The third presupposition is that there is a purposiveness to events which makes it possible to speak of them in the first place. Even for those who deny any actual purposiveness to events, there is still the need, just for intelligible for communication to be possible, to speak ‘as if ‘this or that event has purpose. For example, speaking of an earthquake of volcano, the horror of destruction needs to be placed in a context where attempts are made to save lives and property, and deaths are mourned as if the lives of those lost have significance — horror and mourning makes no sense at all in the face of the insignificant. Even to grasp the event of the treading on an ant, or indeed the microscopic collision of two sub-atomic particles, one need to invest the death of an ant, or the collision of the sub-atomic particles, with sufficient significance for it to be registered as an event.
More specifically, the purposiveness of events is the work of the Holy Spirit, from the event of creation through the work of the regeneration of human hearts, to the transformation of the universe.
Second, there is a basic order of the world in the way that the many different kinds of relation harmonise with one another. No one kind of relation can provide the basis for its own harmony with all the other kinds of relation.
More specifically, from a Christian perspective, this transcendent Coherence is provided by the eternal Son of the Father, through whom all things come into being and in whom they hold together.
First there is a transcendent ground upon which all things depend. This is true even when it is held that there is an infinite regress, or, as Christians affirm, there is a definitive Origin upon from which the whole of creation derives its being.
More specifically, it is the Father who is the Origin of creation, redemption and transformation through his decree. As all things are ordained by the Father, and are redeemed through his love for the world in general and for humanity in particular, so all as his creatures are called to render him his praise.
This vision of God’s creative, redemptive and transforming action in the world provides the basis for the way we should understand the world and our life and work in it. Religion in this regard is that which shapes and governs our worldview and gives rise accordingly to the Ideas (capital I) or presuppositions upon which any philosophy is grounded.
The transcendent vision (that is, the vision given us on the basis of biblical revelation) gives rise to three presuppositions which are necessary for any Christian philosophy, or indeed, provide the basis of any philosophy in general.
Any philosophy, Christian or otherwise, proceeds on the basis of presuppositions, which are rooted and grounded in a basis religious conception of the world. This conception of the world might lay stress on the Origin of all things, or it may lay stress on the way al things related to one another, or it may stress the process of all things.
The Bible speaks of the “heart”, the central concentration point of our deepest hopes and desires. In all things the heart is the centre of human orientation (whether or not they recognize themselves as ‘religious’). For a Christian, it is in the heart that each person encounters, and responds to God. God speaks to all human beings, but the human response can be distorted by over focussing on one or other element or aspects of experience.
In the story of the creation of humanity in the first chapters of the book of Genesis, the key point in the coming to be of humanity is the encounter with God — so that the human race can be described perhaps not just as homo sapiens but homo religiosus. The Adam and Eve story in Genesis 2 marks a boundary in terms of the human response to God, resulting in a signal act of disobedience. This in turn led to the whole story of judgement and redemption, in which humanity’s relation to God is seen through the experience of key figures, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses and David, each with a covenant associated with his name — a progressive revelation of the judgement on humanity for its disobedience but, at the same time God’s gracious provision for human beings to be restored to a right relationship with himself. This process culminates in the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God becoming fully human, and dying and rising to provide the sole basis for the redemption of human beings through the power of his Holy Spirit.
Human beings are inescapably religious, and this is true both of those considered conventionally to be religious (i.e. of the traditional relations, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism), but also those who are secular, not least the most aggressive secularists such as Richard Dawkins, who, in his attack on religions “fundamentalisms” creates a new fundamentalism of his own with its own creedal basis.
- A Framework for Life: Elements of a Working Christian Philosophy
- 3. The Idea of Providence
- 2. The Idea of Coherence
- 1. The Idea of Origin
- Presuppositions (or “Ideas”) Foundational to any Philosophy
- The Centrality of the Heart
- The Three Covenants
- Biblical Reflection 3: The Holy Spirit
- Biblical Reflection 2: Jesus the Son of God
- Biblical Reflection 1: The Father
- All of life redeemed – Christian philosophy for all of life
- Reformational Web
- Paul Robinson’s site for Dooyeweerd’s New Critique
- Andrew Basden’s Dooyeweerd pages
- J. Glenn Friesen’s Dooyeweerd pages
- The Dooyeweerd Centre
- The West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies
- The Institute of Christian Studies, Toronto
- The Free University of Amsterdam
- The Association for Reformational Philosophy
- The Kuyper Foundation
- Cornelius Van Til – information and resources
- The Works of John Frame and Verne Poythress
- Westminster Theological Seminary
- Gunton Research Group
- Douglas Knight – Resources for Christian Theology
- Theo Plantinga – Myodicy
- Rudi Hayward’s Blog
- Jubilee Centre, Cambridge,England
- Reformational UK
- LeRon Shults
- Reformational Publishing Project
- Christian Studies Unit
- James K A Smith
- and Science
- Calvinism and Reformed Theology
- Chrisitan Resources
- chrisitian faith
- Christ Centered Trinitarian Theology
- Christian Living
- Christian Theology
- Christian Thinking
- Christian Worldview
- Contemporary Worldview
- Following Jesus
- Following of Christ
- Following the Master
- Life in general
- Mind and heart
- Mind and Spirit
- Philosophical Anthropology
- philosophical thoughts
- philosophy & politics
- Philosophy & Religion
- Philosophy and Religion
- Philosophy for today
- Reformational Thought
- Reformed theological
- Reformed Theology
- social ideas
- social theory
- Something meaningful
- The Following of Christ
- the life
- The truth
- Theology and Discipleship
- Trinity Secret
- Truth and Doctrine
- Van Til