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.)

biological I, 40
life NC II, 563

Twilight 94, 125, 146


The biotic is one of the aspects of temporal reality. It is the aspect that qualifies the realm of plants.

But Dooyeweerd sometimes uses ‘life’ in a central sense, “a giving of life in the full sense of the word” (NC II, 563):

“Jesus Christ has said that we shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Twilight, 94).

Here the term “live” is certainly not used metaphorically, but much rather in the religious fullness of its meaning.”

Dooyeweerd says that what gives life is the Christian Ground Motive in our hearts–the Motive of creation, fall and redemption. But he emphasizes that this is not theological knowledge. the true meaning is given by the “key of knowledge.” Many Christians have only a theological knowledge of creation, fall and redemption, and this central theme of Word-Revelation has not yet become the central motive-power of their lives. (Twilight, 188).

“So long as this central meaning of the Word-revelation is at issue we are beyond the scientific problems of both of theology and philosophy. Its acceptance or rejection is a matter of life or death to us, and not a question of theoretical reflection. In this sense the central motive of the Holy Scripture is the common supra-scientific starting point of a really biblical theology and of a really Christian philosophy. It is the key of knowledge of which Jesus spoke in his discussion with the Scribes and lawyers.” (Twilight, 125)

On page 146, Dooyeweerd again emphasizes the life or death aspect:

“…the true knowledge of God in Jesus Christ and true self-knowledge are neither of a dogmatic-theological, nor of a philosophical nature, but have an absolutely central religious significance. This knowledge is a question of spiritual life or death.” (Twilight, 146).

Baader also invited his readers to take part in a war of life and death (Werke 1, 385; Schumacher 15).

Revised Dec. 27/04; Dec 23/16