Center and Periphery:
The Philosophy of the Law-Idea
in a Changing World
in a Changing World
Lecture by Herman Dooyeweerd (1964)
Translation by Dr. J. Glenn Friesen
"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Christ became man. Jesus Christ, and lived among us. And God’s Word has spoken in our human language and in our human world and has thereby also entered our human horizon of experience. And just as man, who was created by God, with a great diversity of functions and structures with respect to his bodily existence, but with one central unity. The heart of his existence, that religious center, out of which are the issues of life, and which according to the order of creation was destined to concentrically direct all the powers that God had placed in the temporal world. These were to be directed in the service of love to God and to our neighbour as the bearer of the image of God. For our neighbour, too, is created according to the image of God.
"When you see that, then it is no longer strange that Holy Scripture also has a center, a religious center and a periphery, which belong to each other in an unbreakable way. That center is the spiritual dunamis, the spiritual driving force that proceeds from God’s Word in this central, all-inclusive motive of:
creation, revelation of the fall into sin, redemption through Jesus Christ in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
And naturally, we can also speak about creation as an article of faith, a doctrine, and that is also clear. Naturally. And one can theologize about that. Of course that can occur. It is also necessary. But when it concerns true knowledge of God and true knowledge of self, then we must say:
'There is no theology in the world and no philosophy in the world that can achieve that for man. It is the immediate fruit of the working, the central working of God’s Word itself in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, in the heart, the radix, the root unity of human existence.'”
Visit J. Glenn Friesen's