alien righteousness

This book is a Gem. Some quotations from the Concise Reformed Dogmatics – van Genderen & Velema


Here are some quotes from Concise Reformed Dogmatics, you gotta love these two confessionally Reformed Christian theologians they carry the good news.  I’m finding this book very beneficial, encouraging, and a good learning resource of the Christian Faith.

Here the authors are writing  about Herman Bavinck’s Dogmatics:

In subsequent editions of his work, in which this preface was omitted, it is noted that the first duty of every practitioner of science, and particularly of any theologian, is to be humble and modest.  He may not think himself to be wiser than he ought to think.  (17)

5.2  Special Revelation

When a distinction is made between general and special revelation a description or definition of special revelation is in order.  Bavinck provided the following one:  It “is that conscious and free act of God by which, he, in the way of a historical complex of special means (theophany, prophecy, miracle) that are concentrated in the person of Christ, makes himself known–specifically in the attributes of his justice and grace, in the proclamation of law and gospel–to those human beings who live in the light of this special revelation in order that they may accept the grace of God by faith in Christ or, in case of impenitence, receive a more severe judgement. One might opt for a shorter formulation: it is that revelation of through which, by special means which have their focus and climax on Christ, he has disclosed a way of life for sinners, whom he grants to live in this light.  (52, 53.   The Bold is mine)

What changed in the light of the Reformation was described in Klare wijn (clear wine, 1967) as follows:  Luther and Calvin are suddenly enflamed with passion.  To them the Bible is not in the first instance a source of information from which they obtain truths and precepts, but in Scripture they encounter the living God and his message.  (70)

In referring to the concept of revelation in theology, we saw that it was typical of Calvin to believe that God adapts himself to our capacity to understand (accommodatio).  God can speak to us in a throughly human manner.  It resembles the teaching of small children.  He is like a king whose majesty we must not take lightly, but who wants to have an intimate conversation with us.  When he communicates his Word to us through human mouths, in human language, he thereby takes our needs into consideration.  (72)

The Old Testament is seen as the book of retribution.  The Old Testament would present the religion of holiness and the New Testament faith in God’s love.  But this view is not really tenable.  It is indeed the case that in the Old Testament we encounter God in his exaltation and holiness.  But he is also “merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.”  This is how the announcement of his name begins in Exodus 34:67.  Thus the LORD manifests in Christ but also refers to his wrath (John 3:36).  “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:31).   Already the first few chapters of the book of Genesis are of fundamental significance for self-knowledge.  Man, created in God’s image, fell away from him, but God considered his state and sought him out.  Thus man stands there as creature of God and sinner before God.  God, who is the creator, also seeks to be his redeemer.  God both demands and grants the atonement for sin (Lev. 17:11).  Via the subsequent preaching of atonement through sacrificial ministry and through prophecy, all lines lead to Christ, of whom the New Testament says:  “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  When Paul refers to Christ as the last Adam the unity of the Old and New Testaments is underscored (cf. 1 Cor. 15:45; Rom. 5:12-21).  (69)

2 Responses to “This book is a Gem. Some quotations from the Concise Reformed Dogmatics – van Genderen & Velema”

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