Bavinck Contra Biblicism

Good stuff from Brandon Wilkins, a WSC grad, working through Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics. You can read more about biblicism in RRC.

Update 12 Mar 2010

Brandon defends his reading of Bavinck.

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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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6 comments

  1. Great stuff. I’m currently working my way through Vol. 1 as well. After reading RRC, I was amazed to see how important this distinction is for Bavinck and his epistemology. Came across this yesterday…

    “The relation of God’s own self-knowledge to our knowledge of God used to be expressed by saying that the former was archetypal of the latter and the latter ectypal of the former. Our knowledge of God is the imprint of the knowledge God has of himself but always on a creaturely level and in a creaturely way. The knowledge of God present in his creatures is only a weak likeness, a finite, limited sketch of the absolute self-consciousness of God accommodated to the capacities of the human or creaturely consciousness. But however great the distance is, the source (principium essendi) of our knowledge of God is solely God himself, the God who reveals himself freely, self-conciously, and genuinely.”

    The more I read the Reformed scholastics, the more I’m impressed by how important this distinction is to them.

    Anyway, it’s good to see other guys reading through Bavinck.

  2. Can opposing views be posted? (Think of it as raw meat being thrown before pit bulls. Tear into it, lads!) ~

    “If the human words of Scripture are not also God’s own divine words, then the Bible is a merely human book. If the truths revealed in Scripture are not what God really thinks, then we have no knowledge of God whatsoever, which is, of course, exactly what Herman Bavinck teaches in his systematic theology. If man does not and cannot know what God knows, if there is and can be no identity of content between God’s knowledge and man’s, then man can know nothing, and we are all lost. On Van Til’s view, Christianity must be a cruel hoax, for it claims to be a revelation of divine truth in human words.” [from _Can the Orthodox Presbyterian Church be Saved?_ by John Robbins]

    Keepin’ it real,
    Hugh
    😉

  3. HB ~ “Our knowledge of God is the imprint of the knowledge God has of himself but always on a creaturely level and in a creaturely way.
    OF course. We’re all on board here.

    “The knowledge of God present in his creatures is only a weak likeness, a finite, limited sketch of the absolute self-consciousness of God accommodated to the capacities of the human or creaturely consciousness.
    HERE’S where it gets sticky for some of us — how we interpret passages like this!

    “But however great the distance is, the source (principium essendi) of our knowledge of God is solely God himself, the God who reveals himself freely, self-conciously, and genuinely.”
    AMEN, Herman!

    I add “genuinely” to my list of classical Reformed traditionalists’ descriptions of of the analogical ectype. (Incl. “true & accurate” [Berkhof] and “content” [D.Ashton].)

    Blessed to truly, accurately, and genuinely know the Archetype revealed in His Son,
    Hugh

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