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McGoldrick on Kuyper a Review

McGoldrick on Kuyper a Review

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Published by stevebishop
Review on McGoldrick's biography of Kuyper
Review on McGoldrick's biography of Kuyper

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Published by: stevebishop on Oct 09, 2011
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10/09/2011

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God's Renaissance Man by James E. McGoldrick 
God's Renaissance ManThe Life and Work of Abraham Kuyper
 James Edward McGoldrickEvangelical Press: Darlington, 2000ISBN
 
0852344465 320 pp.Kuyper was an incredible man - he seemed to polarise peoples' opinions of him, a bit like marmite youeither loved him or hated him. This is the first biography of Kuyper published in English this century.McGoldrick, a church historian, seeks to build upon the previous two English biographies by VandenBeg and Praamsma. He rightly says that Vanden Berg is far too unctitical, but then seems address thisby over stressing the criticisms of Kuyper.McGoldrick starts by addressing two criticism of Kuyper and ends with two slightly negative chapters.This is rather strange, almost as if he is bracketing Kuyper between these negatives. The penultimatechapter laments the loss of legacy in the Anti-Revolutionary Party and at the Free University. The finalchapter 'Conclusion and critique' look at Kuper's 'superlapsarianism', his views on 'presumedregeneration' and the way his views have been misappropriated and misapplied to support apartheid.These are almost petty in-house Reformed arguments. The criticisims McGoldrick presents couldalmost be construed as points on which McGoldrick disgarees with Kuyper. This is particularly evidentwhen he accuses Kuyper of mysticism. The mysticism here is because Kuyper maintained that God stillspeaks (although Kuper took great care to stress not in a way that adds to scripture) and that God stilldoes miracles.McGoldrick writes as an admirer of Kuyper but not as one without 'uncritical approbation'. It feels as if McGoldrick is tempering his enthusiasm for Kuyper by focusing on some of the negatives.Rather more than a biography this book also covers a lot of Kuyper's theological views. Chapters 2 and3 provide a helpful church and national background, though I think more could have been made of the

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