Political-Economic Activity to the Honour of God
Political-Economic Activity to the Honour of God

Political-Economic Activity to the Honour of God

June 1 st 2000

Political-Economic Activity to the Honour of God by John Boersema (Winnipeg: Premier Publishing, 1999, 355 pp.)

How should Christian citizens go about evaluating the economic policies of different political parties?

This is the question that John Boersema considers in this detailed comparative study of Dutch and Canadian economic life. Boersema takes as his point of departure the cultural mandate, that is, the Christian understanding that humanity serves as caretakers and cultivators of the world God created. The book is informed by a thorough study of the economic policy of the Reformed Political League (Gereformeerd Politiek Verbond), one of the smaller political parties in the Netherlands.

For neocalvinism junkies like myself—people who delight in ferreting out all the minutiae of the influence of the nineteenth century Christian worldview renewal in the Netherlands—this book is a treasure trove. Boersema is a careful and systematic writer and provides ample annotation and documentation of his sources.

The Reformed Political League offers an intriguing variant on the neocalvinism of Abraham Kuyper. The struggle of Dutch Christians to engage with modern culture—also in economic life—over the past century and a half is instructive for North Americans, where the "culture wars" are a more recent reality.

Sadly, it is not likely that this book will soon appeal to a broad audience of Christians—even among those who take their tasks as citizens seriously—despite Boersema's best intentions. For that, its style is still too scholarly and its contents too foreign for North Americans.

Perhaps if a process of Christian worldview renewal were to take place on this continent, books of this sort would attract the attention they deserve from a broad audience of Christians. But that day is yet to come.

Gideon Strauss
 
Gideon Strauss

Gideon Strauss was the editor of Comment from 2000 to 2010. He is currently Associate Professor of Worldview Studies at the Institute for Christian Studies, a graduate school of philosophy in Toronto, and a senior fellow with the Center for Public Justice in Washington DC. Gideon also facilitates vocational discipleship in churches in his native South Africa.

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