Last month, a Christianity Today editorial noted some of the intellectual foundations for ecumenical efforts in the public square, particularly relevant to evangelical and Roman Catholic cooperation against the HHS mandates. The editorial focuses on Chuck Colson, and says “you can credit Colson, who died on April 21, for a major part of evangelicals’ reduced anxiety about relations with Roman Catholics.”

The editorial goes on to describe how Colson’s ecumenism and broader theological foundations were inspired by “key evangelical theologians,” particularly

the words and deeds of the great Dutch theologian and politician Abraham Kuyper (died 1920). Kuyper carefully articulated the doctrinal and philosophical differences between Rome and his beloved Geneva. Yet he admired Romanism’s vigor in countries where it became disestablished. Kuyper believed that in the fight against modernism, Protestant Christianity could be effective only if it partnered with Roman Catholics.

In the course of filming the last interview given before his death with the Acton Institute, Colson describes the influence of Abraham Kuyper on his work in his own words:

For more, check out Colson’s concluding plenary address, published as “How Now Shall We Live?” in the proceedings of “A Century of Christian Social Teaching: The Legacy of Leo XIII and Abraham Kuyper,” held at Calvin at Calvin College in October of 1998, in which Colson discusses “the remarkable and still controversial idea of Calvinists and Catholics coming together.”


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1060874428 Dylan James O’Brien Pahman

    If anyone is interested in reading more about the history of Reformed and Catholic social cooperation in Kuyper’s Netherlands, Peter van Dam’s article “Marching for Morals” in JMM 14.2 is an excellent historical account. See http://www.marketsandmorality.com/index.php/mandm/article/view/44

  • nick kroeze

    Thanks for drawing this to my attention, Dylan. Best wishes, Nick.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1060874428 Dylan James O’Brien Pahman

      You’re welcome!