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Abraham Kuyper

 Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) was the greatest and most controversial figure in the Calvinist renaissance that took place at the conclusion of the nineteenth century and the opening of the twentieth in The Netherlands. Trained as a theologian at the modernist University of Leiden, Kuyper was converted to orthodox Calvinism during his first years as a pastor at Beesd. He served as a pastor in Utrecht and Amsterdam, and then founded a Christian newspaper, De Standard, in 1872. Two years later he was elected Member of Parliament.

A follower of political theorist Groen van Prinsterer, Kuyper was instrumental in the organization of a Christian political party, the Anti-Revolutionary Party. In 1880 Kuyper played an important part in founding the Vrije Universiteit, the Free University of Amsterdam (which exists to this day), and then served as a professor of theology there. In 1886 theological differences led to Kuyper and many of his orthodox Calvinist colleagues being expelled from the Nederlands Hervormde Kerk. In response to this expulsion, he took the leading role in forming what subsequently became the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland. In 1901, Kuyper became Minister-President of The Netherlands, a position he held for four years.

In 1905 his ARP lost the elections and was confined to opposition. Between 1905 and 1907 Kuyper made a grand tour around the Mediterranean. In 1907 he was re-elected chair of the ARP, a post which he held until to his death, but he never returned to the same political prominence. In 1920, at the age of 83, Kuyper died in The Hague and was buried amid great public attention.

Kuyper visited Princeton in 1898 and delivered the Stone Lectures that year, his famous Lectures on Calvinism, in Miller Chapel. Kuyper's worldview, as presented in his hundreds of articles, pamphlets, and books, profoundly affected the development of Reformed theology in The Netherlands, the United States, Canada, South Africa, and Korea, among other countries.

A more detailed biography of Kuyper can be found at Wikipedia.