Herman Bavinck – Where Proofs For God’s Existence Fit In

1 Apr

1854-1921. Dutch Reformed Theologian and Churchman. Professor at Free University in Amsterdam.

It is important, however, to make some distinction between implanted and acquired knowledge of God. In the former God’s revelation acts upon human consciousness, creating impressions and intuitions. In the case of the acquired knowledge of God, human beings reflect upon that revelation of God and seek by reasoning and proof to rise above impressions and intuitions to clearer ideas. This is the natural human desire to explain the how and why of our knowledge. This distinction must not be restricted to so-called natural theology in opposition to revealed theology. God reveals himself to us in his handiwork of creation, but even Christian believers depend on Scripture and the illumination of the Holy Spirit to truly know God the Creator. We are indebted to Scripture for both implanted and acquired knowledge.



This insight helps us to consider aright the so-called proofs for God’s existence, neither overestimating nor disdaining them. Christian theology accepts the support given to its convictions about God by pagan philosophy but judges these proofs within the doctrine of faith, not as preambles to it. Christian conviction about what can be known about God apart from special revelation is a valid natural theology. However, when this natural theology stands on its own and in a self-sufficient and rationalistic fashion sets aside the need for special revelation, it is an invalid and impious activity.



~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 2: God and Creation John Bolt and John Vriend (Grand Rapids, MI; Baker Academic; 2004) p. 54-55.

Books by Herman Bavinck

Kindle Books

The Works of Herman Bavinck on Logos Bible Software.

Biography of Herman Bavinck

More Bavinck Quotes

3 Responses to “Herman Bavinck – Where Proofs For God’s Existence Fit In”

  1. The Master's Slave April 1, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    Reblogged this on The Diary of a Slave.

  2. lacykitkat April 1, 2014 at 5:40 am #

    Reblogged this on HE STILL SPEAKS!.

  3. mydelightandmycounsellors April 1, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

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