Why did Dooyeweerd want to tear out his hair?
Dr. J. Glenn Friesen © 2006
This article first appeared on Theo Plantinga's Reading Room.
For .pdf version click here.
In 2005, I wrote the article “Dooyeweerd versus Vollenhoven: The religious dialectic in reformational philosophy.”  In November of that year, I also gave a talk at Redeemer University College, Ancaster Ontario, in which I commented on the uneasy relationship between Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven. In response to the discussion following that talk, the people at Redeemer decided to explore some of the implications of what I had said. The result was a mini-conference held in April of 2006 at Redeemer University College. The conference was entitled “Dooyeweerd or Vollenhoven: Does it make a difference?” I did not attend the mini-conference, but I sent a note that summarized some of the differences between the two philosophers. I emphasized Dooyeweerd’s idea of the supratemporal heart, which he regarded as one of the key ideas of his philosophy. A copy of my note, which was distributed to the conference participants, is attached as Appendix A.
One of the people invited to speak at the mini-conference was Danie Strauss. You can find his comments in “The Reading Room,” an online site maintained by Theo Plantinga . There is both a recording of what Strauss said at the conference, and a later written article that he submitted. Strauss makes no reference to my article or to most of the texts that I cited, texts in which Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven acknowledged their philosophical differences. But at the mini-conference, Strauss referred to an excerpt from a hitherto unpublished transcript of the discussion following Dooyeweerd’s January, 1964 lecture to the Association for Calvinistic Philosophy. Strauss had located this transcript on a visit to the Dooyeweerd Archives in Amsterdam. This is the same document that I had cited in my article “Dialectic,” although I had quoted from excerpts, as found in Marcel Verburg’s book, where he cites Vollenhoven’s acknowledgement of his disagreement with many of Dooyeweerd’s ideas . I had not yet seen the original transcript.
At the mini-conference, Strauss referred in particular to Dooyeweerd’s answer to a question that had been asked by Peter J. Steen (1935-84). Steen was an American theologian and man of ideas, who had studied under Cornelius van Til, and who taught for some time at Trinity Christian College when Calvin Seerveld was also teaching there. In 1970, six years after Dooyeweerd’s 1964 Lecture, Steen published his doctoral dissertation at Westminster Seminary on the topic of Dooyeweerd . In that dissertation, Steen argued against Dooyeweerd’s idea of the supratemporal heart.
Strauss maintains that the 1964 transcript indicates that Dooyeweerd said, in answer to a question by Steen, that he wanted to “tear the hair from his head” for ever having used the expression “supratemporal heart.” Strauss’s story is very dramatic. But it does not fit the facts.
A careful examination of the actual text shows that Strauss has misinterpreted Dooyeweerd’s remark. Steen’s question was a theological one; it concerned the two natures of Christ. And it was in relation to that issue that Dooyeweerd said that he had never used the expression “supratemporal heart.” I have translated both Dooyeweerd’s lecture and the discussion that followed the lecture, so you can see this for yourself . The problem with the line of thought offered to us by Strauss is, first of all, that he fails to cite the Dutch words correctly, and secondly, that he fails to interpret them within the context of the rest of the document.
Let’s look first at the historical context of Dooyeweerd’s use of the idea of the supratemporal heart. After that I will come back to the text to look more closely at the context of Dooyeweerd’s answer to Steen.
II. Historical Context
The idea of the supratemporal heart is one of Dooyeweerd’s key ideas. If he had really retracted it in this 1964 discussion, then that would indeed have been a noteworthy event. But it is clear that he did not retract the idea. On the contrary, Dooyeweerd’s 1964 lecture reaffirms the idea of the supratemporal heart, and emphasizes the importance of that idea for understanding the central operation of God’s Word, and for understanding Christ’s incarnation.
The most obvious evidence that Dooyeweerd did not retract the idea of the supratemporal heart is that Steen, who asked the question in 1964, continued to battle against the idea of the supratemporal heart in his 1970 doctoral thesis. A considerable part of that thesis is devoted to arguing against the supratemporal heart. Look at the index to the thesis. Look at the other critics of Dooyeweerd whom Steen lines up in his arguments against the supratemporal heart. If Steen believed that Dooyeweerd had really retracted the idea, he would surely have mentioned this important fact. He makes no such mention. Instead, he argues that Dooyeweerd’s philosophy needs to be changed in such a way that it does not rely on this idea.
During the 1964 lecture itself, Dooyeweerd affirms the importance of his theory of time. He acknowledges that there has been criticism of his philosophy. “The theory of time, in my opinion a very fundamental piece of the philosophy of the law-Idea, has been struck at in its foundation” (1964 lecture, pp. 15,16). But Dooyeweerd does not accept the criticism that had been directed against him on this point. In the 1964 lecture, he reaffirms the importance of the supratemporal heart, as the center of man’s existence in which he transcends the cosmic temporal order (1964 discussion, p. 4).
In the 1964 discussion, Vollenhoven also indicates that he continues to disagree with Dooyeweerd with respect to time. Vollenhoven would not have said such a thing if Dooyeweerd had retracted the idea of supratemporality. Vollenhoven had expressed already expressed his disagreement regarding supratemporality in 1953 . The previous year, Vollenhoven had given a lecture where he had continued to set out his differences with Dooyeweerd, and in that lecture, he had again disagreed with Dooyeweerd’s idea of supratemporality . Thus, if Dooyeweerd had changed his views in 1964, this would have been significant.
Furthermore, in 1968, four years after this lecture, Vollenhoven gave a lecture where he again referred explicitly to his continuing differences with Dooyeweerd, including his disagreement regarding the supratemporal heart. Vollenhoven refers this as a difference in ontology, and says that this is why Dooyeweerd had no problem with the succession of numbers in relation to the succession of time. Under the heading “Dooyeweerd’s difficulties,” Vollenhoven says,
Because of Dooyeweerd’s idea of the supratemporal heart, he viewed all functions within the aspects as temporal; numerical succession was therefore a succession in time. Vollenhoven disagreed, and viewed numerical succession not as a succession in time, but as an order of magnitude . And later in this same 1968 lecture, Vollenhoven criticizes Dooyeweerd’s view of the supratemporal heart as dualistic:
If Dooyeweerd had really rejected the idea of supratemporality in 1964, as Strauss maintains, there would be no need in 1968 for Vollenhoven to continue battling against Dooyeweerd’s idea of the supratemporal heart. In any event, what is important to realize is that both Vollenhoven and Steen continued to fight against Dooyeweerd’s idea of the supratemporal heart.
Strauss refers to Dooyeweerd’s 1960 discussion with Van Peursen, where Dooyeweerd said that the term ‘supratemporal’ could be replaced by another term (Strauss, p. 4). But that does not mean that Dooyeweerd wanted to do away with the distinction between what is temporal, on the one hand, and the center of our existence that transcends time, on the other hand. On the contrary, Dooyeweerd continued to emphasize the distinction. Even when he did not use the term ‘supratemporal,’ Dooyeweerd was using the same idea, when he spoke about man transcending time.
In any event, Dooyeweerd did continue to use the word ‘supratemporal’ after his discussion with Van Peursen. For example, he used it in In the Twilight of Western Thought . Dooyeweerd personally reviewed the first edition of the book and made corrections in 1964, as confirmed by a letter following the January lecture that we are discussing . In the new edition of Twilight, we find the term ‘supratemporal’ still being used in relation to man’s heart. 
And in 1975, in the last article he ever wrote, Dooyeweerd affirmed the importance of our transcendence of time yet again . He refers to his view that human existence, “although it is enclosed by cosmic time in its modal aspects and individuality structures, nevertheless transcends this time in its religious center” (pp. 83-84). And he says that without this idea of the religious root, we cannot understand the mutual irreducibility and unbreakable reciprocal meaning-coherence of the modal aspects, because these ideas are “not to be separated from the transcendental idea of the root-unity of the modal aspects in the religious center of human existence” (p. 100). Strauss must be familiar with this text, since Dooyeweerd’s last article was directed against him.
The idea of the supratemporal heart is one of Dooyeweerd’s key ideas. The first edition of Dooyeweerd’s magnum opus, entitled De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, begins with this idea. On the first page of the Foreword (the very first part of the book), Dooyeweerd informs us about his discovery of the central significance of the heart, the religious root of the whole of human existence . Dooyeweerd says that it is the “root of all temporal reality.”  As such, the heart, as religious root, transcends time; later in the text he refers to it as supratemporal . In the English translation, entitled A New Critique of Theoretical Thought (which is also a revised, second edition), Dooyeweerd says,
And Dooyeweerd then gives a long footnote, in which he specifically refers to this religious centre of human existence as supratemporal. In this footnote he takes the trouble to specifically reject the views of those people who regard the heart as merely pre-functional, and who deny supratemporality:
The next few pages continue this discussion of supratemporality, and Dooyeweerd says that he cannot agree with the tendency of some theologians who reject “the supra-temporal central sphere of human existence” (NC I, 33). He tells us that the heart is “the religious root and centre of the whole of human existence” and that it “transcends the boundary of cosmic time with its temporal diversity of modal aspects […] For it is the fullness of our selfhood in which all our temporal functions find their religious concentration and consummation of meaning” (NC I, 506).
At the end of both the original Dutch edition, as well as the English translation, Dooyeweerd indicates that this idea of the supratemporal heart is in fact the basis of his whole philosophy, and he links what he said at the beginning of the work to what he says at the end. At the end of Volume III of De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee (p. 627), Dooyeweerd refers to man’s place in the cosmos as really the basic theme [grondthema] of his philosophy, and he says that his whole theory of the law-spheres and of individuality structures is continually set against the background of this central theme.
In A New Critique of Theoretical Thought (p. 783), Dooyeweerd refers to his “thesis that the central question: Who is man? means both the beginning and the end of philosophical reflection.” It is important to look in more detail at what he says at the end of A New Critique:
Thus, this final page of A New Critique (remember, this is Dooyeweerd’s magnum opus) affirms the supratemporal heart as the central sphere of human existence in which we transcend the temporal horizon, and in which the entire temporal world is included. Note that Dooyeweerd also says that this is “the only possible starting-point of a Christian philosophy.” Dooyeweerd had stressed the same point in 1931: “This is the principal point of departure for any truly Christian view of temporal society.” And on this last page of A New Critique, Dooyeweerd repeats what he said at NC I, 31, fn 1: the heart is not merely the center of our temporal functions (as Vollenhoven had proposed in his idea of the merely pre-functional heart). Dooyeweerd says that whoever holds to such a view has “an all-too simple and erroneous idea of what we understand by “anthropology.””
At NC III, 781 (the fourth last page of the work), Dooyeweerd says that he plans to write more about the topic of philosophical anthropology in a separate work. That work was volume III of his planned new trilogy, Reformation and Scholasticism.
In the 1964 lecture, Dooyeweerd says (1964 lecture pp. 9-10) that he had no further interest in publishing Volume II of this proposed new trilogy, since recent developments in Roman Catholic theology had made publishing that work pointless. But Dooyeweerd says that he does still want to publish Volume III (the volume on philosophical anthropology), if he is given the strength (1964 discussion, p. 1).
Dooyeweerd did not publish Volume III, but he did draft a lot of material that was intended for the book. That material has been thoroughly investigated by W.J. Ouweneel, who has incorporated many excerpts from it in his doctoral thesis, De Leer van de Mens. An extract from this thesis was published in English in Philosophia Reformata, where Ouweneel says,
As Ouweneel points out, Dooyeweerd’s whole transcendental critique depends on this Idea of the supratemporal heart. I agree with that, since the three transcendental Ideas of Dooyeweerd’s transcendental critique depend on distinguishing eternity, supratemporality and cosmic time. The question of the Origin refers to God’s eternity; the question of Totality refers to the supratemporal selfhood and religious root in the aevum or created eternity; the question of coherence relates to cosmic time. Those who deny the supratemporal selfhood, and who start from some other basis for Totality have fallen back into what Dooyeweerd calls “immanence philosophy.”
III. Textual Context
So if the idea of the supratemporal heart was and remained so important for Dooyeweerd, how are we to interpret his discussion with Peter Steen? Let’s examine the transcript in detail.
The full paragraph of Dooyeweerd’s Response should be as follows (I have placed in bold font those parts either neglected or misstated by Strauss).
Please note that the last two sentences in English, beginning with the words “Translated in English…” are Dooyeweerd’s own words and not my translation of something he said in Dutch. Dooyeweerd was responding to Steen, who asked his question in English. As we shall see, Steen’s question is not itself recorded in the transcript. But the discussion was partly in English and partly in Dutch. In connection with Dooyeweerd’s own rather halting use of English, it must be remembered that it was not his first language, and probably not even his second or third language. German would surely have been his second language.
According to Strauss’s summary of this discussion (Strauss, p. 4), Dooyeweerd says in this transcript that sometimes he can “tear the hair from his head” that he ever used the expression “supra-temporal.” But this summary is not accurate. Dooyeweerd does not regret having used certain words. He denies that he used the words that Steen attributes to him.
The correct translation should be:
There are two issues here that can easily get mixed up with one another. One is whether Dooyeweerd ever used a certain expression at all. And the second is whether he ever spoke of ‘supratemporal heart’ in a certain way or context.
The correct translation shows that what caused Dooyeweerd to want to tear his hair out was the attribution of words to him that he never said. Dooyeweerd denies using the phrase that Steen attributes to him, and that is very different from regretting that he used a certain expression. As for the expression ‘supratemporal heart,’ Dooyeweerd denies ever using those words “in that way.” More specifically, Dooyeweerd denies using them in the theological context of Steen’s question, which was a theological question concerning the two natures of Christ.
Thus, the context of Steen’s question is most important if we are to understand Dooyeweerd’s response. In what way did Steen use the word ‘supratemporal heart’? What were the words that Steen improperly attributed to Dooyeweerd? Strauss says that Steen’s question was “in connection with the idea of supra-temporality.” But Strauss doesn’t quote Steen’s question. Why not? Because the question is not included in the transcript! Steen was too far from the microphone for his words to be recorded. The transcript reads:
The transcript gives nothing further for Steen’s question. So there is nothing in the transcript that would indicate that Steen’s question is related to Dooyeweerd’s use of the term ‘supratemporal heart’ per se. What Dooyeweerd denies ever saying, and what makes him want to tear out his hair, is some other expression that Steen has attributed to him, and which the transcript does not record.
So what was Steen’s question? It happens that there is another source that sheds light on the matter, a source not consulted by Strauss. The Vollenhoven scholar K.A. Bril attended the lecture. It was Bril’s practice to take notes at all meetings of the Association that he attended, and his notes distinguish between the question asked and the response given. I visited Dr. Bril recently in the Netherlands and discussed this matter with him in person. He shared his notes with me, and I have included these notes in my translation. In this case, his notes record that Steen’s question included: <The Word became flesh. As it was in the beginning by God. Transcends time and took place within time. > 
So Steen, who says his question is theological, evidently asked something about how Christ’s incarnation related to transcending time and to taking place in time. In the lecture preceding the discussion, Dooyeweerd had spoken both of man’s central heart and of the Word becoming flesh. But Steen seems to have related these two issues in a way that caused Dooyeweerd to react in the way he did. Steen specifically identified himself as a theologian. And his later dissertation on Dooyeweerd was written in a theological setting at Westminster Seminary. From Steen’s later writings, it is apparent that he regarded the supratemporal/temporal distinction as confusing the distinction between Creator and creature. 
Dooyeweerd denies that he uses the words that Steen attributes to him. And Dooyeweerd goes on to say that the expression ‘supratemporal heart’ [which he did use] was never used in that way. In his answer to Steen, Dooyeweerd continues to use the term, and defines it in a way that shows he uses it for man and not for Christ. Dooyeweerd says, “I have certainly said that in the center of his existence, man transcends the temporal, the cosmic temporal order. That is now something else.” Something else than what? Not something other than the supratemporal heart, for if you look at Dooyeweerd’s lecture, which came before this discussion with Steen, Dooyeweerd identifies the heart as the center of man’s existence. There is no difference between the supratemporal heart and the center of man’s existence, so Strauss’s interpretation cannot be correct. Dooyeweerd refers to Kuyper’s idea, which was so important for Dooyeweerd’s own philosophy:
And in the lecture, Dooyeweerd contrasts this Biblical view of the heart with the Greek view:
And again on pages 13-14 of the lecture, Dooyeweerd affirms the importance of the heart that transcends time in a central way, as distinct from our bodily existence:
Dooyeweerd thus contrasts our heart as the religious center of our existence, with the temporal world. This is also the way that Dooyeweerd had previously referred to the supratemporal heart–man’s heart is where he transcends the cosmic temporal order. The aevum, or created eternity, is set in man’s heart, while his body (or “mantle of functions”) is within time . And this reading of the situation also corresponds with the lengthy passages from A New Critique of Theoretical Thought that I have already cited.
Dooyeweerd emphasizes that man’s supratemporal heart refers to the way in which man transcends the temporal order. The way that man transcends time is something different from the way that Christ, the Word made flesh, transcends time. Dooyeweerd says, in answer to Steen, “That is now something else.” Surely the distinction is between Christ’s eternity and man’s supratemporality. Both eternity and supratemporality transcend time, but eternity also transcends the supratemporal aevum. Dooyeweerd again emphasizes the difference between man’s supratemporal heart and Christ’s transcending time: “in the sense of his world, with this world of this man, you see?” The heart is man’s center, not Christ’s.
Steen’s question therefore relates to the two natures of Christ, and how Christ became temporal. Perhaps Steen had read J.M. Spier’s 1953 book in which Spier argued against supratemporality by relating the issue to Christ’s two natures. Another reason that Steen’s question may have upset Dooyeweerd is that the doctrine of Christ’s two natures was one of the issues raised by the Curators of the Free University in their lengthy investigation of Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven . The Curators even made Vollenhoven write an article on the idea of “anhypostatos” as a kind of homework to be done regarding the nature of Christ. Valentijn Hepp had asserted that Christ had only an impersonal nature, and the Curators wanted Vollenhoven to agree with that view. He did not agree, but he wrote the article in 1940, about 4 years after the investigation began. 
In any event, coming back to the transcript, the page immediately following Steen’s question confirms the analysis offered above; it shows that Steen’s question was a theological one, and that it related to the nature of Christ and the Word becoming flesh. Strauss doesn’t mention this page, which provides a fuller context for Dooyeweerd’s answer to Steen. According to the transcript, Dooyeweerd said:
Dooyeweerd’s extended answer confirms the distinction between man’s supratemporal existence and his simultaneous temporal existence. Dooyeweerd contrasts man’s bodily, temporal existence with the direction of his heart to the things that transcend time. He says that the distinction is necessary in order to understand the incarnation of the Word. But Dooyeweerd’s answer makes it clear that man’s supratemporal heart is something different from the incarnation of the Word. He says that the incarnation was an event that both transcends time and takes place in time. And it is something that he says “simultaneously reaches into the central sphere of our life as well as the temporal sphere of our bodily existence.” So Dooyeweerd again affirms the importance of the distinction. On the one hand, there is that which is central or supratemporal in man, and on the other hand, there is that which is bodily or temporal. He says that the distinction is necessary to understand Christ’s incarnation, but it is not the same as the incarnation. That is the point of the whole discussion. And it is also something that Dooyeweerd had earlier raised in his lecture (See 1964 lecture, p. 8).
In the lecture, Dooyeweerd had also said that the distinction is necessary in order to understand the central working of the Word of God in our lives, for “Holy Scripture also has a center, a religious center and a periphery, which belong to each other in an unbreakable way” (1964 lecture, p. 14). True knowledge of God and true knowledge of self are also obtained by the central working of God’s Word in our heart:
Strauss’s statement that the discussion with Steen shows that Dooyeweerd relativizes the distinction between temporal and supratemporal (Strauss, p. 5) and between creational diversity and the central religious dimension (Strauss, p. 23) is therefore not at all supported by the text. In the lecture as a whole, and in the full context of his answer to Steen, Dooyeweerd affirms the importance of these distinctions. The distinctions are necessary to understand the incarnation as well as the central working of God’s Word in the center of our existence, the heart.
The conclusion I cannot escape is that Strauss is simply mistaken in supposing that this verbal exchange with Peter Steen indicates that Dooyeweerd had changed his mind on this key point in his philosophy, and that this January 2, 1964 lecture and discussion somehow relativizes Dooyeweerd’s distinction between supratemporal and temporal (Strauss, pp. 5 and 23). On the contrary, the lecture affirms the distinction. Two conclusions can be drawn from Strauss’s apparent error. First, it is important to read historical sources in their context. Secondly, confusion is easily created when elements from classical Reformed theology are inserted into philosophical discussions in such a way as to suggest that philosophy and theology form a single universe of discourse. For Dooyeweerd they do not. For Dooyeweerd, theological issues are always dependent on philosophical assumptions. And for Dooyeweerd, one of those key philosophical ideas is the idea of the supratemporal heart.
What is required is a thorough and conscientious reading of Dooyeweerd’s texts, and a respect for the integrity of his work, in order to interpret his ideas as a whole. For it was the attribution to Dooyeweerd of terms that he did not use, it was the failure to listen to him and to actually read what he had written, that made him want to tear out his hair.
From: J. Glenn Friesen
Thank you for advising me of the April 7 conference, “Dooyeweerd or Vollenhoven: Does it make a difference?” I regret that I will not be able to attend, although I am certainly very interested in the implications of the acknowledged differences between the two philosophers.
A key difference is Dooyeweerd’s idea of the supratemporal heart, participating in the restored religious root. This is not an optional add-on to Dooyeweerd’s philosophy, but rather its very center. As he explained to the Curators of the VU, it gives us hope for continued existence after bodily death. But he also told the Curators that the supratemporal heart is not only a future reality; he emphasized that even now we really transcend time (see also 1940 article on time). He rejected Vollenhoven’s views of a merely pre-functional heart in time (NC I, 31, fn1). The transcending of time is what allows us to form theoretical Ideas of that which transcends theoretical thought (1967 Encyclopedia). It also explains the Gegenstand-relation, which is the entry of our supratemporal heart into its temporal functions (1946 and 1963 Encyclopedia). It is also the foundation for the irreducibility of the aspects (last article, 1975). And it is the “key of knowledge” for understanding the Christian Ground-motive of creation, fall and redemption (Twilight, 124, 125, 145). We are limited by time, but not to time (NC II, 561). When the transcendent dimension is opened, the light of eternity breaks through, illuminating even the most trivial parts of temporal reality (NC III, 29). Our transcendence of time is also what allows us to ascend the temporal aspects, “from anticipatory sphere to anticipatory sphere” until our thought finds rest in its religious root (NC II, 284). This makes our theoretical thought itself an act of religious worship and adoration, a kind of ladder of contemplation that ends in apophatic wonder. I hope that the participants in your conference will emphasize the joyous experiential nature of Dooyeweerd’s philosophy.
I understand that you will be recording the conference, and I would appreciate receiving a copy of that recording when it becomes available.
 J. Glenn Friesen: “Dooyeweerd versus Vollenhoven: The religious dialectic within reformational philosophy,” Philosophia Reformata 70 (2005) 102-132, online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Dialectic.html][‘Dialectic’].
 Theo Plantinga, “The Reading Room,” online at [http://www.redeemer.on.ca/ ~tplant/rr/index.html]. The article by Strauss is entitled “Appropriating the legacy of Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven,” [‘Strauss’], and is available from The Reading Room.
 Herman Dooyeweerd: “Center and Periphery: The Philosophy of the Law-Idea in a changing world,” January 2, 1964 Lecture to the Association for Calvinistic Philosophy, online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/1964Lecture.html].
 D.H.Th. Vollenhoven: “Divergentierapport I,” (1953), in A. Tol and K.A. Bril: Vollenhoven als Wijsgeer (Amsterdam: Buijten & Schipperheijn, 1992) [‘Wijsgeer], 107-117, at 116 [‘Divergentierapport’]. The Dutch version is made available online by the Association for Reformational Philosophy [http://home.wxs.nl/~srw/nwe/vollenhoven/52ms.htm]. My translation is at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Divergentierapport.html].
 The following quotation is from D.H. Th. Vollenhoven: “Problemen rondom de tijd” (“The problems around time”), a lecture given by Vollenhoven at the beginning of 1963 [‘Problemen’], in Wijsgeer, 199-211, at 187. Translation online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Problemen.html]. The words in square brackets are in the editors’ original Dutch text, based on their best reconstruction of the text.
 D.H. Th. Vollenhoven: “Problemen van de tijd in onze kring” (“Problems about time in our circle”), a lecture given by Vollenhoven in 1968 [‘Kring’], in Wijsgeer, 199-211, at 187; see also 184-85. Translation online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Tijd.html], at 203-204.
 I believe that Dooyeweerd’s answer is that the idea of extensive magnitude is a spatial anticipation (NC II, 170), and that the notion of order in the sense of a succession of magnitudes is still an order of time (NC I, 32 fn1). In “Dialectic,” I discuss some of the problems that result from Vollenhoven’s view of number. If numerical succession does not occur in time, then is it a non-temporal order, as Vollenhoven says in Divergentierapport 115? How then does he avoid the a priori view of mathematics as found in rationalism?
 Dooyeweerd, Herman: In the Twilight of Western Thought. Studies in the Pretended Autonomy of Theoretical Thought, (Nutley, N.J.: The Craig Press, 1968, first published 1961) [‘Twilight’]. On p. 7, Dooyeweerd refers to the central unity of the human selfhood, which is the supra-temporal, central unity and fullness of meaning:
And see p. 186 of Twilight, where Dooyeweerd refers to our heart as the spiritual root of all temporal manifestations of our life. The key to this true self knowledge is only given by the Christian Ground-motive, which itself cannot be understood without God Himself working in our heart:
 See my discussion of the importance of ‘supratemporal heart’ in Twilight in Appendix D of my article “Imagination, Image of God and Wisdom of God: Theosophical Themes in Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy,” (2006), online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Imagination.html].
 Herman Dooyeweerd: “De Kentheoretische Gegenstandsrelatie en de Logische Subject-Objectrelatie,” Philosophia Reformata 40 (1975) 83-101 [‘Gegenstandsrelatie’]. Translation and discussion online: [http://www.members.shaw.ca/jgfriesen/Mainheadings/Kentheoretische.html].
 WdW I, vi: “de wortel van heel de tijdelijke werkelijkheid.” NC I, vi “the root of all temporal reality.” Dooyeweerd makes it clear that those who do not accept this view are rooted in “the immanence standpoint,” or immanence philosophy.
 See for example WdW I, 57 where he raises the central basic question [‘grondvraag’; Cf. NC I, 101: the second transcendental question] of the supratemporal unity-totality (boventijdelijke eenheid-totaliteit) for both law and subject. At WdW I, 66, he refers to the “meaning-totality of the law” as the “supratemporal unity above all meaning-diversity” [‘boven-tijdelijke eenheid boven alle zin-verscheidenheid’]. And on the subject-side of this supratemporal unity, the meaning-totality of the cosmos is the religious root of the human race, now reborn in Christ. Or, as he said a few pages earlier, “the time-transcending root of our individual personality, in our reborn selfhood” (WdW I, 64). And at WdW II, 51, Dooyeweerd speaks of man as “the supratemporal creaturely root of creation” [boven-tijdelijken creatuurlijken wortel der schepping]. And at WdW II, 407, he speaks of our time-transcending I-ness or selfhood [ikheid, zelf-heid], as the basis for our act of theoretical synthesis.
 See Herman Dooyeweerd: De Crisis in de Humanistische Staatsleer (Amsterdam: Ten Have, 1931), where Dooyeweerd says that the supratemporal selfhood must be the point of departure for any truly Christian view of society:
And this is also what Dooyeweerd said to the Curators of the Free University in 1937:
 Note from K.A. Bril’s notes of Association meetings that he attended, with respect to Steen’s question: “Steen: leerling van van Til: Het woord is vlees geworden. Zoals het was in den beginne bij God. Gaat de tijd te boven en heeft in de tijd plaats gehad.”
 Steen may have been influenced by J.M. Spier, who had previously argued against the idea of supratemporality by relating it to the issue of Christ’s nature. Spier also rejected Dooyeweerd’s idea of the aevum, which distinguishes man’s supratemporality (as a created eternity) from God’s uncreated eternity. See J.M. Spier: Tijd en Eeuwigheid, (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1953), 151, 163. In 1962, Okke Jager wrote Het eeuwige leven, met name in verband met tijd en eeuwigheid (Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1962). Steen wrote a review of Jager’s book later in 1964 (thus, after this discussion with Dooyeweerd). See Westminster Theological Journal (November 1964), pp. 61-65. In that review, Steen agrees with Jager that Dooyeweerd’s view of time and eternity is faulty, in that it “eternalizes” God’s acts to outside of time, and that it brings with it the danger of confusing Creator and creature. But it is evident that Dooyeweerd had not changed his views in response to Steen’s 1964 question. For in his 1970 dissertation, Steen continued to battle Dooyeweerd’s idea of supratemporality. See Peter J. Steen: The Structure of Herman Dooyeweerd’s Thought (Toronto: Wedge, 1983), where there are many references to the issue. In that thesis, Steen cites both Spier and Jager in his arguments against supratemporality. But Steen does acknowledge at p. 149 that G.C. Berkouwer had defended Dooyeweerd against Spier’s view that supratemporality involved some sort of super-creatureliness. G.C. Berkouwer: Man: The Image of God (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962).
 Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven: “Responses to the Curators,” online at [http://www.members.shaw.ca/hermandooyeweerd/Curators.html].
 See D.H. Th. Vollenhoven: “Anhypostatos?” online at [http://www.aspecten.org/vollenhoven/40a.htm].
 The reference is probably to 2 Corinthians 4:18: “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
See also Romans 1:20: “For the invisible things
of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood
by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so
that they are without excuse.”