Dordt College News

Kok receives Dooyeweerd Award

August 22, 2005

Dr. John Kok, Sioux Center, was selected to receive the prestigious Herman Dooyeweerd Award recently at the International Symposium of the Association for Reformational Philosophy 2005, held at the 16th century monastery Bovendonk in the south of Holland, the Netherlands. John Kok

Dr. Kok, who is Dean for the Humanities and a professor of philosophy at Dordt College, was one of seven candidates nominated for this recognition by the members of the Association for Reformational Philosophy. In selecting Kok, the committee lauded his extensive study and writing on Reformational Philosophy, specifically noting his published work on the philosophy of Vollenhoven.

Dr. Kok is originally from Grand Rapids, Mich., and studied at Trinity Christian College, Ill., and the Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As a student of Vollenhoven, Kok soon gained interest in both his and Dooyeweerd’s reformational philosophy.

Noted publications by Dr. Kok include Vollenhoven: His Early Development (Ph.D., 1992); Patterns of the Western Mind: A Reformed Christian Perspective (1996); and Celebrating the Vision: The Reformed Perspective of Dordt College (ed., 2004). Kok has also translated several works by Vollenhoven and other Dutch Reformed scholars. He also hosts the daily 6:05 PM program “Talking Our Walk” on KDCR radio (88.5 FM).

Well-known Dutch politician and philosopher of technology, Dr. Egbert Schuurman, presided over the committee that selected Kok for the Dooyeweerd Award. In his laudation, Schuurman characterized Kok as a “congenial colleague and superb teacher” and a “Christian thinker who actively promotes scripturally directed thinking about created reality.” Schuurman noted the enormous amount of work Kok has done in Reformational Philosophy, his skill as a gifted translator, his preaching in the Christian Reformed Church of North America, and his world wide lecturing on Christian education and philosophy in general. Finally, Schuurman emphasized that it is not fame or reputation which motivated Kok for all these years, but joy in the Lord, challenging both students and scholars to be tuned to Christ, who is the Personified Wisdom.

As a Christian educator, Dr. Kok continues to encourage students to become Christian academics with a Christian philosophical worldview. According to Kok, it is only by giving one’s whole self that one will be able to contribute significantly and on an academic level to the growing of the kingdom of God in our contemporary society.

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