Thursday, September 05, 2013

Long time no see, Herman

You know what it's like. You've got an old friend. You keep meaning to meet up with them, but life and stuff keeps getting in the way. Maybe you glance at their Facebook status every now and again. You reminisce about the good old days. Occasionally you almost remember to send them an email, but that's about it. You kind of miss them, but the thought of doing something about it doesn't lodge for long enough in the brain for you to take action. 

I think you know what I mean. Well it's been a bit like that with me and Herman Bavinck of late. At least with me and his Reformed Dogmatics. I've been making good progress and have advanced to the final volume in the set. The bookmark is currently resting at the beginning of chapter 3 Justification, and it hasn't moved from there for months, probably. I've read stuff in the meantime, but RD has been sadly neglected. 

The frivolity of summer is not conducive to reading Bavinck. You can't take a weighty volume of  RD to the beach. The dogmatician doesn't do small, bitesize chapters you can read in chunks here and there. You have to make time to for some deep, prayerful and meditative study if you are going to get the best out of Bavinck's work.

And that's what I'm going to try and do. It's about time I was reacquainted with the Dutch divine.

 "Hey, Herman you were saying about justification....".
"Oh yes..." '...justification...that gracious judicial act of God by which he acquits humans of all the guilt and punishment of sin and confers on them the right to eternal life... But this benefit - the complete forgiveness of sin - is so immense that the natural human intellect cannot grasp and believe it.'
"It's been too long, old friend, too long."

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