Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology

One could question if something like Natural theology and Revealed theology makes sense. Getting to know the Godhead and getting insight in the many gods in the world of men is not only revealed in the many worldly writings, but the major book to get to know the real God is the one which is mostly forgotten in the theology schools. Much more attention should be given to the word of God, the Holy Scriptures.

The Bible is the Book of books which can bring us to real, intimate, relational knowledge of the living God, has to be based in actual concrete Christian experience.

People should be very careful for human teachings, conformities and traditions.We may never take traditions as something which should be true or right because it exists already such a long time. No matter how familiar and dear to us certain traditions may be when we come to understand that they are not according to the Will of God we should abandon them. It is not the stream of tradition which must always lead us back to the source that is normative: Holy Scripture.  Traditions become dangerous whenever they are translated from forms into norms.  That can happen with established opinions as well as modern provocative views.

 

English: Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) Nederlands...

Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In Christian dogmatics there is no place for reason as an agency by which, independently of the truth of Christianity, a natural theology may be established according to Herman Bavinck. But when we have dogmatic teaching, presenting something we should understand though we can not understand it, would this be a teaching in accordance with the Word of God, where we can see that God is a god of Order and Clarity. Is a dogma, clarity? We do not think so. god is not somebody who tells lies, so we should listen carefully to Him and take His words for granted.
God His words should go over theologians their words.

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Additional reading:

Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other

 

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  • Herman Bavinck – It’s Hard Work to Be An Atheist (theoldguys.org)
    It therefore requires a certain effort not to believe in a personal God: “No one disbelieves the existence of God except the person to whom God’s existence is not convenient.” There are no atheists so thoroughly sure of their unbelief as to be willing to die a martyr’s death for it. Since atheism is abnormal and unnatural, based not on intuitions but on inferential proofs and fallible reasoning, it is never sure of its causes. The arguments for the existence of God may be weak, but in any case they are stronger than those advanced for its denial. It is even impossible to prove that there is no God. To accomplish that feat a person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent, that is, to be God!
    ~Herman Bavinck~
  • Thinking About Natural Theology (theologiansinc.wordpress.com)
    natural theology: brought within the embrace of positive theology and developed as a complex of rational structures arising in our actual knowledge of God it becomes “natural” in a new way, natural to its proper object, God in self-revealing interaction with us in space and time. Natural theolog then constitutes the epistemological “geometry” as it were, within the fabric of “revealed theology” as it apprehended and articulated within the objectivites and intelligibilites of the space-time medium through which God has made himself known to us.
  • Scripture and Tradition (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    the confession of the sufficiency of Scripture does not imply that all traditions must be considered useless.  The churches of the Reformation also recognize elements of tradition.  But these are not norms for faith and life, although they can be expressions of faith, ways in which people portray their response to the Word of God.  In this sense traditions are both useful and necessary.  We agree with Bavinck that tradition is the means by which all the treasures and possessions of our ancestors are transmitted to the present and future (cf. R.D., 1:492-94).  There is indeed a variegated Reformed tradition.  There is tradition in our confession, in our worship service, in preaching, in theology, in devotional literature that is nurtured by Scripture.
  • Free e-Book: The Laws of Clean and Unclean Animals of Leviticus 11: Their Nature Theology and Rationale an Inter Textual Study (amologetics.wordpress.com)
  • Apologetics (trueforms.wordpress.com)
    I am, to be sure, opposed to the traditional method of apologetics as this has found its most fundamental expression in the Summae of Thomas Aquinas the Roman Catholic and in Bishop Butler the Arminian. I seek to oppose Roman Catholicism and Arminianism in Apologetics as I seek to oppose it in theology. Does that make my main thesis universally negative? I think there is a better and more truly biblical way of reasoning with and winning unbelievers than Romanist Arminian method permits.
  • Herman Bavinck – It’s Hard Work to Be An Atheist (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
    There are no atheists so thoroughly sure of their unbelief as to be willing to die a martyr’s death for it. Since atheism is abnormal and unnatural, based not on intuitions but on inferential proofs and fallible reasoning, it is never sure of its causes.
  • Author Interview: James Miller (truthmattersblog.wordpress.com)
    There’s a feeling of resonance that we have when we know something is right.  Philosophers call this a “properly basic belief.” No one has to prove to you that you’re sitting on a chair – you just know.  I think the Holy Spirit has the power to convict us of the truth of the gospel, and while we can point to many rationale for why we know it’s true, in the end, we experience the sensibility of it.
  • Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology (steppingtoes.wordpress.com)
  • Van Til’s An Introduction To Systematic Theology (withalliamgod.wordpress.com)

 

Presuppositionalism 101

According to Bavinck apologetics cannot precede systematics. A true apologetics, he says, presupposes dogma. 5 There is in Christian dogmatics no place for reason as an agency by which, independently of the truth of Christianity, a natural theology may be established. The Roman Catholics are mistaken when they seek to work out a natural theology independently of Scriptures. There was a time, says Bavinck, when Reformed theologians also fell into this mistake. So, for instance, S. Van Til divided his work on theology into two parts, one dealing with natural and one with revealed theology. 6 But all this, says Bavinck, was due to false philosophical influences upon theology. He wants to return to the position of Calvin for whom Scripture was the eyeglass through which the Christian should read the book of nature. 7 “Originally natural theology did not serve the purpose of gradually leading up to revealed…

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4 thoughts on “Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology

  1. Pingback: Wonder van voorzienigheid | Broeders in Christus

  2. Pingback: Reply to questions concerning The Bride of Christ | Stepping Toes

  3. Pingback: Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach | From guestwriters

  4. Pingback: To find ways of Godly understanding | From guestwriters

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