American Goes To Parliament

On Wednesday I visited the Hague, got a nice tour of parliamentary buildings, and spoke with a Representative in the "Tweede Kamer" (second chamber) from the CDA. I would have preferred to also meet with CU folk, but they have a comparatively small staff and simply couldn't spare the time. In the afternoon, I was in Utrecht and met with reps from the Christian Trade Union Federation (CNV-NL). I like those guys a lot, and hope to keep in touch. They have a historical connection with the CLA-USA, I think.

The weather was terribly stormy and chilly --a bit of hail and the hardest rain I've seen in the Netherlands-- but I managed to avoid getting soaked.

In other news, one of my heroes, Michael Farris of Patrick Henry College, has been in the media a bit lately. Listen to his FreshAir interview here. In my youth I was enamored with Terry Gross (perhaps I was under the false impression that she was critical and bohemian, rather than a plain ole establishment lefty), now I just listen to hear her sound incredulous when speaking to or about bible-believers.


Don't Ask... Just Yet

This morning after church, a friend showed me this t-shirt someone gave him. It says "Don't ask me about my thesis." I had to laugh, as that's pretty much my sentiment, but I will report on my progress soon enough.
I was reminded of a few other t-shirts I've seen and admired: 1, 2.

I'm happy to report that I will have a version of my paper on Sphere Sovereingty published in the June issue of Griffin's View, the Vrije Universiteit LLM journal of international and comparative law. This will be my first genuine academic publication. I'm quite excited about it. The journal has received some serious professional recognition, at least in the Netherlands, so I'm curious whether my views will get any attention. I would be surprised. The bulk of the paper is the same (ie, explicating Dooyeweerd's conception), but I wrote a new conclusion, applying Sphere Sovereingty to state legislation and "social responsibility" in general.

Speaking of things political, David Koyzis alerts us to Chris Erickson's Christian Democratic Union site. As I comment on Koyzis' post, I think if one knows something about William Jennings Bryan (other than his racism, prohibitionism, anti-evolutionism, and relation to the Wizard of OZ), then imagining such a view in the U.S. context --a view that may otherwise seem to be a European or Latin American political phenomenon-- will be easier. Despite the willingness of some Kuyperian-influenced political thinkers (eg, CPJ) to align themselves with the outlines of the so-called Christian-Democratic approach, I find the inherent Statism (socialism) in such views utterly untenable and opposite the principles of genuine neocalvinism.

update : Check out Philosophia Reformata, the journal of the Association for Reformational Philosophy. Once again, thanks to Steve Bishop! The Nederlanders don't know it yet, but we're plotting to take over the entire organization. The good news of Reformational scholarship has been keep hidden by the "Dutch Mafia" for far, far too long.


Friends Are Good

My 33rd birthday is tomorrow (3 May). However, this morning I received a large care package with lots of goodies, cards, and gifts... and photos of a party some friends held back home in my honor. Absolutely fantastic! What a wonderful present!

The love of friends is real encouragement, and I'm so thankful for it.
I consider it a privilege to be associated with these good folk.

update: this was a very nice gift too --Joe Carter of evangelical outpost and managing editor of World Magazine's blog WorldViews offers his endorsement, saying "Gregory Baus is one of the best popularizers of [Herman Dooyeweerd's] thought *... Baus is wickedly smart and destined to become one of the most influential philosophers in neocalvinism."*

And thanks to Steve Bishop for putting my paper on Dooyeweerd's Societal Sphere Sovereignty into pdf format. Now you can read the footnotes.

another update: It was recently pointed out to me that while this year I turn 33, that Cornelius VanTil (also born 3 May) turns 111, making the distance between CVT and myself the same as between Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Make of it what you will.