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To Be Near Unto God

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This devotional classic offers 110 meditations on a single thought from Psalm 73: "As for me, it is good to be near to God." The author states, "The fellowship of being near unto God must become reality . . . it must permeate and give color to our feeling, our perceptions, our sensations, our thinking, our imagining, our willing, our acting, our speaking. It must not stand as a foreign factor in our life, but it must be the passion that breathes throughout our whole existence." The meditations reflect the blending of spiritual vigor with doctrinal loyalty so consistently expressed in the life of Abraham Kuyper. These are devotions with true substance, avoiding the extremes about which Kupyer adds a word of caution: "Stress in creedal confession, without drinking from the Living Fountain, runs dry in barren orthodoxy, just as truly as spiritual emotion, without clearness in confessional standards, makes one sink in the bog of sickly mysticism." This treasure of inspiration is supplemented with a complete index of Scripture texts. ABRAHAM KUYPER (1837-1920) was Calvinist theologian and major political figure in recent Dutch history. Elected to parliament in 1874, he became Prime Minister in 1901 and served to that capacity until 1905. As a theologian, he revived a systematic, orthodox Calvinism. He founded the Free Reformed Church and the Free University of Amsterdam. His other works include Principles of Sacred Theology, Lectures on Calvinism, The Work of the Holy Spirit, and The Death of Resurrection of Christ.

680 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1979

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About the author

Abraham Kuyper

244 books85 followers
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.

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5 stars
22 (53%)
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12 (29%)
3 stars
4 (9%)
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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for Paul.
284 reviews
March 29, 2021
Warm and pious, Neo-calvinism at its best. "A home-sickness after the living God."
Profile Image for Douglas Wilson.
Author 245 books3,463 followers
November 6, 2011
This was good. A bit too wordy in places, but a good devotional. Some of the stand-alone thoughts were worth the whole thing.
Profile Image for Brent McCulley.
554 reviews40 followers
October 10, 2015
Given to me by a dear friend for my birthday this year before he left for Princeton Seminary, Kuyper's devotional meditations on being near unto God upheld me, sustained me, and nourished me everyday--one meditation at a time--for the past many months. This is a treasure trove of spiritual, practical, and theological wealth that should be cherished. As for me, it is good to be near unto God.
Profile Image for Coyle.
665 reviews51 followers
October 12, 2009
A bit too long to read straight through (almost 700 pages), but good to use as a devotional.

A few quotes from the book:
-"Nearness unto God here on earth yields its sweetest blessedness when it is cultivated in the face of sin and theworld, as an oasis in the wilderness of life." (24)
-"To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our life, means: every morning, noon, and night to be so clearly conscious of our fellowship with the Living God, that our thoughts go out to Him, that we hear the sound of His voice in our soul, that we are aware of His sacred presence round about us, that we experience His operations upon our heart and conscience, and shun everything we would not dare to do in His immediate presence." (41)
-"The whole Christian faith, the entire Christian confession rests upon the clear conviction, that God has not laid it upon you to lose Him in endless abstractions, but, on the contrary, He would come to you ever more closely in human form and in human language, in order through your human heart to make warm, rich fellowship possible with Himself." (45)
-"Every creature is the product of a thought of God; hence all created things can serve as emblems of the Divine." (100)
-"Lost is every day in which in the stir of the air the voice of your God truly passes by you, but does not affect and awaken you. And also blessed is each day of your existence in which in the gentle stir of the air God makes His approach to your soul, and that approach bears fruition with such intimacy of fellowship that with fresh draughts you may ennoy again the eternal love of your God." (112)
-"Here is love, the yearning to possess again what was lost." (133)
-[Talking about Jesus saying 'he that hath seen me hath seen the Father':] "Whoever spoke like this, you would at once endeavor to render harmless by putting him away among the insane, except you yourself worshiped and adored God in Him." (162)
-"The doing of God's will covers the whole of our life, our ordinary as well as our extraordinary life, and te knowledge of God in the ordinary life is far finer, far more intricate, far more difficult than in those extraordinary things." (190)
-"To love God is to take away everything that makes separation between us an Him and thus come to an existence in which we live for God alone." (226)
Profile Image for Brandon Davis.
5 reviews4 followers
December 27, 2008
I am not even 100 pages in and even if the remaining 600 are not good at all this book gets 5 stars easy. One of the best devotionals I have ever read.
Profile Image for Steven Tryon.
251 reviews
June 4, 2018
Finished this gem this morning. Kuyper began with Psalm 73, "But as for me, it is good to be near to God." He closes the circle with Psalm 42, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God."

I do hope there is beer in heaven. I picture Abraham Kuyper and Thomas Merton sitting in their favorite booth at the Spirit and Spirits Pub at the corner of Love Street and Mercy Avenue, drinking their pints of good Trappist beer, and talking about the love of God. Kuyper and Merton are from different generations (Kuyper died a few years after Merton was born) and from vastly different Christian traditions (Dutch Reformed and Roman Catholic), yet they end up very close in their writing about the yearning of the soul, the true self, to be near to God.

A wonderful book. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Neil.
17 reviews
May 11, 2020
Insightful and compelling. In parts this book was challenging, as the author uncompromisingly applies the truths of God's word. An example is Christ's command to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. The writer breaks each clause down and addresses each, stressing the absolute nature of the command. The zeal and the fertility of the author's mind is palpable.
Profile Image for Becky Hintz.
218 reviews15 followers
November 5, 2020
At 110 chapters and 700 pages, this was a long read--and much of it was just so-so. But there are gems that made the whole book a treasure: pages I have read, re-read, and dog-eared for easy reference later. If a publisher would select, say, 20-30 of the best entries, it would be a powerful devotional book.
Profile Image for Bruce Dayman.
15 reviews2 followers
June 10, 2015
It is a great book and a wonderful devotional reading. It often reminded me of other devotional books such as My Utmost for His Highest. The important emphasis for this book is knowing God for yourself and having a daily fellowship. I am impressed that Kuyper did this and accomplished so much in his lifetime, perhaps because of it.
Profile Image for Luke Deacon.
113 reviews7 followers
June 16, 2015
Read this monster of a book on and off as a kind-of devotional over the past few months. It's rather wordy in places, but has some WONDERFUL and helpful thoughts on many issues! I think the first few chapters were the best. If you read it, make sure you've got a pencil handy - there's lots of underlining to do...
Profile Image for Jack Kooyman.
92 reviews11 followers
August 5, 2011
Daily reflections and inspiration from the well known Dutch neo-Calvinist.
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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