Herman Bavinck – The Incarnation

19 Dec

The incarnation of God is the central fact in special revelation, the fact that sheds light upon its whole domain. Already in creation God made himself like human beings when he created them in his image. But in re-creation he became human and entered totally into our nature and situation. In a sense God’s becoming human starts already immediately after the fall, inasmuch in his special revelation God reached back deeply into the life of the creation, linked up with the work of his own providence, and so ordered and led persons, situations, and events, indeed the entire history of a people, that he gradually came close to the human race and become ever more clearly knowable to it. But it reaches its culmination only in the person of Christ, who therefore constitutes the central content of the whole of special revelation. He is the Logos who made and sustains all things (John 1:3; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3) and may be considered the angel of YHWH who led Israel (Exod. 14:19; 23:20; 32:34; 33:2; Isa. 63:8,9), and the content of prophecy (John 5:39; 1 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 19:10); and in the fullness of time he became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Thus Christ is the mediator both of creation and re-creation. “It was his part and his alone, whose ordering of the universe reveals the Father, to renew the same teaching.” In creation and in providence (John 1:3-10), and in the leading of Israel (John 1:11), he prepared his own coming in the flesh. Special revelation in the days of the Old Testament is the history of the coming Christ. Theophany, prophecy, and miracle point toward him and reach their fulfillment in him. He is the manifestation, the word, and the servant of God. He shows us the Father, explains to us his name, and does his work. The incarnation of God is the end of Israel’s history and the center of all human history. “Up until now, and from that point on, history proceeds on its course” (Joh. von Muller). The incarnation is the central miracle: “It is the wonder of all wonders when the divine enters into direct contact with the human.”

~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 344.

Books by Herman Bavinck

Kindle Books

Biography of Herman Bavinck

More Bavinck Quotes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: