Introducing Christian Philosophy
Establishing a new philosophical school of thought in the course of its development naturally generates the need for understandable introductions. The new philosophical movement, initially known as “De Wijsbegeerte der Wetdsidee” (the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea), is no exception. After its main contours took shape during the twenties and thirties of the previous century, its innovating and penetrating systematic analyses inspired first of all J.M. Spier to write such an Introduction. The fourth edition of a largely expanded version appeared in 1950 and the second edition of its English translation in 1976. After establishing special chairs in Reformational Philosophy at various state universities, the respective professors each wrote their own orientations in this philosophy (Popma, Mekkes, and Van Riessen). This process was continued in the appearance of a new generation of Introductions (Kalsbeek, Strauss and Hommes). Soon introductory texts, providing an opportunity for their authors to introduce new insights and developments, entered the scene as well. Hart published a work on “Understanding our World” and Jan Dengerink one on the meaning of reality. Roy Clouser wrote his The Myth of Religious Neutrality and Strauss published a work on Philosophy: Discipline of the Disciplines. Recently we witnessed the appearance of a number of 21st century Introductions, published by Troost, Bartholomew and Goheen and Ouweneel. While appreciating these new efforts the main focus of this article is directed at demonstrating that simplifying matters may often result in inaccuracte and even mistaken conceptions, illustrated in terms of examples taken from the works of Bartholomew and Goheen, and Ouweneel. The article is concluded with reference by emphasizing the need for a different kind of introduction not yet available in print.
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