Resources for a Christian worldview

H. G. Stoker pages

Hendrik Gerhardus Stoker (1899-1993) was born in Johannesburg and taught at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education from 1925 to 1970. He served on the board of the journal Philosophia Reformata.

After his passing in 1993, a special issue of Koers Vol. 59, No. 3 and 4, 1994, appeared titled "A commemorative anthology dedicated to the memory of the life and works of H.G. Stoker (1899-1993)". In the preface to this anthology (pp. 341, 342), Prof. P.G.W. du Plessis outlines Prof. Stoker's contributions as a philosopher and co-builder of a Christian university.

1. The history of the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education is intimately intertwined with the work of Prof. H.G. Stoker as an academic philosopher. For over forty years at the PU for CHE, Prof. Stoker was the pivot of the academic debate regarding the nature of a Christian university, Christian science and a Calvinistic life and worldview. As he worked in the Calvinist tradition of the Reformed Churches of South Africa, he developed this tradition creatively from the ground idea based on Romans 11:36 “For from ​​Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory for ever”. This ground idea is the underlining principle of most of Stoker’s legacy containing documents on Christian Science, a Christian University, the Calvinistic life and worldview and his Philosophy of the Creation Idea.

His legacy is compiled on a CD that has been produced to contain most of Stoker’s writings here.

Philosophy of the Creation Idea is a translation of the 1970-edition of Oorsprong en Rigting, Volume II, Section 6, Tafelberg: Cape Town (pp. 202-331).

2. The two volumes of Oorsprong en Rigting – Origin and direction (1967 and 1970) – are in files 1.14 and 1.15, respectively, of the legacy and contain a good cross section of his Philosophy of the Creation Idea, which he developed creatively and very originally since the early thirties. With this approach to reformational philosophy he inspired dozens of students – and interested academics throughout the country – in scientific work in the light of God's Word. In turn, several of his former students that have been appointed to various South African universities and colleges, continued to investigate with enthusiasm philosophical problems and the foundations of the sciences in a Christian perspective.

3. Typically of Stoker is his style of debate. His approach was to be in constant conversation with supporters and academics with other points of view. His meeting with supporters was based in particular on the idea of ​​co-operation between Christian scientists and reformed theologians and philosophers. In this context, there are various discussions and fundamentally orientating articles to be found in his legacy, for example, file 2.1.10 “Discussions with scientists”, in which the theory of evolution is discussed in particular. Furthermore, in the “Bulletin for the Promotion of Christian Science” (file 4.16) there are additional discussion articles with natural and health scientists and other scientists, as well as articles in Koers (file 4.2) with economists, and in file 4:14 a discussion with Dr. M. Versfeld of the University of Cape Town on the Neo-Thomistic understanding of science, to name but a few.

4. Stoker was dedicated to develop a good partnership between philosophy and theology, without either one being the dominant partner. The contributions of J.A. Heyns and L.F. Schulze, G5 and G6, respectively, in the Koers commemorative anthology, each gives a look at Stoker's dedication in this respect.

5. Stoker's legacy includes notes directed to students and colleagues, i.a. to stimulate conversation and to seek intercourse in analysis and synthesis. He wanted real dialogue between different schools of thought, and between him and those that were differently-minded. Stoker’s approach was to listen critically to others and also to recognize the deep insight of others.

6. Stoker stimulated interdisciplinary dialogue, in particular during his years as honorary professor at the RAU, now the University of Johannesburg. His seminar series were directed at general issues such as science and truth, the state and freedom, labour and wages, society, science of human law, and education (see file 2.3.1). Furthermore, his Philosophy of the Creation Idea enabled him to come up with new concepts regarding the meaning of faith in the understanding of contemporary problems such as the significance of consistency, development, freedom, history, principles, methods, science, justice, sin, technique, ecumenism, and language.


Numbers correspond to the Stoker CD

1.14.8 + At the Crossroads: Apartheid and University Freedom in South Africa (4.18.1)
1.14.11 + Calvin and Ethics (3.16))
1.14.12 + A Phenomenological Analysis of Conscience (4.6.1)
1.15.5 + Outlines of a Deontology of Scientific Method (3.20) *“The Essence of Human Freedom”. *“Human Freedom”. *“The Significance of ‘Man as the Image of God’ for a Philosophical and for Particular Scientific Antropologies”. *“False Viewpoints of Human Freedom”. *“On the Objective Fundamentals of Knowledge”. *“The Fundamentals of Knowledge”. *“On the Unity of Cosmic Reality” – sequel to 4.6.3. Geskryf vir 4.6.4, in Maart 1934. *“On Our Immediate Knowledge of the Realness of Reality”.(3.2) *“Essays in Philosophy”. *“Calvinism and Philosophy”. *“Calvinist Philosophy”. “On Calvinism” (in handskrif). *“Scriptural Faith and the Pursuit of Science”. “Self-contradictory University”. (4.5.2) *“The Ideal Science”. (Onvolledig – kyk 4.4.1) “Dilemma Concerning the Unity of Science” (kursories, nie getik nie). “The Neutral and the Particular University” (4.5.11). “On Method” (in handskrif). *”Kuhn : Function of dogma”. * “Our Christian Calling of Doing Science”. “Scriptural Truths and Scientific Thought”.(4.4.3) * “The Triple Foundation of Morality”.
2.2.31 “Apartheid and University Freedom” (later in Race Relations Journal). “Address to the Committee of the Sovereign Grace Union,” 24 September 1930.

3.2 *1930. On our Immediate Knowledge of the Realness of Reality. (In: Proc. of the 7th inter­national Congress of Philosophy. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1931.)
3.10 *1947. Calvinism and the Current Scientific Outlook. (In: Calvinism in Times of Crisis. Eerdmans : Grand Rapids 6, Mich.)
3.20 *1965. Outlines of a Deontology of Scientific Method. (In: Philosophy and Christianity, philosophical essays dedicated to professor dr. Herman Dooyeweerd. Kampen : Kok.) (1.15.5)
3.24 *1971 Reconnoitering the Theory of Knowledge of prof. dr. C. van Til. (In: Jerusalem and Athens : critical discussions on the theology and apologetics of Cornelius van Til, edited by E.R. Geehan. Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., USA).

4.4 The Calvin Forum (1935-1955). VSA: Grand Rapids, Calvin College and Seminary.
4.4.1 *1938 “The Ideal Science” (III,7).
4.4.2 *1949 “Was Calvin a Logician and a Philosopher?” (XVI, 10).
4.4.3 *1952 “Scriptural Truths and Scientific Outlook” (XVII, 7).
4.4.4 *1946 ”PUC – Greetings H.G.Stoker” (XII, 3)

4.5 The Critic (1932-1938). Cape Town: University of Cape Town.
4.5.1 *1933 “The Neutral and the Particular University” (I,8).
4.5.2 *1933 “A Self-contradictory University” (II, 2).

4.6 The Evangelical Quarterly (1928- ) Edinburgh.
4.6.1 *1932 “A Phenomenological Analysis of Conscience” (IV, 1,3).
4.6.2 *1933 “Freud’s Psychology and Conscience” (V, 2,3).
4.6.3 *1935 “The Possibility of a Calvinist Philosophy” (VII, 1).
4.6.4 “On the Unity of Reality” (
4.6.5 “On Holism” (

4.17 Bulletin of the Committee on Science and Freedom (Manchester).
4.17.1 1957. “The Case for Apartheid”(no.9, Aug.).
4.17.2 1957 “Correction” (no.10).

4.18 Race Relations Journal (The SA Institute of Race Relations).
4.18.1 “At the Crossroads: Apartheid and University Freedom” (XXIV, no.’s 3 &4).

4.19 Philosophy Today (Messenger Press) (Carthagena, Ohio).
4.19.1 *1961. “Philosophic Freedom” (V, 2-4).
4.19.1e *”Philosophic Freedom”


1946. Is the Christian school to be jeopardized? Banner. 81. November 1,  1283. 

1998. Is the quest for meaning the quest for God? : the religious ascription of meaning in relation to secular ascription of meaning: a theological study. Calvin Theological Journal. 33. November  522-.

On Stoker

James Koldenhoven. Professor Stoker on campus. Pro Rege. 2. December 1973. 19-20.
Bev Bandstra. Professor Stoker on campus (con't.). Pro Rege. 2. June 1974. 23-24.
James Koldenhoven. Professor Stoker on campus (continued). Pro Rege. 2. March 1974. 19-20.

M.F. (Tinus) van der Walt. 2017. An exploration of H.G. Stoker's (1899-1993) contributions to methodology. Journal for Christian Scholarship 53: Reformational Issue

M.F. (Tinus) Van der Walt. 2016, ‘Critical reflections on H.G. Stoker’s (1899–1993) approach towards the elaboration of a Christian philosophy’. In Die Skriflig 50(1): http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i1.2040

Truth and reality : philosophical perspectives on reality, dedicated to Professor Dr. H.G. Stoker Braamfontein, Johannesburg : De Jong, 1971.


Is 'n transendentale kritiek religieus bepaald / deur V. Brümmer
Constitution and creativity in the philosophy of Edmund Husserl / by A.L. Conradie
Studium generale / deur H.J. de Vleeschauwer
Sociology of law and its philosophical foundations / by H. Dooyeweerd
Beginvrae en antwoorde in die wysbegeerte / deur P.G.W. du Plessis
Max Scheler's concern with the highest perfection / by S.I.M. du Plessis
Christelike wetenskap / deur B. Duvenage
Malan's critical study / by H. Hart
Raakpunte vir 'n dialoog met 'n christelike wysbegeerte / deur A.M.T. Meyer
Nuwe gedagtes oor die begrip natuurwet / deur A.H. Murray
Die voorwaardes vir die uitbou van 'n wysgerige antropologie / deur C.K. Oberholzer
De structuur van feit en betekenis / door K.J. Popma
The relation of the arts to the presentation of the truth / by C.G. Seerveld
Gezag en vrijheid in het licht van Gods Woord / door J. Stellingwerff
Voorveronderstellings vir 'n filosofie van die opvoeding / deur J.A.L. Taljaard
Objektiwiteit, sekularisasie en geskiedenis / deur N.T. van der Merwe
Etiek, wetenskap van relasies / deur S.P. van der Walt
Wetten en feiten / door C.A. van Peursen
Enige opmerkingen over entiteiten / door H. van Riessen
Richard Kroner on Herman Dooyeweerd / by C. van Til
De mens in de taalkunde / door P.A. Verburg
Enkele motieven van het anti-militair pacifisme / door S.U. Zuidema