“Think God’s Thought After Him”

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Herman Bavinck:

“[F]rom the viewpoint of Christian orthodoxy, dogmatics is the knowledge that God has revealed in his Word to his church concerning himself and all creatures as they stand in relation to him. Though objections to this definition in the name of faith often miss the mark, it must never be forgotten that the knowledge of God, which is the true object of dogmatic theology, is only obtained by faith. God cannot be known by us apart from revelation received in faith. Dogmatics seeks nothing other than to be true to the faith-knowledge given in this revelation. Dogmatics is thus not the science of faith or of religion but the science about God. The task of the dogmatician is to think God’s thoughts after him and to trace their unity. This is a task that must be done in the confidence that God has spoken, in humble submission to the church’s teaching tradition, and for communicating the gospel’s message to the world.”

“The Science of Dogmatic Theology,” in Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 1, ed. John Bolt and trans. John Vriend (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003)

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