Herman Bavinck – Without It There is No Comfort in Life or Death

16 Feb

A historical, i.e., a human and fallible authority is not sufficient. Because religion pertains to our salvation and is related to our eternal interests, we can be satisfied with nothing less than divine authority. We must not only know that Scripture is the historical record of our knowledge of Christianity and that it most accurately contains and reproduces the original Christian ideas, but in religion we must know that Scripture is the word and truth of God. Without this certainty there is [for us] no comfort either in life or death. And not only does every Christian need this assurance, but the church itself as institution cannot dispense with this certainty either. For if a minister is not convinced of the divine truth of the word he preaches, his preaching loses all authority, influence, and power. If he is not able to bring a message from God, who then gives him the right to act on behalf of people of like nature with himself? Who gives him the freedom to put himself on a pulpit [a few feet] above them, to speak to them about the highest interests of their soul and life and even to procalim to them their eternal weal or woe? Who would dare, who would be able to do this, unless he has a word of God to proclaim? Both the Christian faith and Christian preaching require divine authority as their foundation. “Faith will totter if the authority of the divine Scriptures begins to waver.”

~Herman Bavinck~


Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 461.

Find more Bavinck resources here.

Biography of Herman Bavinck

Other Bavinck Quotes

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