Welcome to Jan/John H. Boer's (PhD)

Social Theology

so.cial adj. - Of, relating to, or occupied with matters affecting human welfare.

the.ol.o.gy n. - The systematic study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.

- from the American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Social Theology - The systematic study of and preoccupation with issues of human welfare from the perspective of divine revelation, a term that includes natural revelation in its widest Reformed sense.

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Preface to this Website

"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet has free access to the sum of all knowledge."

—Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia

“Throughout this book I have insisted on capitalizing Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, as well as pronouns referring to the deity, contrary to current convention. My justification for the first is that these places are quite as real and substantial as Kokomo or Timbuktu; and the second is justified practically, for clarity’s sake, as well as theologically, out of respect and adoration (which are also contrary to current convention!)."

Peter J. Kreeft, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven…but Never Dreamed of Asking. New York: Harper & Row, 1982, copyright page.

Jan H. Boer, founder of this website: This website uses the same policy when referring to the Trinitarian Godhead and for the same reasons: “for clarity’s sake (and) out of respect and adoration,” both of which are indeed “contrary to current convention!”

The purpose of this website is primarily to share a wholistic version of the Christian religion. Wholistic in this context means a Christianity that covers all of life and resists the modern tendency to restrict the scope of religion to the personal and ecclesiastical. It is a market place religion that touches everything, including the scholarly and scientific, economic and political, as well as all aspects of art. It goes by various names, some traditional and some contemporary: (Neo)Calvinism, (Neo)Kuyperianism, Reformed and Reformational. All of these terms will become clear as you read on, but the following paragraph will start you off:

“Reformational” here simply means “reformed” as an integral, comprehensive, ongoing and dynamic principle, and not reformed as a set of static theological propositions formulated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The term reformational is closely associated with Abraham Kuyper’s understanding of Calvinism as an all encompassing ‘life-system’ or ‘world view’. Arguably, the term reformational has only gained usage in the English-speaking world as writers have sought to distinguish the depth and breadth of the vision of Kuyper and his successors, from a doctrinal traditionalism that finds its continuing inspiration in the post-Calvinian development in reformed dogmatics in the later-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Keith C. Sewell, “Reformed or Evangelical? A question for Christian higher education.” Melbourne: Association for Christian Higher Education in Australia, January 2000, p. 3.

You can also expect an emphasis on Africa, especially on Nigeria, since my wife and I have spent 30 years in Nigeria as missionaries. Much of the BOERIANA and ISLAMICA pages are largely Nigerian; others have smatterings.

This website has two “parts” or, better said, two”aspects” that are often interwoven with each other. There is the personal and family legacy on the one hand and the academic on the other. Sometimes a personal or legacy item is also academic in nature and vice versa.

Personal and Family Legacy

The personal legacy covers the traditional Home and About pages as well as the Boeriana and Islamica pages. And then there is the Boer Family Legacy page.

The Boeriana and Islamica pages contain mostly Boer’s writings. The Boeriana page consists mostly of my Nigeria missionary writings, but also of materials written during our post-Nigeria years. (“Boeriana” means by or pertaining to Boer.) The Islamica page contains my 8-volume Studies in Christian-Muslim Relations as well as a random selection of Muslim-oriented writings by an equally random selection of writers, Christian, Muslim and some secular. Those written by me are all from the wholistic perspective.

The Boer Family Legacy page contains writings by other members of our Boer clan.

Academic Library

The academic library part of this website is called ORAL—Online Reformational Academic Library. Much of ORAL is not a separate part of this website but is mostly interwoven throughout, including the personal aspect. Much of the Boeriana page is academic, especially the Nigeria writings; some items are both. Thus the ORAL part is not a section or a page. Rather, it is a description of much of the material.

The Islamica, the Guest Articles and Secularism pages are all of an academic nature; nothing personal there, with the exception of Islamica that contains various personal “outbursts.”

The goal of ORAL is to offer an alternative academic genre of literature to the academic community, an alternative to the established religions of secularism and postmodernism that reign supreme on the world’s campuses.

Publication Information

Obviously, all the publications referred to above are found on this website. However, some of them are also available free of charge from www.lulu.com, a digital publisher. You have to go through the normal purchasing protocol, but will find a $00.00 charge at the end. These Lulu materials can be found by searching on their website for either < Jan H. Boer > or < Abraham Kuyper >.

Another place you can find some of the materials on the Kuyperiana page, including my translations, is on the < www.ccel.org >--Christian Classic Ethereal Library.

An important change in the works is the transfer of this website to Global Scholars (GS), an organization that places Christian academics on universities around the world-- < https://global-scholars.org/ >. The purpose of this takeover is to ensure the perpetuity of this website. The Canadian branch is Global Scholars Canada-- < www.globalscholarscanada.ca >.

The Current Status of Reformational Philosophy

Since the second half of the twentieth century, Reformational philosophy or Neo-Calvinism has enjoyed a resurgence of international scholarly interest. This has largely been centred on the ever-increasing availability of its earliest pioneer thinkers, Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck, in English and, not to forget, Herman Dooyeweerd, the leading member of the next generation but now already gone as well. That said, this movement should not be typecast as an exclusively Anglophone development. Bavinck and Kuyper are now being read in Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, Hungarian, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese. In the global undertaking that is Protestant or Reformational philosophy and worldview, they are finding their place in often surprising contexts.

The growth of engagement with neo-Calvinism is, however, particularly strong in North America. There, numerous colleges have raised the Reformational banner, not to speak of small universities and even that exclusively post-graduate Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. In addition, there are think tanks and centres that organize conferences, publish books and periodicals, maintain websites and in general encourage social and philosophical research on basis of Reformational perspectives. It is home to both the Kuyper Center of Public Theology (Princeton Theological Seminary) and the Bavinck Institute (Calvin Theological Seminary). At present, North America is the scene of a great exchange of ideas between neo-Calvinism and other traditions.

The movement has its theological side as in the late Gordon J. Spykman’s Reformational Theology: A New Paradigm for Doing Dogmatics,1 possibly the first conscious, serious, not to say “radical,” attempt to renew theology on a Reformational basis, one, moreover, that is a delightful read with its fairly popular and easy style.

Important Note on Archives

Please understand that most of the pages on this website constitute ARCHIVES. They are centred either around certain writers or certain subjects that date from the beginning of the Reformational movement in mid-19th century to 2024, when no more will be either added or edited-- with the possibility of a few stragglers. The MEDITATION page is an exception.

This website is the place to go if you need to know what has been written by or about Reformational scholars on specified authors or topics within the specified time period up to 2024. You will not find anything on these topics outside of that time frame. Neither will anything be added after 2024, even if originally written within that time frame.

As much as possible we have concentrated on providing entries with links for you to access the actual texts. However, some have no links but we listed them anyhow to make you aware of the document so you can perhaps locate it elsewhere. In some cases, some links have been broken or withdrawn by other parties. But we have left them in place. You can try other ways to access them, e.g., by searching for the items’ title or for the journal. Once there, you will often find their own archives include the item you are looking for. Once more, this being an archive, no attempt will be made to restore lost links, but you at least know it exists and can perhaps find it elsewhere.

Several pages contain reminders of this special notification. Ignoring or forgetting it might bring you confusion.

Miscellaneous Notes:


As much as possible we have provided entries with links for you to access the actual texts. However, some have no links but we listed them anyhow so you are aware of the document’s existence and can perhaps locate it elsewhere. In some cases the link was subsequently broken due to outsider or publisher action, but we have left the document in place for your information. If the link does not work, try to search for other terms within the item such as, e.g., title of the journal, title of the item itself. This being an archive, no attempt will be made to restore, but you at least know it exists and can perhaps find it elsewhere.

The items on this website are not exhaustive of the featured writers’ output. If a writer has published many volumes, it is only those that can be managed on this website that appear. For example, both Abraham Kuyper and Nicholas Wolterstorff have published many more than are featured here. The reason for excluding them usually have to do with the size of the work, lack of available resources, copyright issues, etc.

It must be realized that many items are much bigger than their titles indicate. Some of them are small libraries on their own. Do not be fooled by a title that looks restricted, but go inside and check it out. This is true especially of the “Appendices” sections on the ISLAMICA page as well as various items on GUEST ARTICLES.

1 Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992.For a single-column brief biography, see “Calvin Staff Member and Author Dies.” Grand Rapids Press, July 13, 1993. For a popular review see Al Wolters, “Spykman Work Overturns Old Models.” The Banner, August 9, 1993, pp. 16-17, accessible within the Spykman entry on < Guest Articles > page of this website.

2 G. Puchinger, trans, Jan H. Boer, Dr. Herman Dooyeweerd. See < Guest Articles > page on this website in the section “Herman Dooyeweerd.”