Who Is the Most Important Christian Thinker in the Modern Era?
What does it mean to be a Christian living in a culture where we’re no longer in charge? In this brief clip, W. Robert Godfrey appeals to the man he considers to be the most important Christian thinker in the modern era.
I would argue, and there would be plenty of people who would argue with me, but I would argue that Abraham Kuyper is the most important Christian thinker in the modern era. Now, that’s a big claim. But you have already learned, by this class, that I am always right or at least think I am. Abraham Kuyper was maybe not the greatest theologian of the modern period. Abraham Kuyper certainly wasn’t right about everything he had to say. Not all of what Abraham Kuyper did in the Netherlands is easily transferrable to other times and places. But I think Abraham Kuyper was the most creatively reflective Christian trying to come to grips with the modern world. That is why I think it is worth taking some time to follow his career and to think about him. Now, what do I mean by that? For a long time, in the 19th and on into the 20th century, most Christians really longed to go back to the time of the Reformation, to go back to a medieval world where Christianity was established in law, where it was dominant over society. A lot of Christians just did not like the modern world and wanted to go back. You know, the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that he who is always taking about the golden age of the past is a fool. We don’t live in the past. The past was never as good as we think it was, anyway. But we don’t live in the past. We live in the present. And I think Abraham Kuyper was the most insightful and most creative Christian thinker who tried to think through, “What does it mean to be a Christian in the West, living in a world where we’re no longer in charge as Christians?”