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Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art [Kindle Edition]

Abraham Kuyper , Jordan J. Ballor , Stephen J. Grabill , Gabe Lyons , Jon Tyson , Nelson D. Kloosterman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

How will evangelicals respond to contemporary cultural shifts? What they believe influences how they respond and this will have significant ramifications for the future of a free society and its business, economic, and public sectors.

Sometimes the way forward is found by looking back.

Abraham Kuyper, a Dutch theologian and prime minister of Holland (1901–1905), elaborated on the doctrine of common grace, a theology of public service, and cultural engagement of Christians' shared humanity with the rest of the world.

As Kuyper noted, "If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Kuyper's work shows us that God is not absent from the non–church areas of our common life and bestows his gifts and favor to all people.

Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) is a significant figure in the history of the Netherlands and modern Protestant theology. A prolific intellectual, he founded a political party and a university, and served as the prime minister of Holland from 1901–1905. His enduring passion was to develop a theology for the general public and was seen in his extensive elaboration of the doctrine of common grace.

Editorial Reviews


Abraham Kuyper was a profound theologian, an encyclopedic thinker, and a deeply spiritual man who believed that it is the believer's task 'to know God in all his works.' In a day when secular science is seeking to establish hegemony over all knowing, and when postmodern art is threatening to bring an end to art, Kuyper's solid, Biblical insights can help to restore perspective and sanity to these two critical areas of human life. --Chuck Colson, Founder of Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview

The appearance of this treatise in English translation is for me the beginning of a large dream come true. Kuyper's writings on common grace are much needed 'for such a time as this', and Wisdom & Wonder is a marvelous foretaste of more that is to come! --Richard J. Mouw, President and Professor of Christian Philosophy of Fuller Theological Seminary

About the Author

Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) is a significant figure in the history of the Netherlands and modern Protestant theology. A prolific intellectual, he founded a political party and a university, and served as the prime minister of Holland from 1901 1905. His enduring passion was to develop a theology for the general public and was seen in his extensive elaboration of the doctrine of common grace.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1423 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Christian's Library Press (November 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006N0M86A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,148 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom and Wonder Through Kuyper's Eyes February 15, 2013
By Sheep23
Wisdom and Wonder: Common Grace in Science and Art by Abraham Kuyper

This new translation by Nelson Kloosterman is a wonderful addition to the existing works of Kuyper's already in English translation. Vincent Bacote guides us through the political and social ramifications of Kuyper's theology in a short but insightful introduction. Seeking to understanding Kuyper and common grace, Bacote writes, "Common grace is God's restraint of the full effects of sin after the Fall, preservation and maintenance of the created order, and distribution of talents to human beings" (26). While modern people might still make sharp distinctions between science and art, Kuyper brought together both fields under the domain of scientific investigation. This new translation is a great joy for many, including myself, because we need Abraham Kuyper to help elucidate a vision of cultural engagement and theological maturity that is neither `Club Christianity' nor dominated by a secular worldview. How does Abraham Kuyper engage the cultural capital of his time while remaining true to the faith he held so dear?

In his first section on Wisdom, Kuyper makes a claim regarding humanity made in the image of God that is more than just a recognition that we belong to God's race. He writes, "If this is so, then it follows automatically that in relation to the image of God, no single human being bears this feature of God in its fullness, but that all talent and all genius together comprise the capacity for incorporating within itself this fullness of the thought of God" (43). Rather than keep the discussion of the image of God and humans to a description of attributes (communicable and incommunicable), Kuyper reveals that there is a harmonious functionality to the rich talent and aptitude of human nature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dubious Disciple Book Review July 10, 2012
Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) penned this book in 1905, and it later became part of a three-volume set on the topic of Common Grace. This is the first translation into English from the original Dutch.

Kuyper reads the Bible literally, in particular the Garden of Eden and mankind's fall, and ponders some provoking issues about what the Fall meant for the development of science and art. His writing, while dated and in many places relevant only to the most conservative Christian, is intelligent and opinionated, and the translation is elegant. It's a pleasure to read.

Kuyper sees Adam's fall from grace as a major setback in both science and art, and the beginning of human attempts to recapture the beauty of both. Never can we approach what we once shared in paradise, nor can we begin to imagine the beauty of the world to come, but God has been gracious in awarding us at least a little glimpse of the beauty of his creation, through the avenues of science and art.

Both can be misused, of course. It requires a proper Christian outlook to remain on track, lest we fall into the dangers of Darwinian thinking or (shudder) nude modeling. Certainly the charm of this book is its antiquated quaintness, while simultaneously uncovering Kuyper as a profound theologian. The translation is superb, a perfect tone for the discussion.

Whether you are a conservative seeking comfort in old time religion or a historian of post-enlightenment Christianity, this book is a gem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Common Grace is the idea that there is a measure of grace extended to everyone--common to all. Wikipedia defines it this way: "It is "common" because its benefits are experienced by, or intended for, the whole human race without distinction between one person and another. It is "grace" because it is undeserved and sovereignly bestowed by God. In this sense, it is distinguished from the Calvinistic understanding of "special" or "saving" grace, which extends only to those whom God has chosen to redeem." Source: [...]

Last fall, a friend of my husband's recommended that he read Abraham Kuyper's book on Common Grace. So, I was excited to come across a new translation from Christian's Library Press titled Wisdom and Wonder: Common Grace in Science and Art. Kuyper's book De Gemene Gratie was actually a large three volume work. There aren't any full translations of Kuyper's book into English, but the Acton Institute (which published this book) has embarked upon a project to fully translate this book. Wisdom and Wonder is the first selection from this project--it is two sections that were mistakenly omitted from the first edition of De Gemene Gratie and were added to a later edition.

Abraham Kuyper lived from 1837-1920. He founded a university and political party in the Netherlands. He also served as prime minister of that country for four years from 1901-1905. He believed strongly in the role and responsibility of Christians to be involved in the culture they live in.

Kuyper saw common Grace ..."(as) God's preserving work in the created order." Pg. 25 Interestingly, "Common grace is God's restraint of the full effects of sin after the Fall, preservation and maintenance of the created order, and distribution of talents to human beings." pg.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Breath of Orthodox Christianity August 26, 2013
Abraham Kuyper is possibly one of the most influential of the reformed faces of the 19th and early 20th centuries, but as I am finding out, on of the least spoken of. Why have we not taken up Kuyper as a more prominent figure of history and used his writings to further our own studies? Many have and I am thankful for them. Books like Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art (Russell Media, 2011) is a huge step forward in the translation and presentation of the vast scope of Kuypers work.

Kuyper had a keen intellect and wrote about subjects not often dealt with in today's literature. We have an overwhelming list of books written on Christ, and rightly so, but what about those areas which are an essential part of life and culture? It's hard to find a recent piece of literature examining the arts and the sciences. We get theology but do we understand beauty? We can grasp the meanings of various texts of the Bible but how often do we think of wonder or creativity? These subjects and more flowed from the mind of Kuyper and spilled out in a text which has immense importance for the church today.

This study in common grace begins with Science and discovers the areas of Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Sin and Education. Kuyper calls Christians to take back these areas from the state and to use them as God has intended them, namely, for his Glory.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very perceptive
This book will leave you thirsty for more of Kuyper's excellent thought and discernment on Christian engagement in all of life.
Published 15 months ago by Ben W
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Intro to Kuyper
This wad my first foray into the world of Kuyper & his work on common grace. It wad an excellent read that is highly applicable to our own day.
Published 17 months ago by Lisi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great worldview work
Kuyper integrates all areas of life into a comprehensive view of life and the world. It will stretch your understanding of the relationship of the Christian faith with all areas... Read more
Published 20 months ago by David Vander Ploeg
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Excellent and thought-provoking discussion on common grace that exists in this fallen world where even unbelievers pursue what God has granted them in the undeserving gifts of... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Godly John
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting ideas
Abraham Kuyper's thoughts are quite interesting and stimulating. This is a good intro to his thinking and I hope to read more and apply his thinking to contemporary directions in... Read more
Published on December 14, 2012 by Jack Kremers
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, but a tad uneven
This was the first Kuyper I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed most of it. I found it a bit uneven and his argument varied between well-reasoned and dense. Read more
Published on October 17, 2012 by B. Piper
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing things together...
A much needed reflection, this book offers the reader an integrated view of science and faith. It is time for thoughtful readers to seek out the "both/and" fulness of the often... Read more
Published on August 9, 2012 by Carla Mae Streeter, OP
5.0 out of 5 stars So readable
I regularly review books for an online community called The High Calling. I found this a very accessible scholarly read. Really enjoyed it. Read more
Published on July 15, 2012 by Laura J. Boggess
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More About the Author

Dr. Nelson D. Kloosterman is married, father of five, and grandfather of eleven. Ordained to the gospel ministry in 1975, he has served as minister and professor for more than thirty years. He has taught courses on the graduate level internationally in the fields of Ethics, New Testament Studies, Preaching, and Church Polity.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (1972, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan), and a Bachelor of Divinity degree (1975, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan). In 1991 he obtained the Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) degree from the Theological University of the Reformed Churches (liberated) in Kampen, The Netherlands, with a dissertation in the field of Christian ethics.

In January 2011, Dr. Kloosterman began serving as Ethics Consultant and Executive Director of Worldview Resources International, a service organization whose mission is to produce and provide resources designed to assist in understanding and applying a Christian worldview to responsible living in a global culture. Areas of interest include medical ethics (beginning of life and end of life decisions), business ethics, environmental ethics (ethics of animal food production), and the relationship between Christianity and culture in general.

His expertise includes translating biblical and theological works (from Dutch to English), together with writing, speaking, and consulting in the fields of ethics mentioned above.

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