Book Briefs -- By: Jonathan Armstrong

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 11:1 (Winter 2002)
Article: Book Briefs
Author: Jonathan Armstrong

Book Briefs

John H. Armstrong

A Free Church, A Holy Nation: Abraham Kuyper’s American Public Theology, John Bolt. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (2001). 502 pages, paper, $38.00

This work, written by a professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary and the esteemed editor of the Calvin Theological Journal, is a tour de force in the political thought of the famous Dutchman Abraham Kuyper. Bolt weaves Kupyer’s thought into an argument for how American Christians can develop a public theology for the present cultural struggle. Bolt draws comparisons between Kuyper’s views and those of Alexis de Tocqueville, Lord John Acton, and Jonathan Edwards.

A wonderful interaction between Kuyper’s views, those of modern neo-Calvinists, and Christian Reconstructionists makes this volume particularly useful for Reformed thinkers. If more of the debate on these issues had interacted as seriously with Kuyper’s views as John Bolt does we would have avoided a great deal of the mislabeling and acrimony that occurred over the past thirty years. Any Christian who would engage modern political and social thought ought to read this extremely helpful volume.

Building A Healthy Culture: Strategies For An American Renaissance, Don Eberly, editor. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (2001). 543 pages, cloth, $35.00

The thirty essays of this volume show the current state of cultural decay in America and offer direction and models for transformation. Included among the contributors are a number of well-known writers and social/cultural thinkers—e.g. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Amitai Etzioni, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Charles Krauthammer, Terry Mattingly, Joe McIlhaney, Michael Medved, and Ken Myers.

The objective of this helpful collection is to start a process of cultural recovery by providing a meaningful discussion of long-term strategies. These strategies include some political models as well as the development of voluntary associations. Don Eberly is the founder of the National Fatherhood Institute and the Civil Society Project. He has written extensively on issues of culture and society for many years. This is a well done collection that would be of great value when placed alongside the aforementioned John Bolt work on Abraham Kuyper.

God’s Plan For You, J. I. Packer. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway (2001). 223 pages, paper, $15.99

This new collection of Packer articles includes fifteen chapters, some of which appeared in the 1987 book, Hot Tub Religion (Tyndale). Several of the entries have appeared in magazines and journals but appear here in book form for the first ti...

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