An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

J. J. Duyvene De Wit on Dooyeweerd's view of evolution and creation

[12] As an alternative to all these mentioned conceptions, Dooyeweerd's view is herewith presented.

First of all we must distinguish between creation and becoming. The process of becoming within the temporal order of our cosmos presupposes God's creation. Only of God's creation can it be said [13] (Gen. 2:1) that it is completed. This can never be said of the process of becoming in the temporal order of creation with its modal diversities of meaning. The process of becoming still goes on and individual physical men, animals, plants etc., arise continuously. This is, however, not a temporal continuation of the divine act of creation, but only an elaboration, within the temporal order. of the already completed creation.

The whole order of time, together with the whole process of becoming which was destined to execute itself therein, was undoubtedly comprised in the creation, but only as the creational result of God's completed work of creation. But this work of creation is not comprised in the creational order of the temporal process of becoming.

It is true that in Scripture God's work of creation is revealed to us in human language which itself is bound to the creational order of time. But this may never be used as an argument to conclude that this work of creation itself has occurred within the creational time-order.

We must also observe that the revelation about the creation may not be identified with the creation itself. That revelation directs itself primarily to the human heart, the religious center of our existence, and in which everything which occurs within time, is grasped in a central relation to our Creator through the operation of His Spirit. But as revelation it also enters into the horizon of our temporal existence in order to address itself to man in his faith within the order of time.

Within the temporal order, the Word-revelation often speaks about God himself in terms of time, but this does not mean that God and his acts of creation are enclosed within time.

God's work of creation and its creational result are not of the same order and therefore cannot have a common temporal denominator.

The distinction between creation and creational becoming within time is intrinsically related to the revealed distinction between the Creator and the creation.

These considerations bring us to the fundamental problem concerning the inner relation between the central religious meaning of God's Word-revelation as regards creation and scientific investigation. This problem can only be solved on the basis of what has been said above.

[14] As soon as one tries to conceive of God's work of creation as of a successive series of temporal events, as it has been done in certain theological quarters, unsurmountable antinomies arise. He then can no longer account for this time-order in its integral and universal meaning (including the temporal faith-aspect) because he is compelled to accept that the temporal modal aspects themselves have been created in the successive order of the six days of creation and these then must have had a temporal duration. Before the first organic life in living organisms revealed itself on earth within the order of time, this time-order would thus have had only the first four aspects, namely the aspects of number, space, motion and energy. But within what time-aspect did the creation of the following aspects of time then fall?

The posing of the question already lays bare the antinomies in which one gets involved when he conceives of the days of creation as theoretically abstracted aspects of time. For every attempt to view these days of creation according to the objective and geological time-scale be it as days of 24 hours or as geological periods, is irreconcilable with the account of the creation itself. This appears already from the fact that "fixed times, days and years" became established only on the fourth "day of creation", so that "day of creation" cannot possibly imply "day" or "period" in the sense of temporal duration.

And finally this attempt definitely strands on the seventh day, the day of God's sabbatical rest, every interpretation of which, either as a 24-hour day or a geological period, would lead to blasphemy.

In other words, in so far as the two first chapters of Genesis are speaking about the becoming of the world and of man within the order of time as a result of creation, they do not speak scientifically, but exclusively to reveal to us that God cares for the elaboration of his Words of Creation in the order of time with the structural laws enclosed therein by Him. This implies that from the information given in Genesis, no scientific conclusions can be drawn and that therefore the traditional confrontation of this information with the scientifically established facts finds itself on the wrong track. The facts which are revealed to us in the two first chapters of Genesis are of another order than those which can be brought to light by scientific investigation. And it is just for this reason that they are of such central and basic significance for this kind of investigation.

Excerpt from J. J. Duyvene De Wit ‘Introductory comment’ in ‘Organic Life and the evolutionistic world and life view’ Christian Perspectives 1962 (Guardian Publishing Company, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1962.)

1 comment:

Shane Duyvene de Wit said...

I'm so proud of my Grandfather for standing up and researching against one of the biggest lies, namely evolution, the devil has yet spun for those who do not believe in the literal interpretation of God's Word. I'm thrilled to see that my Grandfather's research is still being used and proved correct in the line of creationism after all these years. May evolution be exposed for the lie that it is. For more information on the creationism/evolution debate, please visit www.creationontheweb.com and www.answersingenesis.org.