redemption

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.)

reborn I, 32, 64 (selfhood), 64 (human race), 66 (root)
redeemed I, 64
redemption NC I, 175 (radical redemption in the root)

NC III, 524-25 Christ Jesus is the second Adam, in Whom nothing of God’s creation can be lost. This “particular” rrace bears a radical-universal character.
NC III, 783 (temporal world included in man’s apostasy and salvation)

Redeemer NC III, 71
salvation

The creation was in the root, the fall was in the root, and salvation is in the root. This is what Dooyeweerd means when he says that the Ground-Motive of creation, fall and redemption must be interpreted in terms of the supratemporal root. The fall is into cosmic time, the “earthly.”

In the fall, the human selfhood “fell away into the temporal horizon” (NC II, 564). I interpret this as man’s refusal to act as the supratemporal root, and man’s wrong identification with that which was supposed to be dominated and fulfilled in him. It is the wrong belief that we are only temporal beings, alongside the temporal realms of the inorganic, organic and biotic.

Our salvation is also in the root. It is because temporal reality is concentrated in humanity that a new root was required. Dooyeweerd speaks of Christ’s work of salvation in the root:

Daar breekt de natuurlijke generatie uit geestelijke zaad van Adam door en stelt een nieuwe geestelijke orde in de plaats; de wedergeboorte uit den Heiligen Geest. En Christus betekent radicale vernieuwing van levenswortel en daarom betekent Christus’ verlossingswerk in principe niet allen de redding van den individueelen mensch, maar van heel het Scheppingswerk Gods, dat in den mensch geconcentreerd was.” (“Calvijn als Bouwer” 6, Polemios 2/22 Aug. 23/1947)

[There it breaks through the natural generation from the spiritual seed of Adam, and sets a new spiritual order in its place; the rebirth from the Holy Spirit. And Christ means the radical renewal of the root of life and therefore the work of salvation means in principle not only the salvation of the individual man, but of God’s whole work of creation, which was concentrated in man].

The fall was in the supratemporal root, which was an undifferentiated unity.

In the religious fullness of meaning there is only one law of God, just as there is only one sin against God, just as there is only one creation that has sinned in Adam (I, 67; NC I, 102)

And God’s common grace is shown to this undifferentiated root:

Shown to his fallen creation as a still undivided totality, the revelation of God’s common grace guards scriptural Christianity against sectarian pride which leads a Christian to flee from the world and reject without further ado whatever arises in western culture outside of the immediate influence of religion. Sparks of the original glory of God’s creation shine in every phase of culture, to a greater or lesser degree, even it its development has occurred under the guidance of apostate spiritual powers (Roots 39).

Dooyeweerd says that in Christ, sin is really propitiated:

The Word has entered into the root and the temporal ramifications, in body and soul, of human nature. And therefore it has brought about a radical redemption. Sin is not dialectically reconciled, but it is really propitiated. And in Christ as the new root of the human race, the whole temporal cosmos, which was religiously concentrated in man, is in principle again directed toward God and thereby wrested free from the power of Satan. (NC I, 175).

Dooyeweerd does not explain what he means by this emphasis on “really.” It appears to be an ontological view of salvation, as opposed to those theories of salvation which “impute righteousness” to humans on the analogy of legal reasoning. Salvation is ontical, and not a matter of just believing that certain historical facts occurred.

The order in which regeneration ‘precedes’ conversion is to be understood as occurring beyond the limits of time (NC I, 33).

Baader emphasizes that in Christ we have a real liberation. It is not just a deist or theist idea of God, but a Liberator, Saviour, a Christ, who makes it possible for man to seek the truth (Werke 2, 159 s.7; Susini 79).

This is why Christ was incarnated, to act as the New Root of creation, because humanity had failed in this task. There is an at-one-ment in the Incarnation itself. This is quite a different view of the atonement than Anselm’s legalistic one based on the juridical analogy of a sacrificial death as substitution for our punishment. (Cur Deus Homo). In Dooyeweerd’s view, there is a substitution, but it is a substitution of Christ as the Root of Creation. And there is sacrifice, but that sacrifice is already involved in the movement out of love into the temporal world (the kenosis). And there is suffering: in becoming the New Root, Christ takes that suffering on himself. But the emphasis is very different from the traditional views of the atonement. Now some people may, on theological grounds, reject Dooyeweerd’s philosophy for this different emphasis in incarnation and salvation. But I find it a very wonderful interpretation. It avoids the image of the violent God that has bothered recent commentators, and it emphasizes the love and self-sacrifice of God.

Dooyeweerd refers to John’s Gospel: The Word has entered into the root and the temporal ramifications, in body and soul, of human nature (NC I,175). And therefore it has brought about a radical redemption. In fact, says Dooyeweerd, in Christ the “fulness of individuality” has been saved (NC II, 418). Just as the original supratemporal root was the source of all temporal individuality, now Christ is the transcendent root of individuality (NC II, 418).

Without Christ, the created would have lost its ontical foundation and fallen into meaninglessness. Dooyeweerd therefore emphasizes the importance of a mediator between mankind and God. He contrasts his views with those of Stoker, who wanted to view everything in immediate relation to God, without the intermediary of Christ (NC II, 75). Kuyper refers to Calvin’s view of direct communion between God and the human heart; but he says that after the fall, it was necessary to have Christ as mediator.(See Lectures on Calvinism, “Calvinism and Religion”, 47).

Salvation has occurred in the root. But this salvation is still working itself out in cosmic time.

It may be that this antithesis has been reconciled by the Redemption in Jesus Christ, but in temporal reality the unrelenting struggle between the kingdom of God and that of darkness will go until the end of the world. (NC II, 33).

By regeneration we participate in this new root in our reborn selfhood (NC I, 99).

We humans are also responsible to assist in the perfecting of the temporal world. Dooyeweerd states this expressly:

De anorganische stoffen, het planten- en dierenrijk, hebben geen zelfstandige geestelijke of religieuze wortel. Hun tijdelijk bestaan wordt eerst volledig in en door de mens (Vernieuwing en Bezinning, 30).

[The inorganic materials, the plant and animal realms, have no independent spiritual or religious root. Their temporal existence first becomes complete [fulfilled] in and through Man]

Dooyeweerd cites Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism in support:

Maar gelijk heel de schepping culmineert in den mensch, kan ook de verheerlijking haar voleinding eerst vinden in den mensch, die naar Gods beeld geschapen is; niet omdat de mensch, die zoekt, maar omdat God zelf de eenig wezenlijke religieuse expressie door het semen religionis, alleen in het hart des menschen inschiep. God zelf maakt den mensch religieus door den sensus divinitatis, die Hij spelen laat op de snaren van zijn hart. (“Kuyper’s Wetenschapsleer”Philosophia Reformata (1939), 211.)

[Just as the whole creation culminates in man, its glorification can only first find its fulfillment in man, who was created as God’s image; this is not because of man (who seeks), but because God Himself created in the human heart alone the only truly religious expression in the semen religionis [religious seed]. God himself makes man religious through the sensus divinitatis [the sense of the Divine], which He lets play on the strings of his heart].

See my article “

Imagination, Image of God and Wisdom of God: Theosophical Themes in Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy (2006), where I discuss how humans assist in redemption. The article discusses the Wisdom tradition within which Dooyeweerd’s philosophy is situated, and how our imagination is dependent on our being created in the image of God. In our imagination, we discover the figure, the anticipation of what an individuality structure in the temporal world may become, but which is presently only a potential reality. In finding the figure within the temporal world, and in realizing it and embodying it, we form history, and we fulfill the reality of temporal structures. God’s law or Wisdom gives the connection between this internal figure of our imagination and the modal aspects in which our body and other temporal structures of individuality function.

Dooyeweerd emphasizes that the creation order is also a matter of salvation, and it is not to be separated from Christ. Common grace is common because rooted in the Saviour. It is not given for the particular fallen man, but for humanity in Christ. The cosmic law is itself related to our sinfulness [here is another ground of difference with Vollenhoven]. Dooyeweerd says that without the law there is no sin; but the same law makes the existence of creation possible (Vernieuwing en Bezinning 36-38). Dooyeweerd says that it may be that the antithesis has been reconciled by Christ’s Redemption, but in temporal reality the struggle goes on until the end of the world (NC II, 33). In other words, at the supratemporal, root level, salvation has occurred, but it is still being worked out in the temporal world.

Baader says that the Fall, we separated ourselves from our relation with God, or what Baader calls our ‘Principle’ (Zeit 29, ft. 9). Redemption is now required to allow a full restoration and reintegration [Wiederherstellung oder Reintegration]. Creation fell with Man just as a kingdom falls with its king. Baader cites Romans 8:19-22, where Paul speaks of all creation groaning for redemption (Susini 286). This redemption can be done only by God Himself, because only God himself can unite us again with our root [Wurzel] (Werke 12, 226; cited by Betanzos 124). Because the center of creation was Man, redemption required a new human root was required; this is the reason for Christ’s incarnation (Weltalter 188).

Baader says that the redemption and restoration is a fulfillment, not a destruction of nature. He cites Tauler: ‘God is not a destroyer or hater of nature, but he fulfills [integrates] it’ (Begründung 32 ft. 17; Fermenta IV, 8). Dooyeweerd also speaks of nature being restored or renewed, although he cites Calvin (NC I, 516).

Baader says that redemption is in cosmic time, which permits humanity to recover what was lost, although in fragmented and successive stages. Our evolution (towards or away from God) must continue in time, and time gives us the opportunity to develop to our completed being. But not to progress is to regress (Begründung 7; Werke 1, 27). At the end of cosmic time, we will find ourselves in our completed state either for or against God. In between the two extremes of being grounded in one’s supratemporal Center or finding oneself in the temporal periphery with a total loss of center, is the third situation, which Baader calls ‘movement in the periphery’ (Zeit 25). In this situation, one is not grounded in one’s true Center, nor has one’s Center totally disappeared; instead, there is a movement in the periphery, and that is the appearance-time [Schein-Zeit].

What is it in Christ that acts as our redemption? We sometimes get the impression that for Dooyeweerd the importance is not the historical actions of Jesus but the supratemporal action of the new religious root. But then for Dooyeweerd all human actions also take place in the supratemporal sphere of occurrence.

Baader emphasizes both the supratemporal and at least some temporal aspects like the incarnation, temptation, death and resurrection of Jesus. He says that Jesus is the Son of God. Sophia, the eternal Urbild of Man entered in Jesus. He became Christ, that is, spiritual Man (Begründung p. 134)? Schumacher says that Baader is disinterested in many of the acts of the earthly Jesus. Neither his teachings nor his miracles are thematically mentioned. But Baader does deal with the temptation of Jesus. Jesus awakened the “im Menschen schlummernde und latente Sonnenhafte.” Baader is interested in the sacrificial character of the death of Jesus, and is especially interested in the Resurrection. (Schumacher 207-212). With respect to the death of Christ, Baader says that Origen and Maistre compare the death of Christ to breaking of a vessel, through which a powerful life spirit (Lebensgeist) became free and spread out; freeing of those left behind in the same vessel; an embodiment and a sowing (sich einsäen) in the still bound beings; a voluntary suspension of his own free Existenz to free beings worthy of Existenz. By his earthly death the freeing agent is himself made free; this saving act will continue until end of time. The Eucharist shows the continuation of this self sacrifice (Elementarbegriffe 557).

Baader relates our participation in redemption to our theoretical work:

Wenn ich sage, daß ich als erkennend den Gegenstand in mich eingehen lasse, so ist es nicht sein Äußeres, sondern sein Inneres oder seine Tiefe, welche nun auch in mir Tiefe wird, und weshalbe ich sage: daß ich den Gegenstand (als geschaut) auch inne geworden bin. Es findet hier auch eine Identität von Subjekt und Objekt, freilich in einem anderen Sinne als dem gewöhnlichen statt, das heißt: dasselbe Objekt vermittelt nur seine Subjektivität und Innerlichkeit mit meiner, als derselbigen, oder: ich gewahre dasselbe in mir und dieses andere zugleich in demselben (Werke 8, 342f, cited Sauer 29).

[When I say that in knowing I allow the Gegenstand to enter within me, that is not its outer being, but its inner being or depth, which also becomes depth in me, and therefore I say: that I have also become inner to the Gegenstand (as intuited). There is here an identity of subject and object, although admittedly in a different sense than usually exists. That is, the same object mediates only its subjectivity and innerness with mine, as the same; or, I become aware of the same in myself and in this other at the same time in itself]

Only the subjectivity and the innerness of the object are mediated, and become ‘identical’ with my own. Sauer calls this the movement of the Identity inference [Bewegung des Identitätsvollzugs]. But this is an identity with the inner sense of what there is. Only insofar as directed to the center. This identity must not be seen as a logical identity, but an identity in the sense of “not other.” The other has become nondual with me in its inwardness. I see myself in the other; this is its mediating. But I am also mediator for the other in lifting up its innerness to a higher level.

There is an analogy with Christ’s mediation of us, and with God’s seeing of us. I can see only insofar as I am seen. The Gegenstand is seen in us just as we are seen by God (Zeit 31). As a result, the reintegrated beings are innerly united and lifted higher in their created Center, as they were before the Fall; now they are inseparable, incapable of falling. Nature as a wounded part of the organism will be strengthened; and its future will be less capable of being wounded.

See also sparks.

Revised May 29/06