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The Work of the Holy Spirit


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The Holy Spirit remains an afterthought to the bulk of our theological inquiry and receives, in Kuyper’s own words, “a scant portion of our piety.” All professing Christians acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit in one way or another, and great works have been written on the Spirit’s role in justification and sanctification, regeneration, the anointing of the Spirit, the intercession of the Spirit—and since Kuyper’s lifetime, on the gifts of the Spirit such as speaking in tongues. Nearly all of these treatises expand the Church’s understanding of the Holy Spirit, and nearly every one conforms to orthodox Christianity. Yet all remain deficient, because their scope is too narrow: Various groups of Christians and denominations grasp the Spirit’s work so differently from one another that all fail to see the Holy Spirit’s work in its entirety.

In this classic Reformed approach in The Work of the Holy Spirit, Kuyper attempts to address the theological and doctrinal shortcomings regarding the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. His pneumatology is biblically comprehensive, theologically expansive, and ecclesiastically faithful.

The Work of the Holy Spirit includes a lengthy introduction by B. B. Warfield.

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“Second, The testimony of believers presents only the dim outlines of the work of the Holy Spirit.” (Page 4)

“The work of the Holy Spirit that most concerns us is the renewing of the elect after the image of God. And this is not all. It even savors of selfishness and irreverence to make this so prominent, as tho it were His only work.” (Page 8)

“We have seen that the work of the Holy Spirit consists in leading all creation to its destiny, the final purpose of which is the glory of God.” (Page 22)

“There is always the same deep thought: the Father remains outside of the creature; the Son touches him outwardly; by the Holy Spirit the divine life touches him directly in his inward being.” (Page 43)

“The Father brings forth, the Son disposes and arranges, the Holy Spirit perfects.” (Page 27)

The reader will not fail to perceive the depth of [Abraham Kuyper’s] insight, the breadth of his outlook, the thoroughness of his method, the comprehensiveness of his survey, the intensity of his conviction, the eloquence of his language, the directness of his style, the pith and wealth of his illustrations, the force, completeness, and winningness of his presentation.

—B. B. Warfield

  • Title: The Work of the Holy Spirit
  • Author: Abraham Kuyper
  • Translator: J. Hendrik DeVries
  • Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls
  • Publication Date: 1900
  • Pages: 447
Abraham Kuyper

Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) was the Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905. He founded the Free University in Amsterdam and served as a professor of theology. At the invitation of B. B. Warfield, Kuyper traveled to the United States to deliver the Stone Lectures at Princeton and address Reformed congregations in Michigan and Iowa.

Kuyper studied at the University of Leiden, and received his doctorate there in 1863. He became a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church in 1863, and consistently called for the separation of church and state. He also led a secession from the Dutch Reformed Church and united several disparate Reformed churches in the Netherlands.

Kuyper also led an active political life. He served as a member of Parliament in the Netherlands beginning in 1874 and served as prime minister from 1901–1905.

Abraham Kuyper was instrumental in the development of Neocalvinism, and is remembered for his articulation of common grace and for popularizing the notion of a Reformed worldview. He has influenced such notable figures as Francis Schaeffer, Cornelius Van Til, Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Chuck Colson.

Some of Kuyper’s publications, which are available in Logos, include Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art, The Antithesis between Symbolism and Revelation, and Encyclopedia of Sacred Theology: Its Principles.


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  1. Ken McClurkin


Digital list price: $16.49
Save $4.00 (24%)