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January 31

R.B. Kuiper

Rienk Bouke (R. B.) Kuiper was born on January 31, 1886 in Garrelsweer, a village in the northern province of Groningen, in the Netherlands.

The son of a Reformed Church minister who immigrated with his family to North America in 1891. Kuiper studied at Calvin and Princeton Seminaries. He then served five western Michigan congregations over the course of seventeen years before he embarked on a career in higher education. Accepting an invitation from J. Gresham Machen, Kuiper served as a professor of systematic theology at Westminster Seminary in its inaugural academic year, 1929-30. He then answered the call to serve as President of Calvin College. Three years later, he returned to Westminster where he taught practical theology for twenty years. After his “retirement” in 1952 he served as president of Calvin Seminary for four years.

In all, Kuiper was a ministerial member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church for 16 years, and he moderated the fourth General Assembly in 1938. He was the author of several popular books, including As to Being Reformed, The Glorious Body of Christ, and God-Centered Evangelism . In his writing and especially in his preaching, “he had the gift,” wrote Robert Nicholas in the Presbyterian Guardian , “of making the profound simple as he proclaimed the whole counsel of God.” Kuiper died on April 22, 1966 in Grand Rapids, at the age of 80.

Picture: R.B. Kuiper teaching at Westminster Seminary, 1938.

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