Raising Chickens, Reading Scripture, and Running Governments, Reformed-Style (Jessica Joustra)

What does it mean for Christ to reign over every sphere of life? Many Christians relegate faith to “spiritual” activities, such as reading the Bible, going to church, and praying. However, the Christian tradition—and especially the Reformed tradition—can guide Christians in everything from personal ethics to politics to raising chickens.

In this episode, Dru talks with Jessica Joustra, Assistant Professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University, about the ideas of Reformed thinkers Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck (as well as the ways that they draw on John Calvin). As Protestants, these men wanted to capture a faithful, traditional, and thorough way of reading the Bible; as 19th-century men, they strove to live as Christians in the modern world, both through public theology and through active participation in politics. The Reformed tradition offers rich ways of thinking about law, vocation, systemic sin, economics, and even America’s contemporary political structures, all while remaining rooted in Scripture’s conceptual world.

Jessica Joustra is an Assistant Professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University and Associate Researcher at the Neo-Calvinist Research Institute of the Theologische Universiteit Kampen. She teaches in the areas of Reformed theology and ethics, and has contributed to several works centered around Bavinck and Kuyper. Most recently, she and her husband (Robert Joustra) released Calvinism for a Secular Age: A Twenty-First Century Reading of Abraham Kuyper’s Stone Lectures.

Show notes:

  • 0:00 Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck
  • 3:20 Radical shaping of vocation
  • 7:46 God’s sovereignty in ethics and politics
  • 11:45 The Reformed tradition and biblical interpretation
  • 14:09 Reformed and “small-c catholic”
  • 17:26 Individual, social, and systemic ethics and sin
  • 26:10 Modernism and politics
  • 31:56 Principled pluralism
  • 37:22 Christian nationalism and the Reformed tradition
  • 43:00 Antithesis and common grace

Show notes by Micah Long

Image created by Rubner Durais

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