The Reason For No Season

I love the distinctiveness of each meteorological season in the MidAtlantic. You typically get summers in the 100s, winters in the 30s, springs and autumns in the ascending and descending betweens.

Winter can be cheery and cozy indoors, with special food and drink to get us through the colder, shorter days. Often distant family and friends vacation from work, and we gather from the four corners with time to enjoy fellowship undiluted. All this I love, and would never derogate. These things are what really matter at the turn of each year.

However, all pretended ritual or sacred significance in this or any other month or day is a worthless fantasy and a product of foolish imagination. Indeed, the incarnation (and birth) of our Savior finally culminated in His re-birth, putting an end to all the shadows.


Discussing God, Etc.

I sometimes recommend to you an article, book, film, or artist. But this appeal goes beyond my highest recommendation. If you've ever found any interest in our existential discussions, please get a copy of Roy Clouser's Knowing With The Heart.

I'm addressing quite a few people really. Whether you're a believer or not, whether we are friends or were brief acquaintances, if we met in the past twelve years in either Baltimore, D.C., Harrisburg, California, Chattanooga, Prague, Amsterdam, Japan, or Canada… we probably had a philosophical conversation or two. And this book explains several key ideas I tried to articulate.

Did you ever read C.S.Lewis' Mere Christianity ? Although not written in the same kind of literary style, Clouser's book is honestly superior in content and is written in clear, nontechnical, immensely readable language. The primary theme of the book is religious experience and belief in God, and you'll find its implications as broad and deep as life itself.


Sympathy For The Damned Secularists?

Sure, you're not permitted to publicly practice any theistic religion in all of France. But hey... you can smoke everywhere!

(you can't imagine how closely the degree to which I despise anti-smoking fascism approaches the amount of abhorrence I have for anti-religious totalitarianism.)


Researching Ramus

About four years ago a friend mentioned how Ramist logic was in vogue at the Westminster Assembly. I never heard this before, and was quite curious. But only recently have my thoughts turned back to Ramism. I'm hoping to discover more.

Pierre de la Ramée (Petrus Ramus 1515-1572, not to be confused with Rudolf Grossmann who took the name as an alias) was a Huguenot scholar killed at the St. Bartholomew Massacre. Ramus worked to reform the Liberal Arts in a particular anti-Aristotelian manner.

He was perhaps the most influential thinker upon Calvinist scholars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Ramist thinking is reported to have heavily influenced the likes of Milton, Shakespeare, Bacon, and Althusius, in addition to many Puritans from Sir William Temple to Jonathan Edwards.

I hope to acquire three major works on Ramus by F.P. Graves, W.J. Ong, and J.V. Skalnik.


Strange Fellow

In my experience, the words "calvinist philosophy" do not tend to inspire enthusiasm in other people. But if the idea of exploring the depths of human experience is at all interesting to you, give it a chance.

A wonderfully strange fellow, Glenn Friesen, gives us a window into his life and reflections on his new site concerning Christian Nondualism. The site is a significant resource, but I must highlight the (comparatively insignificant) fact that he has two photos of Dooyeweerd here that I have wanted to post for months.

Caveat: I'm fairly certain that the term "mystical" as Friesen applies it to Dooyeweerd must not be understood as any kind of supra-creational spiritualism.


Philosophical Terms

On Aug. 21 I gave a sort of definition for continental philosophy. For those more interested in the subject I heartily recommend Scott Moore's Notebook. It is quite extensive.

Being a fan of extensivity (and you know I love dictionaries) let me also mention The Ism Book. Perhaps "Dooyeweerdianism" will be included in the next version, despite its reformational anti-reductionism(!) and critique of most "isms."



Gary North once wrote: "Every revolution needs slogans. Here is mine: politics fourth" (sidebar p.575). One point here, among others, is that Jesus being Lord of every part of life does not mean there are political fix-alls or shortcuts in the Christian cultural task. And yet we certainly have work to do in the political sphere.

Some of that work involves legal scholarship. I was encouraged to read Andree Seu's article recommending that Christians work to wrest jurisprudence from its secular captivity and bring it to its biblical roots. Holding up Kuyper as an example, Seu suggests that it might be time to establish a Christian School of Law in the U.S. that will labor to go beyond "generically conservative analyses to engage in a distinctively, self-consciously, rigorously biblical undertaking."

Similarly, Bruce Green (Dean of Liberty University's School of Law) writes about progress in founding a new Christian law school and mentions reading Dooyeweerd (via Strauss via Reeves). Certainly, if any would take up Seu's challenge to "revive Kuyper's proposal," they ought to avail themselves of the tremendous head-start provided in Dooyeweerd's writings.