" which laid the foundation for the Anti-Revolutionary Party. In this programme he formulated the principle of antithesis, the conflict between the religious (Reformed and Catholics) and non-religious. In 1877, he left parliament because of problems with his health, suffering from overexertion.

In 1878, Kuyper returned to politics, he led the petition against a new law on education, which would further disadvantage religious schools. This was an important impetus for the foundation of the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) in 1879, of which Kuyper would be chairman between 1879 and 1905. He would be the undisputed leader of the party between 1879 and 1920. His followers gave him the nickname "Abraham de Geweldige" (Abraham the Great). In 1880, he founded the Free University in Amsterdam and he was made professor of Theology there. He also served as its first rector magnificus. In 1881, he also became professor of literature. In 1886, he left the Dutch Reformed Church, with a large group of followers. The parish in Amsterdam was made independent of the church, and kept their own building. Between 1886 and 1892, they would be called the Dolerenden, (those with grievances). In 1892, those Dolerenden founded a new denomination called The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands after merging with other orthodox Reformed people who had seceded from the Dutch Reformed Church in 1834.

In the general election of 1894, Kuyper was re-elected to the House of Representatives for the district of Sliedrecht. He defeated the liberal Van Haaften and the anti-takkian anti-revolutionary Beelaerts van Blokland. He also ran as a candidate in Dordrecht and Amsterdam, but was defeated there. In the election he joined the so-called Takkians, in a conflict between the liberal minister Tak, and a majority House of Representatives. Tak wanted to reform the census-suffrage, but a majority in parliament rejected his proposal. Kuyper favoured the legislation because he expected the enfranchised lower class voters would favour his party. This orientation towards the lower classes gave him the nickname "The bellringer of the common people" (klokkeluider van de kleine luyden). His position on suffrage also led to a conflict within the ARP: a group around Alexander de Savornin Lohman was opposed on principle to universal suffrage because they rejected popular sovereignty; they left the ARP to found the CHU in 1901. The authoritarian leadership of Kuyper also played an important role in this conflict. Lohman opposed party discipline and wanted MPs to make up their own mind, while Kuyper favoured strong leadership. After the elections Kuyper became chair of the parliamentary caucus of the ARP. In his second term as MP he concentrated on more issues than education, like suffrage, labour, and foreign policy. In foreign affairs especially the Second Boer War was of particular interest to him, in the conflict between the Dutch-speaking reformed farmers and the English-speaking Anglicans he sided with the Boers, and heavily opposed the English. In 1896, Kuyper voted against the new suffrage law of Van Houten, because according to Kuyper the reforms did not go far enough. In the 1897 elections, Kuyper competed in Zuidhorn, Sliedrecht and Amsterdam. He was defeated by liberals in Zuidhorn and Amsterdam, but he defeated the liberal Wisboom in Sliedrecht. In Amsterdam he was defeated by Johannes Tak van Poortvliet. As an MP, Kuyper kept his job as journalist, and he even became chair of the Dutch Circle of Journalists in 1898; when he left in 1901 he was made honorary president. In the same year, at the invitation of B.B. Warfield, Kuyper delivered the Stone Lectures at Princeton Seminary, which was his first widespread exposure to a North American audience. These lectures were given 10–11 October 14 and 19–21 in 1898. He also received an honorary doctorate in law there. During his time in the United States, he also traveled to address several Dutch Reformed congregations in Michigan and Iowa and Presbyterian gatherings in Ohio and New Jersey.

Prime minister

De Ware Jacob 3e jaargang nr. 16 16 januari 1904 Tekening van Albert Hahn
Caricature of Kuyper by Albert Hahn, from a 1904 edition of the satirical magazine De Ware Jacob.

In the 1901 elections, Kuyper was re-elected in Sliedrecht, defeating the liberal De Klerk. In Amsterdam he was defeated again, now by the freethinking liberal Nolting. He did not take his seat in parliament however but was instead appointed formateur and later prime minister of the Dutch cabinet. He also served as minister of Home Affairs. He originally wanted to become minister of labour and enterprise, but neither Mackay or Heemskerk, prominent anti-revolutionaries, wanted to become minister of Home Affairs, forcing him to take the portfolio. During his time as prime minister he showed a strong leadership style: he changed the rules of procedure of cabinet in order to become chair of cabinet for four years (before him, the chairmanship of the cabinet had rotated among its members).

The portfolio of home affairs at the time was very broad: it involved local government, industrial relations, education and public morality. The 1903 railway strike was one of the decisive issues for his cabinet. Kuyper produced several particularly harsh laws to end the strikes (the so-called "worgwetten", strangling laws), and pushed them through parliament. He also proposed legislation to improve working conditions; however only those on fishing and harbour construction passed through parliament. In education Kuyper changed several education laws to improve the financial situation of religious schools. His law on higher education, which would make the diplomas of faith-based universities equal to that of the public universities, was defeated in the Senate. Consequently, Kuyper dissolved the Senate and, after a new one was elected, the legislation was accepted. He was also heavily involved in foreign policy, giving him the nickname "Minister of Foreign Travels".

Minister of State

In 1905, his ARP lost the elections and was confined to opposition. Between 1905 and 1907, Kuyper made a grand tour around the Mediterranean. In 1907, Kuyper became honorary doctor at the Delft University of Technology. In 1907, he was re-elected chair of the ARP, a post which he would hold to his death in 1920. In 1907, Kuyper wanted to return to parliament. In a by-election in Sneek he needed the support of the local CHU. They refused him support. This led to a personal conflict between Kuyper and De Savorin Lohman. In 1908, he came into conflict with Heemskerk, who had not involved him in the formation of the CHU/ARP/Catholic General League cabinet, thereby denying him the chance to return as minister. In 1908, Kuyper received the honorary title of minister of state. He was elected to the House of Representatives for the district of Ommen in the by-elections in the same year, defeating the liberal De Meester. He also ran in Sneek where he was elected as sole candidate. Kuyper took the seat for Ommen. In 1909, he was made chair of the committee which would write the new orthography of the Dutch language. In the same year he also received an honorary doctorate at the Catholic University of Leuven. In the 1909 elections he was re-elected in Ommen, defeating the liberal Teesselink, but he was defeated in Dordrecht by the liberal De Kanter.

In 1909, he came under heavy criticism in the so-called decorations affairs (lintjeszaak). While minister of home affairs, Kuyper allegedly received money from one Rudolf Lehman, to make him Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. A parliamentary debate was held on the subject and a committee was instituted to research the claim. In 1910, the committee reported that Kuyper was innocent. Between 1910 and 1912, he was member of the committee headed by Heemskerk, which prepared a revision of the constitution. In 1912, he resigned his seat in parliament for health reasons, but he returned to politics in the following year, this time as a member of the Senate for the province of South Holland. He would retain this seat until his death. In 1913, he was made commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. During the First World War Kuyper sided with the Germans, because he had opposed the English since the Boer wars. In 1918, Kuyper played an important role in the formation of the first cabinet led by Charles Ruijs de Beerenbrouck. In 1920, at the age of 83 Kuyper died in The Hague and was buried amid great public attention.


Kuyper's theological and political views are linked. His orthodox Protestant beliefs heavily influenced his anti-revolutionary politics.

Theological views

In 1905 there was a higher education law enacted, but Kuyper was against this and became part of the opposition.

Theologically Kuyper has also been very influential. He opposed the liberal tendencies within the Dutch Reformed Church. This eventually led to secession and the foundation of Reformed Churches in the Netherlands. He developed so-called Neo-Calvinism, which goes beyond conventional Calvinism on a number of issues. Furthermore, Kuyper made a significant contribution to the formulation of the principle of common grace in the context of a Reformed world-view.

Most important has been Kuyper's view on the role of God in everyday life. He believed that God continually influenced the life of believers, and daily events could show his workings. Kuyper famously said, "Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'"[6][7] God continually re-creates the universe through acts of grace. God's acts are necessary to ensure the continued existence of creation. Without his direct activity creation would self-destruct."

Political views

Kuyper's political ideals were orthodox-Protestant and anti-revolutionary.

The concept of sphere sovereignty was very important for Kuyper. He rejected the popular sovereignty of France in which all rights originated with the individual, and the state-sovereignty of Germany in which all rights derived from the state. Instead, he wanted to honour the "intermediate bodies" in society, such as schools and universities, the press, business and industry, the arts etc., each of which would be sovereign in its own sphere. In the interest of a level playing field, he championed the right of every faith community (among whom he counted humanists and socialists) to operate their own schools, newspapers, hospitals, youth movements etc. He sought equal government finances for all faith-based institutions. He saw an important role for the state in upholding the morality of the Dutch people. He favoured monarchy, and saw the House of Orange as historically and religiously linked to the Dutch people. His commitment to universal suffrage was only tactical; he expected the Anti-Revolutionary Party would be able to gain more seats this way. In actuality, Kuyper wanted a Householder Franchise where fathers of each family would vote for his family. He also favoured a Senate representing the various interest, vocational and professional groups in society.

With his ideals, he defended the interests of a group of middle class orthodox reformed, who were often referred to as "the little people" (de kleine luyden). He formulated the principle of antithesis: a divide between secular and religious politics. Liberals and socialists, who were opposed to mixing religion and politics were his natural opponents. Catholics were a natural ally, for not only did they want to practice religiously inspired politics, but they also were no electoral opponent, because they appealed to different religious groups. Socialists, who preached class conflict were a danger to the reformed workers. He called for workers to accept their fates and be happy with a simple life because the afterlife would be much more satisfying and revolution would only lead to instability. At the same time, he argued that the system of unrestricted free enterprise was in need of "architectonic critique" and he urged government to adopt labour legislation and to inspect workplaces.


Kuyper's political views and acts have influenced Dutch politics. Kuyper stood at the cradle of pillarisation, the social expression of the anti-thesis in public life. His championing of parity treatment for faith-based organisations and institutions created the basis for the alliance between Protestants and Catholics that would dominate Dutch politics to the present day. One of the major political parties of the Netherlands, the CDA, is still heavily influenced by Kuyper's thought. His greatest theological act, the founding of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands was undone in 2005 with the creation of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands which united the Dutch Reformed Church, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

In North America, Kuyper's political and theological views have had a significant impact, especially in the Reformed community. He is considered the father of Dutch Neo-Calvinism and had considerable influence on the thought of philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd. Others that have been influenced by Kuyper include Auguste Lecerf, Francis Schaeffer, Cornelius Van Til, Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Albert M. Wolters, Vincent Bacote, Anthony Bradley, Chuck Colson, Timothy J. Keller, James Skillen, R Tudur Jones, Bobi Jones, and the hip hop artist Lecrae.

Institutions influenced by Kuyper include Cardus (formerly The Work Research Foundation), Calvin College, The Clapham Institute, Dordt College, Institute for Christian Studies, Redeemer University College, The Coalition for Christian Outreach, Covenant College, The Center for Public Justice, and the Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, & Culture. In 2006, Reformed Bible College, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan was renamed in honor of Abraham Kuyper and is now Kuyper College.

As well as Kuyper's profound influence upon European Christian-Democrat politics up to the present, his political theology was also crucial in the history of South Africa. His legacy in South Africa is arguably even greater than within the Netherlands. There, his Christian-National conception, centred upon the identification of the Afrikaner Calvinist community as the kern der natie became a rallying position for the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk. As Christian-Nationalists, Kuyper's adherents in South Africa were instrumental in the building of Afrikaner cultural, political and economic institutions to restore Afrikaner fortunes following the Boer War, which ultimately led to Apartheid.[8]

Saul Dubow notes that Kuyper advocated "the commingling of blood" as "the physical basis for all higher development" in the Stone Lectures (1898). Harinck argues that "Kuyper was not guided by the cultural racism of his day, but by his Calvinistic creed of human equality".[9]

Kuyper's legacy includes a granddaughter, Johtje Vos, who is noted for having sheltered many Jews in her home in the Netherlands from the Nazis. After World War II she moved to New York City.[10] Conversely, Kuyper's son Professor H. H. Kuyper, a supporter of Afrikaner Nationalism and colour racism, was a wartime Nazi collaborator and his grandson joined the Waffen SS and died on the Russian front.


Kuyper wrote several theological and political books:

  • Disquisitio historico-theologica, exhibens Johannis Calvini et Johannis à Lasco de Ecclesia Sententiarum inter se compositionem (Theological-historical dissertation showing the differences in the rules of the church, between John Calvin and John Łaski; his dissertation, 1862)
  • Conservatisme en Orthodoxie (Conservatism and Orthodoxy; 1870)
  • Het Calvinisme, oorsprong en waarborg onzer constitutionele vrijheden. Een nederlandse gedachte (Calvinism; the source and the safeguard of our constitutional freedoms. A Dutch thought; 1874)
  • Ons Program (Our program; ARP political program, 1879)
  • Antirevolutionair óók in uw huisgezin (Anti-revolutionary in your family too; 1880)
  • Soevereiniteit in eigen kring (Sovereignty in its own circle; 1880)
  • Handenarbeid (1889; Manual Labour)
  • Maranatha (1891)
  • Het sociale vraagstuk en de Christelijke Religie (The Social Question and the Christian Religion; 1891)
  • Encyclopaedie der Heilige Godgeleerdheid (Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology; 1893–1895)
  • Calvinisme (Lectures on Calvinism; six Stone lectures Kuyper held at Princeton in 1898)
  • The South African Crisis (1900)
  • De Gemene Gratie (Common Grace; 1902–1905)
  • Parlementaire Redevoeringen (parliamentary speeches; 1908–1910)
  • Starrentritsen (1915)
  • Antirevolutionaire Staatkunde (Anti-revolutionary politics; 1916–1917)
  • Vrouwen uit de Heilige schrift (Women from the Holy scripture; 1897)

Notes and references

  1. ^ Wood 2013.
  2. ^ Mouw 2011, p. 3.
  3. ^ a b "Dr. Abraham Kuyper". Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Molendijk 2011.
  5. ^ Molendijk 2008.
  6. ^ 1880 Inaugural Lecture, Free University of Amsterdam
  7. ^ Kuyper 1998, p. 461.
  8. ^ Bloomberg 1989, p. 12.
  9. ^ Harinck 2002, p. 187.
  10. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (4 November 2007). "Johtje Vos, Who Saved Wartime Jews, Dies at 97". New York Times.

Further reading

External links

Party political offices
New office Leader of the
Anti-Revolutionary Party

Succeeded by
Hendrikus Colijn
Chairman of the
Anti-Revolutionary Party

Succeeded by
Herman Bavinck
Preceded by
Herman Bavinck
Succeeded by
Hendrikus Colijn
New office Parliamentary leader of the
Anti-Revolutionary Party in the
House of Representatives

Succeeded by
Jan van Alphen
Preceded by
Jan van Alphen
Preceded by
Jan Hendrik de
Waal Malefijt
Succeeded by
Gerrit Middelberg
Political offices
Preceded by
Hendrik Goeman
Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Pieter Rink
Preceded by
Nicolaas Pierson
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Succeeded by
Theo de Meester
Academic offices
New office Rector Magnificus of the
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Succeeded by
Frederik Rutgers
Preceded by
Alexander de
Savornin Lohman
1901 Dutch general election

General elections were held in the Netherlands on 14 June 1901. The Liberal Democratic League remained the largest party, winning 26 of the 100 seats in the House of Representatives.

1905 Dutch general election

General elections were held in the Netherlands on 16 June 1905. The Liberal Democratic League remained the largest party, winning 34 of the 100 seats in the House of Representatives.

Anti-Revolutionary Party

The Anti-Revolutionary Party (Dutch: Anti-Revolutionaire Partij, ARP) was a Protestant Christian democratic political party in the Netherlands. The party was founded in 1879 by Abraham Kuyper, a neo-Calvinist theologian and minister. In 1980 the party merged with the Catholic People's Party (KVP) and the Christian Historical Union (CHU) to form the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA).

Antithesis (Netherlands)

The Antithesis (Dutch: Antithese) is a conflict between Christian democratic, confessional parties, united in the Coalition and Liberal parties, united in the Concentration between 1888 and 1918. The conflict concerned the equalisation of payment for religious schools. The realisation of this necessitated a constitutional revision, which needed the support of two-thirds of both houses of parliament. Both political parties held about fifty percent of the MPs, however. The issue was forced by Anti-Revolutionary Party leader Abraham Kuyper, who hoped that an alliance of Catholics and Protestants would gain the necessary number of seats, but this strategy failed. The issue was finally resolved in the Pacification of 1917.

Cultural mandate

The cultural mandate or creation mandate is the divine injunction found in Genesis 1:28, in which God (YHWH), after having created the world and all in it, ascribes to humankind the tasks of filling, subduing, and ruling over the earth.

Herman Bavinck

Herman Bavinck (13 December 1854, Hoogeveen, Drenthe – 29 July 1921, Amsterdam) was a Dutch Reformed theologian and churchman. He was one of the greatest Calvinist scholars of the world with Abraham Kuyper and B. B. Warfield.

Intercession of the Spirit

The Intercession of the Spirit is the Christian belief that the Holy Spirit helps and guides believers who search for God in their hearts.In the Epistle to the Romans (8:26-27) Saint Paul states:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God.

There have been different theological interpretations of the intercession of the Spirit. John Calvin taught that it refers to the "teaching ministry of the Spirit" which instructs believers what to pray for and what to ask for in their prayers. On the other hand, Abraham Kuyper viewed the activity of the Spirit as separate and distinct from the efforts of the believers who pray.

James Bratt

James Donald Bratt (born 1949) is a scholar of Abraham Kuyper, and is an emeritus professor at Calvin College.An alumnus of Calvin, Bratt received his PhD from Yale University after writing his dissertation, Dutch Calvinism in Modern America. He has published a biography of Kuyper in 2013. His other areas of specialty include colonial American history, and American intellectual and religious history.

Johann Heinrich Diemer

Johann Heinrich (Harry) Diemer (7 November 1904 – June 1945) was born in Dronrijp, the Netherlands. His father was the reverend N. Diemer, who served at the Reformed Church at Vijfhuizen. He studied biology at the University of Leiden. He studied the ideas of Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck and Jan Woltjer, and soon became an adherent of Herman Dooyeweerd and D. H. Th. Vollenhoven's Reformational philosophy.

He gave much of his free time to the Association for Calvinistic Philosophy; he was secretary to the editorial board for its journal Philosophia Reformata from its inception in 1936. During the Second World War, he became acquainted with the young biology student Jan Lever, the later professor of zoology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. After the War, Lever spoke highly of Diemer as a biologist and theoretician, and he dedicated his book, Creatie en Evolutie (1956), to Diemer.

In January 1945 Diemer was arrested by the Nazis and was sent to the Neuengamme concentration camp. He died in 1945, shortly after having been liberated by the British.

Kuyper cabinet

The Kuyper cabinet was the cabinet of the Netherlands from 1 August 1901 until 17 August 1905. The cabinet was formed by the political party Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP) and Independent Catholics (I) after the election of 1901. The right-wing cabinet was a minority government in the House of Representatives. Abraham Kuyper, the Leader of the Anti-Revolutionary Party was Prime Minister.

Naomi (biblical figure)

Naomi (; Hebrew: Hebrew: נָעֳמִי Standard Hebrew Noʻomi, Tiberian Hebrew nåʿå̆mī) is Ruth's mother-in-law in the Old Testament Book of Ruth. The etymology of her name is not certain, but it is possible that it means "good, pleasant, lovely, winsome."


Neo-Calvinism, a form of Dutch Calvinism, is the movement initiated by the theologian and former Dutch prime minister Abraham Kuyper. James Bratt has identified a number of different types of Dutch Calvinism: The Seceders, split into the Reformed Church "West" and the Confessionalists; the Neo-Calvinists; and the Positives and the Antithetical Calvinists. The Seceders were largely infralapsarian and the Neo-Calvinists usually supralapsarian.Kuyper wanted to awaken the church from what he viewed as its pietistic slumber. He declared:

No single piece of our mental world is to be sealed off from the rest and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'

This refrain has become something of a rallying call for Neo-Calvinists.

Princeton Theological Seminary

Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) is a private, nonprofit, and independent graduate school of theology in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1812 under the auspices of Archibald Alexander, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), it is the second-oldest seminary in the United States. It is also the largest of ten seminaries associated with the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Princeton Seminary has long been influential in theological studies, with many leading biblical scholars, theologians, and clergy among its faculty and alumni. In addition, it operates one of the largest theological libraries in the world and maintains a number of special collections, including the Karl Barth Research Collection in the Center for Barth Studies. The Seminary also manages an endowment of $986 million, making it the third-wealthiest institution of higher learning in the state of New Jersey—after Princeton University and Rutgers University.

Today, Princeton Seminary enrolls approximately 500 students. While around 40% of them are candidates for ministry specifically in the Presbyterian Church, the majority are completing such candidature in other denominations, pursuing careers in academia across a number of different disciplines, or receiving training for other, non-theological fields altogether.Seminarians hold academic reciprocity with Princeton University as well as the Westminster Choir College of Rider University, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Jewish Theological Seminary, and the School of Social Work at Rutgers University. The institution also has an ongoing relationship with the Center of Theological Inquiry.

Reformed Churches in the Netherlands

The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Dutch: Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland, abbreviated Gereformeerde kerk) was the second largest Protestant church in the Netherlands and one of the two major Reformed denominations along with the Dutch Reformed Church since 1892 until being merged into the Protestant Church in the Netherlands in 2004.

Richard Mouw

Richard John Mouw (born April 22, 1940) is an American theologian and philosopher. He held the position of President at Fuller Theological Seminary for 20 years (1993–2013), and continues to hold the post of Professor of Faith and Public Life.

Sphere sovereignty

In Neo-Calvinism, sphere sovereignty (Dutch: souvereiniteit in eigen kring), also known as differentiated responsibility, is the concept that each sphere (or sector) of life has its own distinct responsibilities and authority or competence, and stands equal to other spheres of life. Sphere sovereignty involves the idea of an all encompassing created order, designed and governed by God. This created order includes societal communities (such as those for purposes of education, worship, civil justice, agriculture, economy and labor, marriage and family, artistic expression, etc.), their historical development, and their abiding norms. The principle of sphere sovereignty seeks to affirm and respect creational boundaries, and historical differentiation.

Sphere sovereignty implies that no one area of life or societal community is sovereign over another. Each sphere has its own created integrity. Neo-Calvinists hold that since God created everything “after its own kind,” diversity must be acknowledged and appreciated. For instance, the different God-given norms for family life and economic life should be recognized, such that a family does not properly function like a business. Similarly, neither faith-institutions (e.g. churches) nor an institution of civil justice (i.e. the state) should seek totalitarian control, or any regulation of human activity outside their limited competence, respectively.

The concept of sphere sovereignty became a general principle in European countries governed by Christian democratic political parties, who held it as an integral part of their ideology. The promotion of sphere sovereignty by Christian democrats led to the creation of corporatist welfare states throughout the world.

Titus van Asch van Wijck

Jonkheer Titus Anthony Jacob van Asch van Wijck (29 August 1849 in Utrecht – 9 September 1902 in The Hague) was a Dutch nobleman, politician and colonial Governor of Suriname. He was the son of Matthias Margarethus van Asch van Wijck and the grandson of Hubert Matthijs Adriaan Jan van Asch van Wijck, both prominent Dutch politicians. T. A. J. van Asch van Wijck served as governor of Suriname (27 June 1891 – 12 May 1896) and colonial minister (1 August 1901 – 9 September 1902) in the government of Abraham Kuyper. He was a leading member of the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP).

He was mayor of Amersfoort between 1 August 1883 and 1 June 1891, and once again from 1 January 1900 to 1 August 1901. Van Asch van Wijk served numerous terms in the House of Representatives, for the first time between 29 September 1881 until 11 October 1884. He also served from 17 November 1884–18 May 1886, 14 July 1886–17 August 1887, 19 September 1887–27 March 1888 and 1 May 1888–12 May 1891. Van Asch van Wijk also served in the States of Utrecht between 1 July 1885 and 1 June 1891, the Senate of the Netherlands between 15 September 1896 and 1 August 1901, and the municipal council of The Hague between 17 May 1898 and 1 January 1900.The Van Asch Van Wijck Mountains in Suriname are named after him.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (abbreviated as VU, VU Amsterdam, "Free University Amsterdam") is a university in Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded in 1880, often ranking among the world's top 100 universities. The VU is one of two large, publicly funded research universities in the city, the other being the University of Amsterdam (UvA).The literal translation of the Dutch name Vrije Universiteit is "Free University". "Free" refers to independence of the university from both the State and the Dutch Reformed Church. Both within and outside the university, the institution is commonly referred to as "the VU".

Although founded as a private institution, the VU has received government funding on a parity basis with public universities since 1970. The university is located on a compact urban campus in the southern Buitenveldert neighbourhood of Amsterdam and adjacent to the modern Zuidas business district.

In 2014, the VU had 23,656 registered students, most of whom were full-time students. That year, the university had 2,263 faculty members and researchers, and 1,410 administrative, clerical and technical employees, based on FTE units. The university's annual endowment for 2014 was circa €480 million. About three quarters of this endowment is government funding; the remainder is made up of tuition fees, research grants, and private funding.The official university seal is entitled The Virgin in the Garden. Personally chosen by Abraham Kuyper, the Reformed-Protestant leader and founder of the university, it depicts a virgin living in freedom in a garden while pointing towards God, referring to the Protestant Reformation in the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th century. In 1990, the university adopted the mythical griffin as its common emblem.

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