Dooyeweerd’s Second Letter
to the Curators
Translated and annotated for study purposes only
by Dr. J. Glenn Friesen
The text below is a provisional translation. Copyright is held by the Dooyeweerd Centre, Ancaster, Ontario, and publishing right is held by Mellen Press, Lewiston, New York. A definitive translation will be published in the series The Collected Works of Herman Dooyeweerd.
Download pdf version
This long letter, a copy of which was in the Dooyeweerd Archives in Amsterdam, bears a date of April 27, 1937, although the last page bears the date of October 12, 1937, with Dooyeweerd’s signature. April 27, 1937 is the date of Dooyeweerd’s First Letter to the Curators. It therefore seems that he had prepared this extensive reply, but chose to send his first four page letter in April instead.
A comparison with excerpts from this letter in Verburg (Verburg, 219) indicate that what I have translated here is a draft, since there are some differences from what Verburg has cited. The differences, at least in the passages I have compared, appear to be stylistic and not substantial. A full comparison needs to be made with the copy of the letter received by the Curators, presumably in the Curators Archive. In the meantime, I thought it important to make this version available, since it contains somuch information of interest to Dooyeweerd scholars.
Dooyeweerd’s italics are shown as underlining in the original letter. The pdf version mantains that underlining; this online version changes the underlining to italicis. All footnotes with arabic numerals are by Dooyeweerd himself. I have included endnotes with my own annotations, which are clearly marked with my initials, and referenced with lower case roman numerals. I have translated some passages from other languages; these are shown in square brackets.
Amsterdam, April 27, 1937
In your written communication dated April 3 of this year, no. 69, your College has first requested me to advise whether my colleague Hepp, at page 16 in the second of his brochures Dreigende Deformatie [Threatening Deformation] has accurately set out the quotation from my work De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee (Volume III, p. 629), and whether the conclusions that he draws from it represent my opinion [i]. Secondly, you have asked me to advise how I might possibly respond to the said brochure by my colleague.
I willingly respond to this request.
With respect to the first part [of your request], I understand it as meaning that your College does not want to be informed about the formal correctness of the quotation, but only desires to know whether my colleague has accurately understood the meaning of the assertion cited there.
I must without any reservation respond to this question in the negative.
In order to accurately interpret a particular passage from a theoretical work, one must without doubt begin by reading it in its complete context.
Whenever it concerns a philosophical work, and especially a work where the author has, on fundamental grounds, largely departed from the usual philosophical terminology, then there must furthermore be a requirement that one must become acquainted with the whole train of thought of the writer.
If my esteemed colleague had held both of these requirements in view, he would then have seen immediately that the citation could not have rendered service that he desired. And for this reason: in its context it does not contain anything that he himself could not ardently subscribe to, based on an exposition of his own standpoint.
In the first place, the cited passage must be read in context with the preceding assertion (page 628, second paragraph from the bottom):
Secondly, it must be read with the immediately preceding assertion (page 629):
The last extensive part of my book, from which he gave his quotation (!), had hardly appeared (October 1936), when Mr. Hepp’s first brochure appeared. And his second brochure followed very speedily following the appearance of this part. The Foreword of the first brochure is dated August 1936. However much my colleague may twist and turn the matter, his plan lay all ready before my work had been completed. He had already made the diagnosis before he could properly perceive the supposed illness.
And in all of his brochures that have appeared, one finds no more than allusions to the central position in the Philosophy of the Law-idea taken by the heart, the religious root of human existence. The objection made by my esteemed colleague in his note, that in a popular work [Hepp’s brochure], it would not be required to view the quoted passage in its context with the whole system, is an objection that does not hold good with respect to this central point.
The objection might hold good for the theory of the law-spheres and of the individuality structures, as well as for epistemology, which are developed one after the other in my book. But for the idea of the heart, which the WdW expressly calls Scriptural, (concerning which more will be said later), the objection does not hold good, for the heart is here identified with the “soul”, whose continued existence after death has, according to my colleague Hepp, been brought into question by “modern views.”
For that matter, the manner in which my respected colleague first made this point in his note is itself the best refutation of the assertion that such a matter is too complicated for a popular brochure.
In any event, I must assume from the categorical statement of my colleague that he has at least now become acquainted with the whole contents of my work.
I would have preferred that he had rather denied this, for now the judgment of the way in which my esteemed colleague has read my work cannot appear except in a rather unfavorable light.
I do not just mean a wrong interpretation of what I have written, a reproach that, from the beginning of his note, Prof. Hepp seems to have expected. No, now I have been forced to show that the assertions that he places in my mouth have either as a whole never been made by me, or that they have in my book even been expressly rejected. From a theoretical standpoint this is already an error, for which a writer is not easily forgiven. The error becomes much more serious now that my colleague uses it to accentuate what [he sees to be] destructive and dangerous in my standpoint.
I will give two examples of this way of acting. On page 5 of his note, the following ideas are ascribed to me, one after the other, that “the princes govern by the grace of the glorified Christ and not at all by the grace of God,” and that I have “regarded every concept from immanence philosophy as inaccurate per se, each opinion as wrong per se.
Concerning the first idea, this is known to be not my idea, but is universally ascribed to Drs. S. de Graaf.
[My copy of the text unclear here. JGF]
…although this winter in Vienna, Prof. Bohatec showed me that this appears in Calvin, in relation to Christ as the second person of the Divine Being.
In any event, colleague Hepp ascribes to me an idea that I have never taught in my book.
More serious is his ascription to me of the second idea, which in various places of my work is expressly rejected. Already in the Prolegomena, page 82, from which I cite merely the following:
etc., etc. and then on page 83:
as well as the extensive assertions that immediately precede and follow this.
And see Volume I, page 518 : [ii]
and then the whole of section 2 of Chapter IV of Volume II, from pages 269-287.
Then the continual acknowledgement of concrete partial truths by various thinkers from immanence philosophy.
So in Kant’s teaching of antinomies:
And so in Hegel’s philosophy of society:
And so in the social philosophy of ARISTOTLE, PLATO and THOMAS AQUINAS the valuing of the
distinguishing between inner social structure and coordinated societal relations (Volume III, page 145ff) etc., etc., etc.
This acknowledgement in the WdW of partial truths in immanence philosophy is a necessary consequence of the acceptance of the doctrine of common grace, as I have argued in several places in my book.
Colleague Hepp’s reproach, that the WdW is a breaking off from the traditional ideas (bottom of page 3 of his note) is already refuted in the Prolegomena to my book. I need only refer to the first two of the above given citations.
My colleague adds to this reproach a bitter aftertaste by adding to it that thereby the traditional Gereformeerde thought is implicitly affected. But I shall return to this point below.
When I now proceed to a more systematic examination of the objective contents of the note, then I must first express my gratitude that my esteemed colleague has, in very clear words, attempted to develop real objections against the WdW. For the time being, I view this as an important gain, since a favourable opportunity has already been created, that the discussion will not dry up through continual terminological misunderstandings. I will in general let rest the fact that my colleague clearly finds it difficult to maintain the quiet objective tone in these matter-of-fact discussions, or to show chivalry in theoretical thought to his supposed opponent–witness his expressions like “Mussert wint.” [iii]
I will only return to it insofar as the discussed terms and ridiculing turns of phrase fulfill a definite role in the objective argument of my esteemed opponent.
1. I find the first point to hang on to in Prof. Hepp’s exposition of his serious objections against the WdW on page 2, the last paragraph, where he seeks the basic error of my system and that of Prof. V. [Vollenhoven], in that it lets itself be exclusively determined by an antithesis with certain philosophical movements from the modern period. We are supposed to have judged all philosophical systems from out of the neo-Kantian formulation of the problem [probleemstelling], including the philosophical ideas that have been expressed by Gereformeerde individuals. This is indeed an important point. Unfortunately, my colleague immediately follows it up with: “I must forgo a broader exposition.” In other words, it remains an assertion, the grounds for which I am left to search around for completely in the dark.
I do not want to be ungenerous, and I will concede to my colleague that a further exposition of this point within the scope of his note would indeed run up against insurmountable difficulties. But in my opinion, he could have given some more objective references of the direction in which I should seek to understand his argument.
Now I have to deal with his allusion to my own confession that many years ago (it was just after my years as a student), I was strongly influenced by neo-Kantianism and by Husserl’s philosophy [iv], and with the passing remark on page 3 of the note that the word ‘supratemporal’ refers to a neo-Kantian formulation of the problem [probleemstelling]. But of course, this said allusion to my philosophical youth lacks every appearance of evidentiary force. One could on the same basis reproach Calvin for having proceeded from a humanistic formulation of the problem in his Institutes. For in his early work on the Seneca commentary he was completely under humanistic influence! And with respect to the passing remark placed in quotation marks, that my speaking of the heart as thesupratemporal root of life should point to a neo-Kantian formulation of the problem, this remark would undoubtedly fill with unconcealed amazement every scholar in that area. The neo-Kantian schools of philosophy (there are many, as my colleague well knows), do not know this formulation of the problem at all. At most, they acknowledge a realm of “eternal values,” at least insofar as they do not find themselves in the critical-positivistic ways of thinking. But in any event, even the seeking of a supra-temporal something, which remains, in contrast to the “changing world of the senses,” is not specifically neo-Kantian. All of metaphysical immanence philosophy takes its departure here, beginning with Parmenides, and therefore at the beginning of Greek philosophy. However, it sought its supratemporal support in that which, according to the Christian vision of the WdW, is itself enclosed by God within time.
What therefore does this point have to do with a neo-Kantian formulation of the problem? One could in this manner of reasoning fall into blasphemy, and qualify the whole Scriptural vision of the relation of temporal and supra-temporal things as a neo-Kantian relation!!
It is just the WdW that has placed in the sharpest conceivable light how the essential neo-Kantian formulations of the problem are born, namely from out of the hidden religious conflict between a modern humanistic science ideal and the ideal of the autonomous moral personality. This [the clarification of this issue by the WdW] is something that is expressly admitted by various professional philosophers. That is at the same time its victory over this formulation of the problem.
The assertion that the WdW itself is oriented to the latter [neo-Kantianism] is then evidence of such a complete misunderstanding of the whole basis of this philosophy that not only her Gereformeerde adherents but also its opponents from out of the immanence philosophy camp could give advice to my colleague, that he should not be satisfied with reading the WdW “one time” (“and some parts even two times”), but to prepare himself more seriously before he makes any critique of this system. I at least would not have the courage to give a critique about a philosophical system foreign to myself, before I had at least read it through at least one time as a whole! Most critics whom I have met from professional philosophical circles show a careful reserve in their theoretical thought, just because they know that the Philosophy of the Law-Idea cannot be understood from out of an already known formulation of the problem. I need only refer here to the review of Prof. Ovink and of the Utrecht lecturer Goedewagen, both of whom are neo-Kantian in their orientation.
Mr. Hepp does not miss any opportunity to try to make the WdW fall in esteem.
In this way he places on page 2 of his note the less than gracious remark, “I took notice of the fact, that the WdW made its appearance in a relatively short time.”
I would be able to pass by this remark, as not serving the matter in issue, were it not for the fact that it stands in no demonstrable relation to the even further developed desideratum concerning the lines which my colleague claims should be followed by a Christian philosophy. According to him, these must be historical lines, which have also been followed by the traditional philosophical views, spread throughout the works of Gereformeerde theologians from earlier and later times. My colleague has been good enough to provide some names here. From the “flourishing period” of history, he puts forward Voetius in particular as the greatest adversary of Descartes. From the 19th and 20th centuries, the names Hodge, Kuyper, Bavinck, Geesink and even later colleague Hepp himself are named. “Hodge, Bavinck and Woltjer were, if my memory does not deceive me, themselves not worthy of being mentioned [by Dooyeweerd],” writes my colleague on page 3 of his note.
What can I answer to this? In the first place, that the memory of my colleague has indeed played a role when he supposes that I have not considered Bavinck worthy of being mentioned.
In the second volume of my work, in the discussion of the relation of faith and history, Bavinck’s Wijsbegeerte der Openbaring is cited so systematically that it really amazes me how this could have escaped the notice of my esteemed colleague!
I also mentioned colleague Hepp’s dissertation in this regard, from which he may draw the conclusion that I have in no way wanted to negate him.
Meanwhile, I must register my objection to whenever colleague Hepp asserts that there in fact already exists a continuous line of development of Calvinistic philosophic thinking. This is a pure construction of Prof. Hepp’s fantasy–may my colleague forgive me for momentarily having adopted his style–and is refuted by the facts.
Mr. Hepp will concede to me, that it is impossible for Calvinistic philosophical thought to be congruent with the philosophical thoughts that can be found to be disseminated by certain Gereformeerde theologians. It is most conceivable, and also demonstrable, that even Gereformeerde theologians, whenever they are forced to venture into a philosophical area, thereby begin to follow scholastic paths that have nothing to do with their Calvinistic point of departure. The advice that Melancthon gave to his disciples, to align themselves in philosophical matters “with an honest school,” does not stand alone. Melanchton’s eclectic Stoic-Aristotelian philosophy, accommodated to reformational theology was for a long time the school philosophy of orthodox Protestantism. In my opinion, there is little cause for rejoicing in the perspective opened by Mr. Hepp, who, as a point of connection for the continuous development of Calvinistic philosophical thought, points in “the flourishing period” not to Calvin himself but to Voetius, who in his Politica ecclesiastica took over to perfection the scholastic method of thought.
Even stronger, it is a symptom that, in combination with the present theoretical battle dependent on it, gives rise to serious thought.
Voetius in particular is constantly brought forward by my esteemed colleague as “the greatest adversary of Descartes.” During his tenure as rector of Utrecht University, Voetius, for whom I have the highest possible esteem as a theologian and expert in canon law, did in fact in an ostentatious way turn against the modern philosophy of Descartes, as this philosophy was being propagated by his colleague Regius (Leroy). But the manner in which he fought this battle, and the philosophical ideas that he thereby defended, should not in the least be emulated. For Voetius defended here no other philosophy than the old peripatetic scholasticism with its Aristotelian teaching of the substantial forms. 
And he particularly took shelter in the logic, metaphysics, and physics of this scholasticism. (“nominatim logicam, metaphysicam, physicam.” Disp. Sel. 1.1, pp. 871-72).
Voetius did nothing other than to follow the above-mentioned advice of Melancthon, when he, as rector-magnificus and primary professor of theology, made an end to the famous three-day debate held in December 1641 between the adherents of the peripatetic school and the followers of Regius by the authoritative proverb, “that those who were not satisfied with the old scholastic philosophy, but who awaited the modern philosophy of Descartes, were like the Jews, who still longingly looked forward to their Elias, to lead them into all truth.”
Voetius saw very well that the Cartesian teaching formed a threat for the basic dogmas of the church.
When Regius defended the proposition that “there arises from out of the union of soul and body not one being per se but one being per accidens,” he correctly saw therein a threat to the doctrine of the Incarnation of the Word. 
But must we then really need to call on Aristotle by means of the scholastic accommodating metaphysics, in order to protect this doctrine against the apostate humanistic philosophy?
In the fifth volume of his treatise De errore et haeresi (Dispp. vol. V. p. 741), Voetius defended the following dangerous proposition:
Here then Gereformeerde theology is openly coupled to the peripatetic l logic and metaphysics, and furthermore the synthetic-standpoint is clearly formulated in the following words: “Est ergo Philosophia accomodanda ad Theologiam Chrstianam, non contra.” The Aristotelian logic and metaphysics must deliver the form, into which the content of Christian dogmas must be poured.
But it was forgotten that the teaching of the substantial forms, as the core of Aristotelian metaphysics, possesses a philosophical content, which coheres in an unbroken way with the false starting point of the Greek thinker. And this synthesis-standpoint also avenges itself theoretically.
The same scholasticism, which had to serve Voetius as the main support for the Divine Word revelation, was at the same time used against the fruitful progress of modern natural science. Just as in the days of Galileo it was used by the Roman Church against Copernicus’s teaching of the double movement of the earth, so in the 17th century it was used at Utrecht University against Harvey’s discovery concerning the double circulation of the blood, because this discovery appeared to be flattering to Descartes’ basic principles of mechanics.
And it does in fact appear as if my colleague Hepp has made himself ready to again fall back into these old errors and to follow the footprints of Voetius in just this manner in the area of philosophy. At least in his “Calvinism and the philosophy of nature” he attacks Einstein’s relativity theory and tries to denounce it as a consequence of relativism (!) Whereby he forgets that this theory, together with the so-called quantum theory of Planck, forms the basis of the whole fruitful development of modern physics in the 20th century! It has as such nothing to do with a relativistic philosophy, because it researches only the time of movement [bewegingstijd] and the space of movement [bewegingsruimte], as the WdW has tried to bring to light.
From the things mentioned, one sees how the WdW clearly gives a wholly different aspect– and in any event a more fruitful aspect for the special sciences–to the question concerning the acknowledgement of elements of truth in unbelieving thought than the traditional scholastic one, which was defended by Melancthon, Voetius, Schoek and so many theologians.
My esteemed colleague will now say, “See? Now you are attacking the traditional ideas of reformed theologians!”  I note in the first place that in my view, it is rather bold–to use Prof. Hepp’s own words–to “link in the same way” all reformed theologians.
In my opinion, the humanistically educated Calvin, who in his Institutes has almost completely shaken off the cloisters of peripatetic scholasticism, can only with difficulty be incorporated into the series of defenders of this non-Calvinistic but rather scholastic philosophy. And although many practitioners of Gereformeerde theology in the 17th and 18th century, especially Voetius, may have again sought comfort in scholasticism, the revival of Calvinism in the 19th century was only made possible because at that time it at least broke in principle with scholastic philosophy, even though scholasticism still continued to exercise much influence in the anthropology and psychology of reformed thinkers, and even though there still lacked a systematic Calvinistic philosophy. In epistemology, the scholastic-Aristotelian line was largely replaced by a realistically interpreted Kantian epistemology. In his philosophical ideas, Kuyper can hardly be considered as one who continued in the tradition of Voetius–one need only consider Kuyper’s Encyclopedia.
Geeesink was, as he himself admitted, strongly “tinged with” [angehaucht] Kantianism. Woltjer’s critical realism (Cf. his Ideëel en Reëel) is just as little to be separated from Kant’s critique of knowledge. And to name someone more recent, my esteemed friend Prof. Bohatec considers the scholastic-philosophical tradition as corrupting for the healthy development of reformed thought, as he assured me this winter in Vienna. Until now I supposed that my colleague Hepp also had great objections to the scholasticism at the time of Voetius. Add here the teacher Severyn, who completely agrees with Prof. Vollenhoven and me in rejecting the scholastic-philosophical idea of soul and body and the row of witnesses à dechargé becomes not insignificant, whereas the line of continuity since Voetius’ scholasticism appears to be strongly broken through.
In the second place it is not clear to me what crime is hidden in subjecting the philosophical ideas of reformed theologians to a fundamental critique.
In his dissertation, colleague Hepp has done this himself in the sharpest manner. At pages 56 and 57 of his book there is a passage, which I shall repeat in its entirety in the last part of my note, and from which for the present this conclusion is illuminating: “From this short overview it appears sufficient, that from the root of Christendom a philosophy of its own has still never grown.”
Therefore by no one less than my esteemed colleague, a line has been drawn through the whole so-called “reformed-philosophical tradition” and in such a radical way, that I would not willingly be answerable myself for this assertion.
For the Philosophy of the Law-Idea has certainly sought connections with essentially reformational-philosophical basic ideas, as they have been delivered over to us through tradition. However, in his dissertation, colleague Hepp sees signs of true reformed philosophical thought only in the most recent time!
Therefore his call on the “traditional line,” just as he does now in his note to your College, is suspect in advance and it becomes even more so, whenever one pays attention to what has been represented as the traditional line in this most recent assault against the Philosophy of the Law-Idea.
Whenever I think of the most recent example of Calvinistic philosophical thought by Dr. Steen, the champion of the so-called “traditional philosophy,” then I indeed become seriously concerned that the consequences of this philosophy will lead to a liquidation of the Vrije Universiteit. Dr. Steen’s attempt then comes out in the open with the conviction that there is no Christian philosophy, but that it is only possible to have a philosophy of Christians.
I do not in the least suspect my colleague Hepp of consciously sharing this conviction. But he will then agree with me that it is then high time to give clearer expression with respect to his own philosophical intentions than he has done up to now. If he wants to continue the old scholasticism, as was defended by Voetius, then he will indeed find all adherents of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea closed over against him. That will also be the case if he, as e.g. Dr. Steen intends, wants to bind us to the modern “critical realism” as it was proposed by Woltjer for example. For the WdW is also irreconcilable with the realistically interpreted Kantian critique of knowledge. It has shown the proton pseudos [original lie] in the Kantian formulation of the problem. But then Prof. Hepp should not disturb this battle by accusing his opponents of diverging from the reformed Confession. For he will not obtain anything with this accusation, because he would then have to give the impossible proof that the Confession coheres in an unbreakable way with the peripatetic, respectively critical-realistic philosophy. And, since the Confession is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, [he will have to show that] the whole revelation of salvation is based on certain theorems of this [philosophy], which is originally based on a heathen, respectively humanistic philosophy! Quod absurdum [which is an absurdity].
Prof. Hepp knows that in our hearts we cherish the reformed Confession and that we would rather give up our Philosophy of the Law-Idea than to undermine the Confession in an underhanded kind of way. But he does not have the right to bind us to the peripatetic scholasticism that Voetius assumed, even if he could show that those who drafted the various Gereformeerde Confessions of Faith, or the editors of the Synopsis, stood on the foundation of this scholasticism, and just as little [if he could show that they stood on] a “critical realism.” This is the case even if he brings forward such Gereformeerde thinkers as Kuyper and Woltjer as having stood on such foundations.
Let us understand each other properly! For not one moment do I overlook the fact that Voetius, with his dogged defence of scholasticism as against the “Cartesian modern enlightenment” [niewlichterij] actually did not have a philosophical but rather a theological intention. In the end he was concerned to defend the basic truths of Christendom, as they had been embodied [belichaamd] in the reformed Confessions of Faith against a philosophy, whose humanistic attitude he clearly saw through.
But the goal may not be confused with the means. Nor can the Confession be confused with the scholastic-Aristotelian theory of the substantial forms, which had been used to try to theoretically support it! As soon as such a confusion would take hold, the Confession as the possession of all of the Gereformeerde church community would become hopelessly denatured; the souls of the believers would become enslaved, and Christian theoretical thought would become bound to the philosophical assertions of the church. This would be squarely in conflict with the foundations of our university. By God’s gracious favour, our Gereformeerde people will never tolerate that!
For true Calvinistic philosophy there must be a criterion other than that of the philosophical tradition of reformed theologians. Someone who is so sharp in making distinctions as my esteemed colleague will have difficulty in denying this.
But he has so far failed to further point out this criterion as he sees it. It is clear from the foregoing that “agreement with the Gereformeerde Confessions of Faith” is not a sufficient distinguishing feature.
2. I have intentionally gone into detail with respect to the question raised by colleague Hepp with respect to historical continuity, since in my opinion this possesses a primordial meaning in the battle that has broken out around the WdW.
This already appears from the second point, which I now must bring forward from the objective part of Prof. Hepp’s note: his positive fight against our basic idea [grondgedachte], that the law is the boundary between God and creation. That this basic idea coheres unbreakably with the acceptance of God’s complete sovereignty, as accepted by Dr. Kuyper Sr. as well as the central named Confession for Calvinism, does not prevent my colleague in this regard. He calls the above-mentioned boundary idea in his peculiar terminology “pure manufacture [fabrikast] of
the Philosophy of the Law-Idea” (page 3 of the note) and the appeal to Calvin and Kuyper as nothing other than “a flag, to cover a foreign cargo.”
Indeed, the criterion for Calvinistic philosophic thought is again in question! The boundary idea referred to is evidently not pleasing to my esteemed colleague, just as little as it is to e.g. Mr. Steen. And I think I well understand the grounds for this antipathy by the latter. I will return to this directly.
Prof. Hepp now wants to show that the‘idea referred to is brand new and that therefore there is a break in the historical continuity of Calvinistic thought! But his argumentation here makes a very weak impression. Calvin does not use the words 'boundary line’ in connection with his assertion “Deus legibus solutus est”; that’s what my colleague triumphantly writes! Indeed not, no more than e.g. Kuyper uses the word “law-sphere” or that Kuyper had even philosophically developed the concept of law-sphere. But what does this prove as against the objective [zakelijk] connection of the boundary idea with Calvin’s point of departure? Naturally [it proves] less than nothing!
If Mr. Hepp had indeed wanted to give an objective opposition to my appeal to Calvin in this connection, then he would have had to discuss the relation between the texts, which, in elucidation of this appeal [to Calvin], I gave in WdW I, 485-86.
For the basic idea referred to cannot be expressed more clearly in words than in these texts from the Institutes and the other works cited.
I offer my colleague the following simple argument [redebeleid]: Calvin, Kuyper and the Philosophy of the Law-Idea all agree that God the Lord is not subjected [onderworpen] to his laws, but He has on the other hand set [gesteld] his creation under his ordinances.
What is this except the confession of the Divine law as boundary between God and creature?
God the sovereign stands above the law; that is His sovereignty and lack of limitation [onbegrensdheid]. The creature on the other hand stands under the law. That means the deep dependence and limitation of the latter. Calvin keenly carries through this basic idea with respect to human knowing, as in his Inst. I, 10,2 and I, 5,7 he takes the field against the “vacua en meteorica speculatie” about the substantial being of God (“quid sit apud se” in opposition to the “qualis erga nos”). The idea of a boundary breaks through here clearly and brightly. Does it stand outside the coherence with the assertion in respect to the “Deus legibus solutus est” in De aeterna praedestinatione” (C.R. 36, 361) and in the Comm. in Mosis libres V (C.R. 52, 49, 131)?
In that case [if it stands outside], then the speculation about God’s being apud se would not be an attempt to overstep the boundary line drawn by God’s ordinances with respect to human knowledge. Or is the boundary determined by something other than God’s ordinances?
Mr. Steen, in his tempestuous brochure Philosophia Deformata, also takes the field against the idea of the law as a boundary. But he gives his reasons: He sees the human personality as not subjected to God’s law, and sees therein a distinguishing mark of human freedom as a “rational-moral being”! Unclear thought: as if the subjection to God’s law would exclude human freedom and transgress its normative revelation, and as if the transgression would originate above the boundary of the Divine law! Can we e.g. indeed penetrate to God’s being apud se and therefore overstep the boundaries of human knowing that are set [gesteld] by God’s ordinances, whenever we in foolish pride turn against the ordinances and give ourselves over to false speculations? Or do we indeed stand above God’s moral law, in order that we may sin? Dr. Steen goes so far as to assert that we can conceive of a creation without law! One would think that such a logical feat could succeed only with difficulty. Unless he thereby also intends to be able to escape from all laws of thought, in which case it no longer makes sense even to speak of thinking.
I consider my colleague Hepp to be too keen a thinker to accept Mr. Steen’s confused argument as his own. But let him then set out briefly and concisely upon which grounds he himself intends to reject the idea of the law as boundary between God and creation.
Does he perhaps intend that thereby the difference in being [wezensverschil] does not receive its due, for example the difference in being between God’s infinity and the finitude of the creature? But that difference of being is in confesso and can therefore not furnish a point for debate. The question is only whether Mr. Hepp can continue to deny that being subjected [onderworpen], the being-subject to the law means the boundary line, which the creature can never overstep, because only through the law is the nature of the creature determined [bepaald] and limited [begrensd].
I have a real hope that we will be able to come to agreement on this point, for I completely exclude the possibility that my esteemed colleague would accept Brunner’s nominalistic opposition between commandment [gebod] and law [wet] and thereby regard the Christian life of grace as a breaking through of the law, a life above the law. We were enviably at one in our standpoint over against Brunner (at least insofar as I have been able to determine).
And that Mr. Hepp should subscribe to the remark made from a certain side, that the law boundary is a separation [scheiding] between God and creature, which would be in conflict with the community with God in Christ, is just as unlikely to be accepted.
May my esteemed colleague obtain from all these suppositions, which have only been made because of the lack of a firm point of support [houvast] in the argument of his note, the conviction that I have sincerely and seriously tried to learn to understand his objections, and if possible to convince him in a satisfying manner.
This also applies to the apodictic assertion on page 3, for which no further motivation is given:
It is also peculiar how little they have gained from the philosophical ideas that Kuyper developed in the second volume of his Encyclopedia. Parts are referred to here and there, but there has been much too little profit gained therefrom!
Indeed, that assertion seems peculiar to me, but on the other hand it finds a certain explanation in the lack of a proper criterion for Calvinistic thinking in my colleague’s whole argument.
Whenever one regards the critical-realistic motives, or the Hegelian or scholastic-Aristotelian rudiments in Kuyper’s works as the really traditional Calvinistic-philosophical part [of Kuyper’s works], then the following powerful reformational ideas that he grasped [gedachtegrepen] are more or less relegated to a lower level for philosophic thought: the teaching of pistis, the idea of the law, the doctrine of sovereignty in its own sphere, the powerful conception of the church as an organism, the radical antithesis in theoretical thought brought by the fall into sin, and idea of the rebirth. [If these are on a lower level], then one will attempt to accommodate them to the philosophical tradition, which without doubt continued to play a role even in Kuyper’s work, and one will not see how they stand in an essentially irreconcilable tension with the tradition of immanence philosophy.
Based on his series of brochures, the fact that colleague Hepp regards it as not allowed to distinguish the scholastic residues from the essentially reformational Ground-motives in Calvin’s and Kuyper’s work  is more or less symptomatic of his lack of a proper critical standard!
If it is thought through consistently, such a standpoint must lead to a copying without any critique. But my esteemed colleague wants that least of all, given his express explanation!
However this may be, the question whether I have “profited” from Kuyper’s basic ideas will be judged in different ways, depending on the standard according to which one sums up the basic ideas of Kuyper’s work. But the same holds for the theoretical work of colleague Hepp.
I have never seen my esteemed colleague Hepp ever “profit” from Kuyper’s teaching of pistis or from his teaching of sovereignty in its own sphere or from Calvin’s idea of the boundary.
On the other hand he himself sometimes puts forward “new things” in his brochures, such as what we already recalled earlier of his “theory of persons,”
his idea of the three Persons in the Divine Being, his idea of the universal human nature of Christ and of the denial of its individuality as being a “humiliation” of this nature, “new ideas” [noviteiten] over against which the question of whether they remain in the line of reformed thought is, in my opinion, more permissible than with respect to the Calvinistic Law-Idea developed by me (Cf. also the critique of Prof. Ridderbos regarding Brochure III).
With respect to the working out in the WdW of the doctrine of sovereignty in its own sphere, it was expected in advance that my colleague would again begin to deny all connection between this working out and Kuyper’s ideas. This time [the denial] was naturally not with the denial that the term appears in Kuyper, but–by what is even much easier–by an apodictic: That’s the way it is.
In the scope of this note I of course cannot expect that the relation referred to would be extensively elucidated. In the near future an adherent of my ideas will publish an article in which this relation will be irrefutably demonstrated, with extensive references from all of Kuyper’s work.
In this note it is sufficient to note that Dr. A. Kuyper in various of his works (e.g. his “Calvinism,” his discourse “Sovereignty in its own sphere,” “Our program,” etc.) expressly refers to a multiplicity and a distinction of law-spheres, respectively of areas of life with their own life-law [levenswet]. By this there is still not a sharp distinction between law-sphere and individuality structures of society; both are more or less mixed up with each other, whereby the criterion for sovereignty in its own sphere cannot be clearly given.
The WdW has tried to make the doctrine of sovereignty in its own sphere really fruitful for both theory and practice by bringing in the said distinction. It has thereby–and this can be supported by proof–found for this project a warm response in a broad circle of our people! For it saddened many faithful Kuyperians for a long time to have to see how this rich doctrine threatened to become a diluted slogan without content. On the other hand, we are saddened by meeting with–instead of a valuation of our attempts–mere insinuations and destructive criticism of often not very nice form from colleague Hepp and certain other scribblers. What is most saddening is that the critique lacks so much objectivity. For example, up to this time there has still been no attempt from that side to properly test the theory of the law-spheres by its objective standard (it is after all only a part of the WdW!).
It does not make a strong impression, whenever one knows nothing better to say against it than that they are a “pure fabrication of the WdW.”
“No discussion is therefore allowed regarding the truth of the WdW”; that was my opponent’s conclusion! What does he mean by this remarkable conclusion? Why does he neglect to cite a different passage from the Foreword to Volume III, which radically overturns his conclusion? I wrote there,
What can Mr. Hepp add to support his conclusion after this unambiguous citation? Nothing.
It appears here again for the umpteenth time that my esteemed colleague is guilty of a citation game, and he must gradually begin to understand that this does not increase the trust in the manner in which he operates with the “Gereformeerde tradition.” If he nevertheless goes to work in such an arbitrary way with respect to his supposed opponents, what guarantee does one have that that he will diverge from this manner of behaviour when he cites from out of the works of Calvin, Kuyper, Bavinck, etc.? [v]
The WdW remains open on all sides for sincere and objective criticism. It is a legend that we do not allow any discussion even regarding fundamental points.
Prof. Stoker, who from the beginning has himself taken a very prominent place in the Association for Calvinistic Philosophy, is in another place of Prof. Hepp’s note put forward as a counterexample! Read also the edition of Philosophia Reformata prior to the present edition.
Why our Association (which has nothing secret about it), includes only members who sympathize with the direction taken by the WdW, has already been explained to your College in a previous discussion [vi]. Our members are working members. Our Association wants to do fruitful work, and this would not be possible if it were merely an association of “Gereformeerde lovers of philosophy,” where one member would turn out to be an Aristotelian, and the other as a “critical-realist,” and still another as a Heideggerean, neo-Kantian, a follower of Husserl or Scheler. Hepp can know that all of these schools are more or less represented by Gereformeerde people who are interested in philosophy. It speaks for itself, that our Association, which rejects all synthesis or accommodation standpoints (and to this alone does she owe its existence!) cannot work with members who do not advocate an intrinsic Christian (let alone Calvinistic) philosophy, but merely a supposed scholasticism accommodated to Revelation. But for that reason the WdW does not itself shut itself off from objective criticism from that side.
The first systematic summary of the WdW in my book of the same name does not really mean a conclusion [afsluiting]. It is a first modest attempt at a systematic Calvinistic philosophy, continually subjected to revision and further development, and which obtains some power from Kuyper’s Scriptural antithesis idea in the area of theoretical thought. That is also the secret of its influence among both older and younger people, about which my colleague concerns himself so much, but which indeed
is observed by very many–although not by everyone–with joy and thankfulness towards God.
That this philosophy should drive a wedge between different reformed people, as my colleague represents on page 4 of his note, is a reproach that could be better directed towards those who have set in motion a real smear campaign against it . It has drawn attention to itself in neutral newspapers as to the unworthy manner in which the attack from that side is being carried out. A simple comparison between the quiet tone of Ds. Spier’s brochure and the wound up and affect-laden nature of Dr, Steen’s brochure may dispose my colleague to reflection. If he can only point to something in one of my publications or in one of the publications of Prof. Vollenhoven that might even distantly resemble the manner in which he treats reformed kindred minds, then I will be grateful to him for this information.
But Mr. Hepp continues: “Your association publishes “Mededelingen” [a newsletter], which is intended only for members.” Indeed, but I would gladly know from my colleague what kind of “unhealthy matters” are hidden within [this newsletter]. The best proof of the contrary, the best proof, that this is a normal course of affairs is the fact that for example the Alumni Association and the Association of Calvinistic Jurists follow this same line of conduct, without their being ever lectured to by my colleague. It merely concerns internal research by the members. Insofar as it is of general interest, the official organ Philosophia Reformata brings this information outside, where it is accessible to everyone.
Furthermore this reproach of secret goings on sounds rather peculiar in the mouth of my colleague, who in his dogmatological discussions with his students required the strictest secrecy!
3. On page 5 of his note, Mr. Hepp sets out views under No. 4, which have already been sufficiently refuted by the foregoing. Since it is of little or no consequence, I will skip his formal remark regarding my terms ‘renewing’ and ‘conserving’ grace, which I prefer above the terms ‘special’ and ‘common’ grace. I do not simply “break” with the usual reformed terminology, as my colleague here says. This is sufficiently shown by the fact that in the first, second and even third volumes of my work, I have almost continually used the required terminology, and it was only in my concluding views about the ecclesiastical association that I gave my preference for a different terminology. But this new terminology expresses exactly the same thing, only in my opinion in a more concise and accurate manner.
In this connection I will allow myself the remark that my colleague here again has made an apodictic assertion without giving a trace of information. I have never dared to sail into pure or essentially theoretical questions using my own compass. Insofar as I have, by my philosophical research regarding the meaning of faith and the structure of the institution of the church, arrived at a theological area, I have wholly connected myself to Kuyper and other reformed theologians, whom I have systematically and accurately cited, and whose insights I have been able to whole-heartedly make my own. 
[Note: there is either a page numbering error, or I do not have a copy of page 14. JGF]
Nevertheless my colleague writes apodictically that I again and again show my lack of expertise when I find myself in theological territory. But in the Foreword to Volume I, I have already in all modesty confessed my lack of expertise, and I have tried to compensate for this by obtaining my light from our best theologians! I would have to say in all modesty, “What more does my colleague want from me? Or does he also consider Kuyper’s view of the church in conflict with the reformed tradition?” “Explain yourself further,” I would like to ask of him. My opponent states in immediate connection with the above closely followed argument, “After this explanation, I think it can easily be seen that the defence that Dr. Dooyeweerd provided you with in his answer does not hold good.” I am bold enough to seriously place in doubt whether my colleague has made it so easy for your College to obtain this insight. On the contrary, I believe that his own argument must only now first begin. As your College has been able to establish, the preceding comprised no more than apodictic assertions or factually inaccurate imputations of certain opinions, from which conclusions were made that float in mid-air.
Dr. Hepp has apparently himself felt this lack, and he drags forth still more arguments, which are supposed to show that I, have in fact attacked “the reformed understanding of soul and body.” But he thereby lays himself open in a most dangerous way. For now he lets fall an assertion that deals a blow that leaves the statement that he defended in his series of brochures as no more than an unsalvageable wreck, namely his statement that the understanding of body and soul in the WdW is squarely in conflict with the Confession (and thus not with traditional immanence philosophy). He writes,
They are therefore, in any event, philosophical ideas, for in order to completely correspond with certain philosophical ideas, the theological ideas referred to must themselves be of a philosophical character . This is what that from our side is continually argued, and which, in the light of history, can in no way be denied. In this way, for those who still know to distinguish confession and philosophy–and that naturally includes my esteemed colleague–it is implicitly settled that in the battle about the character of body and soul at least by my esteemed opponent, there is a question of a philosophical nature that is in issue. To be more precise, it is the question whether on this point one may give up the traditional scholastic philosophy of substantial forms. Excepting only the fact that he clouds the issue again by his lack of a distinction between the “reformed view” and the view of reformed theologians.
The teaching of substantial forms can hardly be called “reformed,” even though the teaching is met with hundreds of times in theologians from the flourishing period. This certainly appears from the fact that it was already characterized by Voetius as the old philosophy of the school, i.e. the peripatetic philosophy, which already in the Middle Ages was brought forward in a form accommodated to the Roman church’s doctrine, and was adapted into Lutheran doctrine by Melancthon in an eclectic leveling. In its origin it goes back to the Aristotelian philosophy.
If this substance doctrine is “reformed,” then so is peripatetic philosophy.
Yes but, so argues colleague Hepp, the term anima rationales also appears in certain foreign confessions and thereby the traditional scholastic philosophy has been become dogmatically fixed on this point! (page 5, note at the bottom and page 6).
At least that is how I think his intention must be
rendered, for as he literally formulates his statement, it again says
does not assist my colleague in his argument when it is not clear whether the expression may have been intended to sanction a definite philosophical view in the Confession.
Now in the first place the question arises, whether my respected colleague may bind me to expressions such as anima rationales, as they appear in the Westminster Confession, and substantia, as this appears in the Confessio Helvetica Posterior.
In my view, I am only bound to our Dutch Confession of Faith, because it is only by opposition to this confession that there is the possibility of an eventual gravamen. If I am wrong about this, then I would gladly receive further information about this.
The question in this context is not really of any objective importance for me. For I want to state with emphasis, that even if these expressions would appear in the Dutch confession of faith, I would not think of them as serving the ground for a gravamen. Why not? Because I deny in principle that such an expression in our written Confession may be shoved under a technical-philosophical meaning . I have above already given an account of this feeling, and it seems to me to in fact be unassailable.
Suppose for a moment that the churches could bind the souls of believers to the interpretation that the expression anima rationalis must for its adjective have the Aristotelian-Thomistic meaning of substantial form of the soul, the principle that guarantees the essential unity of the soul as substance . What would then happen to the discipline regarding teaching [leeertucht]? First, man would not be finished with the dogmatic fixing of “traditional-philosophical” propositions. And man would have to place the whole peripatetic philosophy in its supposed accommodation to the truths of salvation under the care of the church. And man would forthwith have to lay down that the term “immortal rational-moral soul’ may not be understood in the pure Aristotelian sense, according to which only the substantial form (the nous) is immortal, but rather in the meaning already defended by Thomas Aquinas that also the sensitive side of the life of the soul shares in immortality. But in spite of these attempts at accommodation, they would still not succeed in adapting the Aristotelian teaching of the substantial forms to the Christian revelation. For the proposition that reason is the essential part of the human unbreakably coheres with a whole series of theological-philosophical propositions in the so-called theologia naturalis [natural theology]. Thomas Aquinas was seriously occupied with this coherence. Aristotle had taught that God is “absolute reason.” Thomas followed this pagan thought in his philosophical theology to the extent that in
the Divine Being he acknowledged the primacy to reason, and then he came to his completely anti-Scriptural proposition: The good is not good because God has commanded it, but God must himself obey the good because it is good, that is to say, founded in reason!
The latter idea is of course completely rejected by reformed theology. But peripatetic scholasticism was nevertheless retained in the theory of the “immortal soul.” It was not recognized that reason, as the substantial form of the immortal soul, had an origin that from the reformed standpoint could not be tolerated along with the confession of God’s absolute Creative Sovereignty, the concise expression of which is found in Calvin’s “deus legibus solutus est.”
The Philosophy of the Law-Idea has indeed radically rejected this half-hearted [halfslachtig] attitude in philosophy. Its philosophical Ground-idea, nourished by the Scriptural idea of antithesis, really cuts off such a compromise with immanence philosophy, and chooses its point of departure in God’s Word. And because of this, this philosophy is in its foundation a reformed philosophy in the fullest sense of the word, and not in the way that peripatetic scholasticism is a philosophy that is adhered to even by reformed thinkers.
Now whenever the Philosophy of the Law-Idea gives a sharp critique of the concept of substance and of the idea of the human form of being as a “rational-moral nature,” then we are not fighting against terms in some foreign Confessions of Faith, but against the philosophical meaning that such terms have within immanence philosophy. And no reformed person will allow such a right to be taken away, as long as he is not unfaithful to Kuyper’s teaching of sovereignty in its own sphere, or rather, so long as he on this point has not become unfaithful to the Scriptures themselves.
By this I am of course not in the least saying that the WdW does not permit any fundamental critique of its basis from out of the Scriptures and confessions. The truth is the reverse.
It is just the Scriptural point of departure of our thought that forces us again and again to test our ideas with Scripture and the Confession  and whoever convinces us of any deviations on this point will finds themselves not our opponents, but rather our brotherly friends.
In the power of faith, we must nevertheless keep fighting against the deformation of our Confession by its mixture with philosophical ideas from the peripatetic school.
And Prof. Hepp needs to take account of the fact that we are not doing this so that a new branch of immanence philosophy may conquer and take over the place of scholasticism, but much rather in order to keep all of this false philosophy out of the Holy Ground of our Confession.
It is just for this reason that the philosophical battle that was here ignited displays no similarity at all with that form the time of Voetius. At that time it concerned whether one would be for or against the peripatetic or rather the Cartesian philosophy. Now it concerns the question: for or against the purification of reformed thought from every synthesis with immanence philosophy. Our reformed people will intuitively understand this radical difference. It is understandable that Prof. Hepp rejects this dilemma! In his note he believes that there is a third way, an in-between way. But history has already given its judgment over this in-between way. It is the old path of accommodation, of synthesis of two standpoints that radically (i.e. in their root) exclude each other. And history
has demonstrated how, over time, such synthesis has always led to inner deformation of Christendom.
The whole critical-historical part of my work serves to support this proposition; it is woven throughout each of the three volumes.
Now my respected colleague should not begin again here to find in the foregoing a confirmation of his assertion that I have already refuted with citations from my work, that on our standpoint each opinion in immanence philosophy is per se untrue. For the argument just given above has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with this, and my colleague, with his known keen intellect, will some day also see this!
The accommodation of one or more schools of immanence philosophy to reformed Scriptural faith does not just concern particular opinions or concepts, but the basic principles of both. For example, the Aristotelian doctrine of the rational-moral nature of man concerns the question concerning the center of human existence, and in this, Scripture stands squarely opposed to a philosophy that takes its point of departure in apostate reason.
And we should not and cannot cease pointing out again and again, with brotherly insistence , the vitium originis [original fault] of such ideas to reformed academics, our fellow believers, who do not see this. In this way, over time, we may win them over in the battle in which we see our life’s calling!
For their place is not opposed to but rather next to us, shoulder to shoulder!
On page 6 of his note, colleague Hepp makes a remark that leaves a bitter aftertaste, but which again allows us to see the lack already mentioned of the distinction between reformed philosophical thinking and traditional-philosophical ideas of reformed theologians.
According to him, the Philosophy of the Law-idea is characterized by something “ambiguous.” Whenever it fights against “traditional and confessional (sic!) Calvinistic ideas,” then it generally does not come out in the open, but rather “loads them on the back of immanence philosophy.” He considers this to be “psychologically understandable,” but he says that “in order to serve the truth,” it would be better if we would rather openly and sharply “go against reformed conceptions.”
My respected colleague is here again following the same method of attack that he applied in his well-known series of brochures, and which have rightly called forth an almost unanimous protest in the church press.
He tries to construe “deviations from the Confession” out of our battle against immanence philosophy, since in this battle we meet implicitly with traditional philosophical conceptions, which come from out of the peripatetic scholastic philosophy but which he now overprints with the label “Calvinistic” since they have also been taken over by reformed theologians.
I mention again that the WdW claims to be a Calvinistic philosophy and–in contrast to my respected colleague–requires for Calvinistic philosophy a fundamental criterion, and not a personal one. Following Kuyper, this philosophy has set itself antithetically over against immanence philosophy, which rejects divine Word revelation as a point of departure and much rather proceeds from out of the self-sufficiency of “natural reason” in its own area. It concerns a serious attempt to build up a fundamentally Calvinistic philosophy and not the umpteenth attempt to find a new school of immanence philosophy to be shoved under the reformed Confessions of Faith!
And concerning myself, I have for now more useful and necessary work than to spend my time checking to see to what degree the reformed theologians from earlier and later times have adhered to scholastic philosophy.
I have too much respect and love for our great theologians to have the desire to place under a spotlight the philosophical constructions that they may have taken over from scholasticism, as if that had been the real emphasis of their work.
Furthermore, I would then also have to be a theologian in order to be able to judge the dogmatic use that they make of these constructions.
In any event, I decidedly and emphatically decline to let the Confession be hitched to the wagon of philosophical constructions such as for example the scholastic doctrine of the substantial forms. That would be an easy, but at the same time deadly and dangerous path, to let the church make assertions in an area for which it is given no authority, and to set the Vrije Universiteit under ecclesiastical supremacy.
As against his haughty and unworthy characterizations of Mr. Janse, which appear in this connection in the note of my colleague, I can only register my sharp protest. In expressing himself this way, it is hard to find the “brotherly spirit” of which my colleague ventures to speak in his brochures.
Continuing his argument, my respected colleague comes back to the presupposition put forward in my previous note, that he is evidently not wholly familiar with the history of the philosophical idea of substance. This remark has clearly irritated him, as can be seen from the manner in which he has reacted in his note, and I in retrospect now readily admit that it would have been better for me to have held back this remark, just because it–although not wrongly intended–can now bring my colleague to the temptation to, as he himself expresses it, “throw the ball back.” And everyone who has read his ridiculing “critique” of Prof. Vollenhoven’s book in his well-known brochures knows what he means by that.
I am not in the least tempted to enter into a discussion on this basis with my colleague regarding the development of the idea of substance. Nor do I think that he would find any academic person ready to do so, who respected himself and theoretical thought.
Therefore only a few objective remarks in this connection:
Leaving aside the fact that (except for the concept “Ding an sich” [thing in itself]),” Kant simply meant by ‘thing’ the thing given in everyday experience, Dr. Hepp’s statement yet clearly suggests an identification of thing and substance in Kant’s philosophy. If he has intended something else, then I would gladly take note of this and ask his forgiveness for my misunderstanding. But then he must not express himself in such a careless manner!
B. The remark I made earlier, that it would have been better if colleague Hepp had not been satisfied with reading through my work one time as a whole before he began to criticize it, finds a new confirmation in his suggestion that the considerations in the three volumes of my work that are directed to the development of the problem of substance in immanence philosophy “remain superficial.” From the passages cited by him from my work in support of this judgment, it appears that he has not even seen the really systematic critique of the development of the substance idea in Aristotle and in modern philosophy. This critique is supported extensively from the sources (and not from out of a philosophical dictionary as he suggests!).
My colleague tries in a sense to cover this up by preceding his summing up of the disputed passages from the three volumes of my work with the phrase “among other places” [o.a.]. But this makes the matter only that much more worse for him. For it is then evident that his ridiculing “critical” remarks about my whole view of the substance problem again are supported by certain arbitrary citations pulled out of context. This is a manner of behaving that I have already several times have qualified as symptomatic of the way that my colleague has entered into the questions at issue.
I sincerely hope that my colleague will finally see how this is not allowed and that he will offer his apologies without reservations. For such practices, which even in the general academic world are considered as a “mortal sin,” should certainly not take place between colleagues at the Vrije Universiteit!
Go to Part B of this Response2 by Dooyeweerd.
Dooyeweerd's Original Footnotes
 Note by Dooyeweerd,
on first page of this response:
 If the theory of the law-spheres could be found already worked out by Kuyper, then I could in good conscience have left Volume II of the Philosophy of the Law-Idea in my pen! [i.e., not written it].
Cf. Kuyper's discourse “Sovereignty in its own sphere,” page 1 regarding the relation between these ordinances and the sovereignty in its own sphere:
To continue: Het Calvinisme, p. 144:
Note by JGF: Dooyeweerd here omits the following statement by Kuyper regarding art:
 I think here in particular that Dr. A. Kuypers took the liberty of delivering, after delivery of the Paedagogisch Tijdschrift, the brochure “Philosophia Deformata” by Mr. Steen and last but not least the series of brochures of my colleague Hepp.
 I leave here the question concerning the relation of special and common grace, since my colleague seems to want to be able to again show a deviation from the traditional ideas, an assertion that I moreover have already tried to refute in my book.
 My colleague should not object that the traditional scholastic Aristotelian philosophy also teaches the existence of God and the immortality of the soul, which ideas are to correspond with the reformed confession. For I precisely deny that such philosophical conceptions agree with the confession.
 It is moreover somewhat piquant to look at this question historically. For then there arise points, which my respected colleague appears to have too much confused. So for example, of the two editors of the Heidelberg Catechism, [Caspar] Olivianus was an outspoken proponent of the Ramistic philosophy, and as such was a fierce opponent of Aristotelian metaphysics and logic! On the other hand [Zacharias] Ursinus was a defender of the Aristotelian scholasticism! In spite of this they were able to work together on one Confession of Faith. But this circumstance is already sufficient to show how impossible it is to bind the interpretation of particular words of the reformed Confessions of Faith to peripatetic scholasticism! Naturally, as a nominalist, Ramus could not accept the Aristotelian teaching of the substantial forms.
 Even Voetius, in his battle against the Cartesians did not want this per se. He hesitated up until the end whether to bring his differences with Regius before the ecclesiastical forum, or whether to only call in the help of the municipal authority. In my opinion, the latter was however the least correct line of conduct.
 This demand is heard in a much stronger way in a radical Scriptural point of departure, which from the start rejects the immanence standpoint, than in a half—hearted synthesis standpoint that tries to accommodate peripatetic philosophy or realistically interpreted Kantian epistemology to Scripture and confession (something that in our view is impossible).
 On page 6 of his note, colleague Hepp denies most explicitly that “theologians” in the flourishing time as well as after Kuyper have made such a synthesis! In all modesty I merely ask my colleague, what does he then think about Voetius and Schook, who defended the old peripatetic scholastic philosophy? If this is not a synthesis, what is it then? Voetius himself speaks about an “accommodation” of philosophy to theology (Dispp. vol. 3 p. 741). Dr. Hepp does not want to fight immanence philosophy so “radically” (see page 6 of his note). But the word ‘radical’ must still mean “in the root.” If he really does not want to fight immanence philosophy in the root, i.e., in its apostate point of departure, then no way is left for him except the path of accommodation. If colleague Hepp knows of yet a fourth possibility, then I would solicit the favour of his further elucidation.
 And not with spitefulness or ridicule, which the opponents of the WdW allow themselves.
 As an aside, I note that when I speak of “functions,” into which, according to which colleague Hepp says that I dissolve “body” and “soul”, I have not shoved in the adjective ‘temporal’ to thereby inaccurately represent the idea of colleague Hepp. For neither Prof. Hepp nor I know of any other functions of soul and body than temporal functions. What he means with the italicized word “shoved in” on page 8 of his note is really not clear! We can only speak of “being shoved in” where one has ascribed to his opponent an expression that he does not share.
 Colleague Hepp is also mistaken whenever he supposes that Prof. Stoker has rejected the Law-Idea. On the contrary, Stoker entirely accepts this as being completely Scriptural. He only believes that it requires to be supplemented and that in this regard the Creation Idea is more comprehensive. As I have demonstrated in the Prolegomena to my book, this was a misunderstanding, since the Calvinistic Law-Idea must always imply just this Scriptural Creation Idea.
 The Gereformeerd confession of the radical corruption of man does not lead to the Anabaptist idea that in this world the corruption has worked through in an unrestrained manner. It leads instead to the confession that even the naturalis ratio with its philosophical construction comes from out of an apostate root.
 Proceeding from his presupposition, that the WdW has developed a “theoretical heart theory,” my colleague tries to suggest in some way to your College itself that the idea of the “heart” as “centre of life” has really already been defended in Greek philosophy, although he immediately follows this up with the statement that he finds it improbable that there are Aristotelian or Stoic influences on me regarding this point. But on page 12 of his note he writes:
In reading this passage I have again been amazed. Aristotle speaks of the heart only in the sense of bodily organ, thus in the original biological sense! And he only defends the proposition with respect to animals, that this heart is the central organ of sensory awareness! The fact that the older Stoa viewed the heart as the hegemonikon itself of the “soul” is simply incorrect from a to z. Apparently my respected colleague has allowed himself to be led onto a false track through the circumstances that one single representative of the older Stoa, namely Chrysippus, sought the seat of the hegemonikon of the soul in the breast. But the hegemonikon itself was for him the same as for all the others, the nous, or reason. And moreover most of the older Stoics had objections against the teaching of the breast as the seat of reason. The whole idea of the “heart” as root or centre of human existence is unknown to pagan philosophy. Therefore this passage in the argument of my colleague seems so peculiar–it is a passage that would certainly not make a good impression in the “comparative examination” proposed by himself! It has the appearance as if he in passing is trying to suggest to your College that we really do not owe to Divine Revelation the whole Scriptural idea of the heart as the centre of life, but that pagan thinking has also known something about it, and that in any event it is a mere theoretical question!
 Cf. the expression, “And I was pricked in my kidneys” [Ik in mijn nieren geprikkeld ward. The reference seems to be to Ps. 73:21, “Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.” The Latin ‘renes,’ meaning kidneys, is a literal translation of the Hebrew. See also Ps. 7:9, Ps. 16:7; Prov. 23:16; Rev. 2:23].
 At least I do not see what else the word ‘where’ in his question might mean. I admit in advance the possibility my having misunderstood him. If my colleague means only “in heaven,” or “on earth” then his question is answered under the first point.
 I of course do not need to again expressly tell my colleague that this does not relate to “aeternitas”, which applies only to God, but rather over the creaturely aevum, the created supratemporality.
 Moreover, I would like to see information regarding the names of the “many” university lecturers (he of course means reformed) whom he says in his apodictic assertion have fundamental objections against the WdW. I know of only a few, and they are furthermore now at least one with each other! Of course only those should be mentioned who know our ideas.
[i] JGF: From Dooyeweerd’s response, and from what Verburg says (p. 208), it appears that Hepp had placed under the subheading “The denial of the independent existence of the soul in distinction from the body” the following quotation from WdW III, 629:
[iii] JGF: The reference is to propaganda. The slogan “Mussert wint” was a slogan from the recent election in the Netherlands. Anton Mussert (1894-1946) was leader of the National Socialist party in the Netherlands. An envelope with a stamp bearing this slogan, addressed to Holland from England, was refused delivery in 1937. Mussert was tried and executed after the war.
[ix] JGF: The Dutch is “een vragen naar den bekenden weg.” This is an evasive answer. Dooyeweerd must have known at that time of Vollenhoven’s disagreement, even if Vollenhoven had not published anything. Vollenhoven hardly published any works during his life, except for internal syllabi for the courses that he taught. Later, Vollenhoven did write of his disagreements with Dooyeweerd. But it is clear from those writings (which are also internal) that he and Dooyeweerd had decided not to make their disagreements public. See my article, “Dooyeweerd versus Vollenhoven: The religious dialectic within reformational philosophy,” Philosophia Reformata 70 (2005) 102-132 [‘Dialectic’].
[x] JGF: Dooyeweerd uses the word ‘revelation’ [openbaring] to refer to the temporal unfolding of our life, directed from our supratemporal central heart and root. A similar idea of revelation is found in Franz von Baader.
[xi] JGF: Yet this is what Dooyeweerd himself seems to say: “The great turning point in my thought was marked by the discovery of the religious root of thought itself […] I came to understand the central significance of the “heart”… (NC I, v). This seems to suggest that it was indeed a “happy find.” Is Dooyeweerd’s objection to Hepp that this was not an invention of the WdW, but rather a finding of previous knowledge?
[xiv] JGF: Dooyeweerd here is using the Christian Ground-Motive of creation, fall and redemption as a hermeneutical key. But even that key must be interpreted by the “key of knowledge,” the idea of the supratemporal selfhood as religious root. See his In the Twilight of Western Thought. Studies in the Pretended Autonomy of Philosophical Thought, (Nutley, N.J.: The Craig Press, 1968, first published 1961) [‘Twilight’] .124, 125, 145.
[xvi] JGF: As discussed in my Introduction to these Responses to the Curators, Dooyeweerd’s position regarding the supratemporal selfhood and religious root was more certain than he is willing to here admit. He had made definite statements as early as 1931, and affirmed them in 1940 and later in Twilight.
Go to Part B of this Response2 by Dooyeweerd.
Dec 26/05, Revised May 19/06