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Neo-Calvinism, a form of Dutch Calvinism, is the movement initiated by the theologian and former Dutch prime minister Abraham Kuyper. James Bratt <ref>James Bratt, Dutch Calvinism in Modern America. Wipf and Stock; original Eerdmans (1984)</ref>. has identified different types of Dutch Calvinism: The Seceders—split into the Reformed Church “West” and the Confessionalists; and the Neo-Calvinists—the Positives and the Antithetical Calvinists. The Seceders were largely infralapsarian and the Neo-Calvinists usually supralapsarian.

Kuyper wanted to awaken the church from what he viewed as its pietistic slumber. He declared:

No single piece of our mental world is to be sealed off from the rest and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’ <ref>James E. McGoldrick, Abraham Kuyper: God’s Renaissance Man. (Welwyn, UK: Evangelical Press, 2000).</ref>

This refrain has become something of a rallying call for Neo-Calvinists.

Neo-Calvinism has been described in the following way:

Neocalvinism is postmodern Calvinism. Neocalvinism is a global cultural movement that is the result of people motivated by the religious dynamic of the Reformation trying to get to grips with the historical consequences and implications of modernity. <ref> "What is a Neo-Calvinist" by Gideon Strauss. Retrieved from personal blog October 29, 2005.</ref>


[edit] Emphases of Neo-Calvinism

  • Jesus is lord over all of creation. Jesus’ lordship extends through every area and aspect of life—it is not restricted to the sphere of church or of personal piety.
  • The idea that all of life is to be redeemed. The work of Jesus on the cross extends over all of life—no area is exempt from its impact.
  • Cultural Mandate. Genesis 1:26-28 has been described as a cultural mandate. It is the mandate to cultivate and develop the creation. There is a historical development and cultural unfolding. Some Neo-Calvinists hold that the Cultural Mandate is as important as the Great Commission. <ref>Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey. How Now Shall We Live? (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), p.295.</ref>
  • Creation, fall and redemption. God’s good creation has been disrupted by the fall. Redemption is a restoration of creation.
  • Sphere sovereignty (Souvereinitet in eigen kring). Sphere sovereignty insists that created boundaries should be affirmed and respected.
  • A rejection of dualism. According to Neo-Calvinists dualism has been rife in Christian thinking. The most notable dualism is the dualism between nature and grace that dominated much of Scholasticism. Neo-Calvinists reject this dualism and maintain that grace restores nature.
  • Structure and direction.
  • The antithesis. There is a struggle in society and within every person - between submission and rebellion against God; between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness.
  • Worldviews. Neo-Calvinists reject the notion that theoretical thought can be neutral. All thinking and practice is shaped by worldviews. For the Neo-Calvinist life in all its aspects can be shaped by a distinctively Christian worldview.
  • The role of law. For the Neo-Calvinists law is more than the decalogue. It is the creation ordinances established by God. These laws provide the norms for living in God’s world.

[edit] Notes

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Important Documents

Rerum Novarum (1891)
Stone Lectures (Princeton 1898)
Graves de Communi Re (1901)
Quadragesimo Anno (1931)
Laborem Exercens (1981)
Sollicitudi Rei Socialis (1987)
Centesimus Annus (1991)

Important Figures

Thomas Aquinas · John Calvin
Pope Leo XIII · Abraham Kuyper
Maritain · Adenauer · De Gasperi
Pope Pius XI · Schuman
Pope John Paul II · Kohl

Politics Portal · edit

[edit] Key individuals associated with Neo-Calvinism

[edit] Neo-Calvinist institutions and organizations

[edit] Key texts

  • Abraham Kuyper Calvinism: Stone Lectures
  • Jorge Armando Pérez Spanish father of Neo-Calvinism

[edit] References

  • James Bratt Dutch Calvinism in Modern America, Wipf and Stock; original Eerdmans (1984).
  • James Bratt “The Dutch Schools” in David F. Wells (ed.) Reformed Theology in America (Baker, 1997).
  • James E. McGoldrick Abraham Kuyper: God’s Renaissance Man (Welwyn, UK: Evangelical Press, 2000).
  • Richard J. Mouw “Dutch Calvinist philosophical influences in North America”, Calvin Theological Journal, 24 (1) (1989): pp. 93-120.
  • Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey. How Now Shall We Live? (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), p.295.

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