A Couple of Quotes about The Church That You're Going to Want to Read

sketchHere are a couple of quotes by Abraham Kuyper on the Church.  But first allow me to introduce him to you. 
Abraham Kuyper, was a Dutch politician, journalist, statesman and theologian. He founded the Anti-Revolutionary Party and was prime minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905. Theologically Kuyper has also been very influential.  Some might say he was among the first neo-reformed.  Kuyper made a significant contribution to the formulation of the principle of “common grace,” and an wrote much about it.  
As of the writing of this blog, there’s a free Ebook for Kindle with some of those writings.  You can get it here. 
Of great interest, to me at least, was Kuyper’s view on the role of God in everyday life. He believed that God continually influenced the life of believers, and daily events could show his workings. Kuyper famously said, Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!” [3]  
Now, here are the 2 quotes that I wanted to point out:

1.  As an institute, the church was an apparatus, “grounded in human choices, decisions, and acts of the will, consisting of members, officers, and useful supplies.” [2]

additionally, and conversely, he said:

2.   “However, the church in fact is an organism, in its hidden unity as the mystical body of Christ existing partly in heaven, partly on earth, and partly unborn, having penetrated all Peoples and nations, possessing Christ as its natural and glorious head, and living by the Holy Spirit who as a life-engendering and life-maintaining force animates both head and members.” [3]
A few questions:
1.  Can the church be both institution and organism?
2.  Can church leadership be structured and organic? 
3.  Is the church an “apparatus” and a supply house? 
[1] 1880 Inaugural Lecture, Free University of Amsterdam
[2] Kuyper, “Common Grace,” 187.
[3] Kuyper, “Common Grace,” 187.

0 thoughts on “A Couple of Quotes about The Church That You're Going to Want to Read

  1. Rick Meigs says:

    Miguel, thanks for sharing the quotes AND the link. Looks like I’ll need to read some Kuyper.

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