A view from Blà-bheinn, Skye

(photo credit: Norman Campbell)

 

Time for reflection

Do you ever get stuck for words? At the moment I’m more or less stuck. I mean there is so much happened in the past year that I don’t know where to start or what to say that would do half of it justice. And then there’s Dooyeweerd and Dr Friesen! Dooyeweerd was that extremely rare combination of being a great philosopher and a sincere Christian, and I struggle with putting his insights into words. And yet I know that what he says gels with my own experience. It’s tempting to forget the big words he uses and to try and explain it simply in my own words. I’ll go for it … though I know I’ll fail!

In the past few blogs I’ve illustrated how, according to Francis Schaeffer, secular humanism has taken the form it has and how God has been airbrushed out of existence. Dooyeweerd gives an alternative view. It is impossible to get rid of God because He is the root and Source of reality. What does Dooyeweerd say about creation?

Rubha Hunish, Skye
(photo credit: Norman Campbell)

Creation

As far as I can see, Dooyeweerd is saying there is a God who is the Origin of all that we experience. ‘All that we experience’ is nothing without God. There is no substance, only meaning, which comes from the Source. Selfhood, the I, or what the Bible calls the heart, is man’s religious root. This selfhood is supratemporal, that is, it connects with eternity. There is God’s eternity and created eternity (the aevum, where angels exist) and cosmic time, into which man has been fitted. ‘Creation was completed by God when man was created as the supratemporal root – an undifferentiated totality.’ (Friesen, thesis 59)

Creation and becoming

Importantly, according to Dooyeweerd, the creation of man as supratemporal root happened ‘before’ cosmic time. This completed creation is being worked out in time in the process of becoming. The ‘days of creation’ spoken of in Genesis 1 happened before the creation of cosmic time. Dooyeweerd makes a sharp distinction between Gen. 1:27 ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.’ And Gen.2:7 ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.’ The first refers to man’s creation in eternity, the second to the process of becoming; ‘giving form to an already existing material present in the temporal order.’ (Friesen, thesis 60)

A view from Blà-bheinn, Skye
(photo credit: Norman Campbell)

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