Herman Bavinck – In Defense of Theology

31 Dec

After all, if revelation consisted only in the communication of life and religion, only in emotional states, there would be no room for real theology. But revelation is systematic disclosure of the words and deeds of God; it encompasses a world of thoughts and has its center in the incarnation of the Logos. And religion is not feeling and sensation alone but also belief, living for and serving of God with both heart and head. And that revelation of God can therefore be intellectually penetrated in order that it may all the better enter into the human consciousness. In that connection one cannot even take it ill of theology if it aims at clarity in thought, at making lucid distinctions and at precision in articulation. Such precision is pursued and valued in all the sciences; it is equally appropriate in theology. The danger of its degenerating into hairsplitting exists equally in other sciences, say, in jurisprudence and the study of literature. But no one would for that reason deny to these other sciences the right to exist. Also theology has its periods of florescence and decay. But it is misguided to condemn theology itself on account of the bad use that has been made of it. The abuse of it does not cancel out the use of it (Abusus non tollit usum).

~Herman Bavinck~

Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 605.

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