Pressing Calvinism Out to the Corners

Tony Reinke | June 14, 2017

With stark political rifts now splitting the United States, Europe, and France, we’re all rethinking many things. Christians are simultaneously wrestling through the best ways to engage the forces of globalization, address economic disparity, promote religious liberty, confront unfettered consumerism, combat racial injustice, and address an emerging techno-redemptive form of spirituality. It’s a daunting undertaking to think about how the church should engage our culture on these fronts.

How much do we participate? When do we withdraw? The book on these questions getting all the press this year is Rod Dreher’s proposal: The Benedict Option [read TGC’s review].

But there’s another option on the table—the Dutch Neo-Calvinistic Option.

As the Dutch Neo-Calvinistic works of Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) and of Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) are translated into English and become more accessible, we’re beginning to piece together a new option for how to live as Christians in a post-Christian culture. To my knowledge, there’s not a more sweeping presentation of this worldview than Craig Bartholomew’s Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction.

Dutch Neo-Calvinists in Panorama

Bartholomew—professor of philosophy, religion, and theology at Redeemer University College—traces out the contours of the Dutch Neo-Calvinism of Kuyper, but also of his contemporaries and heirs: theologian Herman Bavinck and missionary…

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