sin

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.)

sin WdW I, 76

NC I, 102, 175 (dialectical conception of guilt and sin in Greek and Humanistic philosophy)
NC II, 33-35, 248 (Christ not tainted by sin), 335 (sin affects positivization of law)

Vernieuwing en Bezinning 36-38

“Van Peursen’s Critische Vragen bij “A New Critique of Theoretical Thought,” Philosophia Reformata 25 (1960, 97-150, at 116 (sin in the positivization of law).

sinful NC II, 33 (sinful reality is still meaning), 245 (sinful human formative will), 302 (sin closed the open window of faith)

There is only one sin, since 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)

Through sin the power of man was turned away from its religious fulness; instantly the striving after its absolutization came into existence, the disregard for its temporal meaning-coherence, root and Origin.(NC II, 248)

Sin closed off faith from receiving the light of God’s eternity:

According to the order of creation this terminal aspect was destined to function as the opened window of time through which the light of God’s eternity should shine into the whole temporal coherence of the world. That this window has been closed by sin, and cannot be opened by man through his own activity, does not mean that it cannot be disclosed by the Divine power of the Holy Ghost. (NC II, 302)

Sin is not merely a privatio, or absence of the good:

Sin causes spiritual death through the falling away from the Divine source of life, but 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)

Sin is a privation of meaning. “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), 5.

The power of sin derives from creation itself. Dooyeweerd rejects Karl Barth’s views that the power of sin derives from a ‘Divine No’ that is dialectically placed over against God’s ‘Yes’ (NC II, 34, fn1). Sin does not stand in a dialectical relation to the creation (NC I, 175).

The power of the spirit of apostasy is derived from the fact that we are created in God’s image, and even the power of the perversion of the Truth can only be done within the power of God’s Word. “Van Peursen’s Critische Vragen bij “A New Critique of Theoretical Thought,” Philosophia Reformata 25 (1960), 97-150, at 146.

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). Sin has no meaning or existence independent of the religious fulness of the Divine Law (NC II, 35).

The Greek and Humanistic concept of guilt is of a merely dialectical character:

It consists of a depreciation of an abstract complex of functions of the created cosmos over against an other abstracted and deified complex (NC I, 175).

At the present time, the effect of sin is restrained:

I do not know what the full effect of unrestrained sin on reality would be like. Thanks to God this unhampered influence does not exist in our earthly cosmos (NC II, 33).

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).

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).

See also redemption.

Revised Jan 29/08