This research note is penned in honour of Johan Vander Hoeven on his retirement as Editor-in-Chief of Philosophia Reformata. It is to acknowledge his helpful contribution to the critical exposition of phenomenology. I first read his work almost 30 years ago and it challenged me to develop a sympathetic Christian critique of this philosophical movement. This note is to offer some reflection upon the Christian interpretation of phenomeology. In particular, it raises questions about how some famous phrases, one by Dilthey, the other by Husserl, have been construed.
As it turns out, the publication of this collection of essays considering Jacob Klapwijk’s 2008 work, Purpose in the Living World? Creation and Emergent Evolution, takes place in this 75th year of the Association for Reformational Philosophy. What is contained in this volume are the contributions by the various authors to this Jubilee celebration. As Editor, I am the “luckie felowe”1 with the pleasant task of introducing this collection of articles. They have been written during 2010 in response to this important publication of an esteemed “elder” of the Association for Reformational Philosophy.
Jacob Klapwijk’s book Purpose in the Living World? is examined with special attention given to the scholarly background from out of which it emerges as a significant contribution to reformational philosophical reflection. As an initial step to clarify some important issues raised by Klapwijk’s critical comments about Dooyeweerd’s “essentialist” concept of species, the article probes facets of the way Jan Lever incorporated reformational philosophical concepts into his biological theory and considers the 1959 review written by Herman Dooyeweerd of Lever’s Creation and Evolution. The analysis focuses specifically upon the social responsibilities of these two scholars and the confrontation of their respective views. With the work of Lever and Dooyeweerd we sense something of the ambiguities when reformational philosophy confronts an evangelical scholasticism. This confrontation is an important facet of the context in which Klapwijk has set forth his discussion of creation and emergent evolution. Purpose is also the fruit of scholarly collaboration across disciplines, providing a welcome stimulus for a deepened understanding of the corporate character of the student vocation.
This article encourages a reconsideration of Christian sociology. It explains how deism makes a decisive impact in the theoretical foundations of the discipline. Dutch neocalvinistic philosophy in its North American immigrant setting after World War II issued a challenge which drew attention to the dogmas of deism implicit in sociology, but this challenge has not been met. Christian sociology, however, still retains its God-given vocation to find ways to encourage people everywhere to positively form complex differentiated social settings in the Spirit of the Suffering and Glorified Messiah.