In Memoriam: Klaas Schilder († 23 March 1952)

From Rev Kloosterman’s blog

Cosmic Eye

Today is the sixtieth anniversary of the death of Professor Dr. Klaas Schilder (19 December 1890 – 23 March 1952). During his life, he was a biblical, Reformed, Calvinist pastor, theologian, and churchman.  As a controversial polemicist, he was (and is) as maligned and misunderstood by his despisers as he was (and is) appreciated by his beneficiaries. Especially today in North America, people could profit significantly from his cultural, ecclesiastical, and theological insights.

There is enough information available online to supply a rudimentary portrait of his life and work, a reliable entrée into his heart and mind.

So today we wish instead to introduce our readers to the sagacious side, the provocative persona, of Klaas Schilder.

For that, we draw from a little paperback collection of Schilderian aphorisms that was published in the early 1980s, entitled Aforismen (Goes: Oosterbaan & Le Cointre, 1983). In 1952 and 1954, two volumes had appeared, entitled 

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You might be a gnostic, if…

You might be Gnostic if you think that full time Christian ministry is superior to Artists who paint landscapes.

You might be a Gnostic if you allegorize the parts of Scripture you find embarrassing.

You might be Gnostic if you think that the reason you make money is so that you can give most of it to really important things like Missionaries and the Church.

You might be Gnostic if you think that the most holy things you do during the day is pray, read your bible and share the 4 spiritual laws with somebody.

You might be Gnostic if you think the pastor shouldn’t Preach on anything that isn’t “Spiritual.”

You might be Gnostic if you think the New Testament is a more “Spiritual” section of the Scripture then the Old Testament.

You might be Gnostic if you think that the Church in the NT is more “Spiritual” than the Church in the OT.

You might be Gnostic if you think that theonomists are heretics.

You might be Gnostic if you think that there is no such thing as Biblical culture.

You might be Gnostic if you think that Water, Wine, and Bread are only effective as you think the right thoughts about them.

You might be Gnostic if you watch closely for the arrival of an Israelite Red Heifer.

You might be Gnostic if you have read more than one of the Left Behind series.

You might be Gnostic if you think communion isn’t one of God’s means of Grace whereby He nurtures His people with Grace.

You might be Gnostic if you think that the essence of the Christian faith is only complete with the proper propositions.

You might be Gnostic if you think that inside of you are two men, named Mr. Spiritual and Mr. Carnal that are fighting for control.

You might be a Gnostic if you think Plato, and not Paul, was correct on time.

You might be a gnostic if you don’t think we will drink wine on Yahweh’s mountain.

You might be a Gnostic if you would rather think about right triangles in heaven.

You might be Gnostic if you don’t find this amusing.

Trinity and the Covenant?

One of the criticisms of some Kuyperians is that they read Covenantal relations into the Trinity, and if that’s true, then there is historical development in the Trinity. Obviously, that’s wrong.

But of course there are covenantal relations in the Trinity. What’s the Covenant of Redemption all about, anyway?  I don’t think that’s the problem.  The problem seems to be the claim that the Trinity is the pattern for Covenantal thinking.  Well, why wouldn’t it be?  The Trinity is the source of all good theology.  Think about it: if the Trinity isn’t the source of all good theology, then where did covenantal relations come from?  We are now on the edge of ontological dualism.

Ammo for the Psalm Chanters

Lutheran Liturgical Brotherhood.  Start downloading now. Admittedly, it’s not a pure chanting in Hebrew, but it is a more or less English equivalent that isn’t altered by metric psalmody.  Don’t get me wrong.  Metric psalmody is superior to 99% of the hymns, but it most certainly isn’t anything close to what the Holy Spirit designed.

Leithart isn’t Wilson

This is a dangerous post.  I believe I can now quote and interact with Leithart’s scholarly works in good conscience.  True, he was involved in the Sitler affair, and he made some bad decisions.  But he repented of them publicly.  Wilson hasn’t.

And James Jordan kept himself from that whole fiasco.

Leithart and Jordan are public theologians.  Jordan forces me to wrestle with the Hebrew text.  I can respect that.

An Army of Psalm Chanters

Taken from an old post on Jim Jordan, with some new material.

But let us consider what a Christian view of the Church would be. It would be a place of transformation, not merely of information. Marshaling the people into an army of psalm chanters would be at the top of the list. Indeed, in seminary several psalms would be chanted every day in chapel. The music in the church would be loud, fast, vigorous, instrumental, martial. There would be real feasts. People would be taught that when God splashes water on you, He’s really doing something: He’s putting you into His rainbow.

Elsewhere Jordan says

I should like to offer what I regard as a considerable caveat. I do not believe that men who sing pop choruses or plodding Trinity Hymnal songs on Sunday can get very far into Luther or Calvin, or for that matter Turretin. Men whose personal opinion is that society can be left to the devil cannot really get into the outlook of the Reformers.

I submit that it is important to have some feel for what people were singing and how they were singing it at various times in history. Is it a coincidence that “Reformed scholasticism” began to develop at the same time that the fiery dance-like chorales and psalms of the Reformation began to die down into slow, plodding, even-note mush? It is a coincidence that the “Puritans” had problems with assurance of salvation, given their destruction of enthusiastic singing? I don’t think so. People who sing the psalms as real war chants, as war dances that precedebattle, don’t have problems with assurance and don’t have time for scholasticism. Neither do people with strong, fully-sung liturgies.

EO guys used to attack me on assurance.  “Well, how can you know?”  Well, there you have it.