Monday, April 8, 2019

Quotes of Note

Each Monday, we share quotes we found encouraging, convicting, thought-provoking, or all of the above.


From Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, by Herman Bavinck

Dogmatics is always called upon to ponder and describe God and God alone, whose glory is in creation and re-creation, in nature and grace, in the world and in the church. It is the knowledge of him alone that dogmatics must put on display. 
By pursuing this aim, dogmatics does not become a dry and academic exercise, without practical usefulness for life. The more it reflects on God, the knowledge of whom is its only content, the more it will be moved to adoration and worship. Only if it never forgets to think and speak about matters rather than about mere words, only if it remains a theology of facts and does not degenerate into a theology of rhetoric, only then is dogmatics as the scientific description of the knowledge of God also superlatively fruitful for life. The knowledge of God-in-Christ, after all, is life itself (Ps. 89:16; Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34; John 17:3).
Bavinck originally wrote in Dutch, so much of the eloquence of writing is a partnership between source and translator. I'm thankful for people who translate well.


This is another quote from Bavinck and one that I shared previously shared on my blog. I love what Bavinck writes about humanity being body and soul. This is also from the second volume: God and Creation.
The body is not a prison, but a marvelous piece of art from the hand of God Almighty, and just as constitutive for the essence of humanity as the soul. It is our earthly dwelling, our organ or instrument of service, our apparatus; and the "members" of the body are the weapons with which we fight in the cause of righteousness or unrighteousness. It is so integrally and essentially a part of our humanity that, though violently torn from the soul by sin, it will be reunited with it in the resurrection of the dead. The nature of the union of the soul with the body, though incomprehensible, is much closer than the theories of "occasionalism" or "preestablished harmony" or "a system of influence" imagine. It is not ethical but physical. It is so intimate that one nature, one person, one self is the subject of both and of all their activities. It is always the same soul that peers through the eyes, thinks through the brain, grasps with the hand, and walks with the feet. Although not always present in every part of the body in its full strength, it is nevertheless present in all parts in its whole essence.  It is one and the same life that flows throughout the body but operates and manifests itself in every organ in a manner peculiar to that organ. Now, this body, which is so intimately bound up with the soul, also belongs to the image of God.


Here's a quote from John Calvin. I'm pretty sure it's actually from the Institutes, but I found it in this while doing a bit of research on the place of good works in salvation this week.
Let us . . .understand that there is no salvation whatsoever outside of Jesus Christ, for he is the beginning and the end of faith, and he is all in all. Let us continue in humility, knowing that we can only bring condemnation upon ourselves; therefore, we need to find all that pertains to salvation in the pure and free mercy of God. We must be able to say that we are saved through faith. God the Father has appointed his Son the Lord Jesus Christ that he might be both the author and finisher of our salvation. We are to deny ourselves and give ourselves to him wholly and completely, that all the praise might belong to him. 
Now let us fall before the majesty of our great God, acknowledging our sins, and asking that he would make us increasingly aware of them, that we may hate them more and more, and grow in repentance (a grace that we need to exercise all our lives). May we learn so to magnify his grace, as it is shown to us in the Lord Jesus Christ, that we might be completely taken up with it; and may we not only do so with our lips, but place our entire trust in him. May we grow in that trust until we are gathered up into our eternal home, where we shall receive faith's reward. May he not only grant this grace to us, but to all peoples, etc.

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