In short, by and large the metaphysical speculation about eternity was determined in a dominant way by the static spatial metaphysics of being since the discovery or irrational numbers by the Pythagoreans caused a switch from the thesis "everything is number" to the aspect of space (the geometrization of Greek mathematics). It is only since the rise of historicism that the last two hundred years witnessed a prominent re-emergence of the "endless duration" (successive infite) trandition. - for example exemplified in Oscar Cullmann's work "Christ and Time" (English translation 1949:48 ff.).
The expression "temporal reality" is meant in an integral sense, encompassing all modal aspects and individuality-structures. Interestingly, before Dooyeweerd developed his philosophy of time he realized that the human being cannot be enclosed within the dimensions of modal aspects and entity structures: Dooyeweerd first realized that the human self-hood is supra-modal and supra structural, then developed his theory of cosmic time underlying and embracing the modal aspects and individuality-structures - and on that basis (unfortunately) equated supra-modal with supra-temporal.
I call this unfortunate while maintaining that it could hardly be denied that humanity has an eternal destination and that being human therefore hinges on the boundary-line of time and eternity - justifying at least some sense of the time-transcending nature of the core meaning of being human. Ouweneel and Troost both argued that one should explore the latter direction and they defended Dooyeweerd against the accusation of (neo-)Platonistic or Scholastic influences.
First of all it is clear that the Bible does distinguish between time and eternity. Secondly, the issue seems to be twofold: what is the difference between a "biblical" and a "non-biblical" understanding of "eternity" and how do have to understood Dooyeweerd's idea of supertemporality.
The text above, less the headings.
An integral biblical idea of eternity has to focus the entire creational diversity upon God as the true Origin of everything (and I can recall very well that M C Smit in one of my "tentamens" emphasized that a distinctively biblical element was present in Augustine's thought in this regard because he understood that time itself is a creature). If the distinction between Creator and creation is biblically sound (and non-dualistic), why should the distinction between God-eternal and temporal creation be seen as dualistic?!
Danie Strauss, 9 April 2003. .
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