English/Theology

Bavinck on Being Human and Seeing Christ

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The following are two passages written by Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) that are quoted in On the Way to the Living God.

In a letter Bavinck writes:

Sometimes I perceive in my own soul an unspoken desire that Scripture might not be true, that the newer criticism might be right, and in this I see something of that secret enmity that the sinful heart feels against the Holy One and that can only be overcome by faith and prayer. . . .

. . . There is so much narrow-mindedness and so much pettiness among us, and, worst of all, this is counted as piety. I know, the ideal which I strive after is unattainable, but to be human in the full, natural sense of that word and then as a human to be a child of God in every respect—that seems me to be the most beautiful of all. That is what I strive after.

In an unpublished lecture Bavinck writes:

[Christ] is the great Reformer of creation; he can restore the image of God in us. How does he do so? I do not know; by a miracle, an act of creation, by one word, with one wink, in one moment. Place yourself under the mighty impression of his fascinating personality. For a moment, put aside all criticism, all reasoning; place yourself just before him, so that his eye looks in yours, his glance meets yours; take away the lid from your heart, behold him, catch his glance, so penetrating, so pure, so gentle; say nothing, speak nothing, just behold, and even faster than the light casts your image on the silver plate of the photographer in the camera obscura, Jesus’ image falls into your soul and you are recreated according to his image. One mighty impression—and you are a print of Christ. You have to see him, to see him well, with your own eyes; you have to see him personally, then you will be like him.

If you would like to read more, please, download or order a printed copy of On the Way to the Living God.

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