This article considers various personal and academic influences on Ben Marais. The essence of these influences helped form his principles, was present in his early childhood, and is founded in his deep-rooted faith in God. Ben Marais was a child and a product of his times. The academic influences are approached through an analysis of a specific book that he claimed had influenced his thought, his MA dissertations and Ph.D-thesis. These formative influences helped determine his questioning the justification of policies in the NG Kerk.