An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Friday, 28 October 2005

Evangelical, Reformed, reformational etc.

Paul Otto in a comment on a previous post wanted to know where I'd put evangelical and Vollenhovian onto my relational diagram. Here's my initial attempt:

The question is: where should neocalvinism go on the diagram? I suspect that it should cover reformational, Vollenhovenian and Dooyeweerdian - but can a neocalvinist not be reformed? And what about reformed epistemologists - where would they go? Presumably a subset of neocalvinism (though Alston might not like that!)?


Gideon Strauss said...

And also, what about "kuyperian"?

Steve Bishop said...

Good question Gideon! What do you think?

It may be pushing the limits of a 2D Venn diagram to show all the different nuances.

I suspect that kuyperianism would be a subset of neocalvinism. Looks like I'll have to do another diagram with neocalvinism on it!

Baus said...

If there is a distinction between neocalvinist and Kuyperian, the distinction would be that a neocalvinist embraces a "core" or the essentials of Kuyperianism, minus whatever is secondary in Kuyper's view. Or rather, a Kuyperian is a neocalvinist with additional distinctives (distinctives of Kuyper's own view on things that were in addition to his core neocalvinist beliefs).

As a Reformational student, I consider myself more Dooyeweerdian than Vollenhovian... where they differ, I like Dooyeweerd. Where Vollenhoven adds things lacking in Dooyeweerd, I want to include those things.

But I consider myself a nonEvangelical Reformed Kuyperian Neocalvinist Reformational Dooyeweerdian. It looks like your Venn put us all in an evangelical camp. I am nonEvangelical for confessional reasons, mostly concerning ecclesiology, worship, sacraments,... and perhaps piety.

Baus said...

But a Venn should just be concerned with core beliefs. Do Kuyperians and neocalvinists have any essential beliefs that differ? I don't view them as differing in essentials.

But certainly, a Reformational has more essentials that define his view. And a Dooyeweerdian has even more essentials that define his view.

Don't just draw the circles, list the essentials, and the circles draw themselves.

Paul Otto said...

Does Neo-Cal include Bavink and Machen? If so, it's larger than Kuyperianism.

Does Reformational include more than Dooyeweerd (e.g. Vollenhoven, SToker, etc.)?

Is there so much overlap between Reformed and Evangelical? Certainly in people, but in basic ideas and assumptions?

These are some of the questions implied in my survey about the meaning of Reformational.

baus said...

Paul, if we're Venning by essentials, then this is how I think it goes:

Kuyper and Bavink both share neocalvinist essentials, but Kuyperianism and Bavinkianism have additional essentials (so that makes the list of essentials for neocalvinism smaller... but it, therefore, makes the number of people who hold them larger).


Machen was, unfortunately not a Kuyperian. I'm not sure he was a neocalvinist either, depending on what we include in neocalvinist essentials. If we include a basic non-rationalist approach to epistemology, then Machen was not a neocalvinist. Machen was either or both Warfieldian/Dabneyan. Historical usage (or lack thereof) never gave us a corresponding term to "neocalvinism" for whatever Warfield and Dabney were... mostly because neither wanted to be neo- anything, I think. Perhaps they were both Neo-Edwardsian in that regard.