Thursday, 11 February 2010

Theological Humility

I'm reading (ploughing my way slowly through) vol 2 of Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics on God and Creation.

In a long-ish discussion of the Sovereignty of God and God's will and nominalism I came across the following:

Every scientific discipline is bound to its object; it may not - for the sake of some preconceived theory - falsify or deny the phenomena it observes.
So also theology is strictly tethered to the facts and evidences that God discloses in nature and Scripture. It must let these facts and evidences stand unimpaired and unmutilated. When it cannot explain them, it must acknowledge its ignorance. p. 239, emphasis added.

It appears that for some God's will is a foundation beyond which one cannot and need not press, however, for others there is much that can be said about this.

What interested me was Bavinck's plea for some theological humility. All we can do is receive the revelation God gives us and do our best to understand and submit to it. We do not invent or imagine God or the gospel and must submit to the limits of revelation which God has imposed upon us. To often we are tempted to believe that we can discover something about God or the gospel which he has not revealed. This must obviously be folly and the temptation resisted.

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