Influence of Ethical Theology on Scholten

DPSP Annual Article in Progress
Online ISSN: eISSN 2667-2790
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Keywords

Scholten, Paul Scholten, ethical theology, neo-Kantianism, theological method, philosophy of law, free will, personality, relationship

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Category: research
Research Question: Religion and Law
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Abstract

The most striking part of Scholtens legal philosophy is his view of the legal decision, which has striking elements such as the emphasis on the conscience of the judge, the absolute certainty that the conscience offers the judge, and the characterization of the legal decree as a leap.
There are several facts that show that there is a relationship between Scholten and ethical theology.
In the first place, ethical theology is a connecting link between various theologians that Scholten relies on in his work. In the second place there is a substantive relationship between Scholten’s work and ethical theology, among other things in the emphasis on conscience. And thirdly, Scholten is often characterized as a Christian personalist. An important reason for this is that in his essay “Law and fairness” from 1924 Scholten joined the Christian personalism of Kohnstamm. But Kohnstamm himself is regarded as a representative of ethical theology. It is therefore obvious that it is relevant to investigate whether besides Kohnstamm other ethical theologians left traces in the work of Scholten. So the main question of this paper is, what the meaning of Scholtens views is against the background of the so called ‘ethical theology’. An important characteristic of the ethical theology is that it wants to approach life. So another question that is to be answered in this paper is, what the meaning of ‘life’ is according to the ethical theology.
To make clear that Kohnstamm is not the only ethical theologian that left traces in Scholtens work, this paper wants to broaden the scope. In order to do this, it offers a brief description of what is meant with ‘ethical theology’. It turns out that ethical theologians were concerned with a theological starting point. This starting point is that God has a relationship with man. So the ethical theologians focus primarily on the heart, not on the mind of man. This also means that ethical theology is not a theological system like, say, Kantianism is a philosophical system.
Subsequently, this paper pays attention to one other ethical theologian other than Kohnstamm that Scholten refers to. That theologian is P.D. Chantepie de la Suassaye, an ethical theologian that Scholten refers to in his essay ‘Law and Philosophy of Life’. Scholten refers more specifically to the book ‘The Christian Life’ of De la Saussaye. In this paper, some views that Scholten expresses in “Law and Philosophy of Life” are compared to views that De la Saussaye expresses in “The Christian Life”. De la Saussaye serves as an example of the way ethical theology ´as such´, through many ethical theologians, probably affected Scholtens works.
This paper concludes that there are striking similarities between the ethical theology and the work of Scholten. Such as the way Scholten focuses on the heart, the conscience, of man, the imperative that man should devote himself to the tasks he has to do., and understanding life as the true human life. This is the life that is based on the life and work of Jesus Christ i.e., a life that serves God and the neighbor in total self-denial. In the second place, life means full life. Therefore theology as well as other sciences should not depend on mere reason.

1. Introduction

This paper is an adaptation of my contribution to the book “Recht en Persoon. Verkenningen in de rechtstheologie van Paul Scholten1. The part about the ethical theology however is totally changed, mainly because it was based on elder literature.

The most striking part of Scholtens legal philosophy is his view of the legal decision. He reflects this in the final section of the first chapter of the "General Method". In it he shows where his explanations end up.

It is time to bind together the threads we have spun. 2

is the first sentence of this final paragraph. In this section, Scholten classifies the legal decision as:

The judge does something other than observing in favor of whom the scales turn, he decides. That decision is an act, it is rooted in the conscience of he who performs the act. That which is expected of a judge is a deed. (…) I think that there is more than merely observation and logical argument in every scientific judgment, but in any case, the judicial judgment is more than that — it can never be reduced to those two. It is not a scientific proposition, but a declaration of will: this is how it should be. In the end it is a leap, just like any deed, any moral judgment is. „Thou shalt" or „thou shalt not", „thou may " or „thou may not", this is the core of any judicial judgment, even of the judicial decrees which are declaratory or constitutive. Such words can only be uttered by he who is convinced of it in his own conscience. The legal judgment is rooted in the moral part of our spiritual life; a good judge always desires to impose that which he can justify in his own conscience. In this respect every legal judgment is irrational.3 (…) And finally: even I believe that the individual conscience doesn’t speak the last word here.(...) In my opinion there are only two options: either an idea, the ‘rechts-idee’ (idea of law), one of the forms in which the world spirit realizes itself, can be guiding here, or the conscience is subordinated to a higher power, who, revealed as Person in Creation and History, confronts the individual and the community with his unconditional claims.The first is the conception of idealism, especially in its Hegelian-pantheistic forms; the second is the demand of the Christian belief.4

Striking elements in this view of the legal decision are the emphasis on the conscience of the judge, the complete certainty that the conscience offers the judge, and the characterization of the legal decree as a "leap, like every deed, every moral judgment that is." Scholten also calls the legal decision, precisely because it is a conscience decision, irrational. This view of the legal decision is controversial. Because of the emphasis on individual conscience, for example, it would give room to arbitrary arbitrariness and thereby lead to legal uncertainty5. The explicit reference to the Christian faith also evokes dismissive reactions6.

Apart from the General Method, Scholten also left behind a series of other writings. Of course, much of this is of a legal science nature. But in addition, he also published many articles in which, from his Christian faith, he reflects on questions of law, society, politics, etc. These writings also form the background of his General Method. In these writings Scholten, in addition to legal science, also draws, and that frequently, from theological sources. More specific Scholten refers to theologians who represent the so called ‘ethical theology’. So the main question of this paper is, what the meaning of Scholtens views is against the background of the so called ‘ethical theology’. An important characteristic of the ethical theology is that it wants to approach life. So another question that is to be answered in this paper is, what the meaning of ‘life’ is according to the ethical theology.

There are several facts that show that there is a relationship between Scholten and ethical theology.

In the first place, ethical theology is a connecting link between various theologians that Scholten relies on in his work. As P.D. Chantepie de la Saussaye, Ph. A. Kohnstamm, A. Vinet, O. Noordmans and K.H. Miskotte. In the second place there is a substantive relationship between Scholten's work and ethical theology, among other things in the emphasis on conscience. And thirdly, Scholten is often characterized as a Christian personalist. An important reason for this is that in his essay "Law and fairness" from 1924 Scholten joined the Christian personalism of Kohnstamm. But Kohnstamm himself is regarded as a representative of ethical theology. It is therefore obvious to investigate whether besides Kohnstamm other ethical theologians left traces in the work of Scholten. Therefore I will describe what ‘ethical theology’ is.

To make more specific that elements of ethical theology derive from other ethical theologians than Kohnstamm, I will focus attention on a concrete example. For that purpose I will make an exploratory investigation into the question of whether the book "The Christian Life" by the theologian P.D. Chantepie de la Saussaye for Scholten has been an important source in the formation of his legal philosophy. P.D. Chantepie de la Saussaye was an important representative of this theological movement. Scholten refers to this book in his essay "Law and Philosophy of Life" from 1915. To be able to gauge the meaning of that reference, a description is first given of the ethical theology. Then follows a short introduction of P.D. Chantepie de la Saussaye and the main points of his thinking. This is followed by a presentation of the contents of Scholtens' essay entitled "Law and Philosophy of Life". Subsequently, some conclusions are drawn about the meaning of the reference to "The Christian Life" by Scholten. Finally, the question is answered what this reference tells us about the views of Scholten against the background of the ethical theology.

2. What is ethical theology?

What I bring forward about the ethical theology in the next lines is primarily derived from the

thesis from M.J. Aalders "Ethics between 1870 and 1920. Revelation, Scripture and experience with J. J. P. Valeton Jr., P. D. Chantepie de la Saussaye and Is. Van Dijk", publishing company J.H. Kok, Kampen 1990, p. 13 et seq. Of course there is far more literature about the ethical theology. But as for the so called ‘later’ ethical theologians Aalders remarks that much older literature is generalizing and superficial7. And, one could add: biased from a certain ecclesiastical point of view.

A famous statement about the so called ‘ethical theology’ from the ethical theologian Is. van Dijk (1847-1922) is: in ethical theology each speaks kindly for himself (trans. HG) 8. According to many later investigators this observation is correct. There were indeed many differences between the ethical theologians. They did not adhere to one and the same theological system like, say, Kantian philosophers do. The fact that ethical theologians differ so much on so many topics has to do with one of the fundamental characteristics of the ethical theology. Ethical theologians were not concerned with a theological system of their own. They were concerned with a theological starting point and a theological method. The term 'ethical theology' is therefore somewhat misleading. This suggests that there is a completed theological system. The ethical principle, however, has to do with the starting point of theological work, not with the result.

For a good understanding of this theology it is necessary to keep in mind that 'ethical' does not mean here: in accordance with the moral habits and customs. It means that one focuses primarily on the heart, not on the mind, of man. In the material part of dogmatics one can thus go in many directions, and from this the differences between the ethical theologians can be explained. Or, as Aalders puts it in his book: the heart of the ethical principle is that the starting point of theologizing is the relationship that God started with man9 . The ethical theologians thought that God is a ‘personality’. This means that God respects the free will of man and the choices he makes. And also, that the revelation of God touches man at the core of his existence10.

It can also be explained from this that the ethical theologians only proceeded to establish their own association in 1921, even though they have grouped around a magazine several times before that time. According to Aalders, the low degree of organization also has to do with a certain ecclesiastical and theological policy. The ethics wanted their principle to work in all parties, and they believed that blocking could undermine this policy.

Despite what is said above, it makes sense to continue using the term 'ethical theology'. In the first place, the term is now established, and the term combines a number of characteristics with which the ethics clearly distinguish themselves from orthodox and free-thinking theologians. However, the term does not refer to a particular theological system, but to a certain way of theologizing.

An important question is: what does the term ‘ethical’ mean? To make this clear, Aalders refers to the thesis “De verhouding tussen dogmatiek en godsdienstwetenschap binnen de theologie. Een onderzoek naar de ontwikkeling van het theologiebegrip van J.H. Gunning Jr. (1829-1905)” by A. de Lange, uitgeverij Mondiss, Kampen 1987. De Lange points to a certain use of the term ‘ethical’ in the history of German theology11. Most probably a founding father of the ethical theology like De la Saussaye (1818-1874) borrowed the term ‘ethical’ from German mediation theologians who were inspired by Schleiermacher. The other founding father, Gunning, borrowed the term ‘ethical’ directly from De la Saussaye.

To explain the meaning of the word ‘ethical’, De Lange refers to the German mediation theologian Richard Rothe (1799-1867). De la Saussaye and Gunning both admired this theologian and knew his main work the ‘Theological Ethics’ from 1845-1848. Although De la Saussaye developed his theology independent form Rothe, De Lange stresses the fact that the influence from Rothe on De la Saussaye should not be underestimated. Rothe meant with ‘das Moralische’ (the moral) all those things which are caused by free human selfdetermination, by a ‘deed’. In this way the ‘ethical’ means the opposite of the ‘natural’ that is caused by the unconscious natural forces. De la Saussaye and Gunning used the term ethical in the same way. And just like Rothe, the ethical meant for them an imperative for man to devote himself. They differentiated this imperative in two directions, namely in the direction of the material earthly reality and in the direction of the Creator, God.

The human self-determination with respect to nature, through which man is no longer subject to the forces of nature but comes to world control, called Rothe ‘sittlich’. He called the human self-determination towards God ‘religiös’. The moral or ethical is therefore the product of the moral and religious free self-determining actions of man.

Also when De la Saussaye and Gunning define ethics as a description of the religious life of the christian, this also means that they want to do an ‘anthropological research’. The facts of the Christian consciousness, sin and salvation, are described as ‘deeds’ of the free self-determining actions of man. They used this anthropological point of view to show that the Christian has the possibility to act free and self-determining. Only in the regenerated man does the romantic-idealistic ideal become reality. These things can also be described from a theological point of view. In Christian dogmatism sin and salvation can be described as ‘deeds’ of God, that is, as the way in which God responds to, and gives meaning to, man’s free and self-defining actions. This means, that through an act of God men can be ‘born again’ and stand up to, and share in, the life of Jesus Christ. Who is the only man that lived his life like God it intended, as the ethical theologians saw it.

The reason why Gunning and De la Saussaye ascribed only to christians ‘humanity’ is based upon the life and work of Jesus Christ. They looked at the facts in the life of Jesus from an ethical point of view. That is to say, they saw the facts as deeds of the self-determining man Jesus. The life and work of Jesus is totally ‘ethical’ because of the fact that he totally determined Himself. But he did this in a paradoxal way, for he determined himself by total self-denial. What brought Him the death on the cross, to save mankind. De la Saussaye and Gunning concluded from this that it is only in the imitation of Christ that true humanity is restored. A very important consequence of this is, that in the end Christian dogmatics is founded on Christian ethics.

Back to Aalders. He says the ethical theology is influenced by the revived interest in the philosophy of I. Kant (1724-1804). Since the philosophy of Kant, the old distinction natural-supranatural is replaced by the distinction of the phenomenal and the noumenal world. Knowledge of the phenomenal world is obtained by theoretical reason, knowledge of the noumenal world is obtained by practical reason. The consequence of this is that the old synthesis between faith and science, faith and reason, is replaced by a division of the estate of both. As a result theologians were compelled to reflect on the theme of faith and science. Knowledge-theoretical problems came to the center of attention. None escaped a certain dualism between faith and science.

Knowledge-theoretical problems became the center of attention. Two ‘schools’ that emerged from the rethinking on Kant, Marburgs and Badens neo-Kantianism also bear witness to this. Especially Badens neo-Kantianism influenced the ethical theology. The leading figures of this school, H. Rickert (1863-1936) en W. Windelband (1848-1915) teached that the different sciences need a different method. The cultural sciences or humanities do not exist without a very personal contribution from the researcher. Windelband speaks of value and valuation judgment in this respect. There are transcendental values, not to be derived from the given experience, ideal laws in the realm of truth, goodness and beauty. They are out of time, they apply independently of all experience. These laws must meet the judgment in the humanities12.

After this short investigation of what ethical theology is about, we can say something more about Scholtens views in relation to the ethical theology. First of all, that Scholtens views can be related to the ethical theology does not mean that Scholten used the system of the ethical theology. For there is not such a system. As we saw, ethical theology has to do with the starting point of theological work, not with the outcome. This starting point is the conviction that God has a relationship with man. In the second place, ‘ethical’ means that one primarily focuses on the heart, not on the mind (or reason) of man. The ethical theologians think of God as a personality. This means that God respects the free will of man and the choices he makes. And also, that the revelation of God touches man at the core of his existence. In the third place, ‘ethical’ means an imperative for man to devote himself. This has to do with the view that the moral or ethical is the product of the moral and religious free self-determining actions of man. Which is based on the conviction that the true humanity of Christians is based on the life and work of Jesus Christ. That is why ethical theologians define ethics as a description of the religious life of the Christian. And also, that they want to do anthropological research. In the fourth place, due to the influence of neo-Kantianism, the ethical theologians believed that cultural sciences like theology do not exist without a very personal contribution from the researcher.

3. P.D. Chantepie de la Saussaye

P.D. Chantepie de la Saussaye (1848-1920) was the son of D. Chantepie de la Saussaye, one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the ethical theology. In 1878 he became a professor at the Athenaeum of Amsterdam. In 1899 he moved to the University of Leiden where he succeeded J.H. Gunning, the other founding father of ethical theology. During this period he wrote ‘The Christian Life’ (Het christelijk leven). It is the fruit of his teachings in ethics13.

Life precedes truth; God doesn’t reveal truths, which then subsequently are to be lived; God’s revelation is communication of life, which then comes to consciousness, is laid down in propositions; a dogma is the reflection of life. 14 (trans. HG)

This citation entails the whole of De la Saussaye’s vision of the Revelation and the meaning of the dogma. It is a protest against traditional views of the content of revelation as doctrine, and thus against intellectualism in theology. It makes clear how much De la Saussaye has been influenced by Schleiermacher and his followers. For Schleiermacher the source and basis of theology is the sense of total dependence of God as communicated by Jesus through the Church. And not the Creeds or the letter of Scripture or the rationalistic understanding. The center of the life that God communicates to men is Jesus Christ, so He is the source of Christian ethics15. Dogmatism was not the only thing that De la Saussaye opposed. He also opposed the opposite of it, relativism. So he also could warn for a depreciation of the dogma. And he also believed that Christian doctrine did not arise outside God´s direction. (Aalders, 137). So he did not limit faith to the moral. He acknowledged the worth of dogma and dogmatics (Aalders, 138). But he didn’t intend to solve theoretical problems, he wanted to approach life itself, from which the theories just are the hieroglyphs. So, De la Saussaye based theology on ethics, and the crown of theology is for him dogmatics. So dogmatics is less fundamental than ethics16.

4. Law and Philosophy of Life

Then it is now time to look more closely at Scholten's article on Law and Philosophy of Life. This is the first philosophical essay by Scholten and appeared in the journal "Synthese" in 1915. Later it was included in a collection of four compositions that appeared in 1924 under the title Reflections on Law (Beschouwingen over Recht)17. Law and philosophy of life can be regarded as Scholten's first attempt to account for the significance of his Christian faith with regard to law. In doing so, he takes a first step towards the development of his own philosophy of law, which ultimately took a definitive form in his General Method which was published in 1931. An important point that Scholten makes in "Law and philosophy of life" is that what he calls the "idealistic factors" in law are of great significance. He distinguishes two: conscience and justice. The conscience stands first. In agreement, he quotes Augustine's statement: The truth dwells within.

What one calls truth in the ethical, the normative, cannot be proved, can only be experienced inwardly. For one's own actions there is no higher demand than that of conscience-no more biting disapproval than the inwardly experienced. (trans. HG) 18

In addition to conscience, Scholten mentions the sense of justice. Scholten describes this as

the spontaneous, intuitively born conviction over the actions of others.(trans. HG) 19

According to him, the judgment of the legal sense is something other than moral disapproval. The sense of justice speaks especially when it rejects certain behavior. Moral disapproval then goes together with the conviction that the behavior in question should have been prevented. In a single moral judgment, an action is only seen in connection with the person who performed the act. The judgment of the sense of justice also looks at the consequences of that action. With regard to the danger of "bottomless subjectivism" in morality, Scholten refers to page 89 et seq. of part I of The Christian Life of P.D. Chantepie de la Saussaye. Scholten states that for the law this danger seems less important because many other factors influence the decision.

Because of the necessity of the formation of rules, the moral pronouncement in law loses its deepest meaning, it smoothens and fades, but with it also the danger of subjectivism lapses." For me, the opposite seems to me that there is too little hearing of the moral judgment in the legal decree. (trans. HG)20

In the final part of his essay Scholten deals with the relationship of law and philosophy of life. He sees philosophy of life mainly in the moral judgment:

"In contrast to the absolute judgment of morality, the right always has something relative because it applies to individuals (...) There is no objective truth for the right - or rather there is only objective truth, if one wants to accept some fundamental values, which are by no means intellectual reasoning to prove whether they are evident through sensory perception. Faithful and naturalistic ideologies stand against each other - to mention only one fundamental contradiction - there is not one right for both. Neither has the right to impose its right as the right to other persons. As much as possible, everyone must come into its own.(trans. HG)21

Justice thus belongs to the relative, philosophy of life to the absolute, "the absolute". The description of Scholtens' argument in Law and Philosophy of Life above this shows that the reference to Christian life relates to an argument that refutes the accusation of "bottomless subjectivism" in morality. The question then is how this argumentation works, and what "bottomless subjectivism" entails. To start with the last question: Scholten places the danger of "bottomless subjectivism" against the danger that the "moral judgment" in the law is not heard enough. Freely represented, he means that in the legal decision too little is revealed that a moral or ethical choice is made. In contrast, the danger of "bottomless subjectivism" means that a decision based on conscience or legal sense would be completely arbitrary: bottomless, something purely subjective. In Christian life he claims to find the refutation of this objection.

Further consideration shows that Scholten refers to an argumentation that starts on page 89 of the cited book and ends on page 92. The argument is part of a chapter that has the heading Heart and conscience. To get an overview of De la Saussaye's argument, the most important passages from it are quoted below. In connection with Vinet, who, according to De la Saussaye, pointed out better than anyone else the "unbreakable bond" between conscience and Christian-moral life, he states:

The word conscience, of course, indicates more than the reflexive function, which demands the unity of our morality with our conviction: it is the bond that connects the center of our personality with God. In that word we summarized the whole basic tone of our being: our need for God, our susceptibility to come into contact with God, our duty to direct our lives to God, by allowing Him to be determined. In this way religion and morality are connected in conscience, the Christian-moral is an unbreakable unity. This is what Vinet puts to the fore both in his philosophical composition and in his preaching and his literary criticism; and it only serves to the advantage that we have his profound thoughts so much in practical applications as in systematic explanations for us. Through this union of the Christian with the moral, light shines on the dilemma that occupied us: the changeability of the moral content and the absolute of the moral standard. Through conscience we feel our moral life in permanent relation to God. With this firmness the diversity of the moral concepts, cases, prescriptions can no longer challenge us, for God's will is known to us. Not in the external form of a law of commandments and prohibitions, but in the living touch, in which God in the conscience gives us guidance. (trans. HG)22

(…)We spoke of the withdrawal of God's hand, because the bond with God can be looser, the conscience more or less obscured, yes, even the "conscience" in a life that can no longer be controlled, can seemingly be "une bizarrerie, une énigme, un nonsense". Here, then, is the explanation of the much discussed difficulty that conscience can err. Formally, this sense of absolute obligation would have been elevated above error, but in fact there are not only degrees and degrees in our moral sense, but many succeed only too well in buying the conscience. [...] conscience, as our true personality, points to something outside of us, our will seeks out a law, only God can satisfy our conscience through his word and will. A law that comes from ourselves brings us to the Stoic type of life, not to the gospel.The close connection between the gospel and conscience, that is what Vinet and his school preaches. To both sides: the true morality is in life with God, and: no Christianity beyond conscience. We fortunately do not have to choose, because the Christian-moral life both combine. But: if we had to choose, even better, a morality without religion than a religion without morality. The first can be true and serious, but never satisfactory; the second is always false. Alas, that there is so often conflict, and that therein many walk the dangerous way of the Pharisees. Then a religion of observance, strict, strict, punctual but inwardly false, serves to stifle the conscience. One lives religiously over the conscience [...] One can live in, working for "objective truth"; but the conscience remains stained. Such religion is now in vain. On the other hand, we truly do not have a morality without religion. But: he who takes moral demands highly serious can do much less than the religious zealot fool himself, that he is who and where he should be, he continues to search, and "he who does the truth comes to the light" ( John III, 21, VII, 17, Ps    CVII, 11).This also means enough to refute the accusation that Vinet's conscience theology leads to "bottomless subjectivism.(trans. HG) 23

So far the argument of De la Saussaye with which he fights the accusation of "bottomless subjectivism". What are the most important elements in this?

First of all, the close connection with Vinet's views is about the link between conscience and Christian-moral life. By conscience is meant:

the bond that connects the center of our personality with God. In that word we summarized the whole basic tone of our being: our need for God, our susceptibility to come into contact with God, our duty to direct our lives to God, to let Him determine.(trans.HG)24

In conscience it is therefore the need and the duty to follow the guidance of God. For a good understanding it is useful to pay attention to the broader context of this passage. Two themes are particularly important: the meaning of the mind, and the definition of conscience.

Earlier in the chapter of which this passage is one part, De la Saussaye gives his view on the meaning of the mind in relation to heart and conscience. He states that history shows that

Cult is, be it organized or in loose, often magical, practices existing, more fundamental than ideas; and it is to be pretended that all actions still precede a proposition; it is clear that at the bottom of both lie emotions, moods, impulses (Triebe). Our thinking is also controlled by it. Our ideas always belong to the periphery of our being, not to the center. Yet every system of thought, not least Christian dogma (...) is inclined to lose sight of the center for that circumference. Dearest is her the statement intellectus praecedit voluntatem (the intellect goes for the will) and orthodoxy becomes to her the standard of faith. That is why it is so important to recognize the role of the thinking, distinctive, investigative mind in its limitations.(trans. HG) 25

De la Saussaye sees the relative meaning of the mind

The interpersonal and the traditional (...) Also the treasures of the life of the ages come to us in the ideas that they have handed us, although here too the deeper influence is a mysterious relation by which we take in what lies behind those images.(trans. HG) 26

After putting the meaning of the mind in perspective, De la Saussaye brings up the conscience. He defines this as

a primary fact, an immediate fact (...) not to derive from other abilities or functions.(trans. HG) 27

He further states that

conscience is exclusively concerned with the moral, the consciousness of good and evil. If we connect these two sides, then therein lies the complete character, the essential value of the conscience. (trans. HG) 28

Furthermore, the conscience speaks with unconditional authority:

Unconditionally, what the conscience prescribes for us, as well as the accusation with which it torments us. (trans. HG) 29

The conscience as a primary fact on the one hand, as awareness of good and evil on the other, that is the conscience that De la Saussaye proposes to us. And then conscience in connection with Vinet is also the bond that connects the personality with God.

De la Saussaye further states that in conscience religion and morality are interconnected,

the Christian-moral is an inseparable unity.(trans. HG)30

According to him, this means that the conscience gives firmness, even if different people can say different things:

Because of this union of the Christian with the moral, light falls on the dilemma that occupied us: the changeable of the moral content and the absolute of the moral standard. Through conscience we feel our moral life in permanent relation to God. With this firmness the diversity of the moral concepts, cases, prescriptions can no longer challenge us, for God's will is known to us. However, not in the external form of a law of commandments and prohibitions, but in the living touch, in which God in our conscience guides us.(trans. HG) 31

The personal guidance of God in conscience must give the clarity that the conscience itself can not offer. Earlier De la Saussaye had the problem that the conscience can not obviously provide clarity, put as follows:

Conscience binds us to our being, to our highest convictions; but these are different with different ones, also change with the individual [...] Good is what is good for me. Thus all the value and authority of conscience now seem to have fallen away. (trans. HG) 32"Conscience binds us to our being, to our highest convictions; but these are different with different ones, also change with the individual [...] Good is what is good for me. Thus all the value and authority of conscience now seem to have fallen away. (trans. HG) 32

De la Saussaye also sees a contrast between an outer law of commandments and prohibitions on the one hand, the living touch of God in the conscience on the other. De la Saussaye points out various ways in which the functioning of conscience can be impeded in the sense intended by him. In connection with Vinet he states:

the bond with God can be looser, the conscience more or less obscured. (trans. HG) 33

Then De la Saussaye, still following Vinet, points to the possibility that people can use their conscience to throw a chord. He illustrates this with an extensive French quotation from Vinets book Essais about philosophical and religious morality34. The piece from which De la Saussaye quotes is about "the will that seeks his law35". The conscience, as our "true personality", points to something outside of us, Vinet states. Which brings De la Saussaye to the conclusion that "our will is looking for a law outside of us36".

A law that comes from ourselves brings us to the Stoic type of life, not to the gospel. (trans. HG)37

Vinet, continues De la Saussaye, preaches a close connection between the gospel and the conscience.

To both sides: true morality is in life with God, and: no Christianity without conscience. (trans. HG) 38

In the meantime, according to Saussaye, there is no need to make a choice, because

the Christian-moral life combines both. (trans. HG) 39

In this way, gospel and conscience, morality and life with God are very closely involved. So narrow, that De la Saussaye calls a morality without religion more preferable than a religion without morality.

The first can be true and serious, though never satisfactory; the second is always false. Alas, that there is so often conflict, and that therein many walk the dangerous way of the Pharisees. Then a religion of observance, strict, strict, punctual but inwardly false, serves to stifle the conscience. People live religiously over the conscience. (trans. HG) 40

The Christian doctrine takes shape in life from a conscience that is focused on God. This way the vision of De la Saussaye can be summarized.

Saussaye believes that he has said enough to refute the accusation that "Vinet's conscience theology" leads "to bottomless subjectivism”. Nevertheless he still fights the opponents of Vinet's conscience theology with the following words. The opponents say that the ethical consciencetheology counts with

... man, not with God and his infallible word. Let me, on the other hand, prefer to give offensive rather than defensive defense. Whoever speaks like that, know nothing of what they do, they only fight a few loose sentences; they have never absorbed the opinion of their adversaries; they operate with a crude contradiction, usually only ear pads for their inertia of mind. (trans. HG) 41

The criticism that ethical theologians like De la Saussaye himself counts not with God and his infallible word derives probably from orthodox reformed Christians who feared that the central position in ethical theology of man would lead in the end to liberal theology. De la Saussaye and other ethical theologians, in turn, feared that orthodox theology would lead to a purely intellectual, ‘rational’, religion that does not affect people’s lives, and thus their actions.

A little further De la Saussaye continues the defense of Vinet and others. He states:

They do not believe in "objective truths", sprung from logical arguments and stamped by logical reasoning in the area of ​​divine things, which, however, unhappily have no control over truly developed people. They find the "proof" of the truth in the experience of it, the faith does not create that world, faith recognizes it; apart from heart and conscience, only who is born again can see the kingdom of God.For this the conscience is now the spiritual organ, that is, the kingdom of God is bound to the spiritual distinction of good and evil. (trans. HG) 42

In summary, it can be said that De la Saussaye, in contrast to a rationalistic theology, puts a faith that is a matter of heart and conscience.

5. Scholten and De la Saussaye

The following conclusions can be drawn from the study of the pages in The Christian Life to which Scholten refers.

Scholten's vision of conscience is in line with that of De la Saussaye. The latter offers a representation and defense of the meaning of conscience as advocated by Vinet. In summary, he learns that conscience is a primary fact, in which morality and religion come together, that offers a certainty and is bound by the spiritual distinction of good and evil. In doing so, he refutes the objection of "bottomless subjectivism", the idea that the conscience judgment is purely subjective. Scholten agrees with this vision in Law and Philosophy of life. He does this casually, as in passing. But in doing so he agrees with the argumentation that De la Saussaye offers. In doing so, he also concurs with the vision on conscience expressed by De la Saussaye, in imitation of Vinet. Of these, traces can also be found in Law and Philosophy of life, for example in the words:

What one calls truth in the ethical, the normative, cannot be proved, can only be experienced inwardly, for one's own actions there is no higher demand than that of conscience-no more biting disapproval than the inwardly experienced. (trans. HG)43

Also in the way Scholten describes the ways in which conscience can wander, he shows a similar vies as De la Saussaye. Especially in the following words:

Sometimes conscience can be lulled into sleep, bribing, there are people who have very little trouble from their conscience. There is also development in the conscience of conscience. (trans. HG) 44

These words are a summary of what De la Saussaye says about the erring conscience, in an argument that is illustrated with an extensive quotation from Vinet in French. Scholten also agrees with De la Saussaye with regard to the relativity of reason. A striking aspect of the image of man De la Saussaye describes is the relativization of reason by counting it as the "periphery of our being". Scholten expresses similar views with the words:

Here is no proof, only an acceptance or rejection possible. (trans. HG) 45

or

What one calls truth in the ethical, the normative, can not be proved, only inwardly experienced. (trans. HG) 46

Also De la Saussaye and Scholten reject the notion of objective religious truth. Scholten distinguishes his position from those who

"…in the Bible not see an indispensable means of strengthening and purifying one's own inner life, a light on our way, also where we seek justice, but a complex of laws of direct application also in our time, or meeting the regulations of their own church to which they consider themselves unconditionally bound ... (trans. HG) 47

6. Conclusions

6a. The relationship between law and ethical theology in Scholten’s work

To clarify the relationship of law and ethical theology in Scholten's work, the theologian K.H. Miskotte in his essay 'The ethical direction' provides a beautiful image. He speaks of a "ferment", a sourdough that has brought ethical theology into society. He mentions Paul Scholten48 in this respect. The image of ferment or sourdough indicates that there is a certain connection between Scholten's work and ethical theology, but that this connection cannot be directly and concretely indicated. Not because this connection is hardly present, but much more because of the way this connection is present. Just as sourdough is not found in the bread because it permeates the whole bread, the traces of ethical theology cannot be designated because it permeates the whole of Scholten's work, as a spirit that animates the whole.

The image presented by Miskotte does justice to the fact that Scholten does not work according to a certain 'ethical system'. And that it cannot be expected that the presence of ethical theology in Scholten's work is apparent from certain systematic characteristics of Scholten's work.

But there is more to say. Or we could better say that we can now present the significance of the ethical elements, the meaning of the traces of ethical theology in Scholtens works, in a more precise way.

As we saw above in the paragraph about the ethical theology, Scholtens views can be related to the ethical theology in four ways. In the first place, as we saw, ethical theology has to do with the starting point of theological work, not with the outcome. This starting point is the conviction that God has a relationship with man. This is also the starting point of Scholten’s thinking about law and about the philosophy of law. In the second place, ‘ethical’ means that one primarily focuses on the heart, not on the mind (or reason) of man. In the same way, Scholten focuses on the heart, and so also on the conscience, of man. In the third place,‘ethical’ means an imperative for man to devote himself. Which is based on the conviction that the true humanity of Christians is based on the life and work of Jesus Christ. In the same way, Scholten stresses the responsibility that everybody has that works with the law by stressing the fact that working with the law is a matter of conscience. One should take that very seriously. In the fourth place the ethical theologians believed that cultural sciences like theology do not exist without a very personal contribution from the researcher. In the same way, Scholten rejects the idea of objective science. To him, a subjective element is a natural part of legal science.

6b. The meaning of life in Scholten’s work

Our investigation on ethical theology shows that two important things can be said about what ‘life’ means from an ethical point of view. In the first place, life means, one could say, the true human life. That is the life that is based on the life and work of Jesus Christ. That is a life that serves God and the neighbor in total self-denial. In the second place, life means full life. Therefore theology as well as other sciences shuld not depend on mere reason. They should not produce only a rational theory. For rationality is just an aspect of life. But life itself is far more than that. Feelings, emotions, matters of the heart of man (like conscience) are as much, or even more, important as rational theories or dogmas are. And to anyone who ever read the writings of Scholten it is very clear that he shared this view.

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_______________

1 Harry Groenenboom, “Over het ‘ethisch’ gehalte van Scholtens rechtstheologie”, p. 111-128 in: Bas Hengstmengel en Timo Slootweg (red.), “Recht en persoon. Verkenningen in de rechtstheologie van Paul Scholten. Akkermans & Hunink, Deventer 2013

2 Scholten P., 1974, blz. 129.

3 Scholten P., 1974, blz. 130. “De rechter doet anders dan waarnemen te wiens gunste de schaal overslaat, hij beslist. Die beslissing is een handeling, zij wortelt ten slotte in het geweten, van hem, die haar verricht. Het is een daad die van de rechter wordt verwacht. (…) Ik geloof, dat in ieder wetenschappelijk oordeel meer ligt dan waarnemen en logisch betoog, doch wat daarvan zij, het rechtsoordeel is meer dan dat – het is nooit herleidbaar tot deze twee. Het is niet een wetenschappelijk oordeel, het is een wilsverklaring: zo moet het. Het is ten slotte een sprong, gelijk iedere daad, ieder zedelijk oordeel dat is.

‘Gij behoort’, of ‘gij behoort niet’, ‘gij moogt’ of ‘gij moogt niet’, dat is de kern van iedere uitspraak van de rechter, ook van declaratoire en constitutieve vonnissen. Zulk een woord kan alleen hij uitspreken, die in eigen geweten ervan overtuigd is. Het rechtsoordeel wortelt in het zedelijk deel van ons geestesleven; ieder goed rechter streeft er altijd weer naar dat op te leggen, wat hij in eigen geweten verantwoorden kan. In zover is ieder rechtsoordeel irrationeel.”

4 Scholten P., 1974, blz. 134, 135. “En overigens; ook ik geloof, dat het individuele geweten hier niet het laatste woord spreekt. (…) Mijns inziens zijn er slechts twee mogelijkheden; òf het zal een idee zijn, de rechtsidee, een der vormen, waarin de wereldgeest zich verwerkelijkt, die hier leidster kan wezen, òf het geweten is onderworpen aan een hogere macht, die, als Persoon in Schepping en Geschiedenis geopenbaard, individu èn gemeenschap met zijn onvoorwaardelijke vorderingen tegemoet treedt.

Het eerste is de gedachte van het idealisme, met name in zijn Hegels-pantheïstische vormen; het tweede is de eis van het christelijk geloof.”

5 Zo Verhorst M., 1996, blz. 51; Kaptein H., 1996, blz. 96 heeft als kritiek dat Scholten het onderscheid van genese en geldigheid miskent; Roos N.H.M., 1987, blz. 246 noemt als veel gehoorde punten van kritiek dat Scholten het wetenschappelijk standpunt van de toeschouwer en het normstellende van de deelnemer aan het rechtsgebeuren, dan wel psychologie en methodenleer door elkaar haalt; maar hermeneutische filosofen bestrijden de mogelijkheid van die onderscheidingen en vertolken daarmee volgens Roos “het gangbare standpunt van rechtsgeleerd Nederland”; Maris C.W., 1996, blz. 21 stelt dat Scholten volgens de huidige visie een te stellig alles-of-niets onderscheid maakt tussen een goddelijk geïnspireerde individuele gewetensbeslissing enerzijds, en de totale willekeur van de feitelijk heersende algemene opinie anderzijds.

6 Verhorst M., 1996, blz. 50: “Ik acht het echter bezwaarlijk dat Scholtens rechtsleer zo in elkaar zit dat er niet aan te ontkomen valt dat daar een geloofsbelijdenis aan wordt verbonden”. Veen T., 1987, blz. 56 stelt daartegenover dat de inhoud van het Algemeen Deel ook aanvaardbaar kan zijn voor wie Scholtens geloof niet deelt.

7 Aalders M.J., 1990, p. 21

8 Aalders M.J., 1990, p. 13

9 Aalders M.J., 1990, p. 66

10 Aalders M.J., 1990, p. 18

11 De Lange A. de, 1987, p. 33, 34.

12 Aalders M.J., 1990, p. 24

13 Aalders M.J., 1990, p. 107.

14Saussaye, P.D. Chantepie de la, 1913, p. 15. “Leven gaat vóór waarheid; God openbaart geen waarheden, die dan daarenboven beleefd worden; Gods openbaring is mededeling van leven, dat dan tot bewustzijn komt, vastgelegd wordt in stellingen: een dogma is de neerslag van leven.”

15 Aalders M.J., 1990, p. 134, 135; Saussaye, P.D. Chantepie de la, 1913, p. 15, 21, 22.

16 Aalders M.J., 1990, p. 139.

17 Scholten P, Beschouwingen over recht, erven F. Bohn, 1924. De andere drie opstellen zijn Recht en Liefde, Gedachten over macht en recht, Recht en Billijkheid.

18 Scholten P., “Recht en Levensbeschouwing”, blz. 120 en volgende in “Verzamelde Geschriften van wijlen prof. mr. Paul Scholten”, N.V. Uitgevers-maatschappij W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink, Zwolle 1949,

blz. 143. “Wat men waarheid noemt in het ethische, het normatieve kan niet worden bewezen, alleen innerlijk worden beleefd. Voor eigen handelen is er geen hoogere eisch dan die van het geweten – geen bijtender afkeuring dan de innerlijk ondervondene.”

19 Idem. “de spontane, intuïitief geboren overtuiging tegenover het handelen van anderenn”

20 Idem, blz. 145. “Door de noodzakelijkheid van vorming van regels verliest de zedelijke uitspraak in het recht zijn diepste beteekenis, zij vervlakt en vervaagt, maar daarmee vervalt tevens het gevaar voor subjectivisme.

21 Idem, blz. 157. “Tegenover het volstrekte oordeel der moraal heeft het recht reeds door zijn inter-individueel gelden altijd iets relatiefs.[…] Er is geen objectieve waarheid voor het recht – of liever is er alleen objectieve waarheid, indien men eenige fundamenteele waarden wil aanvaarden, die geenszins door verstandelijke redeneering te bewijzen of door zintuiglijke waarneming evident zijn. Geloovige en naturalistische levensbeschouwing staan tegenover elkaar – om slechts één principieele tegenstelling te noemen – er is voor beide niet één recht. Geen van beide heeft het recht haar recht als het recht aan andersdenkenden op te leggen. Zooveel mogelijk moet ieder tot zijn recht komen.”

22 Saussaye, 1912, blz. 89. “Het woord geweten duidt dan natuurlijk meer aan dan de reflexieve functie, die ons de eenheid van ons zedelijk willen met onze overtuiging tot eisch stelt: het is de band, die ’t centrum onzer persoonlijkheid met God verbindt. In dat woord vatten wij den geheelen grondtoon van ons wezen samen: onze behoefte aan God, onze vatbaarheid om met God in aanraking te komen, onzen plicht om ons leven naar God te richten, door Hem te laten bepalen.

Zoo zijn dan in het geweten godsdienst en moraal verbonden, het christelijk-zedelijke vormt een onverbrekelijke eenheid. Ziedaar wat Vinet zoowel in zijn philosophische opstellen als in zijn prediking en zijn litteraire kritiek op den voorgrond zet; en het strekt slechts tot voordeel, dat wij zijn diepe gedachten ruim zoozeer in praktische toepassingen als in systematische uiteenzettingen voor ons hebben.

Door deze vereeniging nu van het christelijke met het zedelijke valt licht op het dilemma, dat ons bezig hield; het veranderlijke van den zedelijken inhoud en het volstrekte van den eisch. Door het geweten gevoelen wij ons zedelijk leven in vaste betrekking tot God. Bij deze vastheid kan de verscheidenheid der zedelijke begrippen, gevallen, voorschriften ons niet meer aanvechten, want Gods wil wordt ons bekend. Evenwel niet in den uiterlijken vorm eener wet van geboden en verboden, maar in de levende aanraking, waarbij God in ’t geweten ons leiding geeft.”

23 Idem, blz. 90,91. “Wij spraken van het terugtrekken van Gods hand, want de band met God kan losser, het geweten min of meer verduisterd zijn, ja zelfs kan de „conscience” in een leven, dat er niet meer door bestuurd wordt, „une bizarrerie, une énigme, un nonsens” schijnen. Hier is dan de verklaring van de veel besproken moeilijkheid, dat het geweten dwalen kan. Formeel zou alweer dit gevoel van volstrekte verplichting boven dwaling verheven zijn, maar feitelijk zijn er niet alleen trappen en graden in ons zedelijk gevoel, maar gelukt het velen slechts al te goed de consciëntie om te kopen. […] :het geweten, als onze ware persoonlijkheid, wijst op iets buiten ons, onze wil zoekt een wet buiten zich, alleen God kan door zijn woord en wil onze consciëntie bevredigen. Een wet die uit onszelf voortkomt, brengt ons tot het stoïsche levenstype, niet tot het evangelie.

Het nauwe verband tussen het evangelie en het geweten, ziedaar wat Vinet en zijn school predikt. Naar de beide zijden: de ware zedelijkheid is in ’t leven met God, en: geen christendom buiten het geweten om. Wij behoeven gelukkig niet te kiezen, want het christelijk-zedelijk leven vereenigt beide. Maar: moesten wij kiezen, dan nog liever een moraal zonder godsdienst dan een godsdienst zonder moraal. De eerste kan waar zijn en ernstig, schoon nooit bevredigend; de tweede is altijd onwaar. Helaas, dat er zoo dikwijls conflict is, en dat daarin veelen den gevaarlijken weg der Farizeeërs bewandelen. Dan doet een godsdienst van observantie, strikt, streng, stipt maar innerlijk onwaar, dienst om ’t geweten te smoren. Men leeft godsdienstig over ’t geweten heen. […] Zoo kan men leven in, ijveren voor „objectieve waarheid”; maar de consciëntie blijft bevlekt. Derzulken godsdienst nu is ijdel. Daartegenover staan wij waarlijk geen moraal zonder godsdienst voor. Maar: wie met de zedelijke eischen hoogen ernst maakt, kan veel minder dan de godsdienstige ijveraar zichzelf diets maken, dat hij is wie en waar hij wezen moet, hij blijft verder zoeken, en „wie de waarheid doet, komt tot het licht”(Joh. III, 21; VII, 17;Ps.    CVII, 11).

Hiermede is tevens genoeg gezegd om de beschuldiging te weerleggen, dat Vinets gewetenstheologie tot „bodemloos subjectivisme” leidt.”

24 Idem, blz. 89. “…de band, die ’t centrum onzer persoonlijkheid met God verbindt. In dat woord vatten wij den geheelen grondtoon van ons wezen samen: onze behoefte aan God, onze vatbaarheid om met God in aanraking te komen, onzen plicht om ons leven naar God te richten, door Hem te laten bepalen.”

25 Idem, blz. 74. “Toch leert de godsdienstgeschiedenis ons, dat cultus ’t zij georganiseerd of in losse, veelal magische, praktijken bestaande, fundamenteeler is dan denkbeelden; en wil men beweren, dat aan alle handelen toch een voorstellen voorafgaat, het is duidelijk, dat op den bodem van beide liggen emoties, stemmingen, impulsen (Triebe). Ook ons denken wordt er door beheerscht. Onze voorstellingen, denkbeelden behooren altijd tot de peripherie van ons wezen, niet tot het middelpunt. Toch is elk denksysteem, niet het minst de christelijke dogmatiek (…) geneigd voor dien omtrek het centrum uit het oog te verliezen. Dierbaar is haar de stelling intellectus praecedit volutatem (het intellect gaat voor den wil), en orthodoxie wordt haar de maatstaf voor geloof. Daarom is het zoo aangelegen de rol van het denkend, onderscheidend, onderzoekend intellect in zijn beperktheid te erkennen.”

26 Idem. “Het bevat de noodzakelijke elementen van het interpersoneele en het traditioneele.[…] Ook de schatten van ’t leven der eeuwen komen tot ons in de denkbeelden, die zij ons overleverden, al is ook hier de diepere invloed een geheimzinnige betrekking, waardoor wij in ons opnemen wat achter die beelden ligt.”

27 Idem, blz. 80. “…een primair feit, een onmiddellijk gegeven […] niet uit andere vermogens of functiën af te leiden.”

28 Idem, blz. 80. “…het geweten uitsluitend betrekking heeft op het zedelijke, het bewustzijn van goed en kwaad.”

29 Idem, blz. 85. “Onvoorwaardelijk geldt voor ons wat ’t geweten voorschrijft, evenzeer als de beschuldiging waarmede het ons kwelt.”

30 Idem.

31 Idem, blz. 89. “Door deze vereeniging nu van het christelijke met het zedelijke valt licht op het dilemma, dat ons bezig hield: het veranderlijke van den zedelijken inhoud en het volstrekte van den eisch. Door het geweten gevoelen wij ons zedelijk leven in vaste betrekking tot God. Bij deze vastheid kan de verscheidenheid der zedelijke begrippen, gevallen, voorschriften ons niet meer aanvechten, want Gods wil wordt ons bekend. Evenwel niet in den uiterlijken vorm eener wet van geboden en verboden, maar in de levende aanraking, waarbij God in ’t geweten ons leiding geeft.”

32 Idem,blz. 85. “Het geweten bindt ons aan ons wezen, aan onze hoogste overtuigingen; maar deze zijn bij verschillenden anders, wisselen ook wel bij den individu. […] Goed is wat voor mij goed is. Hiermede schijnt nu alle waarde en gezag van het geweten te vervallen;”

33 Idem, blz. 90. “…de band met God kan losser, het geweten min of meer verduisterd zijn…”

34 Essais de philosophie morale et de morale religieuse”

35“la volonté cherchant sa loi”.

36 Saussaye 1912, blz. 90.

37 Saussaye 1912, blz. 90. “Een wet, die uit onszelf voortkomt, brengt ons tot het stoïische levenstype, niet tot het evangelie.”

38 Idem. “Naar de beide zijden: de ware zedelijkheid is in ’t leven met God, en: geen christendom hebben buiten het geweten om.”

39 Idem, blz. 90. “Wij behoeven gelukkig niet te kiezen, want het christelijk-zedelijk leven vereenigt beide.”

40 Idem, blz. 90,91. “Maar: moesten wij kiezen, dan nog liever een moraal zonder godsdienst dan een godsdienst zonder moraal. De eerste kan waar zijn en ernstig, schoon nooit bevredigend; de tweede is altijd onwaar. Helaas dat er zoo dikwijls conflict is, en dat daarin velen den gevaarlijken weg der Farizeeërs bewandelen. Dan doet een godsdienst van observantie, strikt, streng, stipt, maar innerlijk onwaar, dienst om ’t geweten te smoren.”

41 “…met den mensch, niet met God en zijn onfeilbaar woord. Laat mij hiertegenover liever aanvallend dan verdedigend verweer geven. Wie zoo spreeken, kennen van ’t geen zij bestrijden alleen enkele losse zinnetjes; zij hebben nooit ’t gevoelen hunner tegenstanders in zich opgenomen; zij opereeren met een grove tegenstelling, meestal slechts oorkussen voor hun traagheid van geest.

42 Idem, blz. 90, 91. “…zij gelooven op ’t gebied der goddelijke dingen niet aan „objectieve waarheden”, uit denknoodwendigheden voortgesproten en gestempeld door logische redeneeringen, welke echter ongelukkig op waarlijk ontwikkelde menschen geen vat hebben. Zij vinden het „bewijs” voor de waarheid in ’t beleven er van, het geloof schept die wereld niet, het geloof erkent haar; buiten hart en geweten bestaat zij niet alleen wie wedergeboren is kan het koninkrijk Gods zien.

Daarvoor nu is ’t geweten het geestelijk orgaan, d.w.z. het koninkrijk Gods is aan de geestelijke onderscheiding van goed en kwaad gebonden.”

43 Scholten P., 1949, blz. 143. “Wat men waarheid noemt in het ethische, het normatieve kan niet worden bewezen, alleen innerlijk worden beleefd.”

44 Idem, blz. 144. “Het geweten laat zich soms in slaap sussen, omkoopen, er zijn menschen, die van hunne conscientie al buitengewoon weinig last hebben. Er zit ontwikkeling ook in de spraak van het geweten.”

45 Scholten P., 1949,, blz. 142. “Hier is geen bewijzen, slechts een aanvaarden of verwerpen mogelijk.”

46 Idem, blz. 143. “Wat men waarheid noemt in het ethische, het normatieve kan niet worden bewezen, alleen innerlijk worden beleefd.”

47 Idem, blz. 148. “…in den Bijbel, niet een onmisbaar middel tot sterking en loutering van eigen innerlijk leven zien, een licht op onzen weg, ook waar wij naar recht zoeken, maar een wettencomplex van directe toepassing ook in onzen tijd, of die zich aan de voorschriften hunner kerk onvoorwaardelijk gebonden rekenen…”.

48 Miskotte K.H., 1982, blz. 335.

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