Dooyeweerd's philosophy is built on his personal summary of Christian faith, which he called ground motive:
'The fall redirected the human heart, it did not change the creation ordinances, for God preserves these ordinances through common grace."He claims in that same quote:
"Thus the Christian ground motive is a leaven that ought to permeate all things, radically changing a person's view of the state and societal spheres as it comes to acknowledge their true principles."Herman Dooyeweerd's Ground Motive is what links him to Francis Schaeffer and Cornelis van Til. As William Edgar wrote in 2005:
"Schaeffer's first book, Escape from Reason, shows a decided influence from Herman Dooyeweerd. A Dutch friend, professor of History of Art at the Free University, wrote extensively to Cornelius Van Til at Westminster Seminary, urging him to give his former student a fair hearing"Roel Kuiper, another Dooyeweerd disciple, says in his article "State As Unifier":
"Dooyeweerd's starting point was the nature and functions of the state, taking it to exist in fact for public justice"A typical example of the Dooyeweerdian circular logic. Why would we take Dooyeweerd's ground motive or his description of the functions of the state as starting point? It sounds completely arbitrary to me. Based on this kind of flimpsy logic I imagine someone can claim to be of the school of Cornelis van Til, Francis Schaeffer and/or Herman Dooyeweerd and attack Karl Barth, socialism or the opening of swimming pools on sunday.
This whole "ground motive" or presupposition school, in essence is the same thing if you ask me. It might give you a little respectability and win you some friends at some University here and there. But in the end it's trapping calvinism like a lightning bug in a glas jar.
After reading J. Oliver Buswell's letter exchange 1937 and critique of Cornelis van Til's "presuppositionalism" 1948, I was curious if J. Oliver Buswell had also written on Dooyeweerd's "Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee". And indeed, he has!! in april 1949. My intuition tells me this is a straight continuation of his exchange with Cornelis van Til.
In that same year Buswell wrote an article "Karl Barth's Theology" and later, in 1950, met Karl Barth together wtih Francis Schaeffer.
Buswell asked Karl Barth two questions in that brief encounter:
“In a brief conversation with Karl Barth in Switzerland in August 1950. I referred to his Dogmatics in Outline and asked if his view of the Persons of the Trinity, as there expressed, was not Sabellianism. ‘Well, you could call it Sabellianism,’ he frankly replied. Barth sometimes denies that he is a ‘modalist.’ But my esteemed colleague, Dr. Alan Killen, who is a specialist and critic in the field of the Barthian type of theology, tells me that a careful analysis of Barth’s views shows that he really is a modalist, or Sabellian.”
“In the conversation above referred to, I asked Professor Barth how he explained the prayers of Jesus and His sayings in which He spoke objectively of the Father and of the Spirit. His reply was to the effect that in speaking of the Deity the difference between subject and object completely disappears. I said, ‘Is that not then mysticism?’ to which he replied, ‘Well, you could call it mysticism.’” (A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion, vol. 1, pp. 123-24) "
As found by Louis McBride in Buswell's Systematic Theology of The Christian Religion, which is probably a very valuable book to read.
Francis Schaeffer on why Faith and Westminster split (in 1937):
"The Reformed emphasis was very much beyond what I was sure the Bible taught and in fact what Calvin taught" He told a prospective student that the Westminster professors "have so stressed the sovereignty of Go that they have reduced man's free agency to mere responsibility,"A quote that says a lot.
Another investigative post on Francis Schaeffer's relation to Buswell and van Til.
Ricardo Quadros Gouvea, who has studied in Westminster, claims van Til is inferior to Dooyeweerd because van Til was part of the fundamentalist Presbyterian movement. He calls van Til sectarian and fideistic. Interesting how van Til is attacked by a Dooyeweerd supporter and by the Scottisch realist old Princetonian Buswell. Sounds to me van Til must have felt pretty lonely at times.