Abraham Kuyper

Heather is a member of Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan. She wrote this paper for Mr. VanUffelen’s Church History class at Covenant Christian High School.

Abraham Kuyper was a person that influenced many. Through his preaching, teachings, and writings many were moved and converted. Also, many started to question whether other teachings of the Roman Catholic Church were true.

Abraham was born in the city of Maasiuis, Netherlands, on October 29, 1837. His father was a minister in the Reformed church. The Reformed churches were hard to find at his time in his country. He was brought up in the orthodox religion. After being home-schooled by his parents he became a student at Leyden. Kuyper did not like it there so he rebelled and turned to Modern theology. In this religion he became a young preacher in the city of Beesd.

At the time of his birth two movements swept throughout the Netherlands and were more prevalent here than in any other country. The first was De Afscheiding or The Separation. The second was De Reveil or the Renewal. The government had persecuted this group for their beliefs. This was the movement in which Kuyper was born. Kuyper was not moved by either of these movements. Kuyper would later preach on why each of these movements were wrong.

When Kuyper was young his parents home schooled him. He was very smart and was able to learn well the subjects that were taught to him. When he was older, he went to the University of Leiden. After he graduated he went to school to become a preacher. In these schools Kuyper was influenced badly by his teachers. The schools had turned Kuyper and twisted his beliefs and he became a Modernist.

Abraham was an influential preacher who moved many people. His preaching lead to many people’s conversion. During his studies Kuyper found things that made him believe that God was providential. He moved slowly and steadily toward the Reformed doctrine.

Kuyper influenced many people with his powerful sermons. The Netherlands did not have preaching like Kuyper’s. Kuyper was then called to be a minister in the biggest church in the Netherlands. In 1870, Kuyper became one of twenty-eight preachers in a church which had 140,000 members. This church was the most influential church of that time.

Kuyper was considered a great politician in his time. He wanted to return the Netherlands to the past traditions of the Reformed doctrine. The church had fallen away at the time of the Separation and the Renewal movements. People understood him because he was of the common people. Kuyper was from the Anti-revolutionary Party in 1869. In 1874, he ran for the Parliament. Kuyper had lost twice for the position in the Parliament. After running many times for the position he was elected in the city of Gouda, in the year of 1874.

At this time, Kuyper resigned from the ministry. Since he had been elected to the Parliament, he had to stop preaching to fulfill this position.

While Kuyper was in the parliament he wrote many pieces that influenced many people. Kuyper lead a very busy and disciplined life in order for him to accomplish all that he did. He wrote uninterrupted in the morning and at night he corrected the things he had written in the morning. Only an hour was given to spend time with his family. He became an editor for a weekly paper, in 1869. In 1872, Kuyper became the editor of his second paper.

Kuyper wrote lectures, meditations, and many other articles. Also, he wrote on many different topics in his writings, such as why the Separation and Renewal movements were wrong. Kuyper, in many cases, included illustrations to better explain what he was talking about.

The most important thing the Anti-revolutionary party was allowing Christian schools to have equal standing with the government’s schools. They wanted this because they believed that a good Christian education was important. Kuyper joined with the Roman Catholic party to gain more strength and support. There were those people that did not think that politics was Kuyper best place of work.

Through Kuyper’s life he attacked the evils that were in the church. As Kuyper was converted he saw why modernism was wrong. Kuyper battled with the errors of modernism and liberalism.

After Kuyper resigned, he became an elder in the church, and soon he became the head of the consistory. While an elder, he worked on the doctrine of marriage and whether young people should and could become full members of the church.

Kuyper wanted to establish a Christian university because he did not like the way the schools he went to had twisted his beliefs. After much work Kuyper established the Free University, in 1880. The school continued to grow as more people supported the university. In the Free University Kuyper talked about the dogmatics he had preached on earlier. Soon, Kuyper was asked to speak at other schools such as Princeton University, where he spoke the Stone Lectures he had written. The Stone Lectures were speeches Kuyper had written, against the errors of Modernism and Liberalism. They were then put under the title Calvanism (Hanko).

Kuyper had done many things to influence people. Through his teaching, preaching, and writing, many people saw the error of their ways. Also, while he was in politics, Christian schools were able to have a stand in what to say. Abraham Kuyper was a great man who influenced many people. Kuyper influenced many of today’s teachings. Some of these teachings we live by as Protestants.