If the cosmos has no reality without man how do we understand JOB 31:26,27? Do the purposes of God not transcend man? Reality is founded in God’s creation and providence. Alan.
Actually, the verses you have specified here are strikingly "Dooyeweerdian"!
26 Ma dh'amhairc mi air a' ghrèin an uair a dhealraich i, no air a' ghealaich a' gluasad ann an soillse, 27 Agus gun do mhealladh mo chridhe os ìosal, agus gu'n do phog mo bheul mo làmh: 28 Is cionta so mar an ceudna air son a' bhreitheimh; oir dh'àichinn an Dia a tha shuas. (IOB 31:26-28)
26 If I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendor, 27 so that my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, 28 then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high. (JOB 31:26-28 NIV)
If I in my (supratemporal) heart (v 27) absolutize in the manner of immanence philosophy that which is temporal and therefore relative (v 26) instead of honouring God above as the Arché or Origin of all meaning, the One in whom reality and providence are founded (v 28), then I am committing apostasy, which is the essence of the Fall (v 28). As the image [צלם TSeLeM likeness, cf English simile, similar, same, cf Gaelic samhail, cosmhail] of God, Man has eternity in his heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and therefore has a vantage point above time, unlike animals which are utterly submerged in time and so dependent on Man to tell them their names, ie their identity, meaning, unfolding, blossoming. Man (in Adam, in Christ) is the Root of temporal Creation. The cultural mandate and the Gospel mandate give Man in principle the capacity and responsibility to point all creation in the direction of the Meaning Giver. Creation has no meaning in itself, and therefore no existence in itself. The notion of "existence in itself", "thing in itself, "ding an sich", is Hellenistic, humanistic, apostate delusion:
If what exists has a fixed [vaststaande] meaning, that is only because of the Divine giving of meaning. Nothing exists in itself. Nothing exists "apo-state" or separate from the Divine giving of meaning, everything exists in and through the Divine noesis. (Herman Dooyeweerd, Feb 1923 "Advies over Roomsch-katholieke en Anti-revolutionaire Staatkunde", Trans. J Glenn Friesen)
The totality of meaning of our whole temporal cosmos is to be found in Christ, with respect to His human nature, as the root of the reborn human race. In Him the heart, out of which are the issues of life [Proverbs 4:23], confesses the sovereignty of God, the Creator, over everything created...
Sin is the revolt against the Sovereign of our cosmos. It is the apostasy from the fullness of meaning and the deifying, the absolutizing, of meaning, to the level of God's Being. Our temporal world, in its diversity and coherence of meaning, is in the order of God's creation bound to the religious root of mankind. Apart from this root it has no meaning and so no reality. Hence the apostasy in the heart, in the religious root of the temporal world, signified the apostasy of the entire temporal creation, which was concentrated in mankind....
Our thesis...is founded in the Divine Revelation concerning the creation of man in the image of God. Since God has created the 'earthly' world in a concentric relation to the religious root of human existence, there cannot exist an 'earthly' 'world in itself' apart from the structural horizon of human experience. (Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, I, 99, 100, and II, 549)
Certainly the purposes of God transcend Man. Therefore Man's call is to eschew autonomy and humbly bow the knee to the transcendent God rather than to the mirage of a "Nature in itself". In His Light we see light. God gives the light of meaning to the Sun and Moon (they are dark without Him), and to Man (who is dark without Him). "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." Dooyeweerd says -
In the Biblical attitude of naïve experience the transcendent, religious dimension of its horizon is opened. The light of eternity radiates perspectively through all the temporal dimensions of this horizon and even illuminates seemingly trivial things and events in our sinful world...
It would be an illusion to suppose that a true Christian always displays this Biblical attitude in his pre-theoretical experience. Far from it. Because he is not exempt from the solidarity of the fall into sin, every Christian knows the emptiness of an experience of the temporal world which seems to be shut up in itself. He knows the impersonal attitude of a 'Man' in the routine of common life, and the dread of nothingness, the meaningless, if he tries to find himself again in a so-called existential isolation. He is acquainted with all this from personal experience, though he does not understand the philosophical analysis of this state of spiritual uprooting in Humanistic existentialism.
But the Christian whose heart is opened to the Divine Word-revelation knows that in this apostate experiential attitude he does not experience temporal things and events as they really are. i.e. as meaning pointing beyond and above itself to the true religious centre of meaning and to the true Origin.” (Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought, III, p29)
Great reply Fearghas but I sent the wrong quote!! I meant JOB 38:26-27! The difficulty is that word “reality” : Dooyeweerd says the creation has “no reality” without man? Is there not a latent humanism lurking in such an idea? And does the Job quote not demonstrate that in some sense there are aspects of the cosmos that exist out-with the purposes of man: and that these are real? Alan
So your intended verses were:
26 A thoirt air frasadh air an talamh far nach eil duine; air an fhàsach gun duine ann; 27 A shàsachadh an fhàsaich agus an dìthreibh, agus a thoirt air cinneas an luis mhaoith fàs suas?
26 To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one, A wilderness in which there is no man; 27 To satisfy the desolate waste, And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass? (JOB 38:26, 27 NKJ)
Let us be clear that Dooyeweerd does not trace reality to Man (and certainly not to the individual human) as source, but to God the Origin Who has focussed temporal reality in the human heart, which in turn (it is crucial to note) has no meaning in itself but only in God. Dooyeweerd phrases this in Latin:
Inquietum est cor nostrum et mundus in corde nostro! (New Critique Vol I p 11)
Which I think would translate as "Restless is our heart and the world/universe in our heart!" Of course the whole Job scenario (whereby God catalogues natural realities) impresses upon Job bochd how vastly beyond his ken are God's creation and providence. Thus Job is called upon to realize that no rationalistic answers to his quandary are forthcoming. Actuality transcends theory. His raw heart-dependency on the Creator is laid bare. Dooyeweerd elaborates:
Philosophic thought as such derives its actuality from the ego. The latter restlessly seeks its origin in order to understand its own meaning, and in its own meaning the meaning of our entire cosmos!
It is this tendency towards the origin which discloses the fact, that our ego is subjected to a central law. This law derives its fulness of meaning from the origin of all things and limits and determines the centre and root of our existence. (New Critique Vol I p 11)
The Archimedean point ... may not be divorced from the concentric law of the ego's existence. Without this law the subject drops away into chaos, or rather into nothingness. Only by this law is the ego determined and limited. (New Critique Vol I p 12)
Hence, the mode of being of the ego itself is of a religious character and it is nothing in itself. Veritable religion is absolute self-surrender. The apostate man who supposes, that his selfhood is something in itself, loses himself in the surrender to idols, in the absolutizing of the relative...
We have established the necessary religious nature of the starting-point and have learned of the intrinsically ex-sistent character of the selfhood. Therefore, we can no longer seek the true point of departure of philosophic thought in the individual ego alone. We observed in our Introduction that the I-ness must share in the Archimedean point, but that in this latter must be concentrated the total meaning of the temporal cosmos. The ego, however, is merely the concentration-point of our individual existence, not of the entire temporal cosmos. Moreover, philosophy is as little as science in the narrower sense merely a matter of the individual. It can be cultivated only in a community. This, too, points to the necessity of a supra-individual point of departure.
Critical self-reflection in theoretical thought is, to be sure, the necessary way to the discovery of the starting-point of philosophy. It is indeed the individual ego which gives to its thought the concentric direction. However, true self-knowledge discovers the ex-sistent character of the selfhood also in the fact that the ego is centrally bound with other egos in a religious community. The central and radical unity of our existence is at the same time individual and supra-individual; that is to say, in the individual I-ness it points beyond the individual ego toward that which makes the whole of mankind spiritually one in root in its creation, fall and redemption.
According to our Christian faith, all humanity is spiritually included in Adam. In him the whole human race has fallen, and in mankind also the entire temporal cosmos, which was concentrated in it. In Jesus Christ, the entire new humanity is one in root, as the members of one body.
Our I-ness is, in other words, rooted in the spiritual community of mankind. It is no self-sufficient "substance", no "windowless monad", but it lives in the spiritual community of the we, which is directed to a Divine Thou, according to the original meaning of creation. (New Critique Vol I p 58-60)
Thus we must not lose sight of the crucial fact that for Dooyeweerd the whole relation of reality to humanity is founded in Christ as the True Man: -
The totality of meaning of our whole temporal cosmos is to be found in Christ, with respect to His human nature, as the root of the reborn human race. In Him the heart, out of which are the issues of life, confesses the Sovereignty of God, the Creator, over everything created. In Christ the heart bows under the lex (in its central religious unity and its temporal diversity, which originates in the Creator's holy will), as the universal boundary (which cannot be transgressed) between the Being of God and the meaning of His creation. The transcendent totality of meaning of our cosmos exists only in the religious relation of dependence upon the absolute Being of God. It is thus no eidos in the sense of the speculative Platonic metaphysics, no being set by itself, but it remains in the ex-sistential mode of meaning which points beyond itself and is not sufficient to itself.
Sin is the revolt against the Sovereign of our cosmos. It is the apostasy from the fulness of meaning and the deifying, the absolutizing of meaning, to the level of God's Being. Our temporal world, in its temporal diversity and coherence of meaning, is in the order of God's creation bound to the religious root of mankind. Apart from this root it has no meaning and so no reality. Hence the apostasy in the heart, in the religious root of the temporal world signified the apostasy of the entire temporal creation, which was
concentrated in mankind. (Herman Dooyeweerd, New Critique of Theoretical Thought Vol I p 99, 100)