jeudi, juin 17, 2010

Dooyeweerd: Luther, Melanchton, Calvin, Brunner, Kuyper, Blondel

"An Luchd-togail"  le Fernand LÉGER (1950)
The consequences of the synthetic standpoint for Christian doctrine and for the study of philosophy in patristic and scholastic thought.
     As we have seen in part I, Christian philosophy, at its very inception, sought the aid of ancient philosophy even in formulating its transcendental basic Idea.
     Consequently, patristic and especially medieval scholastic thought developed into a compromise-philosophy. Both held to a synthetic standpoint with respect to the relation between Christian faith and Greek philosophy. There are, however, two types of this synthetic standpoint, and they should be sharply distinguished from each other. The first deemed it necessary to bind philosophical thought to the Word-revelation, whereas the second proclaimed the autonomy of the "naturalis ratio" in the sphere of natural thought. This latter standpoint prevailed under the influence of the scholastic ground-motive of nature and grace. As soon as Christian scholasticism thought it had found its real starting-point in the naturalis ratio, the increasing decay of Christian philosophy could not be checked.
     The Christian religion cannot tolerate any theoretical conception of cosmic reality which is emancipated from the pure Biblical religious ground-motive, because such conceptions are actually dominated by wholly or partly apostate motives and seek in the last analysis a deceitful rest-point for thought. The Christian religion does not tolerate any hypostatization which ascribes independent being to dependent meaning. It does not permit these absolutizations, even if they disguise themselves in the garb of a speculative "theologia naturalis". The speculative Aristotelian Idea of the "unmoved mover" as "pure form" is not, as Thomistic scholasticism taught, a natural preamble to the revealed knowledge of God. The self-revelation of God in Christ is, in the full sense of the word, a consuming fire for all apostate speculation in which human ὕβρις thinks it can create God after its own image!
     The consequences of the synthetic scholastic standpoint have also left a deep impression in Christian theology. With the penetration of neo-Platonic, Aristotelian, Stoic, and other philosophical motives into the patristic thought and scholasticism of the Middle Ages, immanence-philosophy even infected the Christian doctrine of faith and paved the way for the rise of a speculative "theologia naturalis".
     Scholastic philosophy had a particularly devastating influence on Christian theology in respect to the pure Biblical religious conceptions of "soul", "heart", "spirit" and "flesh". The latter were replaced by abstract concepts of dualistic Greek metaphysics, in keeping with the dualistic religious basic motive of form and matter.

The cleft between "faith" and "thought" is only a cleft between the Christian faith and immanence-philosophy.
     As soon as Christian philosophy, under the influence of this metaphysics, began to seek the concentration-point of human existence in "reason", it blocked the way to an intrinsic penetration of philosophy by the Biblical ground-motive. An unbridgeable cleft arose between speculative philosophy and genuine Christian faith. Scholastic theology presents a true "spectaculum miserabile" of controversial theological questions, which are completely alien to the Biblical sphere of thought and originate in Greek metaphysics. What had a really Biblical theology to do with such problems as the conflict concerning the primacy of the will or intellect in the "essentia Dei"; what did it have to do with the attempt to support individual immortality of the soul philosophically upon the basis of the realistic Aristotelian view which sought the "principium individuationis" in matter? Of what concern to it was the controversy concerning the question which "parts" of the soul possess immortality (a question which even CALVIN still took seriously in his Institutio)? Of what interest to Biblical theology were the curious problems inherent in "psycho-creationism", i.e. a scholastic transformation of the Platonic doctrine seth forth in the dialogue TIMAEUS and of the Aristotelian doctrine about the origin of the active intellect (νοῡς ποιητικός) in the human soul? (according to ARISTOTLE this intellect does not proceed from nature but from outside; according to PLATO the divine Demiurge himself has formed the immortal human nous only). Such problems are pseudo-problems and make no sense in a Biblical theology.

The false conception concerning the relationship between Christian revelation and science. Accommodated immanence-philosophy as ancilla theologiae.
     The counterpart of the scholastic effort to accommodate immanence-philosophy to Biblical revelation, was the rise of the false idea that Holy Scripture offered certain solutions to scientific problems, at least to the problems discussed in scholastic theology on the basis of Aristotelian metaphysics, physics and psychology. These supposed Biblical theories were, with the full authority of divine revelation, brought into play against scientific investigations which deviated from tradition.
     One only needs to recall the position of the Church in the conflict concerning the astronomical theory of COPERNICUS, which position, although historically understandable, was not, therefore, less reprehensible !
     The attempt at a synthesis between the Christian religion and immanence-philosophy was a source of confusion which led to intrinsic contradictions; it was equally oppressive to the Christian faith and to honest scientific investigation.
     Nothing characterized the scholastic standpoint more sharply than the attempt to employ Scripture in the sense of a scientific "deus ex machina".
     Because theoretical thought was not itself reformed in a radical Christian sense, scholastic theology as the "regina scientiarum", deemed itself called to control the "scientiae profanae". Since this theology had accepted an accommodated Aristotelian philosophy, Holy Scripture was itself interpreted in an Aristotelian manner, and could in its turn confirm the Aristotelian theses against the Copernican and, later on, against the Cartesian conceptions.
     This was the result of the scholastic notion of philosophy as "ancilla theologiae". The handmaiden was soon to break her chains and became mistress!

The consequence of the Reformation for scientific thought.
     The Reformation supplied the first receptacle capable of producing a conception radically different from the scholastic one with respect to the relationship between the Christian religion and scientific thought. As we have seen, the nominalism of late scholasticism demolished every bridge between the Christian faith and Greek metaphysics.
     The rise of the modern Humanistic life- and world-view, which preceded the Reformation, placed sharply before the eyes of the Reformers an inescapable dilemma. They were confronted with the antithesis between the attitude of the Christian religion with respect to temporal life and the secularization of this attitude in the Humanistic ideal of personality.
     A return to the medieval synthetic standpoint in order to oppose Humanism with the aid of a scholastical philosophy must necessarily contradict the very nature and spirit of the Reformation. For the latter could show no other credential than its claim to a pure Biblical conception of Christian doctrine. This must imply a return to the integral and radical ground-motive of Holy Scripture, as the only religious motive of its theological and philosophical thought and of its whole life- and world-view. By virtue of this religious ground-motive the Reformation should have led to an inner reformation of philosophical thought.
     The fact that this did not directly happen, but that after an original promising start, Protestantism fell back upon the scholastic compromise-standpoint, can only be explained as an after-effect of a very old tradition in Christian thought. This tradition found fertile soil, especially in Lutheranism, and, under the influence of MELANCHTON, proceeded to infect also the Calvinistic idea of science. In the final analysis it was the dialectical scholastic motive of nature and grace that in this way kept its influence on the philosophical standpoint of orthodox Protestantism.

The after-effect of the nominalistic dualism in LUTHER's spiritualistic distinction between the Law and the Gospel.
     LUTHER confessed the central significance of God's Sovereignty in the Biblical sense. He possessed the insight that divine grace in Christ must intrinsically penetrate temporal life in all spheres. Yet, in spite of this, he never fully escaped the nominalistic influence of the Occamist University of Erfurt and of his later studies in an Augustinian monastery ("Ich bin von Ockam's Schule"). This influence is evident from his dualistic conception of the relation between the Law and the Gospel. LUTHER considered a person in the sinful state to be bound to temporal ordinances. A Christian person in the state of grace, on the contrary, is not intrinsically subject to the Divine Law, but lives in evangelical freedom according to love. In "this earthly valley of tears" he only bows to ordinances out of obedience to the will of God with respect to the natural state of sin. And, by so doing he tries to penetrate them with the spirit of Christian love. But intrinsically this spirit contradicts the severity of the Law. This dualism between the Law and the Gospel must, with respect to the relationship between the Christian religion and philosophy, again lead to the nominalistic separation of faith and science, with the usual Occamistic depreciation of the latter. At this point we can observe the after-effect of the scholastic nature-grace-motive in its antithetical Occamistic conception. We find, to be sure, in LUTHER a fulminating judgment against ARISTOTLE and the medieval scholastic philosophy; we find in him a passionate opposition to the Biblical Humanism which in Germany and Holland (ERASMUS) tried to effect a new synthesis between the Christian faith and the spirit of Greco-Roman antiquity. But, nowhere do we discover the conviction that the religious root of the Reformation requires a radical reformation of philosophy itself.
     LUTHER never had an inner contact with the Humanistic spirit. In his attitude toward human knowledge he remained a prisoner to the medieval spirit of Occamism. The spiritualistic trend in his character was strongly nurtured by the German mysticism of ECKHART and by the Augustinian-Franciscan spirit. Moreover, his "Welt-offenheit", which caused him to reject the monastic ideal, continued to be broken by a dualism, unexplainable in terms of the Biblical doctrine concerning the corruption of nature due to the fall. LUTHER never wrested himself loose from a nominalistic dualism in his view of the church. He considered the regulation of the "visible church" to be a matter of relative indifference and sought support from the governing prince for an ecclesiastical reformation. In addition, this dualism displayed itself in his subsequently abandoned distinction between official and personal morality. His attitude towards scientific thought continued to be burdened in the same manner with the dualistic prejudice concerning the relation of faith and natural reason.
     One can recognize this without in any way being deficient in love and appreciation for the great reformer. The recognition of his faults does not obliterate the fact that LUTHER's Biblical faith became the impulse to a continuous reformation of his thought and the cause of his later abandonment of many previous errors.

The scholastic philosophy of MELANCHTON. MELANCHTON and LEIBNIZ.
     MELANCHTON did have close literary contact with German and Dutch Humanism, without having any affinity with the new ideal of personality. When he undertook the gigantic task of establishing a relation between the Reformation and modern science, he fell back upon the scholastic standpoint of accommodation.
     Throughout the next centuries the influence of MELANCHTON was therefore instrumental in preventing the development of a philosophy consistent with the spirit of the Reformation. This influence was enormous. It dominated philosophic instruction at the Protestant universities in Germany and Holland, until the spirit of the "Aufklärung" penetrated the latter and Protestant theology itself fell a victim to its alliance with MELANCHTON's philosophical scholasticism.
     LEIBNIZ, too, the genius of the German "Aufklärung", grew up in this school-philosophy, and his own thinking is indebted to it for various motives (1). But we have seen how these scholastic motives were transformed by him in a rationalistic Humanistic sense.
(1) Cf. E. WEBER, Die philosophische Scholastik des deutschen Protestantismus im Zeitalter der Orthodoxie, [Philosophical Scholasticism of German Protestantism in the Age of Orthodoxy], Abh. zur Phil. Und ihrer Geschichte, hrg. von R. Falckenberg, 1e Heft 1907.
     The scholastic tradition was not beneficial to the Reformation. Accommodated immanence-philosophy, temporarily clothed in pious garments, was soon to cast aside its sober pastoral garb and display its true character!
     MELANCHTON, the "praeceptor Germaniae", grew up in a circle of German humanists. He admired AGRICOLA, and, at an early age, because of his close connection with his second cousin, REUCHLIN, he enjoyed the friendship of ERASMUS and WILLIBALD PIRKHEIMER. In August, 1518, at the age of twenty one, he was appointed professor of Greek at the University of Wittenberg. His inaugural address, De corrigendis adolescentiae studiis, was a vigorous attack upon the ruling scholastic barbarisms and in general upon the mutilation of the Greek and Latin languages and philosophy in the era of the "seraphic and cherubic doctors". But this iron-clad declaration of war with respect to the scholastic corruption of the Classics was only an expression of a philological humanism. It did not signify a break with the religious starting-point of scholastic thought.
     The reformation of academic study which MELANCHTON promised remained within the framework of the scholastic encyclopaedia; the subjects of the old trivium (grammar, dialectic and rhetoric) formed its preparatory foundation.
     The chief aim of MELANCHTON was to reform dialectic after the fashion of AGRICOLA in the nominalistic sense of an art of reasoning. In addition he wished to endow the youth with an excellent philological humanistic (2) training, so that they would be able to read ancient philosophers and poets in the original.
(2) The adjective "humanistic" does not imply here the religious meaning of the term "Humanism" as we used it in our transcendental critique of Humanistic thought. Here it is only related to the study of the "humaniora". Therefore, it is not written with a capital. Nevertheless, we shall see, that even the conception of this "humanistic" studies was penetrated by a Humanist spirit.
It is the spirit of AGRICOLA and ERASMUS that inspired the young MELANCHTON. The program that he proposed in his inaugural address only aimed at the type of philological and at the same time moral and ecclesiastical reform that would be in accord with the desires of these men. The reform-program of the latter, although it possessed a Christian-Stoical coloration, was actually preponderantly motivated by the spirit of Humanistic nominalism. They aimed at an accommodation of the Humanistic ideal of personality to the program of a supposedly "simple, Biblical Christianity". Yet their synthesis between Humanism and Christianity only amounted to a "humanizing" of the radical Christian doctrine by laying stress upon the moral view-point.
     LUTHER differed very much from MELANCHTON in character and disposition. The electrifying contact with the passionate champion of faith raised in MELANCHTON the antithetical spirit of the Reformation.

MELANCHTON did not break radically with immanence-philosophy.
     But a penetrating examination makes it clear that even during this period MELANCHTON did not break radically with immanence-philosophy. In essence, his opposition was only directed against speculative realistic metaphysics, with its doctrine of universalia, its "formalitates", its theory of the infinite, and so on. Even at this time MELANCHTON tenaciously retained the nominalistic dialectic. Meanwhile, his apostasy from the ideals of humanism caused a break with his sponsor REUCHLIN, and ERASMUS turned away from him in disappointment. After this break occurred, MELANCHTON's old love for antiquity again awoke within him and a new phase in his development began.
     This period commenced in 1536 when he brought about a definitive synthesis between the Lutheran faith and a nominalistically interpreted Aristotelian philosophy. We observed that even in his short antithetical period MELANCHTON never abandoned the nominalistic dialectic derived from AGRICOLA. This dialectical method, which he had applied to Lutheran doctrine, intrinsically necessitated his return to ancient immanence-philosophy. This is substantiated by the unsuspected testimony of HEINRICH MAIER in his important study of MELANCHTON's philosophy (3).
(3) Philipp Melanchton als Philosoph (in An der Grenze der Philosophie Tübingen 1909, S. 47), where he writes: "Die humanistische Erudition bleibt auch damals Bildungsideal. Und in das Gewand der Eloquenz werden auch die neuen Glaubensgedanken gekleidet. Die lehrhafte Bearbeitung des religiösen Stoffs erfolgt in den Formen und mit den Mitteln der humanistischen Methodik. Aber es ist klar, dasz diese Formen aufs engste mit der Weltanschauung verbunden sind, auf der die Realphilosophie ruht... So treibt die Entwicklung mit immanenter Notwendigkeit zur Restitution der Physik, Metaphysik und Ethik" (i.e. of ARISTOTLE, interpreted in a nominalistic sense). ["In this period too the humanistic erudition remains the ideal of education. And also the new Ideas of faith were clothed in the garments of eloquence. The didactic elaboration of the religious material occurs in the forms and with the means of humanistic methodology. But it is evident, that these forms are closely connected with the world- and life-view on which the material philosophy rests... So the development with an inner necessity leads to the restitution of the (nominalistically interpreted Aristotelian) "physics, metaphysics and ethics."]
Why a radical Christian philosophy can only develop in the line of CALVIN's religious starting-point.
     CALVIN also passed through an early Humanistic period during which he wrote his well-known commentary on SENECA's De Clementia. But when he reached the turning-point of his life, he broke radically with the nominalistic dualism that more or less continued to flourish within LUTHER's world of thought and that was dominated by the scholastic ground-motive of nature and grace.
     In CALVIN's Biblical view-point this scholastic motive is eliminated. He maintained that the true nature of man cannot be opposed to grace. Nature is in its root corrupted by the fall, and is only restored or (as CALVIN more pregnantly states) "renewed" by God's grace in Jesus Christ (4).
(4) See Institutio religionis Christianae (1559), II, 1, 9: "Unde sequitur partem illam, in qua refulget animae praestantia et nobilitas, non modo vulneratam esse, sed ita corruptam, ut non modo sanari, sed novam prope naturam induere opus habeat." ["From this it follows that that part upon which shines the excellence and nobility of the soul, not only is wounded, but as much corrupted that it not only needed to be healed, but nearly to assume a new nature."] Also see II, 1, 6, where the radical character of sin is sharply set forth.
This was also AUGUSTINE's conception. The Bible does not permit any view of nature, in distinction to grace, in which human reason in its apostasy from God, becomes the main stay of a "philosophia et theologia naturalis". It does not sanction any view in which the νοῡς τῆς σαρκός (that is to say, the intellect which is apostate from Christ in the sense of thinking according to the "flesh") is declared to be sovereign.
     God's revelation must take hold of the heart, the root of our entire existence, that we may "stand in the truth". CALVIN hits rationalistic scholasticism at the root of its apostasy from a Christian attitude towards knowledge, when he writes: "Nec satis fuerit mentem esse Dei spiritu illuminatam, nisi et eius virtute cor obfirmetur ac fulciatur. In quo tota terra Scholastici aberrant, qui in fidei consideratione nudum ac simplicem ex notitia assensum aripiunt, praeterita cordis fiducia et securiate" (5).
(5) "And it will not have been sufficient that the mind is illuminated by the Spirit of God, unless also by its virtue the heart is made firm and is strengthened. In this matter the scholastics completely deviate, which in a superficial way conceive the motive of faith as a mere and simple assent by virtue of the understanding, whereas the confidence and surety of the heart is completely neglected." This statement only gives expression to the pure Biblical conception which considers knowledge — and in the first place knowledge furnished by faith — to be rooted in the heart from which proceed the issues of life. This is characteristically misunderstood by Roman Catholics as "sentimentalism". In 1931 A. J. M. CORNELISSEN wrote a meritorious comparative study concerning the Doctrine of the State of "Calvin and Rousseau". In this thesis which he defended at the Roman Catholic University of Nijmegen, he wrote (page 25): "If faith does neither require a praeambula furnished by reason, but the reverse, rational knowledge is strengthened by faith, then, if one is consistent, the act of super-natural "knowing" is only an act of feeling. CALVIN drew this conclusion and thus fell into sentimentalism."
     Under the influence of Thomistic-Aristotelian epistemology the insight into what the Bible means by the "heart", as the religious centre of life, has been so completely lost sight of that there remains nothing else to do but identify it with the temporal function of feeling and then place it in opposition to theoretical thought.
     CALVIN radically rejected the speculative natural theology. He called it an "audacious curiosity" of human reason that seeks to intrude upon the "essentiae Dei", which we can never fathom, but can only worship (6). Again and again he warned against the "vacua et meteorica speculatio" on God's essence apart from His revelation in His Word (7).
(6) Inst. I, 5, 9: "Unde intelligimus hanc esse rectissimam Dei quaerendi viam et aptissimam ordinem; non ut audaci curiositate penetrare tentemus ad excutiendam eius essentiam, quae adoranda potius est quam scrupulosius disquirenda; sed ut illum in suis operibus contemplemur, quibus se propinquum nobis familiaremque reddit ac quodammodo communicat." ["Hence we understand, that this is the most correct way and appropriate order to seek God; not that in an audacious curiosity we try to penetrate into an examination of His essence, which is rather to be adored than scrupulously to be examined; but that we contemplate Him in His works by which He comes near to us, makes Himself familiar to us and in some way communicates Himself."]

(7) Ibid. I, 10, 2: "deinde commemorari eius virtutes quibus nobis describitur non quis sit apud se, sed qualis erga nos; ut ista eius agnitio vivo magis sensu, quam vacua et meteorica speculatione constet." ["Moreover we must remember His virtues by which is described to us not what He is in Himself, but how He is in respect to us; in order that this knowledge about Him may rather consist in a lively consciousness than in a void and meteoric speculation."]
CALVIN expressed the true critical religious attitude concerning knowledge of God, an attitude grounded in the humble insight into the essential boundary between the Creator and the creation, in timidity with respect to the deep mystery of God's majesty.
     The scholastic motive of nature and grace is not found in CALVIN's thought, nor is there any trace of the spiritualistic contrast between the divine Law and the Gospel, found in LUTHER. God's divine Majesty does not tolerate the blotting out of the boundary between the Creator and the creation. In view of this boundary, LUTHER's elevation of Christian liberty beyond the limits of the lex divina cannot be accepted.

The cosmonomic Idea of CALVIN versus the Aristotelian-Thomistic one.
     We have already referred to one of CALVIN's statements that occurs several times in his writings: "Deus legibus solutus est" (8). This statement necessarily implies that "all of the creation is subject to the Law."
(8) Cf. De aeterna praedestinatione (1552) C.R. 36, 361: "Non vero commentum illud recipio, Deum quia lege solutus sit quidquid agat reprehensione vacare. Deum enim exlegem qui facit, maxima eum gloriae suae parte spoliat, quia rectitudinem eius ac iustitiam sepelit. Non quod legi subiectus sit Deus, nisi quatenus ipse sibi lex est." ["I truly do not acccept that device that God's acts are exempt from reprehension because He is not bound to the Law. For he who renders God "exlex", deprives Him of the principal part of His glory, because he annuls His equity and justice. Not that God should be subjected to the Law, unless in so far as He is a law to Himself."]
     Cf. Comm. in Mosis libros V (1563) C.R. 52, 49, 131: "atque ideo legibus solutus est, quia ipse, sibi et omnibus lex est," ["and therefore He is above the laws, because He is the Law to Himself and to everything."] (Contra the nominalistic ex-lex!).
     Christ has freed us from the "law of sin" and from the Jewish ceremonial law. But the cosmic law, in its religious fulness and temporal diversity of meaning, is not a burdensome yoke imposed upon us because of sin, but it is a blessing in Christ. Without its determination and limitation, the subject would sink away into chaos. Therefore, CALVIN recognized the intrinsic subjection of the Christian to the decalogue, and did not see any intrinsic antinomy between the central commandment of love as the religious root of God's ordinances, and the juridical or economic law-spheres, or the inner structural law of the state. Anabaptists lost sight of the religious root of the temporal laws, and consequently placed the Sermon on the Mount, with its doctrine of love, in opposition to civil ordinances. CALVIN strongly opposed this error. He proceeded from the radical religious unity of all temporal divine regulations and could therefore radically combat each absolutization of a temporal aspect of the full Law of God, as well as every spiritualistic revolution against the state and its legal order: "Christo non est institutum legem aut laxare aut restringere, sed ad veram ac germanicam intelligentiam reducere, quae falsis scribarum et Pharisaeorum commentis valde depravata fuerant" (9).
(9) Inst. II, 8, 26. ["Christ has not received the mandate to loosen or to unbind the Law, but rather to restore the true and pure understanding of its commands which had been badly deformed by the false devices of the Scribes and the Pharisees."]
     This fundamental Idea of the Divine Law does not go with a falling back upon the Aristotelian-Thomistic conception of the "lex naturalis". For this latter proceeds from the religious form-matter motive of Greek thought, and therefore necessarily conflicts with the Biblical conception. The speculative Idea of the "lex aeterna" provides the foundation for the speculative "lex naturalis" with its teleological order of "substantial forms". In this construction human reason thinks it can prescribe what is law to God. And in the final analysis the Aristotelian conception of the world-order is deified, because in the Idea of the lex aeterna it is identified with the "rational essence" of God. In opposition to it, the Reformation was forced to preach the doctrine of Christian liberty. In this, both CALVIN and LUTHER were prominent, but CALVIN succeeded in enunciating a purer position. In his conception of the Divine Law, he lost nothing of the Biblical Idea of freedom in Christ. LUTHER did not escape falling into a spiritualistic antinomianism against which must be proclaimed the Biblical conception of the Divine Law, grounded in the central confession of God's sovereignty as Creator. This was necessary for the sake of maintaining the Biblical ground-motive of the Reformation.

CALVIN's Idea of the Law versus BRUNNER's irrationalistic and dualistic standpoint.
     This Biblical view of Law is at the present time rejected by Emil BRUNNER. He seeks to replace it by an irrationalistic ethics of love which must break through the temporal divine ordinances. For, according to him, the latter are not the true will of God (10).
(10) See Das Gebot und die Ordnungen (1932) ["The Commandment and the Ordinances"], p. 108 and following, in connection with BRUNNER's treatment of Das Einmalige und der Existenzcharakter in Blätter f. deutsche Philosophie (1929). The command of love, as "Gebot des Stunde" or "des Augenblicks" (a typically irrationalistic expression) is here opposed to the law in temporal ordinances.
In a typically spiritualistic fashion, BRUNNER fulminates against the Idea of a Christian science, philosophy, culture, politics, etc. As to philosophy this is indicative of a new attempt to effect a compromise with the immanence standpoint (namely, with Kantianism and modern irrationalistic existentialism). This compromise does not proceed from the spirit of CALVIN. It is rather born from LUTHER's dualism and cannot have a fruitful future.
     BRUNNER attempts to accommodate the after-effect of the Lutheran nominalistic dualism between "nature" and "grace" to CALVIN's view of the Law. But just as this dualism is incompatible with the Biblical ground-motive, it is also irreconcilable with CALVIN's standpoint. The Word of God reveals to us the root of temporal existence; within this root it lays bare the unbridgeable cleft between the Kingdom of Christ and the Kingdom of darkness; it drives us with inexorable seriousness to an "either-or".
     If a Christian philosophy, Christian jurisprudence, politics, art etc. are not possible, then these spheres of temporal life are withdrawn from Christ. Then once again the un-Biblical dualism between "nature" and "grace" or between the Law and the Gospel must be accepted, and once again, in order to bridge the dualism, the path of scholastic accommodation must be followed.
     In this case one may reject the synthesis of Christian faith with the rationalistic cosmonomic Idea of ARISTOTLE or of the Stoics, but modern Humanistic irrationalism or Criticism are not an iota more Christian.
     For, by following this way one arrives with BRUNNER at a depreciation of certain aspects of reality. BRUNNER absolutizes love at the expense of justice; he irrationalistically misinterprets the central religious commandment of love. As a consequence of his dialectical standpoint he treats the Idea of justice in a neo-Kantian fashion (11): it is denatured to a "purely formal value".
(11) See Das Gebot und die Ordnungen ("The Commandment and the ordinances"), S. 675, where it is said of the Critical Kantian conception of the Idea of juridical order, that it "erfahrungsgemäsz und aus guten Grunden nur von solchen Juristen verstanden wird, die mit der reformatorischen Glaubenstradition in Zusammenhang stehen" (for example, STAMMLER and BURCKHARDT) ["that, according to experience and for good reasons, it is only understood by such jurists who stand in connection with the tradition of faith of the Reformation"]. Thus the synthesis with Kantian immanence-philosophy is completed.
BRUNNER sets forth a thesis which denies the fulness of meaning of the Cross; he holds that complete justice is in itself a contradiction and that love, although it must pass through formal justice, nevertheless does abrogate the latter (12). If we follow BRUNNER along the path of synthesis, we must also tumble into the same pitfall. In this respect Christian philosophy has no more choice than has immanence-philosophy.
(12) See Das Gebot und die Ordnungen, S. 436: "Gerade vom Christlichen Glauben aus gibt es keine irgendwie faszbare Idee der volkommenen Gerechtigkeit. Denn Gerechtigkeit ist an sich unvollkommen." ["From the Christian faith itself there cannot in any conceivable way proceed an Idea of perfect justice. For justice is in itself imperfect."] I would like to suggest that justice "an sich" does not exist but is a meaningless absolutization. The same is true of love "an sich". Cf. p. 437: "Die Liebe ist konkret, persönlich, nicht vorausgewuszt, nicht allgemein, nicht gesetzlich. Die Gerechtigkeit ist gerade allgemein gesetzlich, vorausgewuszt, unpersönlich-sachlich, abstrakt, rational." ["Love is concrete, personal, not foreknown, not generalizing, not legal. Justice, on the contrary, is general, legal, foreknown, impersonal-real, abstract, rational."] From the Biblical point of view our answer is simply that the opinion of BRUNNER is not in keeping with the Biblical conception of the Law but stems from a semi-Humanistic point of view. A Christian must learn to bow before God's majesty and justice, which is not different from His love. God is the origin and original unity of all modal aspects of human experience which are to be distinguished only in the temporal order, but coincide in their religious root and a fortiori in their Divine Origin.
     In his later work Gerechtigkeit (1943), BRUNNER did not essentially change his earlier position. He now spoke of "the justice of faith" in contradistinction to the justice in the sphere of ordinances, but the former does not have any intrinsic connection with the latter. "Justice of faith" is identical with the Love of the Gospel and it abolishes justice in the sense of retribution. And the latter is also true of Divine Justice. Divine Justice is diametrically opposed to earthly justice in the sphere of ordinances. Although earthly ordinances and justice oppose the command of love, yet the former aid in the life of love. This conception is typically Lutheran. In addition compare REINHOLD NIEBUHR, The Principles of Ethics, chap. V and VI and the Nature and Destiny of Man II, chap. IX. If earthly justice is diametrically opposed to Divine Justice, and nevertheless the former belongs to the sphere of Divine ordinances, there is accepted a dialectical dualism in the Divine Will which betrays the influence of the dialectical ground-motive of nature and grace.
     The synthesis with ancient immanence-philosophy led Christian thought into complicated antinomies; the synthesis with Humanistic immanence-philosophy does the same. It not only involves Christian thought in the basic antinomy between "nature" and "freedom", but above all it leads to a radical collision between the hidden apostate ground-motive of this philosophical thought and the central Biblical motive of the Christian religion. Dialectical theology is only the expression of the religious dialectic born out of this collision.
     When we consider this whole situation and recall that CALVIN was the first to formulate a purely Biblical conception of the lex in its origin, radical religious unity and temporal diversity, we arrive at the conclusion that a real reformation of philosophic thought cannot historically proceed from LUTHER but only from CALVIN's point of departure.
     Do not misunderstand this conclusion. The reformation of philosophy in a Christian sense does not signify the inauguration of a new school-philosophy such as Thomism which binds itself to the authority of a philosophical system and thinker. It does not signify the elevation of CALVIN to a pater angelicus of reformed philosophical thought. It does not mean that we will seek a philosophical system in CALVIN that is not there. It does mean, however, that we will relate philosophical thought in its entire foundation, starting-point, and transcendental direction, to the new root of our cosmos in Christ. We will reject every philosophical standpoint that leans upon the "naturalis ratio" as a supposed self-sufficient Archimedean point. Our aim is an inner reform of thought which is born from the living power of God's Word, and not from an abstract and static principle of reason. Therefore, in the development of a Christian philosophy which is actually stimulated by the Biblical ground-motive of the Reformation, there must be a constant striving after the reformation of philosophical thought. This precludes the canonizing of a philosophical system.
     Christian philosophical thought cannot be led by a spiritualistic mysticism of faith that fancies itself to be elevated above Divine law. It can only be led by the vivifying spirit of God's Word. In spite of the fact that the temporal cosmos is shattered by sin, since God has maintained its structural order, and since the fulness of meaning is not to be found in time, it is possible to accept the cosmos, in its many-sided richness of meaning, as God's creation, concentrated in its new religious root: Jesus Christ.
     The Christian transcendental ground-Idea embraces the religious antithesis (13) between the apostasy of nature and its destiny according to creation: it does not seek a dialectical synthesis after the fashion of "natura praeambula gratiae". But it recognizes in "common grace" a counter force against the destructive work of sin in the cosmos, because the antithesis between sin and creation is really abrogated by the redemption in Jesus Christ.
(13) In Vol. II we shall show more completely that this is something entirely different from a "cult of antinomies" as CORNELISSEN, apparently under the influence of dialectical theology, misinterprets CALVIN's thought.
There is no dualism between "gratia communis" and "gratia particularis".
    Common grace may not be dualistically opposed to particular grace. If this is done, the dualistic motive of nature and grace is permitted to enter reformed thought under another name. CALVIN himself subordinated "gratia communis" to "gratia particularis" and to "the honour and glory of God" (14).
(14) Compare Inst. I, 17, 7 and 11; I, 5, 14; II, 2, 16; III, 3, 25; III, 20, 15 and 24, 2.
     Common grace is meaningless without Christ as the root and head of the regenerated human race. Meaningless without Him, because it only manifests itself in the temporal cosmos. And the latter is necessarily related to its religious root and does not have any existence apart from it. Gratia communis is grace shown to mankind as a whole, which is regenerate in its new root Jesus Christ, but has not yet been loosened from its old apostate root. This is the meaning of JESUS' parable of the tares among the wheat. The wheat and the tares must grow together until the harvest.
     For the present, I cannot explain this point any further, but, must postpone its development until we treat the opening process in the cosmos in the general theory of modal law-spheres in Vol. II.

ABRAHAM KUYPER and his often misunderstood Idea of antithesis.
     The philosophy of the cosmonomic Idea, from the beginning of its development to its first systematic expression in this work, can only be understood as the fruit of the Calvinistic awakening in Holland since the last decades of the XIX century, a movement which was led by ABRAHAM KUYPER.
     But, this philosophy is not to be understood as the exclusive thought of a small clique of Calvinists. On the contrary, according to its basis, by reason of its transcendental ground-Idea, it includes within its range all of Christian thought, as such.
     No Christian can escape the dilemma that it sets forth, if he really takes seriously the universality of the Kingship of Christ and the central confession of God's sovereignty over the whole cosmos as Creator. He cannot avoid its impact unless he seeks to escape by employing such idle words as "Christian freedom" requiring the "freedom of thought". Idle words, indeed, because "Christian freedom" cannot imply a freedom in thought which is stimulated by an anti-Christian ground-motive!
     It is in this universal sense that we must understand KUYPER's Idea of the religious antithesis in life and thought. Many peace-loving Christians have made this very point the victim of numerous misunderstandings. They do not recognize that this antithesis does not draw a line of personal classification but a line of division according to fundamental principles in the world, a line of division which passes transversely through the existence of every Christian personality. This antithesis is not a human invention, but is a great blessing from God. By it He keeps His fallen creation from perishing. To deny this is to deny Christ and His work in the world.

Why I reject the term "Calvinistic philosophy".
     It may be clear from the preceding that I definitely reject the term "Calvinistic" as being appropriate to name the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea. I reject the term Calvinistic, even though I fully acknowledge that this philosophy was the fruit of the Calvinistic re-awakening in the Netherlands (15).
(15) Therefore, I regret the fact that the philosophical association, which was formed in Holland [after the appearance of the Dutch edition of this work], chose the name "The Association for Calvinistic Philosophy." But I will give due allowance for the fact that I, myself, in an earlier stage of my development, called my philosophy "Calvinistic".
     Because of its religious basic motive and its transcendental ground-Idea, however, this philosophy deserves to be called Christian philosophy without any further qualification. For it would be impossible for an intrinsically Christian philosophy to be based on any other ground-motive than the integral and radical one of Holy Scripture which does not depend on man.
     Thomistic philosophy has constantly rejected the name "Christian". It is true that certain neo-Thomists such as GILSON and MARITAIN have begun to depart from this tradition. But this departure is more readily explained as the result of an Augustinian rather than a Thomistic influence.
     We can speak of a re-formed Christian philosophy in contrast to a particular neo-scholastic-Christian one, which has abandoned the dogma concerning the self-sufficiency of philosophic thought.
     It is permitted to do so only if we mean that in the former the Biblical ground-motive of the Christian religion is operative in an inner reformation of philosophic thought, whereas the latter remains bound to the scholastic ground-motive of nature and grace and within this cadre only seeks to break through the boundaries between the natural and the super-natural spheres in order to show the insufficiency of natural philosophical thought in respect to the Christian faith.

The philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea and Blondelism.
     One of the neo-scholastic trends of thought which follow this latter way has entirely broken with Thomism. It is born out of French spiritualism founded by MAINE DE BIRAN and developed in an increasingly antirationalist sense by RAVAISSON, LACHELIER, BOUTROUX and others. It wants to continue the Augustinian tradition in Christian thought. But by virtue of the dialectical ground-motive of nature and grace it cannot permit itself to return to the authentic Augustinian conception which rejected in a radical sense the autonomy of philosophical thought, but made philosophy the handmaid of Christian theology.
     The main representative of this neo-scholastic Christian philosophy, MAURICE BLONDEL, a disciple of the neo-scholastic thinker OLLÉ LAPRUNE, starts with the immanence-standpoint in philosophy in order to show the deficiency of philosophic thought by means of an irrationalistic and activistic metaphysical interpretation of thought and being. This interpretation was strongly inspired by the Leibnizian Idea of the immanence of the universe in the representations of every metaphysical being, and by the irrationalist and universalistic turn which this latter conception had taken in SCHELLING's "concrete and absolute thought", and later on in BERGSON's philosophy of life. It was also inspired by the idea of MALEBRANCHE concerning a "visio omnium rerum in Deo". But by no means can BLONDEL's Christian philosophy be considered as an intrinsically reformed mode of thought. It lacks in principle a transcendental critique of philosophical thought as such. And its inner dialectical character is clearly shown by the fact that this Roman-Catholic thinker intends to break through the immanence-standpoint and to arrive at a Christian view by means of an activistic, irrationalist and universalistic metaphysics which in principle is ruled by the Humanistic ground-motive, in its accommodation to the scholastic motive of nature and grace (16).
(16) This dialectical synthesizing of the Humanist and the scholastic ground-motives in BLONDEL's thought is clearly explained by his disciple HENRY DUMÉRY in his treatise Blondel et la philosophie contemporaine (Études Blondéliennes, 2, 1952, p. 71 ff.). See my two lectures entitled Le problème de la philosophie chrétienne. Une confrontation de la conception Blondélienne et de l'idée nouvelle concernant une réformation de la pensée philosophique en Hollande, delivered at the University of Aix en Provence-Marseille (May 1953), which will be published in the quarterly review "Philosophia Reformata" of this year.
     The opinion of FERDINAND SASSEN, professor of philosophy at the University of Leyden, that there is an inner connection between the philosophy of the cosmonomic Idea and BLONDEL's voluntarism (17), consequently rests upon a misunderstanding.
(17) See F. SASSEN, Philosophy of the present time (Wijsbegeerte van dezen tijd, 2nd ed., sect. V § 2.
The significance of the philosophy of the cosmonomic Idea for a philosophic contact between the different schools.
     The significance of the philosophy of the cosmonomic Idea may not be limited to Christian thought as such. For in its transcendental critique this philosophy has raised new problems, which must be considered by every philosophy irrespective of its starting-point. Moreover, it has approached each philosophical system from the standpoint of its own ground-motive and deepest pre-suppositions. Therefore, as we have shown in the Prolegomena, this philosophy has opened the way for a better mutual understanding of the various philosophic trends. Under the influence of the dogma of the autonomy of theoretical thought the various schools had isolated themselves in a dogmatic exclusivism and had propagated their supra-theoretical prejudices as theoretical axioms.
     The significance of the philosophy of the cosmonomic Idea is not at all negative for other philosophic schools. It has a positive contribution to make. In the next two volumes I have to show the importance of its theory of the modal structures of the aspects, and of its theory about the structures of individuality and the enkaptic interlacements between the latter. I have to show that these two theories disclose states of affairs which hitherto had not been subjected to philosophical examination. These "states of affairs" belong to the structure of empirical reality and we have observed in the Prolegomena that, just as the laws of theoretical thought, they are the same for every philosophical standpoint. The only question is: Which philosophy is in a position to give a satisfactory theoretical explanation of these data? We have established in the Prolegomena, that no single philosophy may claim to have a monopoly. Each philosophy may strive in a noble competitive manner to work at a common task. But this cooperation can only take place on one condition. The schools of immanence-philosophy must be ready to abandon their theoretical dogmatism and they must take seriously the transcendental critique of philosophic thought set forth in our Prolegomena (18).
(18) I am happy to be able to say, that during recent years, the critical significance of this philosophy has been better understood in Holland, both in Thomistic and Humanistic circles. However, I do not want to pretend that this is always the case.
     What we have said is in the first place applicable to our theoretical view of empirical reality. Because of the inner structure of theoretical thought our view of empirical reality is dependent upon the transcendental ground-Idea which directs our philosophic inquiry. And the content of every ground-Idea is determined by super-theoretical motives. If this is not acknowledged, then any philosophic exchange of Ideas is condemned to failure in advance. Philosophical discussion is possible between schools which do not have the same starting-point, if, and only if, a sharp distinction is made between authentic theoretical judgments (concerning which philosophic discussion is possible) and the necessary pre-theoretical prejudices which lie at the foundation of such theoretical judgments.
     Philosophical discussion about the theoretical judgments is to be based on the undeniable states of affairs in the structures of theoretical thought and of empirical reality which precede all theoretical interpretation and are to be established with ἐποχή of the latter. They are to be confronted with the different philosophical views in order to investigate whether these views, each from their own super-theoretical starting-point, are able to account for them in a satisfactory way.

Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, Vol I/ Part III/ Chapt 1/§ 2 pp 508-527)