No single theologian has more influenced my view of culture than the Dutch minister and statesmen Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920). Kuyper was an unconverted minister until he went to his first church and a woman had the audacity to tell him he needed to know Christ. Thank God she did because this was used by the Spirit to bring Kuyper to saving faith. Kuyper went on to be the pastor of other congregations and became the editor of a leading church newspaper of the time. He is remembered as well for his role in politics. He became the prime minister of the Netherlands (1901-05) and had considerable influence in many areas of life in his nation and beyond. It is worth noting that what we read today are not his political speeches but his sermons and theological reflections.
Perhaps no quotation of Kuyper's is more often cited by Christians than words he first gave at the founding of the Free University of Amsterdam. He said: "No single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human experience over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'"
From Kuyper's influence the doctrine of common grace was developed among Reformed Christians. This doctrine has had a great influence on many different Christians over the past one hundred years. Common grace meant that God was involved in nonbelievers in ways that should lead us to respect divine providence in all of creation.
Kuyper's view was that the Christian should be involved in every part of life: home, school, art and state. Christ was Lord of all. We must live so as to show how this Lordship is displayed in every sphere of life. This was what was meant by the term sphere sovereignty.