In this post from July, Darryl Hart (self-described Paleo-Calvinist) takes on David Koyzis. Hart has some pointed observations.  Here’s one:

…we are befuddled that folks like Koyzis do not seem to notice that most of the places where neo-Calvinism has tried to remedy secularism have also brought liberal Protestantism (or at least a movement away from Reformed Christianity) with it. Frankly, I like the Dutch, maybe even more than hard-core Vossians and Van Tillians. I spent four great years in the Christian Reformed Church. They even ordained me as an elder. And for that reason I do not write with glee about the effects of world-view thinking on communions like the CRC, where in seeking to establish the Lordship of Christ over all spheres of life, his Lordship over the keys of the kingdom seems a lot less firm. And what has happened in the CRC only seems to follow what happened in the Netherlands to many of the institutions that Abraham Kuyper, the granddaddy of neo-Calvinists, founded.

I admit my sympathy for Hart and the paleo-Calvinist way of thinking.  For instance, I appreciate their emphasis on being confessional.  I also find a lot to be said for letting the church be the church and the state being the state.  Because of VanTil’s influence, however, I do find it difficult to swallow the concept of “natural law” that two-kingdom proponents favour.  However, I will admit that this is an area in which I’ve done little study in recent years.

Coming from my position of relative ignorance, I think I am still allowed to ask a question:  how is natural law really all that different from the understanding of law in neo-Calvinism, especially in the area of politics?  What I mean is that both appear to be constructed as means to avoid the problem of applying the Bible to the unbelieving world.  Perhaps that’s not the intent of either, but it would seem to be the outcome.  And again, maybe I’ve understood neither — in which case, would someone please help me out?

One response to “Darryl vs. David”

  1. Zrim says:


    If self-described ignorami can ask questions, perhaps self-avowed dummies can weight in experientially at least?

    In my immersed experience amongst the neo-Calvinists around here it just seems like a sophisticated version of the under-tutored fundamentalism out of which I came. I am not sure what else to make of things when a prof from Kuyper College preaches in the evening service to a head-nodding congregation that “Instead of whining about Hollywood we should realize that we should have taken it over years ago and that it’s not too late to do so.” That sounds a lot like cultural take over to me, a co-belliegerency with the same stuff the religious right says.

    I don’t know how one utters such things and can also be said to not have a desire to apply the Bible to all of life. I thought the the Regulative Principle of Worship applied to, uh, worship? But maybe the neo-Calvinist confusion of these things helps explain a sermon about take over in the midst of a service that includes ‘special music’ and gee-tars.

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