from, through and to

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.)

“from, through and to” I, 11 (“uit, door en tot”)
NC I, 9; 102 (“through whom and to whom it has been created”

Our experience is “from, through and to” our Origin:

All meaning is from, through, and to an origin, which cannot itself be related to a higher arché.(NC I, 9)

The Dutch version uses the phrase ‘uit, door en tot’:

Alle zin is uit, door en tot een oorsprong, die niet zelve zin kan zijn (I, 11).

Dooyeweerd cannot have failed to recognize the importance of these words. They were at the center of a controversy in the journal Opbouw concerning the theologian A.H. de Hartog. Both Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven contributed articles to Opbouw. And Vollenhoven (under the pseudonym Th. Voorthuizen) was one of the editors of the journal. The theologian Ubbink attacked de Hartog in that journal, alleging that de Hartog’s views were pantheistic. De Hartog strongly denied this charge of pantheism. He said that on Ubbink’s reasoning, even Paul’s reference in Acts to God “in whom we live and move and have our being” would be pantheistic. But de Hartog said that pantheism asserted an identity with God–the pantheist “vereen-zelv-igt” God and world. But he stressed that the theist distinguished world and God and yet knew them to be one.

Wij toch hebben t.a.p. gezegd, dat de pantheïst God en wereld “vereen-zelf-igt” (let op het “zelf”), terwijl de theïst deze “twee onderscheidt en toch één weet.” “Eenheid bij onderscheidenheid” beteekent volstrekt nog niet “vereenzelviging” (al voert Dr. Ubbink zijn philosofisch woordenboek aan): de Heer wil in Zijn souvereine almacht en liefde Zich mededeelen aan het schepsel, waar Hij Goddelijke en menschelijke natuur aldus “vereenigt,” dat ze “ongedeeld en ongescheiden, onvermengd en onverandered” blijven; maar daarom heeft Hij de Goddelijke en menschelijjke natuur nog niet “vereenzelvigd.”

[We have said elsewhere that the pantheist “I-dentifies” God and world (pay attention to the “I”), while the theist “distinguishes the two and yet knows them to be one.” “Unity in diversity” certainly does not mean identity (whatever Dr. Ubbink’s dictionary may say): The Lord, in His sovereign power and loves wants to impart Himself to creation, where in this way he “unites” divine and human nature, so that they remain undivided and inseparable, unmixed and unchanged; but this does not mean that He has “identified” divine and human nature.]

One of the editors of Opbouw, Br. Elffers, wrote an article against Ubbink, and taking de Hartog’s side (“Dr. Ubbink’s Aanval Getoetst,” Vol. 3, p. 1). Elffers says that Ubbink’s attack was unreasonable and not well thought-out. Ubbink had raised the question whether the world is made out of God [uit God] or by God [door God]. Elffers says that both must be brought into a synthesis, that “uit, door en tot God all dingen zijn” [all things are from, out and to God]. Now Dooyeweerd uses this same phrase “uit, door en tot” in reference to God as Origin. From the very controversial articles, in Opbouw, he would have been aware that these were contentious words.

Another use of this idea appears at NC I, 102:

The totality of meaning of our cosmos has its origin in its Arché by whom and to whom it has been created.

Romans 11:36 affirms this idea:

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

For Dooyeweerd, our experience is founded in a priori conditions that are set by the law given by God our Origin. The law maintains our experience in the continuity of cosmic time. And our theoretical experience refers in its anticipations to the fullness of meaning that points to the Origin.

Revised Dec. 27/04; Dec 24/16