apostasis

Linked Glossary of Terms
(references to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, unless indicated. See concordance for correlation with pages in the New Critique. The concordance is in pdf format.)

apostasis
apostasy I, 132
II, 496NC I, 175
NC II, 33, 307 (apostasy from the Word-revelation), 316 (lacks religious self-reflection), 475, 560
NC III, 783 (temporal world included in mans apostasy and salvation)
apostate I, 25, 53, 75 (apo-statische), 80 (contrast with anastasis), 93 (apo-statisch), 256 (apostatic thought identifies selfhood with its temporal functions)
II, 482, 505 (apostasy is resting in the temporal horizon of experience)NC II, 335 (apostate faith), 364 (apostate faith)
sin NC II, 33

Apostasy is the heart’s choice of direction away from God. It is also the direction away from true knowledge of the cosmos. Apo-stasy uses the same root ‘sta’ as in en-stasis, dis-stasis, ec-stasis and ana-stasis. See my 2011 article, “Enstasy, Ecstasy and Religious Self-reflection:A history of Dooyeweerd’s Ideas of pre-theoretical experience.”

Anastasis means ‘resurrection,’“to stand again.” Dooyeweerd contrasts apostasy with anastasis (I, 80). In contrast to the apostate choice of Archimedean point, we can make the proper choice. This is resurrection, new life. This is the “standing in the truth” of which Dooyeweerd speaks elsewhere.

Apostasy is a standing away from the truth instead of a standing in the truth. It is trying to stand by oneself, to be self-sufficient, and apart from our meaning towards God. This use of ‘apostasy’ is already found in a very early article by Dooyeweerd. He says,

If what exists has a fixed [vaststaande] meaning, that is only because of the Divine giving of meaning. Nothing exists in itself. Nothing exists “Apo-state” or separate from the Divine giving of meaning, everything exists in and through the Divine noesis. (Feb 1923 “Advies over Roomsch-katholieke en Anti-revolutionaire Staatkunde,” cited by Verburg 48-61).

Spiritual death is the falling away, the apostasy of this centre or root (radix) of existence. This is spiritual death because it is the apostasy from the absolute source of Life. So the fall was also radical. (NC I, 175).

Apostasy is the seeking of our human personality and its Origin within the temporal:

It is human personality that operates in cognition; it is not one or more of its abstracted modal functions. In its religious root this personality transcends its temporal acts and modal functions. This holds good no matter whether the cosmological self-consciousness, in the cognitive activity, is directed in Christ to the true Origin of all things, to the sovereign Creator and Heavenly Father, or, in sinful apostasy, seeks itself and the Origin in the temporal. (NC II, 473).

The unity of our self-consciousness partakes in either the religious root of creation directed to God, or in the case of apostasy, directed away from God (NC II, 560).

Apostasy involves the absolutization of merely temporal reality. Such absolutization is only possible because of the law of concentration of temporal reality in the religious center of human existence:

That is also why human existence, in its religious center, is subject to a law of religious concentration, which has not been abrogated by the fall. All the power of the devil is based on this law of concentration in human existence, because without this law idolatry would be impossible. Sin is a privation, a lie, a nothingness, but the power of sin is something positive, which is dependent on the created goodness of reality. (“The Secularization of Science,” tr. R.D. Knudsen, International Reformed Bulletin, IX (July 1966, p. 5, cited by Steen, p. 74 ft. 46).

Dooyeweerd says that sin is not merely privatio, not something merely negative, but a positive, guilty apostasy insofar as it reveals its power, derived from creation itself (NC II, 33).

In the apostate attitude, one does not experience temporal things and events as they really are (NC III, 30). This implies that when the naïve experience is opened up to the transcendent, we do experience things as they really are. The true nature of things and events is as meaning, pointing beyond above themselves to the true religious centre of meaning and to the true Origin. When the transcendent religious dimension is shut out, there are mythological aberrations in naïve experience.

Thus, if we restrict ourselves to the temporal, we do not experience things as they really are. Dooyeweerd warns us that when we lose sight of the supratemporal we fail to even view the temporal properly, and our own self-consciousness is weakened:

Naarmate het transcendente-besef van den mensch verzwakt, verzwakt ook zijn zelf-bewustzijn en zijn vermogen de perspectivische structuur van de tijd te ervaren. (“Het Tijdsprobleem in de Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee,” Part II , 1940 Philosophia Reformata, 209).

[To the degree that man’s understanding of the transcendent is weakened, so also is weakened his self-consciousness and his ability to experience the perspectival structure of time].

Apostasy is a direction away from God. It is a refusal to return to our Origin. I believe that this is what Baader means when he quotes Quotes Tauler: “Sin is that the creature does not want to go back into Unity, its end as its beginning with all its powers.” (Philosophische Schriften I, 147).

Revised Aug 21/06
Ju14/11 Added reference to 2011 article

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