Gootjes: Man as God’s Steward
Okay, one last cool thing about this book (Teaching and Preaching the Word) before I write a review. Chapter 12 contains an article originally published in 1980 in Dutch, “Man as God’s Steward.” Gootjes notes that the idea of stewardship did not become influential in the Reformed worldview until the late nineteenth century. It came through Abraham Kuyper’s treatment of the eighth commandment in his monumental commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, E voto dordraceno. Kuyper wasn’t the first one to speak of it, but its influence was mediated through him. Interestingly, Gootjes argues that the “background of Kuyper’s thoughts on the steward is the nineteenth-century reality rather than the multi-faceted picture of the steward found in Scripture” (252). To be sure, Kuyper generally developed this out of the Bible and its idea of God as owner of mankind, but the details are coloured by his day. The chapter concludes by outlining four strengths and five weakness of the concept of man as God’s steward. Fascinating stuff!
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