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Lectures on Calvinism

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,093 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
This series of lectures was delivered by Abraham Kuyper at the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1898. Over the course of the lectures, he discusses Calvinism and the way it pertains to many aspects of life including politics, science, and art. According to Kuyper, Calvinism has a natural affinity for scientific investigation, because like scientific inquiry, Calvinism see ...more
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Cosimo Classics (first published 1932)
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May 28, 2012 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time reading Kuyper. Some of the content flew straight over my head while some of it was really, really great. I feel like Kuyper is a good example of looking at how worldview shapes how we act/think, etc. To him, Calvinism is not just a theologically system but a life system.

A couple of other cool things found in reading Kuyper...
-I'm almost certain he helped to develop the doctrine of common grace. With his understanding of the activity of God over all things, it makes total sense that
PDF available here. Online here. If you want to read more by/on Kuyper, see here.

Very helpful book. Kuyper, who was prime minister of the Netherlands for four years, was invited by B.B. Warfield to Princeton in 1898 to participate in the Stone Lectures. An annual prize was named in his honor, and there's even a Center for Public Theology named after him. Kuyper delivered these lectures between Oct. 10–21, approximately one month before the birth of C. S. Lewis (Nov. 29, 1898). In April 2017, Tim
Chuck Colson recommended this book in an interview. I like it how he integrates Calvinism within his worldview. He has a high view of Calvinism, frequently says it is the reason for many changes in Western Society. This is interesting; However I couldn't find sources to back his claims.

Kuyper emphasizes giving God everything, an unflinching service; He adds saying, In everything God is present, our thoughts, our actions. He explains influence of Calvinism in Protestant countries, concepts of So
Matthew Colvin
Has the virtue of elaborating a single powerful theme: God's sovereignty in human life. Puts forth the important ideas of common grace and sphere sovereignty. But the book is marred by the prominent role accorded to some of Kuyper's worst ideas. He gerrymanders Calvinism in order to claim that the suppression of heretics like Servetus is not compatible with it (he advocates a sort of principled pluralism). His chapter on art is almost wholly vitiated by the gnostic idea that higher sorts of wors ...more
Jeff Hart
Sep 21, 2015 Jeff Hart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kuyper's Lectures on Calvinism are a must-read for anyone interested in worldview studies. His basic claim is that the Calvinistic system provides a comprehensive life-system, beginning first and foremost with our relation to God, then proceeding to our relation to fellow men, and finally to our relation to the world. He demonstrates his thesis by outlining the connections between Calvinism and religion, politics, science, and art (each in their own lecture) while touching on a number of other t ...more
Andrew Mcneill
This was a really curious book. There were of course, some excellent sections which I thoroughly enjoyed, but throughout the book, Kuyper lives in a bizarre fantasy that Calvinism is and has the potential to be, the greatest worldview the world has ever seen. Consequently, he continually glorifies Calvinism and its incarnation in the Netherlands and shows how wonderful it is. But this involves a rather simplistic view of history, current affairs and science (among other things). He should at lea ...more
Alex Stroshine
Abraham Kuyper is arguably one of the greatest Christian thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries. A journalist, theologian and politician (including prime minister of the Netherlands from 1901-1905), here Kuyper delivers six dense, informative, profound lectures on the impact of Calvinism upon the world. Kuyper's writing is excellent and full of flair and flourish but I feel as if upon examination from a 21st-century lens, his excessive praise for Calvinism is vulnerable to critiques. One of the ...more
Jan 26, 2008 Anita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Calvinism
As a baby Calvinist, I found this book inspiring because it showed me how the Prostetant Reformation has deeply impacted Western Civilization and Culture. Not only was the impact in the past, but I could see that it is still and will always impact society in every area. I love Kuyper's ability to speak to the heart and mind of man. I kept checking the date of when the lectures were given in disbelief. I would have thought the book was written in the twentieth century by the way he spoke. I suppo ...more
Jacob Aitken
I guess it was exciting when it first came out. And worldview manual today will give you more bang for your buck and probably do it in a clearer and more succinct manner.

While it is true that Calvinism is an active faith, and one can even urge that it is a transforming faith, the problem with this line of reasoning is that was not the Reformers' primary goal. They sought to reform worship in the church. A lot of Kuyperians simply miss that observation.
May 24, 2016 Marcel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Que livro! Seis palestras do Dr Kuyper, proferidas em Princeton (1898), que nos mostram o Calvinismo não apenas como corrente teológica, mas como uma visão que abrange toda a nossa vida.
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I am in awe of people who see things clearly and speak truth boldly and remind us that our confidence is in God. This book is a series of talks Kuyper gave at Princeton in 1898. Yes! 1898! And It is amazing how the truth he proclaimed then is still relevant today. Kuyper talked about the Reformed faith's relationship to religion, politics, science, and art. What really stood out to me was his insistence on open-handedness toward other faiths. He saw the danger of having the ruling powers in gove ...more
Mar 04, 2008 BJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lectures on Calvinism is an important book. Kuyper's Calvinism is a product of how the Calvinstic world-view pervades all of life. He shows that Calvinism is a life-system and then goes to show its penetration in religion and politics and science and art and the future. Kuyper argues that Calvinism places one's entire life before God and that all of life is to be lived before the face of God.

Now I must confess this is the kind of book I don't like to get caught reading because of its title. Main
Sean McGowan
Great, classic book. For those who are not familiar with this book, this is not lectures on the teachings of Calvinism, but how Calvinism relates to religion, politics, art, etc.
Jun 06, 2011 Jesse rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Good stuff, as I expected. The lecture "Calvinism and Art" was the best. In it, Kuyper argued for the only real foundation for good and true art and that foundation is Christ's sovereignty in all of life. Here are some of his best quotes:

“The arts, says Calvin, have been given us for our comfort, in this our depressed estate of life.”-pg. 153

“And even when art condescends to become the instrument of mere entertainment to the masses, Calvin asserts that this sort of pleasure should not be denied
Aug 01, 2013 Alexander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kuyper's Stone Lectures provide a neat account of Calvinism not really as a theology but as what is now called a "worldview" along with a polemical argument concerning the responsibility of that worldview for many of the distinctive (positive) aspects of modernity, especially for what Weber would call the "differentiation" of modern society into its several spheres (religion, art, science, politics, business, etc.) each independent of each other and each governed by its own norms. For Kuyper thi ...more
Adam T Calvert
Jul 19, 2010 Adam T Calvert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
After reading this book there is no wonder left in my mind as to why virtually every reformed scholar I've read references it in his own work or recommends it in his own work (or both).

It's not the easiest thing I've read, but I have a much better understanding now of how the reformed mindset has really come to shape the world. Arranged in six chapters, the lectures are:

Calvinism as a Life System
Calvinism and Religion
Calvinism and Politics
Calvinism and Science
Calvinism and Art
Calvinism and the F
Apr 04, 2016 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After an abandoned attempt at reading through Kuyper's devotional "To Be Near Unto God", I decided to pick up this more theological classic work of his and I'm glad I did. Kuyper here succinctly lays out many of the ideas he is well-known for: sphere sovereignty, common grace, a holistic worldview approach to the faith, etc. Originally a series of six lectures delivered at Princeton, I found the first three on the history of Reformation and Calvinistic thought particularly interesting. The exclu ...more
Ryan Thomas
Kuyper is concerned with establishing and defending what Calvinism is, the depth of its theology, the breadth of its influence, and the majesty of the Calvinism itself and how it relates to other spheres of life without trespassing on these spheres. If you think Calvinism is all about predestination, you are missing so much about this system of theology.

Built upon the foundation of scripture, Calvinism is a theology as comprehensive as the Bible itself. In Kuypers words, it is a "life system."
vittore paleni
Mar 20, 2012 vittore paleni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 and 1/2

An application of the Calvinistic Wolrdview to various topics of Science, Politics, Arts etc. Kuyper provides some thoughts on how such a worldview applies to the different "spheres" into which the Lord has placed us. The result is often insightful and interesting, not to mention helpful. However a few things are a bit off (if i may put it lightly): Kuyper's evolutionary rhetoric in regards to theology is a turn off, at times he seems to be saying that the reader should adhere to the Ca
Feb 21, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the collection of transcripts of a lecture series that Kuyper gave in 1898. Though outdated on a number of points, he compellingly argues for Calvinism as a life system, rather than just a set of beliefs (or a single belief about fore-ordination). The Calvinistic views of the sovereignty of God and the doctrine of common grace form the pillars for a system which infuses and interprets all of life.

In "Calvinism A Life-System," he argues that Calvinism fulfills the requirements of a

Jacob Young
Feb 23, 2015 Jacob Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the more invigorating books I've read in a while. Clearly a classic that Christian thinkers should read. Kuyper explains how the doctrine of Election builds a philosophical and theological framework where the glory of God is fully and immediately enjoyed amidst the various spheres of life. With this framework he provides the basis for his (potentially) most famous contribution to the Christian and Reformed tradition: Sphere sovereignty. This principle states "that the family, the business ...more
R. Smith
I'm not interested in Calvinism per se, but I am interested in Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), the prime minister of Netherlands from 1901 to 1905.

Kuyper developed Neo-Calvinism, which emphasizes the sovereignty of Jesus over all mental pursuits and supports the idea that there exists a grace given by God to all things in order to sustain the continued unfolding of creation.

In 1898 he was invited to deliver a series of lectures (called the Stone Lectures) at the Princeton Theological Seminary. Six
Dec 13, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, culture
Powerful. Dr. Kuyper presented these lectures to Princeton University (late 1890's) in order to awaken them to the rising "storm of Modernism", and the necessity to return to the fullness of Christianity in order to battle it. It is a book that illustrates the far-reaching power of comprehensive Christianity.

To quote him more fully, "...But in deadly opposition to this Christian element, against the very Christian name, and against its salutiferous influence in every sphere of life, the storm o
Nov 08, 2011 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a series of 6 lectures Abraham Kuyper, a Dutch politician and scholar, gave at Princeton Seminary in 1899. They were a much more sluggish read for me then Machin's "Christianity & Liberalism", but were none the less well worth reading. I particularly enjoyed ch. 3 on Calvinism and Politics - and it continues to shape the way I understand the implications of the Fall on society and government, as well as how important it is for Christians to be in politics. Kuyper's work at defending ...more
Apr 12, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kuyper argues that Calvinism is not just a theological system, but is in fact a complete world and life view on the order of Islam, Roman Catholicism, and paganism. Not only is it a world and life view, but it is the highest and most mature of world and life views. It is a complete system that gives order and structure to the world based on the Bible and its teaching.

Kuyper builds upon and describes the import of this fact by demonstrating how Calvinism answers the basic questions of how man re
Josiah DeGraaf
There's a reason that there's a whole school of thought named after Kuyper with regards to the intersection of Christ and culture. Abraham Kuyper is absolutely brilliant, and this book well-evidences this fact as he shows how the worldview of Calvinism impacts all areas of life. While I didn't agree with him in all his conclusions, his lectures made me think. Particularly good were his lectures on Calvinism and Worldview, Calvinism and Politics, and Calvinism and Art. At points he elevates Calvi ...more
Brian Collins
The lectures, first delivered at Princeton in 1898, deal not with Calvinism as soteriology but with Kuyper's idea of how Calvinism applied to such things as politics, art, science, etc. Kuyper's historical reconstructions seem to reflect more his own ideas of what Calvinism ought to be than actual history in many cases. The volume is also fairly thin on exegesis. Nonetheless, there are a number of creative and interesting ideas, such as sphere sovereignty. In his final lecture he includes a mast ...more
Broad in spirit and learning, these famous lectures set out Kuyper's 'Sphere Sovereignty' and his rallying cry for the re-embracement of Calvinism as a world-view in the West. However, Calvin himself and many who followed him in the 16th and 17th Centuries would not recognise some of these 'Calvinistic principles'. That's especially the case with his views on toleration, denominations, democracy and a few other central themes.

Still enjoyed them, and wanted to be familiar with his thinking. Perha
Mar 03, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, culture
Great book. It is a difficult read because Kuyper wrote in the 19th century and because he was really really smart. But as you read you can see how Calvinism has been behind western ecclesiology, theology, politics, science, art, and social life. There are also glimmerings of what Van Til called Transcendentalism or Presuppositional apologetics. Kuyper also makes a good argument against evolution using God's sovereignty and the doctrine of election. A very good book. Take your time, read it care ...more
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  • Christianity and Liberalism
  • The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • Against Christianity
  • An Introduction to Systematic Theology: Prolegomena and the Doctrines of Revelation, Scripture, and God
  • Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments
  • Systematic Theology
  • The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented
  • The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (A Theology of Lordship)
  • The Puritan Hope
  • Systematic Theology
  • Van Til's Apologetic, Readings and Analysis
  • The Shape of Sola Scriptura
  • Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview
  • Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth
  • The Christ of the Covenants
  • Living for God's Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism
  • The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
Abraham Kuyper was a Dutch politician, journalist, statesman and theologian. He founded the Anti-Revolutionary Party and was prime minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905.
More about Abraham Kuyper...

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