The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Another article on Rookmaaker
appears in Books & Culture written by Bill Edgar (Edgar recently penned a review of Laurel Gasque's biography of HRR -- see my blog entry).

Neo-Calvinists should take note of Rookmaakers practical, applied approach:

Students of Rookmaaker's in the '60s and '70s may not have realized how deeply his thinking was permeated by the Amsterdam philosophy [of Dooyeweerd, et al]. Much of this school of thought is of technical interest only; the originality of Rookmaaker's contribution lies in applying it to the arts. As he moved into circles where artists and students were asking hard questions, the theoretical language moved into the background, and he became eminently practical. Still, his commitment to the basic contours of the philosophy was always there. It often came out in his reactions to issues. For example, if a student asked him whether God exists, his answer would first be to dismantle a presumed Cartesian presupposition behind the question, and only then attempt a reply, which would assert that everything in the Bible and in the world is a proof of God. Or if an art student expressed preference for Rubens' robust infants over the grown-up medieval baby in a Madonna and Child, he would say that neither of them really connects to reality. The Rubens baby, with its Herculean musculature, is just as idealized as the medieval adult icon.