by Theodore Plantinga
There are some who maintain that the problem of the degeneration of worship in our time is not all that hard to solve. If you are yearning for Christian Reformed worship of the sort that was found virtually everywhere in the denomination in the 1950s, all you need to do is join a United Reformed church or perhaps a Canadian Reformed church. In response I would say that liturgical renewal is needed even in those fellowships, however old-fashioned the preaching they offer. Return to text of Essay 2.
The Belgic Confession was written in French. The Latin version referred to here is the second translation of the original French into Latin, which was undertaken by a Frisian named Fetse Homminga (1576-1642), who is better known by his Latin name: Festus Hommius. His translation was presented to the Synod of Dort (1618-19). Return to text of Essay 2.
This eminent theologian, who is known for his broad-mindedness, was the president of the synod that eventually deposed Schilder. I recall that during my student days there was a fair amount of appreciation for Berkouwer in reformational circles; his theology was thought to have broken with "scholasticism." Runner seemed to appreciate Berkouwer: he even officiated at Runner's wedding on December 16, 1947. See Stellingwerff's book on Vollenhoven (note stellingwerff33), p. 191. I will have more to say about Berkouwer's approach to theology in a later essay in this series. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Carl Bowman's illuminating book Brethren Society: The Cultural Transformation of a "Peculiar People" (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995). Return to text of Essay 2.
R.H. Bremmer is also the author of two significant books on Herman Bavinck. The first is entitled Herman Bavinck als dogmaticus (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1961) and the second Herman Bavinck en zijn tijdgenoten (Kok, 1965). Return to text of Essay 2.
The difficulties in such a situation are manifold. I once spoke at a public meeting dealing with matters of this sort where my Canadian Reformed counterpart, who was a minister serving one of the Ontario churches, told our audience how he and his compatriots had been cast out. I replied by pointing out that no one had suspended or deposed him in particular. (By that time, the Canadian Reformed ministers on active duty were generally men who had grown up in their circles and had entered the ministry by the usual route of education and calling.) Those who had actually been cast out in the 1940s had passed on or were retired. Furthermore, I added that -- far from casting him out -- my local Christian Reformed congregation had recently enjoyed one of his Heidelberg Catechism sermons when an elder leading a reading service selected it. This was news to him. Now, the minister was right in saying that there is a problem here: how do you deal with people after you have cast them out? But the problem grows less severe when the first generation passes on. Even in the Netherlands, the contentious doctrinal declarations that triggered the schism of 1944 were withdrawn a mere fifteen years later. Still later, in 1988, the denomination in the Netherlands that had cast out Schilder and company apologized for what it had done, and in 1993 it attempted to take up official contact with the "liberated" Reformed churches. For the text of the 1988 declaration, see Van Reest, Schilder's Struggle (note vanreest33), pp. 401-402. Return to text of Essay 2.
The "corporate emphasis" was not some arcane theological point understood only by professors and a few ministers. It had implications for everyday life. B.J. Haan (1917-94) explained how Christian Reformed people used to understand these things: "... our denomination also maintained the principle of corporate responsibility. Corporate responsibility means that if you are part of an organization whose practices are contrary to the principles upon which your church stands, then you are co-responsible for the condemned practice." See A Zeal for Christian Education (note haan33), pp. 49-50. The context of this remark is an explanation of how and why he and other members of his congregation came to oppose the opening of a movie theater in a local building owned by the American Legion. Some of the Legion's members were also members of Haan's church in Sioux Center, Iowa. Return to text of Essay 2.
Dooyeweerd observed: "If we break with the thought of the Covenant in the temporal organization of the Church, we open the door to the individualistic sect-type." See New Critique, Vol. 3, p. 533. Return to text of Essay 2.
Thomas Day, Why Catholics Can't Sing (New York: Crossroad, 1992). What Day says about deplorable developments within Roman Catholic worship seems to me to apply to some Protestant innovations as well; I think especially of what he says about "Ego Renewal" as underlying much of what has crept into the churches in recent decades. For example, he complains: "Ego Renewal, this tendency to put `me' in the center of the liturgical landscape, is the single most influential thing to happen in the way Catholics have worshiped since the Second Vatican Council. Nothing else comes close to it in size and influence. From Ego Renewal flows everything that is annoying about liturgy in the Catholic church today. It even helps to explain ... why Catholics can't sing." [Page 51] One wonders whether the phrase in his title might be an exaggeration. He tells us sadly: "A great many people in Catholic churches do not even open their mouths to sing -- ever. Whole families, devout people who go to church every week, do not even pick up the hymnal." [Page 3] Part of the problem is that the singing is done for them -- with a little help from electronic amplification. Day therefore advises: "Let the assembly hear its own voice, not the voice of an ego behind a microphone. Restrain the amplification. ... Melt down the microphones or beat them into ploughshares." [Page 169] Spoken like a reformational prophet! Return to text of Essay 2.
De Bolster's account of his career as Redeemer's president is entitled Stepping Forward in Faith: Redeemer University College, 1974-1994 (Belleville, Ontario: Guardian Books, 2001). Return to text of Essay 2.
Although the term "denomination" can be found in Schilder (see Verzamelde Werken: De Kerk, Vol. 1, ed. Jacob Kamphuis and published by Oosterbaan & Le Cointre of Goes in 1960, p. 389), some of the Canadian Reformed are reluctant to use it, especially in application to their own churches, for they sense a dose of relativism clinging to it. In this regard their thinking parallels that of traditional Roman Catholics, who refuse to consider their church as one denomination among others (after all, it's simply "the Church," as far as they are concerned). In a lengthy survey of Christian denominations written from a strictly Roman Catholic point of view, Konrad Algermissen observes: "In recent years the term `denominations' has come to be used in America to describe all Christian religious organizations, whether Churches or sects. In so far as the term is used merely as a general appellation, there may perhaps be no fault to find with it. As a matter of fact, however, the word is largely used to express the parity of all Christian communities. One considers it antiquated to speak of the Church, and unbecoming to speak of sects." See Christian Denominations, trans. Joseph W. Grundner (St. Louis and London: B. Herder Book Company, 1945), p. 88. In other words, in using the term "denomination," one is being polite toward the sects (including a great many Protestants) and their members. When it comes to "Mohammedanism," however, no such politeness is required. We are permitted to call a spade a spade, for "Mohammedanism" is an "evil wind" and a "storm." Writes Algermissen: "Like a destroying tornado, the savage and fanatical hordes of Mohammed spread desolation over large and blooming acres of the Church." See pp. 108-109. Many of the Canadian Reformed likewise avoid the ecclesiastical egalitarianism built into the term "denomination." Hence some of them like to speak of their congregation in a given city, e.g. Ottawa, simply as "the church of Ottawa," instead of the "Ottawa Canadian Reformed Church" (which could then be distinguished from the Ottawa Presbyterian Church and the Ottawa Baptist Church and so forth). As for their "denomination," it is to be called a "federation of churches." This insistence and the line of reasoning behind it goes back to the question sometimes discussed in "liberated" circles whether the Lord Jesus Christ can have more than one church (in the denominational sense) in one place. Remember that the church of Philadelphia (see Revelation 3) did not bear a denominational label. If the Lord Jesus were to write a letter to the church in Ottawa, just where would he send it? Surely not to the Baptists or the Presbyterians! Arguments about this issue played a role in the developments leading up to the schism of 1944. See Douwe van Dijk, My Path to Liberation (note polman33), pp. 219ff. Return to text of Essay 2.
See W.G. De Vries, Eender en anders: Correspondentie tussen K. Schilder en D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1992). De Vries was Schilder's son-in-law. Working with him on the project was Vollenhoven's son Herman, who was, in addition, a nephew of Dooyeweerd. There is also considerable information about these matters in Johan Stellingwerff's book on Vollenhoven (note stellingwerff33). Return to text of Essay 2.
Published in Eender en anders (note devries33), pp. 105 and 152. Return to text of Essay 2.
Eender en anders (note devries33), p. 143. Return to text of Essay 2.
For Schilder's 1950 letter, see Eender en anders (note devries33), p. 169. For Vollenhoven's response, see pp. 171-172. Return to text of Essay 2.
These visits and interventions are mentioned in the correspondence published by De Vries: see Eender en anders (note devries33, pp. 133, 152, 156, and 158). Return to text of Essay 2.
New Critique, Vol. 3, pp. 559-560. Return to text of Essay 2.
The extensive Dooyeweerd bibliography in the Perspectief book (p. 77) lists an item entitled Aan de Generale Synode der Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland te Utrecht (To the General Synod of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands [meeting] in Utrecht), which is further identified as "Gedrukte brief over de schorsing van Prof. Dr. K. Schilder, geschreven samen met D.H.Th. Vollenhoven en gedateert Amsterdam 5 juni 1944" (Printed letter about the suspension of Prof. Dr. K. Schilder, written jointly with D.H.Th. Vollenhoven and dated Amsterdam, June 5, 1944). Return to text of Essay 2.
He made this comment to George Puchinger in an interview. See Is de gereformeerde wereld veranderd? (Delft, W.D. Meinema, 1966), p. 91; see also New Critique, Vol. 3, p. 509. Yet he does use "invisible church" terminology on pp. 534-535. Return to text of Essay 2.
He makes this observation in a piece called "Introduction by the Editor in Chief, Prof. Herman Dooyeweerd," published in The Idea of a Christian Philosophy: Essays in Honor of D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (Toronto: Wedge Publishing Foundation, 1973), p. 15. The contents of this book were published simultaneously in periodical form as an issue of Philosophia Reformata. Dooyeweerd's piece (comprising pp. 5-16) presents something of a historical review of his own career, including his involvement in the church struggle of the 1940s; he does not talk about Vollenhoven as much as one would expect. Return to text of Essay 2.
See New Critique, Vol. 1, pp. 515-527. Dooyeweerd introduces this section with the heading "Why a radical Christian philosophy can only develop in the line of CALVIN's religious starting-point." Return to text of Essay 2.
This is not to say that Dooyeweerd stayed out of the kind of involvement with Christian organizations that is associated with Kuyper's understanding of the Christian's task in the world. Marcel Verburg tells us about Dooyeweerd's extra-academic involvements. I think especially of the work he did over many years on behalf of a Christian society aimed at helping prisoners with rehabilitation and re-entry into society. See Verburg, Herman Dooyeweerd (note verburg 22), pp. 136-138. Return to text of Essay 2.
He uses this cumbersome term in New Critique, Vol. 3, p. 553. His main discussion of the church covers pp. 506-561. Return to text of Essay 2.
It is ironic that some people who have only a superficial acquaintance with Dutch Reformed church history are inclined to label Schilder as the man who split the church. What such people do not know is that long before the battle that culminated in the sad events of 1944, Schilder was preoccupied with overcoming what he considered a rupture in 1892, when a segment of the Secession (Afscheiding) denomination refused to unite with the Doleantie denomination dominated by Kuyper. Schilder denied the right of the "refuseniks" of 1892 to exist as a separate church. He maintained that people who insist on worshipping on their own are to be regarded as schismatics (kerkverscheurders). See De Kerk, Vol. 1 (note denomination33), pp. 236, 272, 300, 319, 355-356, 374. Return to text of Essay 2.
Both quotations come from Van Reest's Schilder's Struggle (note vanreest33), p. 373. Return to text of Essay 2.
The first quotation is from "The Boundaries of the Church," in Faber's book Essays in Reformed Doctrine (Neerlandia, Alberta: Inheritance Publications, 1990), p. 125; the second is from "The Doctrine of the Church in Reformed Confessions," published in the same book, p. 107. On this distinction see also Henry De Bolster, Struggles and Blessings (privately published, 2003). Explaining the thinking that animated him during his days as a young man in the Netherlands, when he was an enthusiastic member of the "liberated" churches, De Bolster observes: "... we had come to the conclusion that according to the Belgic Confession God gathers his church in one particular local church. That gathering work was called congregatio, and the believers must respond to God's call and be gathered by God. That response was called coetus. Where congregatio and coetus coincided, there the church of Christ was together in obedience to God's Word. The false church was the gathering of the coetus without the presence of God's congregation." See pp. 47-48. De Bolster places this brief commentary on Schilder's ecclesiology within the context of his own life story: although he had been a member of the "liberated" churches in the Netherlands, he became Christian Reformed some years later in Canada, after having first studied under Herman Hoeksema in the Protestant Reformed seminary in Grand Rapids. A unique feature of his book is an appendix in which he explains his thinking regarding secessions, schisms, church splits, and so forth (see pp. 171-178). De Bolster is an example of a moderate reformational strongly committed to redemptive-historical preaching who also takes ecclesiology very seriously (unlike some other reformationals). De Bolster emphasizes that all efforts at church reformation must honor the church order, and he then proceeds to spell out some guidelines not contained in the church order itself as to just what might be required and/or allowed in hypothetical circumstances in which efforts at reformation that might lead to conflict are being undertaken. His book (especially the appendix) represents a concrete indication that the reformationals were serious about their commitment to reformation within the church, even if, at times, they did not know how to go about it. And his career as a whole (he was active in Christian education for many years while serving as a Christian Reformed pastor and eventually became the first president of Redeemer University College) shows that those who were deeply influenced by Schilder and the redemptive-historical tradition did not need to lose sight of the broader contours of God's kingdom by falling into ecclesiasticism (kerkisme). Return to text of Essay 2.
Man, Faith, and Religion was Fernhout's M.Phil. thesis at the Institute for Christian Studies (1975). It should be noted that Fernhout's remarks do not stand within the framework of a discussion of Dooyeweerd's view of the church. It appears to me that there is work remaining to be done here: someone should pull together the statements about "the pistical" and relate them to how the church (and churches, including non-Christian communities of worship) might then be understood in theoretical terms. It looks to me like a fine dissertation project. Return to text of Essay 2.
Friesen's website highlights the term "Christian nondualism." His homepage, which features links to Dooyeweerd, Vollenhoven, Kuyper, and some Eastern thinkers as well, is available at www.members.shaw.ca/jgfriesen/. Among his forays into this domain is an article entitled "Dooyeweerd, Spann, and the Philosophy of Totality," published in Philosophia Reformata, Vol. 70 (2005), No. 1, pp. 2-22. Friesen's overall project of relating Dooyeweerd to mystics and romantics in the history of thought is opposed by D.F.M. (Danie) Strauss: see his article "Intellectual Influences upon the Reformational Philosophy of Dooyeweerd," in Philosophia Reformata, Vol. 69 (2004), No. 2, pp. 151-181. Friesen's response to Strauss's criticism is available at www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Strauss.html. Return to text of Essay 2.
Parts of this work are now available in English translation on J. Glenn Friesen's website: www.members.shaw.ca/jgfriesen/Mainheadings/Prolegomena1.html. Return to text of Essay 2.
J.G. Geelkerken (1879-1960) was forced out of the ministry of the Reformed Churches in 1926. His congregation (Amsterdam-South) went with him, as did some other congregations, which together formed a denomination known as the Reformed Churches in Restored Federation. The issue was Geelkerken's interpretation of Genesis 3 (the story of the fall into sin). Where did Dooyeweerd stand in all of this? Marcel Verburg writes: "Herman Dooyeweerd himself, who already had an aversion to theological disputes, was not without sympathy for Geelkerken's position and sometimes attended services conducted by Geelkerken in the Park Church in Amsterdam, but he never made a pronouncement about the issue in public." See Herman Dooyeweerd (note verburg22) pp. 108ff. Return to text of Essay 2.
Seakle Greijdanus (1871-1948) taught New Testament studies at Kampen and was suspended but never deposed. He came out of retirement to teach at the "liberated" Kampen (see the Institutions and Organizations web page). Douwe van Dijk writes about him in My Path to Liberation (note polman33), pp. 58-61; see also Van Reest, Schilder's Struggle (note vanreest33), pp. 341-342 and 385-386. Herman Johannes Schilder (1916-84) was a nephew of Klaas Schilder who completed his studies for the ministry during the war but was refused the status of candidate for a call, for the usual reasons. He eventually became a professor of Old Testament studies at the "liberated" Kampen, where he succeeded Benne Holwerda. He wrote a lengthy book about the church struggle and his own case, entitled Op de grens van kerk en secte (Rotterdam, no date). Van Dijk writes about H.J. Schilder on pp. 258-259; see also Van Reest, pp. 311-312. Return to text of Essay 2.
B.J. Haan notes that this matter once became an issue at Dordt College: "One member of the faculty wanted the chapel to be a showcase for a Reformed view of church worship. He wanted it to be a model church, to illustrate a Reformed, biblical view of liturgy. In his plan, the organ and the choirs would be placed in the back of the auditorium, and we would not have been able to put on major performances in the building. We refused to listen to this idea." See A Zeal for Christian Education: The Memoirs of B.J. Haan (Sioux Center, Iowa: Dordt College Press, 1992), p. 147. Return to text of Essay 2.
See "The Gospel Is Radical," in Out of Concern for the Church: Five Essays, by John Olthuis et al. (Toronto: Wedge Publishing Foundation, 1970), p. 42. Return to text of Essay 2.
Daryl G. Hart, Recovering Mother Kirk: The Case for Liturgy in the Reformed Tradition (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003), p. 84. Hart also observes: "Rather than educating outsiders or seekers so they may join God's people in worship, or rather than educating the illiterate so they may join the conversation of the West, the church and the academy employee as their languages the idioms of the unchurched and the undereducated. In effect, through P & W [praise and worship] the church is becoming dumber at the same time that multiculturalism is dumbing down the university. In the case of P & W, the church, by embracing the elements and logic of contemporary worship, has abandoned its task of catechesis. Rather than converting and discipling the seeker, the church now uses the very language and methods of the world. Rather than educating the unbaptized in the language of the household of faith, the church now teaches communicants the language of the world." [Page 89] Return to text of Essay 2.
Daryl G. Hart: "... Presbyterians need to recover the idea of the church as mother. This idea is foreign to many of Calvin's theological heirs, even though the Geneva Reformer wrote explicitly about the church's nurturing capacity. See Recovering Mother Kirk (note hart44), p. 38. Hart refers here to Calvin's Institutes, Book IV, Chapter 1, Section 4. Return to text of Essay 2.
Hart explains: "The regulative principle teaches that public worship is governed by God's revelation in his holy Word; whatever elements comprise corporate worship must be directly commanded by God in Scripture." See Recovering Mother Kirk (note hart44) p. 71; also pp. 101ff. Hart's latest affiliation is with an organization known as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Return to text of Essay 2.
This worship community was not named after Hendrik Hart, as people sometimes thought, although Hart was a participant during my days there. The group met in Hart House, a building on the University of Toronto campus erected long before the AACS/ICS was dreamed of and named after Hart Massey (1823-96). Return to text of Essay 2.
This translation is taken from the Book of Praise (Winnipeg: Premier Printing, 1987 edition), p. 495. Return to text of Essay 2.
See his 1949 address to young people entitled "The Church in the Last Judgment" (unpublished edition translated by P.Y. De Jong and circulated by Roelof Janssen). Return to text of Essay 2.
Hepp's historical importance can easily be underestimated. Jack Rogers says of him: "Valentine Hepp came between Bavinck and Berkouwer, but his scholasticism exercised no discernible influence on Berkouwer or the Reformed tradition." See Confessions of a Conservative Evangelical (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1974), p. 135. Hepp's theology may be largely forgotten, but his impact on the public careers of Schilder and Dooyeweerd entitles him to historical recognition. The train of events he unleashed drove Schilder out of the church and led Dooyeweerd to play his cards very close to his chest, thereby contributing to his autobiographical reticence (see Essay 1 in this series). J. Glenn Friesen has recently translated much previously unpublished material about Hepp's attack on Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven and made it available on his website at www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Curators.html. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Appendix IX, entitled "Denial of Scientific Philosophy ...." This piece was written in the summer of 1935 and published in Husserl's The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy, trans. David Carr (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970), p. 389. Just what Husserl meant by this famous remark is a matter of dispute among experts on phenomenology. Return to text of Essay 2.
Leendert Kalsbeek, Contours of a Christian Philosophy: An Introduction to Herman Dooyeweerd's Thought, ed. Bernard & Josina Zylstra (Toronto: Wedge Publishing Foundation, 1975), p. 241. This book has recently been reprinted by the Edwin Mellen Press of Lewiston, N.Y. Return to text of Essay 2.
Kalsbeek, Contours (note kalsbeek33). p. 241; the relevant discussion begins on p. 239. For Vollenhoven's brief -- and somewhat murky -- formulation with regard to this matter, see Introduction to Philosophy (note vollenhoven55), p. 92. Return to text of Essay 2.
See "De katholiciteit der kerk," in Verkenningen, Vol. 1: Opstellen over kerk en uitverkiezing (Goes: Oosterbaan & Le Cointre, 1963), pp. 76-77. Return to text of Essay 2.
Ralph Koops is a Christian Reformed minister and former Runner student and Groen Clubber with a strong commitment to redemptive-historical preaching. He made this observation in an interview of October 8, 2005. Runner was right to criticize such preaching, Koops maintains, for often it amounted to little more than "een verhaaltje met een moraaltje" (a little story with a lesson or moral tacked on). Looking for more substantial fare, Koops often attended services at Grandville Avenue Christian Reformed Church at which John Piersma preached, and he would sometimes find Runner in attendance as well. I was a student member of Fuller Avenue Church in those days, where Runner was a member; one Sunday evening I sat next to him in church and he promptly pulled from his pocket a letter from one of "his boys" now studying at the Free University and insisted that I read a passage he pointed out to me. Return to text of Essay 2.
My brother Richard Plantinga, who teaches theology at Calvin College, also wants to learn from the "Hervormden." He wrote his master's thesis on Kraemer and his doctoral dissertation on Van der Leeuw. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Kuyper, Pro Rege, of het koningschap van Christus, Vol. 2: Het koningschap van Christus in zijn werking (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1911), pp. 349-350. Neither will there be a "visible church" in the "new Jerusalem" (see p. 348). Return to text of Essay 2.
See Kuyper, E Voto Dordraceno: Toelichting op den Heidelbergschen Catechismus, Vol. 3 (Amsterdam: J.A. Wormser, 1894), p. 331. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Onze Eeredienst, a reprint of material first published between 1897 and 1901 (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1911), p. 492. W.H. van den Pol said of this book that what it advocates would have been nothing special to an Anglican but was rather unusual for a Calvinist: "... voor een Calvinist was het iets heel bijzonders." See his interview with George Puchinger in Gesprekken over Rome-Reformatie (Delft: Uitgave W.D. Meinema, 1965), p. 44. Cornelius Van Til has also been known to speak a good word on behalf of the "English church." According to Daryl Hart, Van Til, "... while preferring Presbyterian liturgy, still remarked that `at least in an Episcopalian [Anglican] service no one says anything silly.'" See Recovering Mother Kirk (note hart 44), p. 87. There are advantages in a prescribed liturgy! Kuyper also spoke out in favor of kneeling for prayer (see Onze Eeredienst, p. 240). Many Scottish Presbyterians in earlier ages had trouble distinguishing between kneeling before God and kneeling before the English who sought to lord it over them, and so kneeling remained unpopular with the Scots. Return to text of Essay 2.
Kuyper, Lectures on Calvinism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961, first published in 1931; these lectures were delivered in 1898), pp. 53-54. Return to text of Essay 2.
Kuyper, Onze Eeredienst (note kuyper33), p. 513. A much younger Kuyper already struck such a note long before the Doleantie or even the founding of the Free University: "... I would like to see a reduction of preaching and a better development of the worship service. It makes no difference to me what form is chosen for this end. I hardly need to remind you that the sacraments, prayer, congregational singing, and further liturgy are the components intended for such purposes. ... Let there be teaching services! Excellent! Services that take a good two hours of the Sunday and are aimed at the education of the congregation through thorough, well thought-out discussion of the depths of the Word, the needs of life, and the course of God's kingdom. But we should not devote every gathering of the congregation to this purpose. Let there be in addition short, simple, liturgical services in which every member of the congregation can participate, including even the child that goes to Sunday school. Services in which God's Word is read, in which there is thanksgiving and prayer, in which there is singing and rejoicing, with everything concluded with a brief exhortation. But above all, next to these two kinds of services, and not just every three months, but frequently and on a continuing basis, let there be a sacramental service for the believers, so that the Lord can come to his congregation by way of bread and wine and give her his body as food and his blood as drink, for the renewal of her life, the sealing of the covenant and the strengthening of her faith." See Confidentie: Schrijven aan den weled. heer J.H. van der Linden (Amsterdam: Höveker & Zoon, 1873), pp. 99-100. Return to text of Essay 2.
In a discussion of church government Kuyper wrote: "If the Church is considered to be an institute of grace, independent of the believers, or an institute in which a hierarchical priesthood distributes the treasury of grace entrusted to it, the result must be that this hierarchy itself extends through all nations, and imparts the same stamp to all forms of ecclesiastical life. But if the Church consists in the congregation of believers, if the churches are formed by the union of confessors, and are united only in the way of confederation, then the differences of climate and of nation, of historical past, and of disposition of mind come in to exercise a widely variegating influence, and multiformity in ecclesiastical matters must be the result. A result, therefore, of very far-reaching importance, because it annihilates the absolute character of every visible church, and places them all side by side, as differing in degrees of purity, but always remaining in some way or other a manifestation of one holy and catholic Church of Christ in Heaven." See Lectures on Calvinism (note kuyper66), pp. 63-64. He also discusses this notion in Varia Americana (Amsterdam and Pretoria, South Africa: Höveker & Wormser, no date), pp. 162-164. In another work he explains that the Lutheran and Reformed churches have each been entrusted with a special talent to develop and that they are supposed to keep each other from becoming one-sided: See Uit het Woord: Stichtelijke Bijbelstudiën, Tweede Bundel (Amsterdam: J.A. Wormser, no date), pp. 201-202. Return to text of Essay 2.
Wijsbegeerte en levenspraktijk: De betekenis van de wijsbegeerte der wetsidee voor velerlei levensgebied, ed. H.J. Spier and J.M. Spier (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1948). Return to text of Essay 2.
When Holwerda urged Dooyeweerd and others to "liberate" themselves, he was asking that they declare themselves not bound by the doctrinal declarations of the synod that were in dispute and the suspensions and depositions that had followed from them. What this would amount to in practice was worshipping with others who had also declared themselves not bound: in effect, it meant joining a congregation that had rejected the synodical decisions and actions. Of course it was also possible that the entire congregation to which one belonged had already liberated itself, in which case one stayed put, so to speak, remaining under the authority of the same elders as before. Schilder and company denied that the course of action they were following amounted to forming a "new" denomination or church. Instead, those who pursued such a course of action maintained that they were continuing the legitimate church life of the denomination of which they had long been a part: their opponents were the ones who had rendered themselves illegitimate by the actions they had taken. It is hard to find words to describe such developments that will be acceptable to all sides. And so we see that what Holwerda's admonition came down to, in brief, was that Dooyeweerd, Vollenhoven and company were supposed to stand next to Schilder, ecclesiastically speaking. Return to text of Essay 2.
Runner wrote: "No single man has had more influence upon political thought in the United States than Locke." See Scriptural Religion and Political Task (note runner66), p. 82. Locke's influence on American society and politics was mediated partly through his influence on French thinkers (see pp. 65-66). Return to text of Essay 2.
General Revelation and Common Grace (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1953), p. 347. Return to text of Essay 2.
Philip Marchand informs us: "McLuhan's concern for children showed itself chiefly in his attempt to shelter them from the influence of media. ... As a grandparent, he advised his son Eric to limit the time his young daughter spent watching TV .... Ideally, he felt, the young should be limited to one hour a week viewing time; when his own children were young they were not allowed much more than this." See Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger (Toronto: Random House, 1989), p. 61; see also p. 101. Return to text of Essay 2.
David Naugle, Worldview: The History of a Concept (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), see pp. 44-52. Return to text of Essay 2.
See James Olthuis, "The Institutional Church in Biblical Perspective" (note strauss33), pp. 3, 12; see also "Must the Church Become Secular?" in Out of Concern for the Church (note hart33), p. 116. The claim that the New Testament knows nothing of what we now call the instituted church is not derived from Dooyeweerd himself, for he wrote: "CALVIN was indeed the first to conceive the ecclesia invisibilis (as the `mystic body of Christ,' the assembly of the elect) in close connection with the internal structure of the Church institution as a temporal societal relationship. ... He was the first to infer the nature of the temporal Church institution, as a real organized community, from its internal structural law, revealed in the New Testament." See New Critique, Vol. 3, p. 519. Return to text of Essay 2.
An essay that comes to mind as relevant to the issues addressed by Fernhout is "Dooyeweerd on Religion and Faith," by James H. Olthuis: see The Legacy of Herman Dooyeweerd, ed. C.T. McIntire (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1985), pp. 21-40. In this essay, Olthuis addresses the question how theology and "the pistical aspect" relate to one another. But Olthuis does not address the question what the church has to do with all of this. Reformationals do not appear to be enamored of the notion of "church dogmatics." Return to text of Essay 2.
"The Gospel Is Radical" (note hart33). The long quotation comes from p. 34; the Praamsma reference occurs on the same page. The last two quotations are from pp. 37 and 41 respectively. Return to text of Essay 2.
Runner characterizes the ideal of permanent revolution as "continual progressive experimentation" and relates it to Groen van Prinsterer's analysis of the consequences of unbelief. See Scriptural Religion (note runner66), p. 83. Return to text of Essay 2.
Not related to Bert Polman, a music professor at Calvin College and earlier at Redeemer and a long-time member of the reformational movement. A.D.R. Polman became Schilder's successor in the chair of systematic theology at Kampen after the latter was deposed. Douwe van Dijk gives us an interesting picture of Polman in My Path to Liberation, trans. Theodore Plantinga (Neerlandia, Alberta: Inheritance Publications, 2004), pp. 273-276. On Polman's role in instigating the official inquiry into Schilder's views back in 1936, which eventually led to the events of 1944, see Van Reest, Schilder's Struggle (note vanreest33), p. 207. Return to text of Essay 2.
Louis Praamsma (1910-84) was a church historian and professor and pastor in the Christian Reformed churches in Canada. He was known to take a markedly conservative stance on many issues. I crossed swords with him myself in Calvinist Contact back in the 1970s but later developed a great appreciation and respect for his work and wound up editing a couple of his books for publication in English. Reformationals generally look with favor upon his book Let Christ Be King: Reflections on the Life and Times of Abraham Kuyper (Jordan Station, Ontario: Paideia Press, 1985). Herman Praamsma, his son, became a Christian Reformed minister and is reckoned among the reformationals. Riemer Praamsma, another son, also became a Christian Reformed minister but is not usually regarded as a reformational. Christine Farenhorst, their sister, is a well-known writer in conservative Reformed circles and eventually joined a Canadian Reformed church. Return to text of Essay 2.
I should add that I also remarried early in the new millennium. Janet, my wife, who was raised in the Church of Scotland, took readily to Anglican worship and regularly attends an 8:30 communion service with me. I in turn began to attend Presbyterian services with her at 11 o'clock on Sunday mornings, and so I now worship in both Anglican and Presbyterian churches (and continue to deal with "low-church" issues in the latter setting). My formal membership is with the Anglicans, but we support both churches financially. Return to text of Essay 2.
William (Bill) Romanowski proposes to look for God (and presumably also for idols) in popular culture. His recent book Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2001) has also been made into a video series by Calvin College. One reviewer of this book complimented its author by writing: "William Romanowski is a professor of communication arts at Calvin College, but does not write like a professor." See www.ransomfellowship.org/R_Romanowski.html. Return to text of Essay 2.
This expression was used by B.B. Warfield in a conversation with J. Gresham Machen when the latter asked whether the Presbyterian Church would split over the issues of the day. Return to text of Essay 2.
Can Canada Tolerate the C.L.A.C.? The Achilles Heel of a Humanistic Society, a 1967 address published separately by the C.L.A.C., pp. 14-15. Return to text of Essay 2.
Can Canada Tolerate the C.L.A.C.? (note runner33), p. 7. Return to text of Essay 2.
Schilder belonged to the Association for a mere matter of years. When first asked to join he decided to think it over for a while and see how things were developing. He joined on March 9, 1940, at the very same time as Evan Runner, who was then his student in Kampen. See Stellingwerff, Vollenhoven (note stellingwerff33), p. 154. Return to text of Essay 2.
Runner used such terminology as "religious root-unity" and "root-unity of life" and the "religious root-life of the temporal world." See The Relation of the Bible to Learning, fifth revised edition (Jordan Station, Ontario: Paideia Press, 1982), pp. 70, 156, 161. He related such unity to the concept of office: "... the scriptural concept of Office excludes all forms of individualism and points up the corporative character of the Christian religion. Not in ourselves, as individuals, but only in Christ, as members, along with all our fellow-believers, of the Body of which He is the Head, are we restored to our task in the world." See Scriptural Religion and Political Task (Toronto: Wedge Publishing Foundation, 1974), p. 33. Unity outside the church is also to be sought through corporate subjection to Christ. Runner writes: "Concord and unity are a matter of religion. When God opens the hearts of men to give heed to His Will, a unanimity (literally, oneness of heart: Greek, homonoia; Latin, Concordia) results, viz. the will to do the Father's (revealed) Will. The unity of men is achieved in their single-hearted devotion to one Law. Our unity and concord here on earth has a supra-historical origin in the Kingdom of God ...." See Scriptural Religion, p. 72. He also recognized the existence of "root-dividedness" (see pp. 98, 100, 105 and 109) and spoke of the "root-character of religion" (p. 105). Return to text of Essay 2.
A good example is Franky Schaeffer, son of Francis Schaeffer (1912-84), founder of the well-known L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, who is a close cousin and ally of the reformationals. The junior Schaeffer, now Eastern Orthodox, explores popular culture and the arts and is also known to strike a reformational note in his writings. Return to text of Essay 2.
Schilder wrote: "Am I supposed to unite in the church with nice people, people of good character, people about whom you are `pleasantly surprised' once you take time to talk with them? That kind of breeding-ground scares me. God be praised -- the church is not a little club. ... For the sake of Christ we must deliberately allow ourselves to be ecclesiastically united even with people we do not find pleasant, people who differ from us in some structural manner, provided that they all accept the same confession. For only in such a way can we make it clear that we believe that the church is still the only communion of the saints ...." See De Kerk, Vol. 1 (note denomination33), pp. 238-239. Return to text of Essay 2.
Schilder was a man in a hurry and was aware that what he wrote was not always the very best work he was capable of. In the eighth article in a series on the pluriformity of the church, he admitted to the reader that he had not taken the time to track down sources in libraries elsewhere and had not even made full use of the library of the seminary in which he was teaching. He was quoting only from the books in his own study .... Neither could he make use of the internet. See De Kerk, Vol. 1 (note denomination33), p. 346. On the other hand, Schilder did write a massive commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (four volumes, 2,100 pages in all), which could be expected to deal systematically with the church when discussing Lord's Day 21. But he did not live long enough to complete this project: his four volumes only got him through Lord's Day 10 (of a total of 52). Return to text of Essay 2.
The "Nineteen Theses" are largely reproduced in J.M. Batteau's essay "Schilder on the Church," in Always Obedient: Essays on the Teachings of Dr. Klaas Schilder, ed. Jakob Geertsema (Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Publishing, 1995), see pp. 86ff. My quotations are from pp. 87 and 89 of Batteau. The "Nineteen Theses" are also available at spindleworks.com/library/schilder/19thesis.htm. Return to text of Essay 2.
See De Kerk, Vol. 1 (note denomination33), p. 381; see also p. 436. Return to text of Essay 2.
See "Inter-kerkelijk of veel-kerkelijk?" in Om Woord en Kerk: Preeken, Lezingen, Studién en Kerkbode-Artikelen, Vol. 4 (Goes: Oosterbaan & Le Cointre, 1953), p. 109. This series of four volumes of shorter writings of Schilder's was edited by Cornelis Veenhof. Delfshavensche Kerkbode in September and October of 1929. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Heidelbergsche Catechismus, Vol. 2 (Goes: Oosterbaan & Le Cointre, 1949), pp. 410ff, 442ff, 451ff. Return to text of Essay 2.
In the Netherlands it was not all that difficult to start a separate network of schools for the "liberated," for government financial support was available. In Canada such a step was taken at great cost, and it took quite some time before there emerged a set of schools for the Canadian Reformed people that were entirely distinct from the schools operated and used by the Christian Reformed and their various comrades-in-arms in the enterprise of Christian education. The separation extends even to teacher training. Teachers headed for the schools dominated by Christian Reformed people can get their training at Redeemer University College, but those who propose to teach in the Christian schools operated by "liberated" Reformed people (which are not parochial schools in the strict sense but are controlled by associations whose membership is usually restricted to people who belong to a Canadian Reformed church) are expected to get their training as Christian teachers at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers College in Hamilton, which is located just a few miles from Redeemer's campus. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Seeking our Brothers in the Light: A Plea for Reformed Ecumenicity, ed. Theodore Plantinga (Neerlandia, Alberta: Inheritance Publications, 1992). Richard Wynia was then a Christian Reformed minister; later he became United Reformed. He received much of his theological training at the Canadian Reformed seminary in Hamilton, where he was a student of Jelle Faber. Under the heading "Unfinished Business," Wynia wrote: "I am appealing to you to evaluate the relationship which present -- and recently departed -- members of the Christian Reformed Church maintain toward the Canadian Reformed Churches. If we are to engage in such an evaluation and consider appropriate action, we will need to review the decisions that have contributed to the situation as it now stands." His appeal, more specifically, contained three components. First, the Christian Reformed denomination should admit that it acted too hastily in response to the 1944 schism in the Netherlands. Secondly, the denomination should reconsider its decision to side with those in the Netherlands who had deposed Schilder and company. And thirdly, "... we ought to pursue ecclesiastical fellowship with the Canadian Reformed Churches, recognizing them as faithful Reformed churches." [Pages 15-16] Under the heading "Your Ecumenical Task," Wynia appealed to individual believers to bring this matter forward in the normal ecclesiastical manner by asking their local consistory to consider it. The book also includes some documents and two historical chapters written by me summing up what happened in 1944 and how the Christian Reformed denomination responded to 1944. Return to text of Essay 2.
Seerveld, "A Modest Proposal for Reforming the Christian Reformed Church in North America," in Out of Concern (note hart33), pp. 56 and 57. Return to text of Essay 2.
"A Modest Proposal" (note seerveld 33), p. 64. Return to text of Essay 2.
"A Modest Proposal," (note seerveld 33), p. 71. Return to text of Essay 2.
Seerveld's position is sensitively explained by William Romanowski in an essay explicitly devoted to this matter and published in the Seerveld festschrift, entitled Pledges of Jubilee: Essays on the Arts and Culture, in Honor of Calvin G. Seerveld, ed. Lambert Zuidervaart and Henry Luttikhuizen (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), see pp. 25-36. Romanowski observes: "While the emphasis of Seerveld's own work is largely on traditional forms of high art, the aesthetic dimension of life, as he conceives it, is all of one piece .... [If] I understand Seerveld correctly, he considers high art neither better nor more valuable than popular art, just different." [Page 31] Seerveld in turn reports that Romanowski made him watch MTV, from which he learned a thing or two. Seerveld concluded: "There is high art out there in society (10 per cent), folk art (10 per cent) and popular art (80 per cent), and there is quality and drivel in all three kinds." See "The Necessity of Christian Public Artistry," in The Arts, Community and Cultural Democracy, ed. Zuidervaart and Luttikhuizen (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000), p. 93. What are the implications for worship? Must we open the doors to popular culture? Return to text of Essay 2.
Spier's book is entitled Inleiding in de wijsbegeerte der wetsidee, fourth edition (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1950). Return to text of Essay 2.
Spier, Inleiding, p. 216; see p. 219 for the term "apostate faith" and p. 221 for the statement that the notion of an apostate church represents a contradiction in terms. For a passage in the New Critique that argues basically the same point, see Vol. 3, pp. 522-523; see also pp. 506, 527. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Reformational Theology: A New Paradigm for Doing Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), p. 440. Henry De Bolster warns against individualism in congregational singing: "Unfortunately, we have lost the unity of singing in our churches. ... It is important that the former unity in singing be restored to stem the tide of individualism, at least in our worship singing." See Struggles and Blessings (note faber33), pp. 178-179. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Reformational Theology (note spykman33), p. 460. Return to text of Essay 2.
Reformational Theology (note spykman33), p. 439. Return to text of Essay 2.
Lambert Zuidervaart observes: "... Steen's book Philosophia Deformata (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1937) is a diatribe against Vollenhoven, not Dooyeweerd. Steen barely discusses Dooyeweerd's writings and shows little comprehension of Vollenhoven's. The polemical character of Steen's book is apparent from the title, which mocks Philosophia Reformata, the scholarly journal begun in 1936, with Dooyeweerd as editor-in-chief until 1976, and with Vollenhoven as president of the Association for Calvinist Philosophy that sponsored the journal." See note 4 to his paper "The Great Turning Point: Religion and Rationality in Dooyeweerd's Transcendental Critique," available at www.icscanada.edu/resources/papers/fp_zuidervaart_dooyeweerd.pdf. Return to text of Essay 2.
Steen attacked Douwe van Dijk in a brochure entitled Geloof en gelooven: De opvattingen van Ds. D. van Dijk getoetst aan Schrift en Belijdenis (Groningen: J. Niemeijer's Uitgeversmaatschappij, 1945). He claimed that although Van Dijk claimed to love the Afscheiding (Secession) tradition, the new approach to preaching which he championed was actually a departure from that tradition. Van Dijk's views about preaching did indeed change during his years in the ministry. He explained his new insights into preaching in My Path to Liberation (note polman33), pp. 41-43, 77-79, 110-111, 136-137, 145-146, 184-185, 195-200, 209-218, 266-268, 303-304, and 314. Steen also criticized Van Dijk and his allies in a companion brochure entitled Kerk en kerken: De kerkrechtelijke opvattingen der bezwaarden getoetst aan Schrift, Belijdenis en K.O. (same publisher and year), see especially pp. 20 and 23-24. Return to text of Essay 2.
Johan Stellingwerff comments briefly on those differences in D.H.Th. Vollenhoven (1892-1978): Reformator der Wijsbegeerte (Baarn: Ten Have, 1992), p. 111. George Harinck reports that in the early years, Schilder kept his own counsel with regard to Vollenhoven's ideas and would not even speak his mind in private letters to Cornelis Veenhof. See De Reformatie: Weekblad tot ontwikkeling van het gereformeerd leven 1920-1940 (Baarn: Ten Have, 1993), pp. 216ff. Return to text of Essay 2.
In the periodical Christian Courier, issue of January 5, 2004, p. 5. It is worth noting that James Olthuis has criticized the institute and organism distinction in his essay "The Institutional Church in Biblical Perspective," in Will All the King's Men ...: Out of Concern for the Church, Phase II (Toronto: Wedge Publishing Foundation, 1972), p. 25. Return to text of Essay 2.
It is worth noting that television was all but officially forbidden during the years of my Christian Reformed childhood in Winnipeg. This stance was an outgrowth of the position taken by the denomination in 1928 to the effect that movies were out of bounds for Christians. (Dancing was also forbidden.) I attended only one movie before enrolling at Calvin College in 1964 ("The Cardinal," which I watched during a visit to Minnesota while my parents were back in Winnipeg). Also enrolling at Calvin that year was Paul Schrader -- just in time to participate in the Christian Reformed change of heart regarding the movies: the "film arts," as we came to call them, needed to be redeemed (see the The Church and the Film Arts, which was a report published by the CRC Publishing House in 1967 in response to a decision made by the CRC Synod of 1966). And so Schrader proceeded to make a name for himself in Hollywood. But we had folded our tents, as it were, in the war against television even before then. My best friend at church when I was in elementary school was Gary Rubingh. He used to ask his father, John H. Rubingh (1909-78), who was our pastor, if they could get a television set (they already had radio). Rev. Rubingh would stall him by saying: "When the Plantinga family gets TV, we'll get it too." Those proved to be ill-chosen words, for television entered the Plantinga home when I was in grade 6, even though my father continued to be concerned about "supporting Hollywood," which we were pointedly not doing by refusing to attend the movies. It all seems such a long time ago. In those days we had not heard of Marshall McLuhan, a fellow Winnipegger (born in Edmonton) who by then had taken by his professorship at the University of Toronto. Nor did it occur to us that the television set would one day put pressure on us in terms of what happened during corporate worship in church each Sunday. Return to text of Essay 2.
Paul Tillich, The Protestant Era, abridged edition, trans. James Luther Adams (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), p. 227. Return to text of Essay 2.
Evelyn Underhill, Worship (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1936), pp. 286-287. Daryl G. Hart is kinder to Calvin as liturgist: "Calvin's theology of worship required reforms of the Roman Catholic practices he encountered in Geneva. But the need for reform did not mean the abandonment of liturgy, nor did it require the elimination of all elements of the Catholic service." See Recovering Mother Kirk (note hart44), p. 72. Return to text of Essay 2.
Gerardus van der Leeuw, Sacred and Profane Beauty, trans. David E. Green (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963) and Liturgiek (Nijkerk: G.F. Callenbach, 1946; first published in 1940). The second book was written mainly for the "Hervormd" denomination (see p. 8). Return to text of Essay 2.
His book was entitled De Bijbel als Boek: Korte inleiding tot de Bijbel als geheel (Amsterdam: H.J. Paris, 1954). English: The Bible as a Book, trans. Theodore Plantinga (Paideia Press, 1978). What Van der Leeuw says about theology in relation to the Bible has a distinctly reformational flavor: see Chapter 16. Return to text of Essay 2.
This information is taken from the Academic Calendar 1988-90, pp. 24-25. Return to text of Essay 2.
B.J. van der Walt attributes this famous saying to Calvin and explicates it as follows: "Reformation is a permanent call. Just as conversion is never completed -- we have to turn to God daily -- so reformation may never be stopped, as it is ever incomplete. If there is no continuing process of reformation, stagnation and deformation will begin as certainly as the sun will rise tomorrow. A reformed church that is not continually reforming itself is not worthy to be called a reformed church any longer." See "Church Reformation: Permanent Call," in Anatomy of Reformation: Flashes and Fragments of a Reformational Worldview (Potchefstroom, South Africa: Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, 1991), p. 267; last sentence italicized in original. Return to text of Essay 2.
Anatomy of Reformation (note vanderwalt33), p. 263 in the same essay. Return to text of Essay 2.
Donald Van Dyken, Christian Renewal, Volume 23, No. 20, August 2005, p. 13. Return to text of Essay 2.
T.G. Van Raalte, published in Clarion: The Canadian Reformed Magazine, August 5, 2005, p. 369. Return to text of Essay 2.
Rudolf Van Reest, Schilder's Struggle for the Unity of the Church, trans. Theodore Plantinga (Neerlandia, Alberta: Inheritance Publications, 1990). pp. 371ff. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Verburg, Herman Dooyeweerd (note verburg22), p. 305. E.G. van Teylingen was a minister with philosophical interests. During the church conflict he published a brochure about the "nature and background" of the differences that were tearing the churches apart. Return to text of Essay 2.
In an interview with George Puchinger in Is de gereformeerde wereld veranderd? (note dooyeweerd55), p. 219. His resistance to the Nazis, for which he was arrested, was open and public: it consisted essentially of what he wrote in the church paper he edited. He was not involved in underground subterfuge. Veenhof stresses that Schilder wanted nothing to do with being sneaky or cunning (p. 219). See also Veenhof's comments on Schilder in "When the Scriptures Fell Open," which is part of the documentary series. Return to text of Essay 2.
The Holwerda quotations are from Marcel Verburg, Herman Dooyeweerd: Leven en werk van een Nederlands christen-wijsgeer (Baarn: Ten Have, 1989), p. 304. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Verburg, Herman Dooyeweerd (note verburg22), pp. 279ff; see also Stellingwerff, Vollenhoven (note stellingwerff33), p. 167. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Verburg, Herman Dooyeweerd (note verburg22), p. 307. Return to text of Essay 2.
Quoted in Verburg, Herman Dooyeweerd (note verburg22), p. 306; see also Jochem Douma, Another Look at Dooyeweerd: Some Critical Notes Regarding the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea (Winnipeg: Premier Publishing, no date), pp. 15ff. Return to text of Essay 2.
Quoted by Stellingwerff in his Vollenhoven book (note stellingwerff33), p. 183. Return to text of Essay 2.
Quoted by Stellingwerff in Vollenhoven (note stellingwerff33), p. 165. Return to text of Essay 2.
See his brief discussion in Introduction to Philosophy, ed. John H. Kok and Anthony Tol and trans. John H. Kok (Sioux Center, Iowa: Dordt College Press, 2005), pp. 91-92. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948), pp. 37ff. Return to text of Essay 2.
Individualism also made its influence felt in other areas. Abraham Kuyper was a defender of an "organic" approach to voting, and so the Anti-Revolutionary Party used to defend the view that households -- rather than individuals -- were called to the polls. The man, as head of the family, cast the vote, and his wife had the satisfaction of knowing that she had voted in and through him. To insist that women (i.e. wives) vote separately from their husbands was to fall prey to atomistic thinking. This notion was eventually abandoned for the political sphere, but one hears echoes of it in debates about whether women should vote at congregational meetings in Reformed churches. Return to text of Essay 2.
Not long after the completion of my studies I wrote a book of meditations entitled Wait for the Lord: Meditations on the Christian Life (Burlington, Ontario: G. R. Welch; and Sioux Center, Iowa: Dordt College Press, 1981). Return to text of Essay 2.
The book The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian Worldview (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1984), by Walsh and Middleton, was well received in reformational circles. A later book which they wrote together, entitled Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be: Biblical Faith in a Postmodern Age (InterVarsity Press, 1995), was thought by some critics to yield too much credence to postmodernist sentiments: see especially pp. 167ff. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Robert Webber, Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1985). Some might wonder whether "Canterbury" churches are not too liberal in orientation to provide safe haven for people who abhor weekly liturgical tinkering. It is true that Anglican churches (called Episcopalian in the USA) have a well-deserved reputation for doctrinal laxity. But it is also true that mainline churches often outdo the breakaway groups within their ecclesiastical family when it comes to honoring the ancient liturgies. Daryl G. Hart makes this point about the Presbyterian world: "The twentieth-century division between mainline and conservative Presbyterians fed theological tendencies that have reinforced certain liturgical predispositions among these groups, with the mainstream branch providing a better context for the maintenance of historic Reformed worship and the smaller streams being susceptible to constant innovation. But this explanation in no way diminishes the irony of theological conservatives being liturgical relativists and theological liberals being liturgical traditionalists." See Recovering Mother Kirk (note hart44), p. 198. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Westminster Confession, Ch. 25, Sec. 5, in Creeds of the Churches: A Reader in Christian Doctrine from the Bible to the Present, revised edition, ed. John H. Leith (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1973), p. 222. Return to text of Essay 2.
Albert Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985), p. 78. Schilder would applaud the second Wolters statement, for he maintained that reformation involves "wederkeer" (return to what was). Contrasting reformation and revolution, Schilder intoned: "But reformation goes back to the past, to that which has existed from the beginning, to what Scripture says, and with full recognition of the historical factor. This applies to any reformation, in any domain or area, in any sphere of life." See De Kerk, Vol. 1 (note denomination33), pp. 375ff. By way of example, Schilder pointed to the Secession (Afscheiding), which had no theology of its own (p. 377). Schilder was suggesting that sometimes we need to reject the "status quo" (the term used by Wolters in the first of the two quotations above) in favor of the "status quo ante," i.e. an earlier circumstance or situation. As for Wolters, the title "Creation Regained" seems to point backward. But we should not make too much of this title. In reformational circles, the terms "creation" and "creational" are asked to carry a great deal of freight. Return to text of Essay 2.
See Creation Regained (note wolters33). The key passages in the book for understanding the distinction between structure and direction are pp. 49ff and 72ff. Wolters himself cautions us: "Structure-direction is not an easy formula for producing the right Christian solution to perplexing cultural or ethical problems; instead, it provides an avenue of attack, a line of research, a way of probing the issue geared to the Creator's revealed perspective on things." [Page 91] As to avoiding conservatism, Wolters was following in the footsteps of Runner, who spoke out strongly on this score. See Scriptural Religion and Political Task (note runner66), pp. 89ff and 106ff. Return to text of Essay 2.
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987). Return to text of Essay 2.
I am in the minority among reformationals in believing that the use of the term "worldview" is a concession toward relativism. I have written about this matter at length in a Myodicy essay about David Naugle and in my book on Christian philosophy (see pp. 89ff). I became interested in "worldview" as a philosophical subject when I studied German historicism in graduate school and wrote a doctoral dissertation on Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911), a German contemporary of Kuyper's who made extensive use of the term (German: Weltanschauung). Kuyper and Bavinck popularized the term (Dutch: wereldbeschouwing) in the Netherlands. After a while it faded away in Dutch Reformed circles (Runner scarcely used it), but of late it has made a comeback. Return to text of Essay 2.
Zuidervaart joined with five others authors, including William Romanowski, in the writing of Dancing in the Dark: Youth, Popular Culture, and the Electronic Media (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991). This book resulted from a year-long study project at the Calvin [College] Center for Christian Scholarship. Return to text of Essay 2.
The Swiss reformer Huldreich Zwingli (1484-1531) is remembered for his "memorial supper" understanding of communion: he took more distance from the Roman Catholic conception than either Luther or Calvin. I am using the term "Zwinglian" here in a slightly broader sense to stand for the general tendency to dismiss mystery from worship and church activity. Return to text of Essay 2.
Traditional Reformed churches hold two worship services each Sunday: one in the morning and a second one in the afternoon or evening. A "oncer" attends the morning service faithfully but does not show up in the afternoon or evening. There was not much difference between the two services, liturgically speaking. Nowadays, various Christian Reformed churches have dropped the afternoon or evening service; some of the churches that have retained the second service make it quite different from the morning service. Return to text of Essay 2.
"The Crisis of Our Time and the Evangelical Churches," in Out of Concern (note hart33), pp. 93 and 94. Return to text of Essay 2.
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