by Gregory Baus
I [Gregory Baus] was a student at Covenant College (the PCA’s liberal arts college in Lookout Mountain, GA) in the early-mid 90s. We had a course (I forget which one) in which we were introduced to Abraham Kuyper and some of his thought, and we read through his Princeton Stone Lectures on Calvinism. During that course and my years at Covenant, various anecdotes about Kuyper were passed around, one of which was the quotation: “You can’t raise a generation of bold, brash Calvinists on chocolate milk.”
“You can’t raise a generation of bold, brash Calvinists on chocolate milk.” – Abraham Kuyper
Later, when I was a grad student at the Free University, Amsterdam around 2005, I was befriended by a small group of smart and energetic Dutch undergrads, who, they admitted, found me as an American hardcore Dooyeweerdian and old school Reformed Confessionalist to be quite the curiosity. One night we were out drinking, and they introduced me to Jenever (traditional Dutch gin). As we raised our glasses, I proposed a toast to Kuyper, saying “As the great Abraham Kuyper said: you can’t raise a generation of bold, brash Calvinists on chocolate milk.” Well, they had never heard this before! So in the days that followed, we searched for the quotation’s possible source.
I have a vague memory of someone finding the original quotation in Dutch, but I can’t seem to find it. It may have been published in a newspaper of the time. The context, we discovered, was Kuyper’s response to criticism, arising from a certain segment of his supporters, that wine or other alcoholic beverages were served at the opening reception of the Free University. As it’s mentioned here the statement is translated as: “You do not raise a generation of strong Calvinists with a chocolate kettle, and a water and milk pitcher.”