Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

29 October 1837 A.D. Abraham Kuyper born. Reformed Theologian and Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

29 October 1837 A.D. Abraham Kuyper born.  Reformed Theologian and Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

Dr. Rusten tells the story.

Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003.  Available at:

Dr. Kuyper was born on 29 October 1837 to a godly Reformed and Confessional family in Maasuis, Netherlands. His family called him “Bram.”

Being a bit unattracted to a theological life, he nevertheless enrolled at the University of Leiden in a pre-theology curriculum. The faculties of the day were increasingly affected by “Modernism, or, reason trumping and invalidating divine revelation and asserting its sinful autonomy (e.g. Romans 1.18-32).

Before entering Leiden University Divinity School in 1858, a professor challenged Dr. Kuyper to investigate and compare Calvin’s view of the church with the Polish Reformer, Jan Laski.  He could find little on the issue in terms of Laski’s writings.  However, a professor of his father’s had nearwise a complete collection of Laski’s writings. This event began Dr. Kuyper’s shift away from Modernism back to the Reformed faith of his forbears.

Another influence was an English novel, Heir of Redclyffe.  He was moved by the hero’s penitential confession of sin. 

But perhaps the greatest influence on his shift were the simple, Confessional and Bible-reading people of his first pastorate. He said of them, “Their unremitting perseverance has become the blessing of my heart, the rise of the morning star for my life.” The wisdom of these people taught him “…in the worship of a God who works all things, both the willing and working, according to his good pleasure.”  He reaffirmed his “orthodox Calvinism.”

Dr. Kuyper went on to hold major pulpits in Utrecht and Amsterdam.

Dr. Kuyper went in to develop political connections which included service in the legislature of the Netherlands. He edited the party newspaper and authored 18,600 editorials.

By 1880, Dr Kuyper and others found the Free University of Amsterdam.  Dr. Kuyper became a Professor of theology.

By 1886, Dr. Kuyper led a break from the state church with the founding of the “Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.”

He authored the Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology (1898), Calvinism (1899), and The Work of the Holy Spirit (1900).

In 1901, he held the Prime Minister’s position in the Netherlands for 4 years.


  1. What of R2K theology?  Political, cultural and legislative involvement by Reformed Churchmen?
  2. What was Dr. Kuyper’s catechetical experience?  Preaching the Heidelberg Catechism in the evening services of the Lord’s Days?


Kuyper, Abraham. “Confidentially.” In Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader. Edited by James D. Bratt. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998. 45-61.

Vandenberg, Frank. Abraham Kuyper. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1966.

Veltman, R. “Kuyper, Abraham.” WWCD. 406-7.

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