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FILM879 - Christelike filosofie - 2013



Student:                     Mr. M.D. Pienaar (23990163)



Other paraphrases and quotations

Frankenberry Nancy. 2013. "Feminist Philosophy of Religion"


Frankenberry, Nancy, "Feminist Philosophy of Religion", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.


"Discussion of the problem of God is standard fare for all schools of philosophy of religion. Long a lynchpin holding up other structures of patriarchal rule, the concept of a male God has been judged by every major feminist thinker, including Mary Daly, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Naomi Goldenberg, Daphne Hampson, Judith Plaskow, Julia Kristeva, and Luce Irigaray, to be both humanly oppressive and, on the part of believers, religiously idolatrous according to the terms of their own theologies."[1]


"Divine existence is said to be completely self-sufficient and sovereign. It is what it is independently of any and all creatures, and its relations to these others are external relations only. But, according to feminist critics, in the absence of internal or constitutive relations that would affect or qualify the divine aseity, real relatedness to creatures is ruled out and a one-sided glorification of impassivity over change regulates the model of God and the world."[2]


Frankenberry emphasizes the male dominant references to divinity with regard to Anglo-American and Continental contexts without explicitly referring to the obvious Mother of God thought of Catholicism. Irigaray envisioned a more balanced view of divinities by including men and ladies united without exclusive references to Female or Male. In Frankenberry's philosophy, divinities are identified with physical creativities of process philosophy (Whitehead & Co.). Becoming and being (present participle) are emphasized and not cowardly being (noun). Her paper brings other important dimensions about philosophy of religion, apart from neo-Calvinist traditions to the forefront. Thoughts about repetition of the Middle-Eastern history of scantilly clad lady priestesses the one time and long dresses of Islam ladies the next time were caused by the reading of her paper. If women cannot limit their sexual power and men their muscle power, extremes manifest in times.[3]

Leereenheid 1: Referaat – Skeppingsorde

TROOST, A. 1994. "The idea of creation order in Western thought"

TROOST, A. 1994. The idea of creation order in Western thought. (In God's order for creation. Potchefstroom: IRS study-pamphlets No. 324. pp. 2-15.) [13p.]


The topic creation order is currently not widely studied except for some Lutheran theologists in Germany and Catholic ethicists. Troost divides his view into three eras namely pre-Christian pagan, early Christian and Protestant Christian.[4]

"Pre-Christian thought"

"In paganism, in all the ancient world religions and in many tribal religions, the idea of a more or less divine order or world law was recognized. It was the idea which we in our time, in a more differentiated way, would call a physical, biotic, social, ethical, juridical and ritual order in which divine powers were active. All that existed was therefore directed and adjudicated with reward and/or punishment."[5]


There was not a sharp distinction between "God and the gods" on a side and the "world order" on another side.[6] The world order was called a ' "divine" ' world order. ' "Divine" ' referred to either the creation being from God but not part of God and therefore "not divine" or the creation and things in "it" being part of God and therefore "it" and parts had "divine nature".[7]

Pantheism was dominant and images of gods were not gods themselves because of lacking identification but also the images functioned as gods.[8] The modern differentiation between symbols and what its represented was not well developed.[9]


Reformed theology and philosophy view the "relation" between "God" and "creature" of utmost importance. The "relation" is largely "unconscious" and takes place "underground" and the thoughts about the relation are presupposed.[10]


Early Christianity opposed "Stoic paganism" with "deistic" principles but not a "deistic idea" of God because the idea of God included continuous providence by "God". "God" according to the new Christian philosophy did not appear in the form of persons but were removed from our lives by a "substantialistic view" of reality. The Athenian pagan demythologized view found inroads under the new Christians. The inroads had a negative impact on Christian science. <self: I doubt the negative impact because the Christian world was at the forefront of scientific development. It probably relates to my postulate that "Truth" was good for Western science, but need now to be expanded because "One" cannot be the only creator any more to sustain the world with large populations.> Troost explains he means negative in comparison to the Western philosophical origins of Western science. [11]  It seems thus he means truths faltered with the origins of Christianity, maybe he meant current truths.


Western science originated under an elite Western group of philosophers at the same time that secularization started amongst the masses. Before Christianity everything was regarded as under control of "gods". People thus went about their daily lives according to fixed rituals, which mimicked the myths of creation.[12] <self: Troost probably means here that it was not accepted for people to be creative. Zeus punished Prometheus because he gave fire to the people after Zeus hid it from people,[13] therefore in the mythological view, even gods could be punished if they disturbed the creation order by dispersing current technology to others. That raises the question about what the belief was when something was newly created. According to Toynbee[14] new creations also cause opposing actions by ruling powers.>


The early Greek philosophers for example Xenophanes, the first theologian, and Hesiod, Homer and Democritus started to criticize gods in conjunction with new scientific developments and creations. The critique however was dangerous. <self: Socrates for example was sentenced to suicide partly because he swore in the name of the "dog"[15] and not the gods.> The early scholars could not directly oppose pantheism and mythology. [16] <self: When Troost say the ancient philosophers opposed pantheism and mythology it does not immediately make sense because pantheism is an opposition to the religion of mythology whereby gods were God. According to pantheism all is God, therefore pantheism is already an opposition to God of mythology. The ancient philosophers for example Xenophanes was according to my knowledge more in line with pantheism against God of mythology.> Reason or ' "logos" ' as defined by Heraclitus started to oppose the gods of mythology.[17]


The Stoics with their doctrine about "moral natural rights" also referred to logos and this influenced Christianity before the Reformation. Protestantism did something similar with ' "theology of creation orders" ' at the beginning of the 20th century and end of the 19th century. The effect of the Sophists who disregarded reason and emphasized the difference between what nature requires of us (' "physis" ') and what gods' laws (' "nomos" ') require of us, needs to be understood. They emphasized medical knowledge of the time about necessary actions, which could lead to punishment. Today everyone knows about this but some Christians do not respect that "the will of our Creator God makes itself known and confronts us in normative directives with authority."[18]


The first principle of the Stoics was to live according to the requirements of "nature". Laws, an opposing force, which opposed individualism for social order stood in contrast to the Stoics.[19] <self: It seams thus that the law givers at the time wrote the laws to benefit themselves and not society because creativities of individualism benefits society at large with new resulting free time as result of new creativities.> Ones can either regard necessities of nature higher than human laws or regard laws higher than necessities of human nature.[20]


The ' "nature of man" ' was used to motivate different kinds of laws, which sometimes benefitted the honest and sometimes deceivers. These different laws were represented by different systems for example democracy and imperialism. A few "imperatives" or universal laws were formulated, which most people could agree to. However the ' "positivists" ' of the time of whom many were Sophists, opposed the laws, which were not universal because "nature of man" was not a universal concept. They wanted positive laws, which could be generalized as good to all people. The problem was that they did not know of the criteria or did not respect the criteria of universality for laws. A German philosopher of law, H.A. Roman wrote a book in 1934, which postulated reconstructions a necessity of nature. [21] <self: Kant expanded the concept of universality, which Jesus talked about when he said we should treat others like we want to be treated. Jesus referred to another individual. Kant explained universality as asking before acting, whether our actions will hurt others. Kant's question, before acting, was not a question of greatest communal happiness of a group but was more in reference to other individuals in line with Jesus's thought. If greatest communal happiness of a group as imperative is universalized, according to utilitarian philosophy, human sacrifice can be motivated and therefore creativities, a necessity of nature in groups, can be hampered. It seams from Troost's writing that positivists are analogized with Sophists. It does not make sense to me because according to my knowledge Sophists did not emphasize honesty, but positivists according to my knowledge do emphasize honesties partly, especially with regard to physical matters because positivist science cannot proceed without physical certainty as starting point.>


Current human rights are sometimes seen as the basic ethical rule of our time, which were derived from pre-Christian philosophy.[22] <self: In our constitution a human right of free speech is included, which includes explicitly, imparting of ideas. Imparting of ideas can however be equated with human sacrifice because creators do not get paid for work they did when their ideas are being systematically imparted. Human rights have to be therefore rights in development, which is expanded according to the philosophy of timely reconstruction per the book of H.A. Roman. [23] Atonement in the senses of sacrificing and reparations for sacrificing is relevant.>

"Early Christian thought"

Early Christian thought inherited the pre-Christian thoughts but rejected mythology because of the pantheistic nature.[24] <self: See my earlier rejection of this statement. Pantheism and mythology cannot be regarded as similar because its are opposing thoughts.>


"God reveals himself in the works of His hands.

The Chrsitian idea of God's providential control and world plan was therefore a better answer than the pagan mythology with its stories of gods and creation."[25] <From this statement of Troost i gathered that Troost was also blinded by the singularity of "God Himself[26] Who cannot lie"[27]. His primary opposition is thus against mythology instead of against pantheism. Maybe this difference is an important difference between Protestants and Catholics. If i remember correctly Aquinas was on the borderline between Catholic religion and pantheism. It can be assumed with uncertainty that pantheism as opposition against mythology promoted sacrifices of creator gods in order to appropriate creativities for the all, which is God according to pantheism.


"Most important, it was recognized that God is the Creator of all cosmic reality, including human life and its normativity. But that recognition should have resulted in breaking with the pagan philosophical view of reality. In the non-pantheistic philosophies of that era this view has been secularized, rather de-mythologized, and thus desacralized and became self existent. The various philosophers of that time, even while they were faithful in their pagan worship, had banned the mythical stories from their scientific thought. In philosophy people thought of reality as if there were no God or gods. This caused a break between the gods and daily existence."[28] <self: This statement by Troost made me think of Derrida's deconstruction because Troost here admits that God is partly gods but elsewhere Troost opposes such a view. Troost's view can thus be deconstructed between two opposing opinions, which he renders.>


Pagan philosophical theology removed gods as part of God from theology, which later became deism as part of secularization.[29] <The gods according to this secularized deism only appear when reconstruction is needed it seems.>


The early Christians sided with the Stoics because in them they recognized a similar opposing view against pantheism. The pagan Stoic views, which removed people (gods) as part of God, were incorporated in the early Christian views. This lead to a removal of God from our every day lives with negative effects. God's ' "immanence" ' thus became exclusively recognized through providence. Augustine is an example of this.[30]


Troost argues that the Stoics' "logos" was a concept, which excluded gods and goddesses being honest and this was accepted as true in early Christianity's "creation order". He mentions Seneca and Cicero who's writings were used by early Christian thinkers. Christianity was a "hellenizing" with the Stoic idea of eternal incorporeal God.[31] <self: Seneca, like Socrates were sentenced to suicide and thus sacrificed for his belief. Cicero was also murdered and thus sacrificed for his beliefs, by Antony if i remember correctly. Troost's opinion makes sense if the Stoics promoted a belief that God is not anthropomorphic, but they lived that belief in an anthropomorphic manner. Troost thus refers only to the writings of the Stoics but not their living and doing.>


The tensions, which are caused by combining (combination called "lex eterna" which Cicero called the "lex aeterna"); eternal divinity with temporal divinity; ex nihilo creations and natural creations, into one "logos", were inherited by the Catholic Church from the Stoics. The tension is evident in the split between nature and grace.[32] The eternal nature of God as a whole was strengthened by leaning on thoughts of Jewish Philo of Alexandria's "helenistic" (one l) philosophy, which postulated logos between people and God. People could thus partake in the logos, which is divine. This strain of thought can be followed from Heraclitus to the stoics and from them to early Christianity. [33]


"It was not incidental that at this historical junction, where the Jewish and the Greek thinking about law collided with the Pauline gospel of Christian freedom, that these three different traditions regarding the norms of life found agreement. Finally the intellectualizing and the juridicizing of morality which gradually assumed a position of control in present day Roman Catholic and Protestant orthodoxy finds here one of its historical roots."[34]


After Thomas of Aquinas the Aristotelian influence, which disregarded reason in favor of natural rights[35] became dominant ("under the name of rational natural right"), which caused the "great Reformation" and "nominalism".[36]

"Protestant Christian thought"

During the first half of this century P. Althaus, G, Waensch, W. Wiesner, W. Kunneth, E. Brenner, W. Elert, F. Lace and R. Gebhardt had theological conceptions about creation order. Neither Luther nor Calvin distanced them from "natural law" nor were they completely uncritical.[37] To Luther and Calvin natural law was opposed by grace and they put the emphasis on Jesus's commandment to love one another according to John 13:34.[38] The emphasis on Jesus's love caused theological contradictions between love (complying to written laws) and natural order (no written laws, divine nature); also between grace (written laws) and nature (no written laws); also between laws and freedom (no laws).[39]


Attempts were made to specify the Ten Commandments[40] as normative but Protestant people did not accept this due to influences of sophistic legal arguments by "experts". At the beginning of the 20th century various philosophies with regard to creation order existed. The norms of creativity, which existed before the fall into sin have been rejected and currently easy to understand explanations about the logic of the creation order before the fall into sin does not exist. Many current arguments are subjective and arbitrary.[41]

During the middle of 20th century "sovereignty of Christ", based on Luther's "two kingdom teaching", was used to annul creation ordinances. Currently the many views contain truths but are not combined in a coherent creation order that surpasses the different opinions. Dualism is a similarity, which exists amongst the different views. Conservative views can be compared to the Roman Catholic syntheses of early Christianity and more liberal views can be found in syntheses between Protestantism and modern philosophy.[42]


20 March 2014

WOLTERS, A.M. 1994. "Creation Order: A Historical Look at Our Heritage"

WOLTERS, AM.  1994.  Creation order: A historical look at our heritage.  (In: God's order for creation. Potchefstroom: Scientific Contributions of the PU for CHE, Series F: Institute for Reformational Studies, Series F1: IFRS study-pamphlets, Study pamphlet no. 324, 42-61)


"In the modern West, with the breakup of the medieval synthesis of the Bible and Greek philosophy, we see the rise of "humanisn", here defined as the increasingly secular and anthropocentric mindset of modernity, with its emphasis on autonomous human freedom. In the basic outlook of humanisn, two fundamental themes of the biblical tradition were increasingly marginalized: creation of God-ordained order, and antithesis as the religious opposition with respect to that order.[43] This process of marginalization culminized in Kant's "Copernican revolution" and its heirs in German idealism and in what Alvin Plantinga calls the "creative anti-realism" of much contemporary thought. Whatever order there is in the world is posited by man,[44] not God, and the antithesis of biblical religion is domesticated or privatized, if not denied altogether."[45]

"Neo-Calvinism opposed the humanist tradition (especially as embodied in Neo-Kantianism) by seeking to recapture the biblical view of reality. It did this by strongly reasserting the twin biblical themes which humanism had marginalized, namely creation and antithesis, with the latter defined in terms of the former. Initially, the Neo-Calvinists looked upon the Greek philosophical heritage as an ally in their struggle against contemporary humanism (for example in adopting the tradition of Logos speculation), but increasingly they sought to distance themselves from this tradition as well (especially in the work of Vollenhoven and Dooyeweerd)."[46]

"When Kuyper became Prime Minister of the Netherlands in 1901, and assigned to his colleague Geesink the task of writing a series of articles outlining the basic contours of a Calvinistic worls and life view, the latter did so under the characteristic title (also assigned by Kuyper) Van's Heeren Ordinatiën, "On the Ordinances of the Lord".[47]"[48]

BARTHOLOMEW, CG. Response to Al Wolter's paper

Bartholomew, CG.  1994.  Response to Al Wolter's paper.  (In: God's order for creation. Potchefstroom: Scientific Contributions of the PU for CHE, Series F: Institute for Reformational Studies, Series F1: IFRS study-pamphlets, Study pamphlet no. 324, 61-70)


"certainly from an Old Testament perspective it would seem to me that creation order can be, and ought to be, used in all sorts of ways to undermine the apartheid ideology. As an example of this I think of the possibility that in Genesis 1:26-28 we have a democratisation of the image. In ancient Near East thought the monarg was the image bearer whereas in Isreal this is democratised to include every human being![49]"[50]


WOLTERS, A.M. 1995. "Creation Order: A Historical Look at Our Heritage"

WOLTERS, A.M. 1995. Creation order: a historical look at our heritage. (In Walsh, BJ., Hart, 1995, H. VanderVennen, R.E. eds. An ethos of compassion and the integrity of creation. Lanham: University Press of America, pp. 33-48). [13p.]


Herman Bavinck postulated salvation to be a reparation of "creation in all its fullness".[51]

"Cosmic Order: History of an Idea"

Organizational structures have since ancient times in Egypt and Mesopotamia existed to structure society around orders of creating. In Egypt it was called "Ma'at" usually translated as ' "truth" ' or ' "justice" ' and in Mesopotamia the same concept was called "me".[52] The gods were subject to this order and wisdom[53] was needed to understand this order.[54] In Proverbs 1 and 8 an argument is made for honest work to survive. Plunder is not accepted therefore selves have to build according to the argument. Nothing is said about ideas. The arguments are in favor of written laws, which support honest work. In the ancient Middle East a "transcendent and sovereign Creator" gave the order of creating.[55] For Israel, there is nothing divine that is subject to, or identified with, the cosmic order."[56]


A dualism exists in Israeli wisdom with regard to wisdom (fear of the LORD – hokma – conformation to laws) on one side and violations (nebala) of laws especially with regard to sexuality on another side. In Greek thought a correlation existed initially between wisdom and complying to written or spoken laws as given by gods. Later with Heraclitus and Stoics the laws of gods were replaced by "logos", which could be rationally determined. Natural laws, which could be logically determined by philosophers, became dominant over gods' laws.[57]


God thus changed from anthropomorphic character to incorporeal nature but the incorporeal nature still had to be interpreted by logical thinkers, who were the philosophers who opposed the old order. The descendants of the gods upheld the old order, according to their traditions. Plato was one of the descendants and his family was part of the despotic aristocratic descendants of the gods. Socrates, who mixed with the young aristocracy like Glaucon in the Republic, was sentenced to suicide, partly because he influenced young aristocrats against God (ancient gods in the air) of democrats. It seems thus that democrats definitely, and aristocrats maybe used ancient traditions to create order. After Socrates's sacrifice, aristocrats took control of Athens from democrats, probably partly as revenge for the sentencing of Socrates, their friend.


In recent times "humanism" rose, which can be recognized by marginalization of the right to oppose order, which are given by new "gods". Alvin Plantinga called this ' "creative antirealism" '.[58] There are different views about what humanism is, which cause confusion.

"Creation Order in Neo-Calvinism"

Neo-Calvinism relates to "Vollenhoven", Dooyeweerd, Bavinck, Kuyper, and Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer. They had three reference points namely, Greek, humanistic and "biblical notions of order". Neo-Calvinism opposed humanism as postulated by Neo-Kantianism because Neo-Kantians promoted the logos (human reason) as the giver of order.[59]


Wolters use seven headings to explain Neo-Calvinism. They are "law, scope, dynamism, knowledge, constancy, history and differentiation"[60]


The law of "God" creates order in society. Kuyper was Prime Minister of the Netherlands at the beginning of the 20th century and he and his compatriates like Geesink laid down the law.[61] There was a clear distinction between creation ordinances and subjects ("creatures"). Creating was accepted as norm and different positivised apllications with regard to creating was expected of creatures. The creaturely nature to create is not a sin but it needed to be controlled.[62]


The law of "God" and all of creation was first in the "thoughts" of God. Everything in creation was created by "God" who is separate from "Creation". His law applies to everything in creation.[63] This is the type of statements, which cannot be accepted as reality because it removes people from their creativities and in effect monopolize the benefits of creativities under the control of "God", who has representatives, that control all of creation including, creativities of subjects. God who creates out of nothing (ex nihilo) and creaturely creations are combined in one pool, which is not reality, especially if people are dependent on the values of their creativities. Of course it depends on the order (laws), as laid down by the representatives of "God", who are politicians and their representatives, for fairness.


The comprehensiveness of scope; the whole "reality", was explained by "Vollenhoven" with two Dutch words, "werkelijkheid" (part of realiteit) and "realiteit". "God" created the structures of society, similar to the thinking of the ancient Middle East.[64] How does this work in practice? Creatures have ideas about things to be created. The ideas then spread from creatures to the rest of society but the Calvinist belief ascribes all of creation to "God", which implies creatures have not rights to remuneration after creating. Creatures live thus dependent on the grace of the representatives of "God" because they have not rights to their creativities. Only rights to hourly wages and salaries exist since changes after the 17th century revolutions. Some ideas are worth millions and obviously the value of those ideas also are controlled and enjoyed by the representatives of "God" who control those creativities. Individuals who conceive ideas have no power against the representatives of "God" unless powers, similar to rights to salaries and wages are written into the creation order by laws. Experience shows that fears exist that creative creatures will benefit too much if they benefit from their ideas but that fear currently leads to creative creatures not benefitting from their creativities and they are kept like animals by the representatives of "God".


The created order's restraining power "curbs and checks sin and its effects". The "Maker and Sustainer of all things prescribes for his creatures and subjects"[65]. Kuyper and Bavinck repeatedly made the same point. [66] Creation order includes laws with regard to all kinds of transgressions against society but that wide scope and "dynamism" caused that creatures get "sacrificed" because their creativities are removed from them by the "Maker and Sustainer". The result is that the "Maker and Sustainer" is transgressing common sense logos, which was also mentioned in the Decalogue of the Bible. Copies should not be made or, maybe not without remunerating creatures. This issue was also an issue in ancient Greece and Aristotle made the following statement in the Metaphysics in favor of the "Maker and Sustainer" against the logic of Plato. "So we can do away with the business of Forms Being Established As Templates. After all, if there were such Forms they would surely apply to natural entities, which are the ones that are substances in the fullest way. Rather, all we need is that it is the producer that does the making and, in the matter, is the cause of the form."[67] Reasonably interpreted the statement of Aristotle is against creatures who initiate unique ideas or forms because all creation is ascribed to the "Maker and Sustainer". The statement is not only against creatures who initiate but also against society as a whole, which depend on initiatives of citizens to be competitive in a world economy.


Knowledge of rulers and Universities are contrived from "general revelation", which Kuyper stated specifically is read in nature and not only in scripture.[68] Kuyper thus referred to the logos although other Neo-Calvinists rejected Neo-Kantian logos. It seams thus amongst the Neo-Calvinists different opinions existed with regard to the impact and importance of human reason because earlier it was stated that they opposed human reason (logos).


They analogized artists and children and their intuitive creative abilities.[69] According to me this "intuitive" ability of creators and children exist because of their honest minds, which has not been filled with falsities, which cannot be assembled.


Groen, Kuyper and Bavinck identified constancy of the creation order above written law as eternal.[70] Their thinking could be more readily analogized with Plato's Forms than other Calvinists who opposed Neo-Kantian philosophy. Vollenhoven for example based his reasoning about God exclusively[71] on divine scripture. If laws of constancy are above written law and above reason it implies that constancy was unrealizable, unless they postulated themselves to be part of God or maybe even individually as Christ.


Dooyeweerd initially called this constancy, natural law but later in his life argued against natural law. [72]


History is the result of constancy laws and operative effects of humans who received a "cultural" mandate to subdue Earth during its progress from Eden to the New Jerusalem.[73]


An important concept which Kuyper raised to a "principle" relates to "sphere sovereignty" According to the principle, which was developed by Dooyeweerd natural separations exist in the creation. Each sphere has its own "sovereignty". An effect this had was that new creations were easier to accept because new things, which did not fit in with the previous were seen as separate spheres with own sovereignty.[74] This concept is a bit contradictory with the idea of cultural mandate to subdue all of creation according to "History" and "Dynamism". The only reconciling thought i think of now is that the God they postulated promotes a system whereby spheres are allowed by representatives of "God" into the Calvinist order and then set free and maybe supported to set their own rules.


Salvation and redemption of Christianity are important concepts on the way to restoration of the world to a world, which can be analogized with the world before the fall into sin. Normative creating is important.[75] There are similarities between the myth of Pan and myths about Greek gods and the excommunicated Lucifer. Pan's philosophy opposed the gods because he postulated the whole of the cosmos as divine. Pan grew horns and hooves, which show further similarities between Lucifer or rather the devil's horns and Pan's horns.


Wolters identifies historicism as one of the greatest dangers to Christianity. He also wonders how the normativity concept of Calvinism can be reconciled with "sphere sovereignty" of new forms. Subjectivity with regards to normativity is a problem.[76]

HART Hendrik. 1995. "Creation Order in Our Philosophical Tradition: Critique and Refinement"

HART, H. 1995. Creation order in our philosophical tradition: critique and refinement. (In Walsh, BJ., Hart, H., VanderVennen, R.E. eds. An ethos of compassion and the integrity of creation. Lanham: University Press of America, pp. 67-96). [10p.]


"Diagnoses of Creation Order"

"Order and the Ethos of Compassion"

"Compassion is sacrificial love

…The New Testament expects the church, body of Christ, to be a community whose ethos is embodied in compassion. Such compassion is not a feeling, but a divine act of sacrificial love, God's self giving love towards creation in Christ, who on the cross embodied fully what he began in his shepherding, healing, and feeding of sheep-like crowds without a shepherd: harassed, sick and hungry people."[77] <self: This statement probably relates to ex nihilo creation or miracles in another word, with reference to the fish Jesus fed to the hungry. Ex nihilo creation is not relevant, except for distinguishing such growing forming from reduced forming out of matter. By reduced i mean the final product is less but more aesthetic than the matter it was made of. The miracle fishes (sic) Jesus gave to people came from matter but it was an increased mass of matter fed.>

"Compassion transcends order

            Compassion does what law or order cannot accomplish. Its ethos allows us to act redemptively where established ethical order would destructively enforce its authority. … It frees creation from bondage and gives us the liberty of Gods (sic?) children to cry Abba."[78] <self: the redeeming or atoning side of this statement makes me think that Hart, 1995 is/was involved with things he should pay atonement for but not in the sense of "the High Priest offered the sacrifice as atonement for all the sins of Israel."[79] In a way his statement is atonement but not transparent enough to be redeemed by incorporeal part of God, Metaphysical truth (Mett), if i understand him correctly.>

"Spiritual freedom to proclaim orders of compassion"

Followers of Jesus, not Christ (the church is the body of Christ), are not bound by laws, for their reason, without claiming to realize elemental reason leads them.[80]

("Order as Ethos is Different

A permanent creation order ethos holds compassion captive"

            … The Roman Catholic and Reformed static creation order needs to be reformed to include compassion.)[81]

("A permanent creation order ethos also skews our Bible reading"

            … Realizing there is no fixed creation order causes fearing and cowardice, due to unbelief, by the non-realizers of this truth.)[82]

("An ethos of order requires critical assessment"

… Postmodern philosophy criticizes Reformed creation order with good reason.)[83]

("Philosophy and the Ethos of Order

In the Ethos of Order Philosophy Hid the Word of Grace"

            … Reason defines faith and "rationality" is materialism, which limits the Word in its function to help show reality.)[84]

("The Philosophical Tradition Now Questioned from Within"

… The "universal law of reason" is under attack by dogmatic "rationalism" which hijacked Christianity as "a-historic" motivation to sacrifice creators and appropriate and develop their ideas without compensation.)[85]

("An Ethos of Order must then also be Questioned"

            … "The God" that we saw "in Jesus", who is not eternal, is in realism, which is impossible to fathom and therefore falsely described. "God's compassion, who is willing to be embodied in the church as living and hence changing presence of compassion" could resign as member of the church and not start a new denomination.)[86]

("An Ethos of Order Hides Biblical Themes"

            … The God of rationalism is identified in deism and philosophies with ontological descriptions of eternal order; justifying traditions with an eternal creation order, taken from uncertain predictions, which 'shall' be justified by future empirical realization, leads to evil. The "Bible's wisdom" however shows that all of God can never be derived from rational empirical evidence.)[87]

("Creation Order as Ethos has Extra-biblical Elements"

            … Creation order from Reformation writings was partly derived from empirical evidence of the past. The ideas formed were then imported into readings of the Bible, whilst the present is excluded from rationality. Reasoning also cannot realize eternal ontologies. New concepts of the now and future form the future and therefore eternal creation order cannot be derived.)[88]

("The Problems of Creation Order Have Always Been Known

            In this way both Reformed creation order and Thomistic eternal law are a species of philosophical realism, of the Platonic heritage inside the Christian tradition." … Deconstructed parts of Aquinas's and Calvin's writings legitimize change in creation order like Kuitert did explicitly. Dooyeweerd opined that obstructing change in creation order is pagan.)[89]

("Though WE [own capital E] Need Not Deny Order, We Must Relativize It"

… Reason should not be used to predict with finality nor should reason and words of the past be used by Us like Jesus used words to act out predictions. Past predictions and current predictions of the future should be relativized in order to realize the weakness of reason even when reason includes divine transcendence.)[90]

("Faith And [own capital A to show deconstructed contradictions] Reason Can Be Reinterpreted"

            … Reason and Faith need not be separated to identify a "chosen one", because not one of these traditions complied with compassion of Christianity. "Conceptual truths" do not exist therefore the disempowered a-normative should be included in the order of centered creation.)[91]

("Reason Still Functions in a legitimate Search for Order"

            … "As agents of freedom in the image of God, Jesus' (sic: Jesus's) followers are responsible for creating new order as God's co-workers. And the God in whose presence and under whose guidance we work is not immutable. When in the process of changing, as agents of redemption, we move away from certain practices, convictions, and norms, we do not thereby reject our past, but accept present needs as different enough not to be helped by a past which is the same, by the generalizations and concepts generated in the past." … Reasoning is relative but reason is above relativity. If reason has not the last say, violence will prevail and subjective violence will be equated with authenticity and the absolute, which it is not.)[92]

("Prognosis of People's Compassion and Creation's Integrity

God and People: Compassionate Co-workers"

If reasoning as idol is relativized and the sorrows of gods and goddesses are not understood, how do we find ways to be blessed? "How will God and people be one?

"We are free to be God's co-workers"

            … We are free to impart ideas because goodness is identified in the fruits of development. Our evil can be seen in our oppressions of gods and goddesses, but we have to find "our own salvation" in creators. …

We are not Gods

            … "by God (church orders, moral laws). ...")[93]

("The Spirit of God guides us within definite contexts

… Once we have left behind Greek metaphysics and the notion of an eternal creation order to which it gave rise, what objection is there to accepting the contemporary inspiration of God's children, guided by God's compassionate presence in Christ in whom creation, the Bible, and the story of the church all have their meaning." We cannot distinguish between good and evil. … We are, with respect to Heidelberg, inclined to seek our own luxuries. Utilitarian happiness is our objective. Now we avoid evil, which we know is coming, but cannot see coming.

"We have a real responsibility for order"

We should create the law and explain the universal justification for our creations because if we make mistakes the "sons of God"[94] will be redeemed. Atonement by our lords will free us from not seeing our own evils.

"Order remains, but is relative and changing"

Our freedom 'in Christ' to reorder "the compassion God seeks" is visible in absolute redemption if we fail, which will give us the power to try again.)[95]

("Reason plays an important role"

Reason is important but not the truth. Our reason should be lead by compassion and what we experience and portray with "creaturely integrity". We should not sacrifice others to our logic because of public reason of the Enlightenment.)[96]

"Trusting Compassion to Restore Integrity

Justification is possible

… Followers of Jesus, as restored image bearers of God, as children of God, as divine offspring, as co-workers with God are free to create boundaries for life, to be like God, image bearers. We trust that this can be done redemptively, but only in a spirit of compassion, the spirit of Christ."[97]

("The embodiment of faith

Faith is to show mercy to others through compassion and to live freely according to belief in God's redemption.)[98]


HART Hendrik - 2000 - "Notes on Dooyeweerd, Reason, and Order"


HART, H. 2000. Notes on Dooyeweerd, reason, and order. (In Strauss, D.F.M. & Botting, M. Contemporary reflections on the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, pp. 125-146.) [22 p.]


Dooyeweerd wrote Reformation is "perennial" and claimed that claiming that theoretical reason has rational autonomy is pretentious.[99] <self: This idea is similar to that of Wilhelm von Humboldt with regard to universities, except for the pretentious part. Isn't it contradictory to say Reformation is perennial and theoretical reason has autonomy? No, because dialogical Reformation is important. Then no party has autonomy because all are interdependent.>


"Reason and order in the West"

Reason in the context of order has the following characteristics: "universality, totality, sameness (identity), constancy (permanence, immutability, invariance), aprioricity, centrality and encompassing presence." Terms used to name reason or order are: "structure, pattern, form, regularity, order; law, limit, constraint, boundary, condition; command, rule, norm, principle, standard, measure; essence, nature, necessity, possibility, ground; sameness, identity, being; concept, proposition, definition, logic, reason; and language, text, grammar, conversation." <self: Some of these words relate not to totality, which he stated in the Introduction as characteristic of the reason, which Reformers oppose.> These terms in the context of ' "rational order" ' refer to individuality, subjectivity and disorder. <self: There are definitely not consistency in the meanings of "rational" and "reason" in the Calvinist dialogues because i, up to now (15 August 2013), have been influenced to think that rationalists (empiricism) like Aristotle claim that reason (Kant's) contains narcissism. Above Hart claims ' "rational order" ' refers to individuality and subjectivity and disorder. Empiricists claim transcendental honest people are irrational because they do not accept empirical facts. The term, which has the most constancy in Calvinist thought is individuality, which is postulated by all the Calvinists, evil, whether they refer to reason or rationality makes not much difference. This opposition against individuality i postulate is a result of the Caiaphas syndrome, which is a societal cultural syndrome. A distinction can be made between empirical reason, which started with Aristotle and transcendental reason, which started at Plato, for practical purposes. Empirical reason (rationality) includes Aristotle's sophisms and Transcendental reason (rationality) includes Plato's honesties. Whilst defining the word 'false' Aristotle wrote in parenthesis, when quoting a deceptive argument in the Hippias as follows: 'that the man who is able to speak false is false (and this, of course, is the man of knowledge and good sense)'[100].>[101]


"Dooyeweerd's critique"

Dooyeweerd rejected rational autonomy in totality. It seems he rejected realism and nominalism.[102] <self: It is contradicting to reject reason in total because it is in total reason, which makes the rejection. It is self-referentially incoherent, unless Dooyeweerd meant that one or the other cannot be chosen.> He argued:

-       (Reason's "direction" cannot be absolutized.

-       Reductionist reason identifies not reality.

-       Order is relative and below God's covenant. <self: But isn't it human reason, which interpreted God's covenant. My interpretation is not similar to that of Calvinists. Back to groups' interpretations versus individuals'. According to Sociology of knowledge new Reformed interpretations start with individuals. The question is thus up to what level should individuals be sacrificed before their reformed interpretations are accepted. In a sense it is an academic competitive process amongst individuals, competing for groups' acceptances into academic debates.>

-       Dooyeweerd claims selves have their identities in relation to one another in a community and in relation to an origin outside of that community.)[103]

Dooyeweerd claimed rational autonomy is religious bias. He basically said we do not know what truth is, which is similar to Karl Jaspers' endlessness of reality.[104] <self: What was the effect of the realization that definitions of words for definitions of words differ ad infinitum? Did it make Dooyeweerd more or less honest? His opposition to Kant makes me think it made him less honest than before the realization. Kant made the same realization because he critiqued pure reason, but the realization made him more honest to reduce the relativity of reason.>

"Initial assessment"

Early in his career he argued against autonomous thinking subjects.[105] <self: He used Kant as his target but he really was arguing against himself (Dooyeweerd) being Christ and therefore he sacrificed Kant who was honest. That is how the societal Caiaphas syndrome effects individuals (Dooyeweerd and Kant as individuals were affected differently.>


Dooyeweerd had postmodern type thoughts and critiques.[106]

"Links with immanence thought"

Reformational philosophy tries to reform the West's reason-order tradition and not to dismiss the tradition.[107] <self: What is the reform? It seems it is an Aristotle type reform to say "reasonable lying" should be accepted or did it never get to the point where a choice is made between excluding deceits or not. The opposition to Kant makes it look as if the choice was made to not exclude deceits as part of the reform process. Maybe the opposition against Kant has its origin in his identification of the term "noumenon", because in effect it rejects immanence to an absolute certain extent, but because of that increased honesties will according to Kant reduce the relative noumenon character of immanent things. Noumenon and honesties are therefore related and can be understood in conjunction.>


Vollenhoven said Plato identified the law correctly as outside of thinkers. <self: Constancy was very important to Vollenhoven.[108] Dooyeweerd wrote Reformation is "perennial" and claimed that claiming that theoretical reason has rational autonomy is pretentious.[109] > Dooyeweerd supported theoretical realizations as important and seems to have also identified its problematic as not being immanence.[110] <self: Clouser's The myth of religious neutrality, which was influenced by Dooyeweerd, has an Aristotelian side with regards to the book's theory of reality but it excludes essence and substance[111] in its individuality as pagan. Aristotle however identified different substances: "1. Our whole investigation is into substance. For what we are really seeking is the principles and causes of the substances. … 2. Now there are three substances, of which: (a) one sort is sensible, of which: (i) the one is eternal and (ii) the other destructible (This substance, that of plants and animals, is universally acknowledged, and we must grasp its elements and decide whether they are one or many.), and (b) the other is unmoved. (This substance is sometimes asserted to be separable; some philosophers divide it into two, while others assign both Forms and mathematicals to the same nature, and still others only admit mathematicals from this group.)"[112] Clouser's book emphasizes the law-framework[113] of reality. It seems now to me that the law framework outside of thinkers was postulated by all the reformers as important but also accepting the necessity of change. People only can perceive the laws? A distinction can be made between natural laws and written laws. Logically the changing written laws should try to comprehend the natural given law as changed perception.>

"Reason and order in reformational thought"

Reason is relative because "God's covenantal law cannot be grasped in a concept." Dooyeweerd did not explicitly state this opinion of Van der Hoeven and Fowler, which opposes immanence philosophy. As motivation Van der Hoeven supported Levinas's critique against totalization. But postulating inability to grasp the law is problematic because how can something be postulated to exist without postulating the concept that exist.[114] Dooyeweerd in the Western tradition correlated reason with order and rejected metaphysical speculation. Dooyeweerd identified ". Truth" in a priori stable theoretical presuppositions.[115] Mekkes was the first Reformer who wanted to exclude human influence totally as causal effect in God's law's influence on us.[116] The relations perceived amongst "truth", "logic" and "knowledge" placed Hart on the same "wavelength" than Mekkes.[117] <self: It seems to me now that the opposition the Reformers like Mekkes showed against Western conceptions of reason relates to my thoughts about the idea of the "Messiah" or "Christ" being false. A difference is that they attack the concept truths and i say the concept is valid but the possibility of the Person is not.> Hart refers to the ".. Egocentricity of Western thought"[118], which could mean he rejects people who are honest, because of the Caiaphas syndrome at work, as thinking they each are "One". Hart identifies Plato's influence as negative and replaces the negativity with ideas of grace, mercy, patience and kindness.[119] <self: Is he saying that in Jesus's narrative both Jesus and Caiaphas were wrong for upholding their relative "truths" they believed in, which caused unnecessary friction?>

"The Ancaster discussions"


Hart asks many questions, which relate to uncertainties that metaphorical language causes when used in contexts of important issues.[120] <self: His questions proves the unsuitability of using metaphors constructively in dialogue, meaning that metaphors evade the real answers if such real answers exist.>

"Law-subject distinction"

Dooyeweerd did not distinguish between God's law and creaturely laws. Hart says this is problematic because Dooyeweerd does not acknowledge the creaturely nature of written law. Vollenhoven and later Troost distinguished two types of laws.[121] <self: This side of the God-Law-ruler-law-ruled relationships is important because the facts of the relationships relate to the psychologies of society and individuals to remove humans (selves and others) as gods and goddesses to be left only with God-Law-subjects relationships, which are not factual. If the facts are not presupposed truer answers cannot be found to problems. This reality is clear to see and if it is not, it probably relates to the blinding effect of the idea of "One" (rulers) between Law and law.>

"Approximating idea or theoretical disclosure"

A problem with regard to God's law is that it is in fact humans' interpretations of divine law. This leads to divination of the law-side of creation, whilst in fact, the interpretations are not divine because its resulted from human fallible reason.[122]

"Suggestions for further reformation"

Hart identifies further reformation in the direction of laws not being final order. Love requires change to new circumstances. Constancy should not be divinized.[123] Another direction for reformation could be to identify, like Vollenhoven, divine constant laws of love and changing immanent laws in creation. Dooyeweerd also centered his work on the law of love. This law as reflected by Jesus's life could require further development. [124] <self: The progress with regard to laws about love relates to different meanings for "love". Jesus defined his love as—complying to laws—and English dictionaries define love not in that sense. Love is defined in English dictionaries as affection. In Greek a clear distinction was made between for example "eros" and "agape", which is not portrayed in the use of the word "love", which when used in the context of "agape" the meaning meant falsely relates more to affection, identified in words like mercy, redemption, atonement. These meanings of mercy relate to thoughts in humans (devils?) as redeemers of "Christ", whilst the reformers who postulate these thoughts postulate the "Other", who needs mercy as "God". Jesus-like people as "Others", who postulate compliance to laws, place themselves, as subjects, below laws. In the following sentence two types of love can be identified, which certainly causes confusion during dialogical arguments. Hart's reference in 2000 to "Christ" and "love of God" is not to Jesus of Nazareth's whole love and Mekkes's reference is to Jesus of Nazareth's whole love. According to the perceived definitions ascribed to "love" in the following two quotation it looks as if Hart had a change of belief from 1995 to 2000.> "If we think just of the fact that in Christ the love of God is expressed as compassion for the fallen creature, we may appreciate why Mekkes thought that following the love of the Crucified requires and ever renewed and renewing order."[125]

"Compassion is sacrificial love …The New Testament expects the church, body of Christ, to be a community whose ethos is embodied in compassion. Such compassion is not a feeling, but a divine act of sacrificial love, God's self giving love towards creation in Christ, who on the cross embodied fully what he began in his shepherding, healing, and feeding of sheep-like crowds without a shepherd: harassed, sick and hungry people."[126]

"Reformation is not rejection"

"The relation of God to creation in the Calvinian tradition is especially articulated as that of a sovereign lawgiver, a ruler [own bold to emphasize false singularity of ruling]." Criticizing this belief is not acceptable because critique will be "undermining God's relation to creation." [127] Dooyeweerd had two main points of critique to the Calvinist creation order. It was that (1) order is not "primarily (rational) logical but total" and that (2) is not "absolute and independent but God given." Hart differ and agree when writing that order is not total and order is relative.[128]


The absolute or immutability of God was not taken from the Bible and has its origins in Greek thinking. Immutability of God arose due the rejection of the temporal as not divine. According to Hart it implies a faith, which is "not rooted in trust in God". "What is true, of course, is that in any and all relationships, only Yahweh is truly God." Malachi in the Bible is often quoted to support the Greek idea of God but the Bible as a whole shows that change is sometimes from God. "In fact, one can even find God changing about firm promises." <self: This view of Hart supports Tarnas's opinion[130] that John and Jesus were influenced by Greek philosophy because did Jesus not say promises should never be made or we should never swear oaths?> "If virtually all of the dimensions of God's good creation play a role in our knowing God, why should God's good creature [own bold to emphasize negative influences of singularity in Hart's influences] known as change not play such a role?" "But what is god about God cannot be clearly and definitely said in terms of what creatures are or are not. Definitions of God or authoritative and definitive lists of God's perfections or attributes do not occur in the Bible." <self: I disagree with Hart here because due to the creative effects of truths, honesties make people gods and goddesses, becoming together, Creator, physical parts of God.> The Bible does not inspire "(theo-)logical" identities of God with the Bible's imagery of God. "In creation change is fundamental. Not only life, but even material things cannot exist except on a physical foundation that includes change. Creation's temporality, thorough as it is, makes change pervasive. And, indeed Christians have never thought of the world and anything in it as eternal and unchanging." If ' "God is immutable" ', exclusively, then it could be argued that change is evil. When they at times say ' "God does not change" ', they mean it creatiomorphily. Hart identifies mathematical realities as the only stable part of creating. If God is defined negatively in relation to numbers it is not acceptable in the reformation tradition it is not acceptable because it is reductionist. Although Hart writes that change can only be recognized in relation to something stable he writes that the stability in relation to which change is identified, is changing. There is thus nothing of reality that is absolute except as metaphor for God. <self: I do not agree because Metaphysical truth (Mett), the concept of honesties, is unchanging and divine. Mett shows, via truths, where improvements in creation order are required. This unchanging concept causes changes and requires gods and goddesses who transcend and surpass empiricist necessities of deceit as necessity of survival (Lying to show ones are not part of God). The Anomaly of Plato is not understood by Hart according to me. The immutability of God cannot be reconciled with the word creators (Creator) because creating implies change. The-created change constantly, partly caused by creators who also changes constantly, therefore the immutability of God refers only to the Metaphysical part of God, which is understood and called Mett.> Hart argues against the Greek postulate of numbers being constant and therefore against part of Greek religious constancy, with the stars. The units, which numbers represent is not constant, therefore mathematics is not immutable. Numbers and stars are therefore not part of "religious trust". <self: It seems thus that although Truths were important in Greek philosophy, for example in Plato's philosophy, Truths was not divine in Greek thought as it is in the Bible.> Immutability can only be predicated negatively and nothing immutable can be positively identified. Metaphors like ' "immutability" ' and ' "absoluteness" ' can be used in a limited religious sense with regard to relative trust. Outside of that it becomes replacements for a "god" [own bold to emphasize negative influences of singularity in Hart's influences], which we project to outside of the cosmos, which is our responsibility. Such projections return via downscaling to the cosmos in "institutions, persons or acts" who lay down their own rules but hide their reasons behind claims of divine representation. <self: References to a god implies justifications of human sacrifice in Christianity, therefore a reasonable conclusion can be drawn that Hart justifies human sacrifice of men until the "Authentic" one is found.>


Constitutions of countries can be looked at in analogical religious manner by accepting the importance of constancy without unwanted rigidity, which can exclude necessary change due to new realized[131] realities.[132] Why must Yahweh[133] be different? Is Yahweh "the same as the Abba of Jesus", or is Yahweh and Jesus's God not the same because of historical changes in our conceptions of God.?


VAN DER HOEVEN Johan. 1995. "Portrayal of Reformational Philosophy seems unfair" – Response to Hendrik Hart


VAN DER HOEVEN, J. 1995. Portrayal of reformational philosophy seems unfair. (In Walsh, B.J., Hart, H., VanderVennen, R.E. eds. An ethos of compassion and the integrity of creation. Lanham: University Press of America, pp. 109-114). [5p.]


Van der Hoeven agrees with Hart that "legalism" is a "permanent threat", which was identified in the Old and New Testaments.[134] ' "Knowing" ' in Vollenhofen is more than "logical thinking" especially with regard to the ' "creation order" '. The law of love, which Vollenhofen focused on, cannot be prescribed in written laws because it is an unwritten law, which Jesus applied when he refused to break the written laws of the Romans up to the point of being sacrificed by his own people. Paul and Jeremiah also did not break the written laws because laws are written to be not broken.[135]

'Hart's Description of "Law" '

Hart puts too much emphasis on the "freedom" 'believers' have over order of material creations, due to Hart's interpretation of the law of "love".[136]

WOLTERSTORFF Nicholas. 1995. "Points of Unease with the Creation Order Tradition" – Response to Albert M. Walters.


WOLTERSTORFF, N. 1995. Points of unease with the creation order tradition. (In Walsh, B.J., Hart, H., VanderVennen, R.E. eds. An ethos of compassion and the integrity of creation. Lanham: University Press of America, pp. 62-66). [5p.]


Wolters's paper made Wolterstorff and his fellows feel uncomfortable. "Could it be that our heart is not really in it when we confess on Sundays that God is the Creator, and that our discomfort comes from being confronted with our unbelief."[137] "The belief in God the Creator is fundamental to my thought, not superficial"[138]

" ..‘to Him are all things’, that everything belongs to Him, and that He is the Sovereign over all that He has created."[139]

<self: Does feeling uncomfortable relate to something else being wrong or self being wrong?> According to Wolterstorff there could be synthesis possible between his interpretation of the covenant with God in the beginning of time with his interpretation of the law of nature, which he also identified in Kuyper's and Bavinck's writings.[140]


Wolterstorff feels uncomfortable with Wolters's postulation of the law as functions, which make it easier to be creators. In stead, he prefers that the use of creations be seen as a blessing from creators.[141] <self: He probably refers to imparting of ideas, which is a forced appropriation from creators.> "Gratitude springs from enjoying and finding beneficial the creatures and creations around you."[142] <self: When i read this sentence i thought of a man in a dominantly matriarchal system.> "In my own thinking I have found it more fruitful to think in terms of shalom than in terms of creation-orders; and that too is connected." <self: This sentence partly confirms my thoughts about a matriarchal system because the Jewish system is matriarchal.> Wolterstorff plays the sex card when it comes to the "God the Creator" and creating like empiricists often do.[143] Wolterstorff does not appreciate it when reference is made to "the norms for states" because states are social artifacts.[144] <self: It implies that Wolterstorff could, like Hart, over-emphasize the "freedoms" of "believers" to enjoy the creations or blessings of creators. There is thus a utilitarian acceptance of happiness as the highest good, even if that mean that individuals could be sacrificed for the happiness of society.> "Or perhaps I and I alone was feeling uncomfortable!"[145]



Leereenheid 2: Eerste klas – Die filosofie van Vollenhoven

Datum van klas:       27 Julie 2013




Skryf OF (met inagneming van die informasie in die sekondêre tekste) ‘n opstel van ongeveer ‘n 1000 woorde waarin ‘n opsomming en kritiek weergegee word van die Afrikaanse of Engelse artikels oor: “Die grondslae van die Calvinistiese of Skrifmatige filosofie” OF Skryf ‘n opstel van ongeveer 1000 woorde oor “Vollenhoven se besondere bydrae tot diepere insig in die ontwikkeling van die Westerse denke deur middel van sy konsekwent probleem-hisitoriese metode”.


Essay name: Vollenhofen and anthropomorphism



Problem statement


'Skryf ‘n opstel van ongeveer 1000 woorde oor “Vollenhoven se besondere bydrae tot diepere insig in die ontwikkeling van die Westerse denke deur middel van sy konsekwent probleem-hisitoriese metode”.'


The question is what '.. diepere insig in die ontwikkeling van Westerse denke ..' is. An object in the "development of Western thoughts" should be identified to make the problem identified more communicable.


Statement to solve problem


The subject of anthropomorphism relates to '.. diepere insig ..' in the developments of Western thoughts. What contribution did Vollenhoven's work make to better understand this difficult object of thought?




Using Vollenhoven's dialectic as follows: seven papers, listed under references, were studied, quoted, paraphrased and commented on. The relevant quotations, paraphrases and comments made during reading, were later typed in the Background section as Vollenhoven's pre-thesis. Vollenhoven's pre-thesis (belief) was then dialectically questioned in the Discussion section. The Conclusion section explains the awareness, which Vollenhoven's work caused with regard to a deeper insight into development of Western thought. The Conclusion relates to author's pre-thesis.

Background based on reading Vollenhoven and Van der Walt.


Vollenhoven distinguished two main parts according to author in Vollenhoven's thoughts. The two parts are God and the cosmos. God consisted of Him and his law. The cosmos consisted of rulers, their laws and the populace. God's powerful word from the unseen is identified in 'him'[146] who is clearly distinguishable from the unseen things on Earth and in heaven. A visible human leader, who was not referred to with a capital H of 'Him', was thus an important part of Vollenhoven's thoughts as part of the cosmos. The relationship between a king and the populace is normally unacceptable because in his law he is usually placed above his law. No human is above God's law and therefore God's law is the border between God and the cosmos.[147] Humans could not be the givers of laws and subjects to the laws.[148] The 'him' in Vollenhoven's work and interpretations of his work by Van der Walt raises questions.


According to Vander Walt, Vollenhoven identifies God and creation with laws about no human participation in God as the bridge between God and creation. A new society is postulated in sociology.[149] 'Furthermore God subjects the world to His law: loving obedience is the first which is required of everybody.'[150]

The definition of God in philosophy vary allot and therefore the definition should be found in the Bible.[151] Who is Creator of everything? Where is the dividing line between Creator and cosmos? Vollenhoven searched for answers to these questions in the Bible. [152] Scripture is divine. God created the whole of the cosmos and nothing, including idols in the cosmos is divine.[153] Van der Walt opines that Vollenhoven broke significantly with the Western pagan belief in plural[154] God as represented by human gods. The simple definition of the whole God-law-cosmos makes this break with pagan philosophy possible. Vollenhoven found his definition of God as completely separate from the cosmos in Scripture. [155] God is above kings' laws. [156] Vollenhoven opines there is a substantial hierarchical element present in different philosophical opinions, which represents orderly creation in society. The law of God is important and applies only to subjects but not to God Who is outside the cosmos.


Postmodernity is in a crisis because of the law which is not given by any party. Van der Walt asks what is the Christian answer to the postmodern problem.[157]


Although different fields and aspects operate 'free' from the other there are many relations between everything that exist in time, which we cannot predict accurately. Individualism sometimes does not respect these relations enough when individuals do not respect subject-to-subjects relations and the effects those ways have on other subjects.[158] Positive law in the cosmos is a way by which God enforces his negative universal laws. People are only subject to the positive laws as long as they are part of the society in which the positive laws are enforced.[159] Vollenhoven objected to the rationalist approach as to autonomous. He appreciated the emphasis rationalists place on truth but did not appreciate the view of Hartmann, an atheist, who placed human reason above all.[160] A king or other sovereign may not prohibit a Christian to serve God according to the Word of God. ".. only Good is the creator of all things and of every reality."[161] Functionalists say evolutionary changes take place from lower to higher forms but Calvinist philosophy does not generalize the direction. When something new comes to being when an object is excreted from another object the new form should not be judged because such changes take place as a result of God's divine being.[162]


Philosophy from the Bible regards religion as "Unio foederalis", which was known to humans before the fall into sin by Word revelation. Calvinist religion argues herewith against a functionalist change or evolution into godly form.[163]


Laws of science seek regularity and are subject to God's law. Scientific laws are not the same as God's law because scientific laws are not timeless. Worldly laws can be in concordance with God's laws or against God's laws, therefore regularity exists and irregularity exists in scientific laws. Love and hate are opposites. [164] The two laws; one of God and the other in the cosmos cannot be separated because irregularity of an in-cosmos law shows the lack of correspondence to God's laws and thus incoherence, which proves its human fallaciousness.[165]


The first reformers used dialectic in the form of thesis-antithesis-synthesis instead of pre-thesis=thesis=antithesis.[166]

Discussion based on reading Vollenhoven and Van der Walt.


The question about a human or humans, being part of God or being God, relates to the question about laws and to the use of capital letters and small letters in references to God.

Vollenhofen used "H" and "h" in his references to God in the singular only. The "h" refers to the human part of God and the "H" to the metaphysical part of God. The singular and the "h" show a strong belief in Jesus Christ and the "Messiah" because Vollenhofen states nothing in the cosmos is divine but yet use a small "h". Concluded that the "h" refers to the "Messiah".


After reading Vollenhofen's prescribed work i came to the conclusion that he distinguished between God, God's law, rulers, rulers' laws and the-ruled. Van der Walt however states that Vollenhofen postulated God, laws and the-ruled. Rulers and rulers' laws were thus collapsed into God and/or the-ruled, to leave only God and the-ruled with contradicting[167] laws the dividing line. The reduction can only be explained if rulers become part of God or part of the-ruled or if rulers are terminated. Rulers becoming part of the-ruled or being terminated implies Adam Smith's deism where natural laws reign, without explicit human influence. All written law can be postulated as undesirable if deism is accepted. Heuristic experience shows this reduction is not feasible because of the tendency of deceiving groups to overpower honest individuals by sacrificing them for the benefit of groups. Honesties cause creativities. Sacrificing creativities eventually leads to colonization by more creative groups who did not sacrifice their creators to the same extent, by for example, pushing them into[168] armed forces, which is apparently what happened in USA during the last century. The result is a strong USA armed force with very creative weapons, which could colonize large parts of the globe.

God's natural laws and rulers' written laws can become one law when Natural laws are included in the cosmos as scientific objects as is, currently the case. That could imply God are almost completely human and they write good laws for "samelewings" to the best of their (our) knowledge. This postulate usually leads to totalitarian states in which rulers eventually[169] sacrifice creators' creativities, which are seen as dangers, due to own in-creativities.


Vollenhoven's method implies dialectics in own minds, because his method starts with a pre-thesis, which is ones' own Christian presuppositions, taken from scripture alone. Knowledge of scripture is thus knowledge of invisible laws, which becomes presuppositions, because the visible part of scripture is not divine. Only the reading "between the lines" is from divine origin. Logically pre-theses in ones' selves, imply inner dialectics. The whole process of Vollenhoven's method takes place in selves and makes use of the scene of the cosmos in each step to reach out for redemption. Stating own pre-theses requires transparencies and honesties, which imply courage from Metaphysical truth (Mett). Self-investigations and pre-theses relates to Parmenides's "consciousness-god".[170]


The two current contradictory laws of God and the cosmos are combined in a future postulated environment. Plato's philosopher king (the "Messiah") is relevant, not in the plural though, a contradiction, because of the weakness of singularity. Vollenhoven thought in a Western way and was influenced by Western thinkers and he did not emphasize sexuality enough.[171] Vollenhoven hoped for more coherence by excluding rationalists for the existence of only One rationalist, as leader. The highest authority on Earth is the unseen laws in scripture, as showed by Jesus of Nazareth in scripture, because everything in the cosmos is spoilt, except Jesus of Nazareth and the future "Messiah" after "reason as queen ('Rede as leidster') [heading's bold removed]"[172] will have been "sacrificed". Tarnas wrote in Plato's view: 'divine Reason is "the king of heaven and earth." '[173] The emphasis on "Him" and "him" could imply that Vollenhoven did not overcome self in his God thoughts, to realize the reality of plural God before the fall into sin, as mentioned in Gen.1:26 of the Bible. Humans were created in the same plural form as God's. The fall into sin was thus a movement away from God's form. The movement away from God's form could be argued to be from actual plural form to a false belief in singular form.[174] The false belief in the return of Christ thus could have skewed Vollenhofen's thoughts, because maybe he could not remove himself from being the "Messiah". Maybe he had to use the word "God" explicitly when talking to his wife about an umbrella to pretend and show that he did not think he is God. He thus probably had to sin to prove to himself he is not God. References to God in the singular with a small "h" imply he did not realize that one man is not God.


If nothing in the cosmos is divine it implies the divine part of scripture is found by 'reading between the lines'.[175]




Identifying the fallacies in Vollenhofen's philosophy becomes easier when the struggle between rationalists and empiricists are accepted. The postulate of empiricists that rationalists place reason above God and thus believe they themselves are singular God, is false, because rationalists place honesties above their own reasoning. Honesties are results of courage, which is received from Metaphysical truth (Mett). References to reason as "queen" is false because men are normally more courageous than women. Honesties are results of courage under varied conditions. Empiricists and irrationalists place their reasonings above Mett, because they use consequentialist reasoning and they justify their consequentialist reasoning and actions with religious rites. They for example trust in their own reasoning for deciding when deceit should be used to overpower others with consequentialism and utilitarianism. It is irreligious reasoning.


The question could critically be asked how The-plural, before the fall into sin, and the-singular form of God, after the fall into sin, can be reconciled. Is belief in the-singular form not perhaps a result of consequentialism and utilitarianism after the fall into sin? Maybe the principle of "Unio foederalis" does not sufficiently consider the weakness of singularity.


The more people realize that God (gods and goddesses plus Mett), for all practical purposes are humans, the better it will be for societies. The nature of plural God is an honest group, which can be named the-honest or 'eerlikes'. The traditional meaning of a god or a goddess, being human with superpowers and super-beauty is not applicable any more because Christianity showed that only truths and thus honesties make people part of God. Any human with faith can thus be part of God and thus be a god or a goddess. Honesties are natural law, which limits rulers and the-ruled to misuse their powers. One or a few honest people can never be God because of the weakness of singularity. God cannot be, at least currently, completely separate from the cosmos, due to overpowering deceiving groups, which sacrifice creators for their own gains according to the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Charles Taylor. God is thus a necessity in the cosmos to enforce and give written laws with honesties.


The elthaught, which is inherent to references for God in singular fashion, ("he" and "He") is relevant. The elthaught was relevant in Caiaphas's thoughts, for example, when he decided to sacrifice Jesus Christ. Basically the elthaught causes a phenomenon whereby groups sacrifice creative individuals when their honesties become dangerous or useful as explained by Toynbee[176]. A difference between Jewish religion and Christianity is that Christianity made the connection between truths and creativities and The-creators clear. Religious hatred of honest ones is relevant. The phenomenon is clearly visible when empiricists accuse rationalists of thinking they are God or in other words "place reason above God", because of rationalists' honesties. The empiricist accusation is partly a result of empiricist mimesis about a "singular God", which they portray as religious symbolism, but in fact, the success of the elthaught resulted from power (not belief) of groups over individuals and the current inability of most people to remove them from-in the postulate of singular God. This belief originated in postulating the "Messiah", which is false, because singularity cannot have the power of God. The idea of the "Messiah" causes methodologies of mimesis to sacrifice courageous individuals for groups.


My pre-thesis after studying Vollenhofen is still the same. God is all honest men and women plus Mett, which give courage and endurance to be honest in deceiving societies. God have not a sexual character because men and women are part of God in the words god and goddess. Devil is an asexual word because, as far as my knowledge goes, "devils" has not male and female words like god and goddess in it. A metaphysical God only, without human parts, implies a belief in, primarily, redemption. People, who do not postulate humans as part of God, probably have not heuristic experience during which circumstances necessitated honest humans upholding the law. Belief is much more substantial when trust is placed in Others-than-only-selves to uphold the laws, which make it possible for citizens of countries to live as individuals in service of fellow citizens without sacrificing selves.




List of references


AQUINAS, T.  1273 CE.  Summa theologica: treatise on the theological virtues: of the act of faith, article 4: whether it is necessary to believe those things which can be proved by natural reason? (From: on 19 June 2013.) 


ARISTOTLE.  384-322 BC.  The metaphysics.  (Translated by Lawson-Tancred, H.  London, England: Penguin.  2004)


CLOUSER, R.A. The myth of religious neutrality: an essay on the hidden role of religious belief in theories.  (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. 2005 revised edition).


PLATO. 427-347BC.  The republic.  (Translated by Desmond Lee. London: Penguin, 2007)


TARNAS, R.  ©1991.  The passion of the western mind: understanding the ideas that have shaped our world view.  (New York: Ballantine Books, 1st Ballantine Books edition, 1993)


Unknown.  Chapter 5. A new paradigm for doing Christian philosophy: D.H.Th. Vollenhofen (1892-1978). (Digital filename: <1b. A new paradigm for doing Christian Philosophy (.pdf> received by e-mail on 11July 2013 from North-West University.)


Van der Walt, B.J.  A Scripturally-orientated perspective on the history of Western intellectual thought: the origin and contours of and questions about the consistent problem-historical method.  (In Tydskrif vir Geestewetenskappe.  Planned for Sept. 2013. Digital file name: < 6. Skrifmatige perspektief op gesk vd Westerse filos denke.docx> received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)


VAN DER WALT, B.J., 2013, Die Christelike filosofie van D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (1892– 1978): Hoe dit ontstaan en verder ontwikkel het  (In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi 47(1), Art. #80, 13 pages. . Digital file name: <1. Christelike filos v Vollenhoven - Hoe dit ontstaan & ontwikkel het.pdf > received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)


VAN DER WALT, B.J.  Hoe om die geskiedenis van die filosofie weer te gee: 'n verkenning van wysgerige historiografiese probleme en metodes. (In Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, p.1-13.  Jaargang 53, nr 1, Maart 2013. Digital file name: <5. Hoe om die gesk vd filos weer te gee.pdf> received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)


Venter, J.J.  World pictures and world views.  (In North-West University. Geskiedenis van die filosofie: studiegids vir PHIL221 PAC, p. 5 - 98. Potchefstroom, South Africa.  2012c.)


Vollenhoven, D. H. Th.  Die grondslae van die Calvinistiese of skrifmatige filosofie. [Translated]  (Digital file name: <2a. Die grondslae van die Calvinistiese of skrifmatige filosofie.pdf> received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)


Vollenhoven, D.H.Th.  1953.  Scripture use and philosophy [Translated].  (In Mededelingen van het Vereniging voor Calvinistisch Wijsbegeerte, p. 6-9. Sept. 1953. Digital file name: <3. Scripture use and philosophy.pdf> received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)


Vollenhoven, D.H.Th.  The foundations of Calvinist thought.  [Translated] (Digital file name: <2b. The foundations calvinist thought.pdf> received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)



Aanhalings uit voorgeskrewe leeswerk per epos ontvang.


Van der Walt - "Die Christelike filosofie van D.H.Th. Vollenhoven"


Verwysing: Van der Walt, B.J., 2013, ‘Die Christelike filosofie van D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (1892– 1978): Hoe dit ontstaan en verder ontwikkel het’, In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi 47(1), Art. #80, 13 pages. (Digital file name: <1. Christelike filos v Vollenhoven - Hoe dit ontstaan & ontwikkel het.pdf > received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)




The Bible as Word of God and empiricism inspired Vollenhoven and rational transcendental Christian matters inspired Dooyeweerd. At the end of their lives Vollenhoven thus interweaved empirical issues and Dooyeweerd rational philosophical issues with their religions. Dooyeweerd was schooled in law and Vollenhoven had philosophical schooling.




Vollenhoven distinguished God, law and cosmos. Dooyeweerd distinguished God and cosmos. At cosmos Dooyeweerd saw the law-side and the subject-side (singular). Vollenhoven did not believe the view of Dooyeweerd about the afterlife. The two issues caused division between students of the two.


The three, Dooyeweerd, Vollenhoven and Stoker lived during a period during which late rationalism[177] (neo-idealism) was changing over to irrationalism.


All three wrote that objective communication by subjects was not possible, they thus identified postmodernistic thought during their times. They were irrational in the sense that a contradiction was relevant to them. Humans could not be the giver of laws and subjects to the laws.


Van der Walt describes the process of knowledge by identifying parts of the process: 1) The subject 2) activity of knowing 3) methodology 4) object 5) knowledge as result. During the time of the three gentlemen emphasis was placed on the activity (reason) and methodology, whereas through time the emphasis was either on subjects or objects.


An important question behind the epistemology is what is known with emphasis on natural law. Searching for the natural laws has been ongoing for the last 2500 years.


Reason as queen ('Rede as leidster')


Plato's truth was transcendental and empirical observation was opinion. After Plato empirical ideas, which searched for truths in the objects became dominant. Subjectivism thus became dominant whereas Plato was objective.




The above implies that Van der Walt and i agree about Plato's honesty because other wise it would not be possible for both of us to call Plato objective and time after Plato subjective. Honesties refer to objective language. Objective language about metaphysical concepts become however a problem normally because of God thoughts.



Normative thought followed, which was qualified by a priori concepts and rationalism was given the value of God's reasoning from 1600-1900. The reasoning was teleological with progress in mind to utopian societies.


Beginning of the 1900 rationalism (reason as Godly) changed into irrationalism (reason by way of might ('mag'), freedom ('vryheid') and utility ('nuttigheid'). Theoretical reasoning changed into pragmatic reasoning but reason of humans was still placed above [immaterial: own insert] God. These normative ways of thinking caused catastrophic problems for example two world wars. Other pointers should thus be looked for because humans needs pointers or ways to live responsible.


Not language, reason, social nor neo scholastic studies can give normative force to knowledge. The only possibility is that new 'fasets' of 'the creation' possibly could be 'absolutized' into new values.


Postmodernity is in a crisis because of the law which is not given by any party. Van der Walt asks what is the Christian answer to the postmodern problem.




Earlier Van der Walt argued negatively against human law giving, who should then give the law?




Outside influences on Vollenhoven


Christianity influenced Vollenhoven and although he thought subjective presuppositions are important, he realized others influenced him for example Bergson (fourfold intuition). Initially, according to Tol (2010), Vollenhoven's philosophy was semi-scholastic and semi-realistic.




Poincare and Bergson traces can be found in work of Vollenhoven. He also read other philosophers and Vollenhoven acknowledged he was influenced by Husserl and the Neo-Kantian Marburgers.


Insider influences on Vollenhoven


The three men said Calvin influenced them. Shortly after Calvin the reformation theology changed back to a scholastic character and in the late 1800 to 1950 a renewal took place called the the Réveil (Die Réveil).


Die Réveil


The Réveil, a spiritual renewal, took place in Middle and Western Europe according to Kluit (1960: 627-629 and 1970). It was a reaction against Deistic rationalism, theological dogmatism and downtrodden church life. Bible study and being reborn was important to appreciate ones' fellow human beings. The philosophers emphasized anti-revolutionary reformation, which manifested in Kuyper's (1899) philosophy. Anti-revolutionary ways of Jesus was emphasized with references to "Him".




Runner (1982) emphasized the redeeming nature of the reformation. The three gentlemen could add a fifth aspect to the reformation (p.6: First four was being reborn, many people showed new interest in Christianity, a unique life view formed at Christians, Kuypers reformation followed as the fourth) The fifth level was the scientific level where Christian presuppositions were recognized as influential over philosophy and other sciences.


Influence of Kuyper (1837-1920)?


Vollenhoven said aspects of Kuyper's work did not correspond to the Word of God.


Influence of Woltjer (1849-1917)?


Nijhoff (2011a) showed Vollenhoven criticized Woltjer for identifying logocentric transcendence between creators and God. According to Vollenhoven, being subject to laws of God, by subjects and objects, was not acknowledged by Nijhoff. The later philosophy of Woltjer was though accepted more readily by Vollenhoven. This later philosophy was based on pneumatological wisselwerking.


"pneumatology |ˌn(y)oōməˈtäləjē|


the branch of Christian theology concerned with the Holy Spirit.


pneumatological |ˌn(y)oōmədəˈläjəkəl| adjective" (New)


Influence of Geesink (1854-1929)?


Klapwijk (1980: 545 and 456) says Geesink already identified the God-law-cosmos distinctions and therefore Vollenhoven built on that. Tol (2010) questions that.


Influence of Janse (1890-1960)


A. Janse van Biggekerke's (Janse) biblical human view influenced Vollenhoven in contrast to the dogmatic dichotomous (soul and body) trichotomous (soul, body and spirit) views. Vollenhoven accepted Janse's view with much influence later for his philosophy.


Vollenhoven as pioneer of the reformatory thoughts.


Van der Walt will emphasize the new of Vollenhoven's philosophy especially his contribution to 'sistematiek' and the history of philosophy.


A new 'sistematiek'


Vollenhoven identified a Christian way of doing science, away neutral scientific presuppositions, before irrationalism and postmodernism. He rejected the dualistic view of scholastic Christianity between nature and genade and knowledge and belief and implications thereof.




He criticized dualistic and monistic philosophy, which usually ended in deism and panteism. He identifies God, creation and God's laws for the creation ('die skepping'). His distinction between God's love requirement, structural laws and positivized norms (as bridge between the first two) is important.


In anthropology he broke with the dichotomous and trichotomous views of scholastic Christianity.


His facets functions and modalities, he developed with Dooyeweerd and Stoker is an important practical contribution to sistematiek as viewing.


A new sociology with emphasis on differentiated duties and relationships identifying position (amp), calling, authority, might and responsibility.


His epistemology does not emphasise only subject or only object but identify the differences amongst and relationships amongst subject, object, methodology and knowledge.


He did not believe religion and science should be synthesized but used a anti-synthetical methodology which emphasized a Christian presupposed belief which must be tested against realities of history of philosophy. Although the presupposition is very important it could be positively affected by the new information learnt in history. Christian presuppositions cause an acceptance or rejection of opinions in Western History of philosophy if presuppositions are not adjusted. The result is a reformatted enlightened view of Christian reality.

Brings us to the second important contribution Vollenhoven made to Historicism.


An original philosophical historiography


He did not want to apply historiography, which only looks at chronological and geographic events. Rather he wanted to have a Christian philosophic interpretation of history.


More about the methodology


With his method the following can be determined:

-       The attitude towards the Bible of a historian (Three attitudes were identified, attitudes before and during synthetized views and during the anti-synthesized views.)

-       How the attitudes interconnect with the zeitgeist (philosophical) of the time.

-       The relation of the attitude to a typical historical anthropological, ontological understanding.


The normative (standardized) views of reality changes all the time and therefore Van der Walt identifies reason, the queen as leader.


The different types of theories of reality are however limited to basic forms which can change in time from the one to the other.


The attitude of the historians can be classified as:

-       a religious against-each-other interpretation (pagan) of history, or Christian view which distinguish between secularism and religion from the Renaissance and Reformation.

-       Second a to-each-other attitude. Chronological normative schools.

-       Parallel attitudes of different types of philosophy about differing theories of reality.


The value of the method


The method gives deeper insight than a global view of history. It identifies the (1) different religious presuppositions, which were made by each historian in his interpretation of history, <p.9> according to which we (2) identify own normative views and in the (3) light of own views (4) each look at reality in his own way. Augustine said people pray to idols, become like them and then shape the world according to own views because they became like the idols.




Hearts are emphasized instead of intellect to realize own and others' revelations of God.


Christian thinkers should therefore distinguish themselves from normative postmodern thinking.


Another benefit of the historiography is that it can be used in other sciences like aesthetics, economics and sociology for example.


What drove Vollenhoven?


He worked long hours and up to a late age gave private classes and kept record of philosophers he met. His drive came form the belief that the synthetized views of Christianity could be shown by Reformatoriese optrede. The synthesized views he believed was a mix with non-Christian pagan views.




But was Jesus not influenced by pagan truths of Plato?




Vollenhoven said: "Moet nooit sweer by die woorde van 'n mens nie"


'Gebreke' of Vollenhoven


He thought in a Western way and was influenced by Western thinkers.


He did not emphasize sexuality enough.



Is this sexuality between male and female or is it Van der Walt's reference to homosexuality as queen (leidster/reason).




His problematic-historic approach does not look at more recent philsophers although he died in 1978.


Vollenhoven's typifying of his own later more final philosophy


He identified more with some Western philosophies than others because he said those philosophies reflect realities more precise.




His interest was more cosmogenetic than cosmological because he was more interested in the birth and development of the universe than rational understanding of the cosmos.


His anthropology included pneumatology as important ingredient and the inner and outer existence of humans were distinguished. His pneumatology referred to empirical facts like breath and not to the world-spirit of neoplatonism for example.


Vollenhoven - "Die grondslae van die Calvinistiese of skrifmatige filosofie"


Verwysing: Vollenhoven, D. H. Th..  Die grondslae van die Calvinistiese of skrifmatige filosofie.  (Digital file name: <2a. Die grondslae van die calvinistiese of skrifmatige filosofie.pdf> received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)


Introduction by Mülheim Rott and Wilhelm Rott.




Vollenhoven was a church minister and then became a lecturer of philosophy. Although a lecturer of philosophy much theology was included in his philosophy.




There could have been thus a lack of appreciation from his side for theology because why would he change to philosophy. See p.4


Referaat deur Vollenhoven




Philosophy should find its way in the Bible as Augustinus did.




Philosophy should be reformed according to insights derived from the Bible.


The Calvinist understanding of the Bible highlights the following:

-       A distinction between God the sovereign and the creation of God.

-       "Unio foederalis" which was known as covenant to humans before the fall.

-       Total fall into sin, death as the penalty of sin, redemption of the "soewereine God in die Middelaar".



The first presupposition is the distinction between God and His creation and from there the following realizations follow:

-       The definition of God in philosophy vary allot and therefore the definition should be found in the Bible.

-       God's powerful word from the unseen is identified in 'him' who is clearly distinguishable from the unseen things on Earth and in heaven.

-       God, His law, the cosmos being a king and his law and the populace are identified. The relationship between a king and the populace is normally unacceptable because in his law he is usually placed above his law. No human is above God's law and therefore God's law is the border between God and the cosmos.



-       God is above the king's law but that does not mean that reformed Christians who are subject to the rulers of this world, do not accept the authority of the rulers because reformation and revolution is clearly distinguished in Calvin's reformation philosophy.




-       Calvin accepted an understanding similar to Socrates's and Kant's by saying the world in which God is present is understood as very complicated and can therefore not be described simplistically by viewing God and cosmos in just a few distinctions for example the Scholastic dualistic differentiation between nature and God's grace.




By placing oneself under the law of God, freedom is identified from the power of a king and his helpers. This freedom rejects revolution against a king and his helpers and accepts sovereignty in different fields for example free universities, free religious institutions etc. Different aspects, similar to Clouser's aspects, which can be identified as 'free' from other aspects are relevant.




-       Although different fields and aspects operate 'free' from the other there are many relations between everything that exist in time, which we cannot predict accurately. Individualism sometimes does not respect these relations enough when an individual does not respect subject-to-subjects relations and the effects that ways have on other subjects.




Relations amongst objects and subjects are important as well. When identifying things, objects can be inter-related and with intra-relations. Predictions about these perceived relations should be done carefully or not at all. Functionalists say evolutionary changes take place from lower to higher forms but Calvinist philosophy does not generalize the direction. When something new comes to being when an object is excreted from another object the new form should not be judged as of value because such changes take place as a result of God's divine being.





Philosophy from the Bible regards religion as "Unio foederalis", which was known to humans before the fall into sin by Word revelation.


-       Calvinist religion argues herewith against a functionalist change or evolution into godly form. Religion is not a result of knowledge, which existed before religion because religion was a covenant from the beginning of time in Genesis. If such a functionalist approach is used, thoughts lead to universalism, which does not distinguish between religious and irreligious.




An important difference between Calvinism and Rome's way is that Rome views 'religious' as submitting to the views of the church authorities. Rome however also rejects universalism.


P. 14




Understanding total fall into sin, death as the penalty of sin and redemption of the "soewereine God in die Middelaar".




Humans are completely sinners who hates from the Hart, 1995 after the fall into sin.




Death in scripture means the first death and second death. The 1st death is death of flesh and the 2nd death is the eternal hell if a person was not saved through the grace of Jesus Christ. In antique philosophy two deaths were also identified. After 1st death the soul migrates to the moon and after the 2nd death the soul migrates to the sun.




Grace is understood primarily as Jesus Christ explained it.

Vollenhoven – "The foundations of Calvinist thought"


Verwysing: Vollenhoven, D.H.Th.,  The foundations of Calvinist thought.  (Digital file name: <2b. The foundations calvinist thought.pdf> received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)




".. only Good is the creator of all things and of every reality."


A king or other sovereign may not prohibit a Christian to serve God according to the Word of God.




There are no antinomies in the cosmos because everything is subject to the law of God. … "Paganistic thought has always accepted antinomies".




A complete coherence is thus postulated that excludes any contradictions, however elsewhere knowing of not knowing was mentioned (Read in the Afrikaans version)




'The Philosophy Measured against Scripture views religion as a covenant, an "unio foederalis", which was known to the human race by Word revelation, even before the fall into sin.

1.    With this statement the Calvinist philosophy directs itself for once against every attempt to interpret religion as a substantial of functional submerging of the human being into God. For this reason even here religion is treated as a separate topic, for which there would have been no ground if one could associate yourself with the current conceptions, according to which religion can be subsumed under that which has already been discussed. But exactly this we cannot do. If one does equate life in the divine covenant with one or other function, then one ends – whether one wants or not - in universalism: faith, spiritual life, conscience or whatever one wants to name it, becomes rays of the divine being, crystallization of the logos, or something of the kind. Faith and unbelief can then no more be understood as strict oppositions; … The fateful denial of the coherence between thinking and faith is then the inevitable result.'




In the above section Vollenhoven, with his opposition against rationalism places religion above other functions but yet argues coherence between faith and thinking. Reason (thinking) is thus subject to faith, which is subject to the covenant mentioned above. The highest authority on Earth is therefore scripture according to Vollenhoven. The fall into sin took place when they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil against the instructions of God. According to Clouser it was because they wanted to be like God that they ate of the tree. It could also be asked, without being unreasonably critical, whether Vollenhoven's self-as-God, because he was probably an honest man, did not become so prominent that postulating God totally out of the cosmos, was his way of staying sane. The more prominent the idea of self-being-God with consequential sacrificial thoughts of Christianity become, the more severe the actions become to nullify those fears. Aquinas's "God Himself who cannot lie"[178] and Revelation 19:11 obviously affect honest people more than deceivers initially until they realize God is plural and not singular.




'This covenant is not a bond which one has to find within the boundaries of the cosmos. It is a relationship between God, who in no way, and the human being, who in every way, belongs to the cosmos.'






Vollenhoven - "Scripture use and Philosophy"


Vollenhoven, D.H.Th.  1953.  Scripture use and philosophy [Translated].  (In Mededelingen van het Vereniging voor Calvinistisch Wijsbegeerte, p. 6-9. Sept. 1953. Digital file name: <3. Scripture use and philosophy.pdf> received by e-mail on 2 June 2013 from North-West University)




Scripture is divine.


'Secondly: this Word makes us see the totality of the world, as God creates it. It tells us that world is created by God, and that we should never hold anything in the world as divine. Also this is in the first place intended for practice: no idolizing, neither of things not of human beings!'



The above statement about human forming of things is not based on rational thinking. It is based on a subconscious fear of being the Almighty 'Sacrificed One' and being sacrificed. Pre-knowledge proves that forming are partly a result of studies and experience, which are hard earned attributes. When Vollenhoven claims no human effort, which justifies no remuneration after forming, it is not rational thinking. By saying only God creates and humans are not part of God, he effectively promotes a utilitarian argument that motivates appropriations of formations without remuneration.




'Furthermore God subjects the world to His law: loving obedience is the first which is required of everybody.'




Synthesis thinking




Synthetic thinking during the early Christian period was most original. Scholastic Christianity synthesized the previous works scholarly. The pre-reformation synthesis tried to re-institute the early Christian thoughts but could not.




Tarnas explained how early Christian thinking was a synthesis between Hellenism and Jewish thought.


P101 (Page references to Tarnas)


'The correspondence between this conception of Christ and that of the Greek Logos did not go unnoticed by Hellenistic Christians. The remarkable Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria, an older contemporary of Jesus and Paul, had already broached a Judaic-Greek synthesis pivoted on the term "Logos."[179] But it was with the opening words of the Gospel according to John, "In the beginning was the Logos," that Christianity's relationship to Hellenic philosophy was potently initiated. Soon afterward, an extraordinary convergence of Greek thought and Christian theology was in progress that would leave both transformed.'




'In their understanding of Christ as the incarnate Logos, early Christian theologians synthesized the Greek philosophical doctrine of the intelligible divine rationality of the world with the Judaic religious doctrine of the creative Word of God, which manifested a personal God's providential will and gave to human history its salvational meaning. In Christ the Logos became man: the historical and the timeless, the absolute and the personal, the human and the divine became one.'




' "And the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us." '




'Despite his erudition and appreciation for the intellectual and scientific achievements of the Greeks, Augustine proclaimed: "… It is enough for the Christian to believe that the only cause of all created things, whether heavenly or earthly, whether visible or invisible, is the goodness of the Creator, the one true God; and that nothing exists but Himself that does not derive its existence from Him." '[180]




'As Clement of Alexandria announced, "By the Logos, the whole world is now become Athens and Greece." '


It is well known that Scholastic thinking was basically Aristotelian. It seems there is a pattern. Christianity went through the same phases that actual philosophy went. First Plato's truths and after Plato, Aristotle's deceits were important. Capra and Toynbee also explained[181] this pattern as a process of birth, flourishing and decline. A creative group takes the lead with the birth. Then the ruling powers smother creativity to protect their interests and a downhill period starts. At the same time a creative minority arise, which forms and develops new ways of dealing with the challenges. The old ruling powers, stays in control and suppresses the new forms but eventually the new forms will replace the old and the cycle will repeat.




Vollenhoven identifies three different types of synthesis during the early Christian period.