Saturday, March 24, 2012

Axe At Root Of Dooyeweerdian Card House

George Marsden wrote in 1991:
"In virtually every field the principal interaevangelical debate has been the same: Do evangelical Christian scholars pursue their science or discipline differently from the way secularists do?"
"Kuyperians, in contrast, emphasize that discipline is built on starting assumptions and that Christians’ basic assumptions should have substantial effects on many of their theoretical conclusions in a discipline."
This statement might apply to Dooyeweerd and his disciples, people like Cornelis van Til, but certainly not to the whole work of Abraham Kuyper. Francis Schaeffer attempt to blend Dooyeweerdian thought into his Warfielder heritage was only a mitigated success. Van Til probably tried to do the same thing. Buswell in his discussion of van Til and Dooyeweerd had seen how useless that effort would be.

However, when we look under the hood of the reasoning of several leading Warfielders, people like J. Oliver Buswell and John Gerstner, it's obvious they have much more in common with the true heir of Abraham Kuyper's legacy, Klaas Schilder, then the Dooyeweerdians would want the world to know.

I am convinced Klaas Schilder's ideological war against "common grace" was actually the axe at the Dooyeweerdian card house.

The introduction to a april 19th conference on the Regimes of Religious Pluralism in 20th‐Century Europe  at the VU gives the typical Dooyeweerdian VU characterisation of Kuyper's antirevolutionaries as "moral collectivities":
"In the Netherlands, a number of communities came to embody distinct moral collectivities within the nation. Through this process, religious/ideological diversity became the principle of social organization that the Dutch call “pillarization" 
Through which process? All this talk of "moral collectivities" is the typical Dooyeweerdian trick to claim relevance for their philosophy. Often overlooked in discussions on Dutch neo-calvinism and Abraham Kuyper, but the technocrats that wrecked the Antirevolutionary battleship from within were Dooyeweerdians.

Vincent Bacote and Daniel Pylman write:

"The aim of tonight’s presentation is to suggest that neo-calvinism’s emphasis on common grace offers the same vital support to the postmodern-friendly emergent church as it did to the late nineteenth century Dutch reformed church that sought to engage every area of life while maintaining fidelity to orthodoxy."
Once again the misconception that "common grace" somehow played an important role in the rise of Dutch neocalvinism. The philosophical Foudations of Bavinck were rejected (!) by Dooyeweerd. We read in the excellent article by Eduardo J. Echeverria:

"Indeed, as early as 1939, Dooyeweerd had rejected the moderate realism of Bavinck's philosophical thought as being in the "scholastic line" rather than the "reformational line" of Calvinism"

The link between B. B. Warfield, Old Princeton and scottish realism has often been over emphasized, allthough sofar it's not exactedly clear what the link really was as we can read in this bookreview of B.B. Warfield's Scientifically Constructive Theological Scholarship:

"Warfield's detractors have maligned his thought as static and beholden to an outdated epistemology, yet Smith debunks this myth. Placed within his historical context, we discover Warfield expressing the organic and dynamic nature of truth, overcoming the subject-object dilemma that plagues Western epistemological rationalism and mysticism, and all through his explaining the doctrinal system warranted by the Bible. Theological scholarship and American church historiography will have to reckon with this fresh and much-needed apologetic on America's preeminent apologist."
Dooyeweerd can't even stand in the shadow of Warfield's big toe.

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