Friday, September 01, 2006

Essential Online Resource

Over the last year or so Steve Bishop has been developing the All of Life Redeemed website which is now the best online resource for reformational thought. He has recently added the C.T. McIntire pages, an essay by Paul Otto on the various editions of Herman Dooyeweerd's In the Twilight of Western Thought, and an interview with two Japanese Professors.

C. T. McIntire is best known in reformational circles for his sympathetic critique of Dooyeweerd’s views on history. While his critique suffers from some misunderstandings of Dooyeweerd’s modal theory (for some clarity on this see DMF Strauss’ article “The best known but least understood part of Dooyeweerd’s philosophy ," it has played an important role in keeping Dooyeweerd’s notion of historical disclosure and differentiation under critical review. McIntire poses the question as to whether Dooyeweerd’s theory of societal differentiation is not just a baptism of current western society along with its self-legitimizing story of progress.

It has to be said that the best defense of Dooyeweerd on this point is probably to agree that he suffers from this danger and to develop his ideas further in a more critical direction. Bob Goudzwaard’s Capitalism and Progress is one useful resource as is Calvin Seerveld’s essay “Dooyeweerd’s idea of ‘Historical development’: Christian Respect for Cultural Diversity” in Westminster Theological Journal 58 (1996) 41-61. Jonathan Chaplin has started to address the need for a more critical development of Dooyeweerd’s politics in his workshop presentation “‘Public Justice’ as a critical political norm”. It appears to me that there is still the need, and indeed the potential, for further work in this area.

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