Abraham Kuyper and the Brexistential Crisis


This article was published in Pro Ministerio, a Dutch magazine for Reformed ministers, in a special issue on Abraham Kuyper – who is undergoing something of a renaissance in (at least some) Dutch Reformed circles. I was asked to write a piece on Kuyper from a Scottish perspective, particularly with a view to how Kuyper might be interesting within Scottish culture.

In summary: the article is about how Brexit, and especially the phenomenon of Brexistential crisis, changed the way I thought about Kuyper in a Scottish context. The article sets out that this crisis has to be viewed in relation to the modern self – which is driven to create its own identity and environment, and which, for most Scots, has been severely frustrated by Brexit. It views the experience of Brexistential crisis as another example of a world experienced by its inhabitants as a kind of postmodern chaos, and against that backdrop, it tries to bring Kuyper’s view of the Lordship of Christ to bear on how Scottish Reformed Christians might think about their place in a frustrated and frustrating culture.

Thanks to Pro Ministerio‘s editor Mark Veurink, for granting permission to reproduce the article here.

ProMinisterio, page 1

ProMinisterio, page 2

ProMinisterio 1ProMinisterio 2


On the humanitarian cost of privatised religion

Our politicians know it full well, yet few discuss it in public. Fewer still take the initiative in condemning it. Our celebrities, normally quick to descend on human tragedy and genocide, are conspicuous by their sudden lack of public advocacy. And yet, it has entered our consciousness: entire and ancient communities of Iraqi Christians have been driven from their homes, coerced, raped, enslaved, murdered. That is to say nothing of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan and Nigeria. We know about it, though our leaders say little and do even less in response. Ronald Lauder, in the New York Times, asks, ‘Who will stand up for the Christians?’ Nicholas Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, has written publicly to David Cameron with the same question. None of this sits at ease with Cameron’s claim that the UK should be ‘more confident of its status as a Christian country’.

Continue reading “On the humanitarian cost of privatised religion”