Basics, was Greetings (from Adrian)

Jan de Koning (
Tue, 01 Apr 1997 12:18:03 -0500

Adrian Teo wrote:

>Jan de Koning, you wrote about a number of topics that you have brought
>up in the past, such as logic, misinterpretation of the Bible and so
>forth, but had received no responses. I would be most interested to hear
>some of your views on these.

When I went to the Free University in Amsterdam in 1942 (due to the war
and the occupation by Germans only till Feb.6, 1943) after High School, we
had to attend the philosophy lectures of Vollenhoven. He based his
philosophy on Prov. 4:23: Out of the heart flow the issues of life. Man is
a unity, and the "direction" of his heart determines what and how he does
everything. Vollenhoven studied theology. He was influenced by Abraham
Kuyper, the theologian-politician-journalist, who said that every square
inch in this world (and consequently in us) he chose as his doctoral
dissertation in theology: "The Foundations of Mathematics considered from a
Theistic Point of View" (I translated the title from the Dutch.) That was
in 1918. In 1932 he wrote (I translate the title) "The necessity of a
Christian Logic."

Since Vollenhoven needed to know about mathematics, he chose as his mentor
in mathematics L. Brouwer, who was prof. of math. at the municipal
university of Amsterdam. Lutgen Brouwer was the "founder" of the
intuitionistic school of mathematics, who attacked the formal and logic
schools of the foundations of math. (Hilbert and Bertrand Russell resp.)
Brouwer was influenced by Poincare. One of the axioms Brouwer denied was
the law of the excluded middle. In 1928 my (then future) prof. in Math.
gave as an example: If you walk in from the cold into a room, you may say:
"It is nice and warm here," but the people inside consider the room to be
cold. Brouwer was a Marxist, and for that reason not acceptable for
Vollenhoven, though he accepted his condemnation of the rule of the
excluded middle. Other names here of people who wrote in English: Kleene,
Troelstra, Van Dalen.

Basic for Vollenhoven was, that man's fall in sin caused the whole of
creation to be in pain, and only when Christ comes back everything will be
restored into perfection. He quoted Romans 8: 19 - 23. But that means
that nothing in creation is perfect. His interpretation of Proverbs
necessitated him to go deeper into the meanings of the Hebrew and Greek
words for heart, soul and spirit. So he spent a three hour lecture on it,
first thing Monday a.m. No breaks, just V. talking. (That is where I
learned to check out the original, if a statement is made which I doubt.

Because the whole of man is involved in everything, and the direction of
the heart influences that, being a Christian has indeed a consequence for
one's scholarly studying, including the way we study math., physics, etc.
Saaying that does not necessarily mean that we have the answers. Romans 8
teaches us that the whole of creation, which includes us, waits for the
revelaation of the chldren of God. Perfection will only come when Jesus
returns. In the meantime we have to struggle on, trying to recognize
tendencies and errors. In that respect we need each other continually.

The subjects: man, soul, spirit etc. would require more time than I can
spare today. So, Adrian, come with specific questions and I will try to
answer, if I can.

Jan de Koning
Willowdale, Ont.