The Stone Lectures of 1898
by Abraham Kuyper
Six Lectures Delivered at Princeton University, 1898 under the auspices of the L. P. Stone Foundation
'In the rise of your university education . . .; in the decentralized . . . character of your local governments; . . . in your championship of free speech, and in your unlimited regard for freedom of conscience; in all this . . . it is demonstrable that you owe this to Calvinism and to Calvinism alone.' - Abraham Kuyper
Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) was a Dutch pastor, theologian, journalist, educator, and Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Kuyper has indispensable contributions to Calvinism as an all-encompassing worldview.
Many Christians are familiar with the Doctrines of Grace, the Five Points of Calvinism, or T.U.L.I.P. In other words, many Christians are familiar with the soteriological emphasis of Calvinism. While eternal salvation is certainly the ultimate concern for every man, Kuyper sought to reacquaint men with the cosmological implications of Calvinism as well. God’s redemptive story happens in time on earth among people and His people should study the whole drama: the plot, the characters, and the theater.
The sinless Christ who died on the cross to save men is also the eternal Word who created the world for men. All things were made by Him, are sustained by Him, and bring glory to Him. In fact, Christ’s reconciling, redeeming work extends to all the world. Therefore, men should examine His special and general revelation, they should learn celestial and terrestrial realities. Jesus is Lord over the entire universe, theology and geometry, hermeneutics and history, church and state. Perhaps Kuyper’s most famous quote says it best:
There is not one thumb’s width in the whole domain of human life which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, “Mine!”
To speak about Kuyperian Calvinism then, is to speak about God’s sovereignty in salvation and in everything. In other words, Kuyperian Calvinism is just an explicit insight about Calvinism, and Calvinism itself is just a nickname for the Biblical truth that Christ is Lord over all.
Kuyper started many movements and institutions but he rallied uncommon efforts to cultivate this Christian worldview in education, including the establishment of Christian schools at the primary, secondary, university, and graduate levels. Kuyper’s work was often a struggle and regularly resisted but, as George Grant said, “He was just bullheaded and joyous enough to enjoy failure.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Lecture 1: Calvinism as a Life System
Lecture 2: Calvinism and Religion
Lecture 3: Calvinism and Politics
Lecture 4: Calvinism and Science
Lecture 5: Calvinism and Art
Lecture 6: Calvinism and the Future