Books by this author
The motive of nature and freedom is a dialectical one. It did not arise, however, out of the collision of two different religions. It arose quite simply from a secularisation of the central biblical motive of creation, fall, and redemption.
27 min read
For how did modern sociology understand the whole? It conceived of the whole not as an individual national community, as Romanticism and the Historical School had done, but as “society.” To grasp the meaning of “society” correctly we must consider the distinction between “state” and “society” which arose first in the eighteenth century, even before the French Revolution.
43 min read
Auguste Comte Bourbon Restoration Capital Class Conflict Culture Dialectics Dualism Faith Ground Motives Hegel Henri de Saint-Simon Historicism History Humanism Idealism Immanuel Kant John Locke Karl Marx Kuyperian Thought Labour Liberalism Max Weber Mechanisation Modal Aspects of Reality Natural Law Nature and Freedom Philosophy Romanticism Science Society Sociology Sociology of Religion Sphere Sovereignty The Enlightenment
A new ideology of community was the immediate result of this change. Romanticism placed the gospel of the autonomous and individual community over against the gospel of the autonomous and nondescript individual. Both Romanticism and all of postkantian “freedom idealism” clung to the idea of a “community of mankind” of which all other communities are individual parts. This idea constituted Romanticism’s “idea of humanity” or, in Goethe’s words, respect for whatever “bears the human countenance” [was Menschenantlitz tragt]. But the community of mankind remained an eternal, supratemporal ideal which manifests itself in temporal society only in individual, national communities.
19 min read
Abraham Kuyper Autonomy Bourbon Restoration Culture Dialectics Dualism Faith French Revolution Ground Motives History Humanism Immanuel Kant Individualism Jean-Jacques Rousseau Kuyperian Thought Nature and Freedom Philosophy Physics Romanticism Society Sphere Sovereignty The Enlightenment
In Kant’s thought the chasm dividing science and faith runs parallel to the chasm separating nature from freedom. This deserves special attention because it dearly demonstrates that the modern division between faith and science, which in line with Kant many accept as a kind of gospel, is itself religious throughout. This must be dearly understood because this division between faith and science is used to disqualify every attempt at a biblically motivated inner reformation of scientific thought as an “attack on science itself.” But the separation itself is religious. Inspired by humanistic faith, this pretended division clashes with the true state of affairs. Wrestling to find his religious anchorage and to locate the firm ground of his life, modern man sought ultimate meaning in his autonomy and freedom as a rational, moral being. But this religious ground threatened to sink from under his feet since the classical science ideal left it no room. The first attempt to escape from this religious crisis consisted therefore in the separation of faith from science.
38 min read
Culture David Hume Democracy Dialectics Dualism Faith French Revolution Ground Motives History Hugo Grotius Humanism Immanuel Kant Jean-Jacques Rousseau John Locke Kuyperian Thought Nature and Freedom Philosophy Society Sphere Sovereignty The Enlightenment Thomas Hobbes
The Roman Catholic attempt to bridge the Greek and Christian ground motives created a new religious dualism. The Greek conception of nature and the Christian teaching of grace were placed over against each other in dialectical tension. Only papal authority could preserve the artificial synthesis between these inherently antagonistic ground motives. The Reformation limited this papal authority. Thus, to the extent that the ground motive of nature and grace permeated the Reformation movement, its inner dialectic could unfold itself freely. Hence in the debates concerning the relation between nature and grace within Protestantism, we note the rise of theological trends which denied any point of contact between “natural life” and divine grace in Jesus Christ.
53 min read
Culture Dialectics Dualism Faith Ground Motives History Integralism Karl Barth Kuyperian Thought Martin Luther Nature and Grace Nominalism Philosophy Scholasticism Society Sphere Sovereignty Thomas Aquinas Thomism
Consider the cost of taking this radically scriptural Christianity seriously. Ask yourself which side you must join in the tense spiritual battle of our times. Compromise is not an option. A middle-of-the-road stance is not possible. Either the ground motive of the christian religion works radically in our lives or we serve other gods. If the antithesis is too radical for you, ask yourself whether a less radical Christianity is not like salt that has lost its savour. I state the antithesis as radically as I do so that we may again experience tlie full double-edged sharpness and power of God’s Word. You must experience the antithesis as a spiritual storm that strikes lightning into your life and that clears the sultry air.
33 min read
Insofar as power has been entrusted to man as a creature, it is always cultural. It implies a historical calling and task of formation for which the bearer of power is responsible and of which he must give account. Power may never be used for personal advantage, as if it were a private possession. Power is the great motor of cultural development. The decisive question concerns the direction in which power is applied.
39 min read
Adolf Hitler Christendom Creation Culture Germanic Tribes Ground Motives Historicism History Individualism Kuyperian Thought Middle Ages Nature and Grace Philosophy Progress Roman Catholicism Society Sphere Sovereignty Totalitarianism Tradition
The scriptural ground motive of the christian religion – creation, fall, and redemption through Christ Jesus-operates through God’s Spirit as a driving force in the religious root of temporal life. As soon as it grips a person completely, it brings about a radical conversion of his life’s stance and of his whole view of temporal life. The depth of this conversion can be denied only by those who fail to do justice to the integrality and radicality of the christian ground motive. Those who weaken the absolute antithesis in a fruitless effort to link this ground motive with the ground motives of apostate religions endorse such a denial.
28 min read
The religious antithesis does not allow a higher synthesis. It does not, for example, permit christian and nonchristian starting points to be theoretically synthesized. Where can one find in theory a higher point that might embrace two religious, antithetically opposed stances, when precisely because these stances are religious they rise above the sphere of the relative? Can one find such a point in philosophy? Philosophy is theoretical, and in its constitution it remains bound to the relativity of all human thought. As such, philosophy itself needs an absolute point of departure. It derives this exclusively from religion. Religion grants stability and anchorage even to theoretical thought. Those who think they find an absolute starting point in theoretical thought itself come to this belief through an essentially religious drive, but because of a lack of true self-knowledge, they remain oblivious to their own religious motivation.
49 min read
For surely, the Christian principle is not the permanent possession of a select few who can manipulate it as if it were a collection of magical formulas! On the contrary. It is a dynamic, spiritual force that cannot be halted. Those who enclose it within the fixed boundaries of tradition are irrevocably left behind. Those who claim to be led by the Christian principle are placed directly before the face of God who knows our hearts and consumes every insincerity in the fire of his anger. Today the Christian principle fills us above all with a deep concern for the spiritual and physical distress of our nation and of the entire world which passed through the fire of God’s judgment.
8 min read