Bitesize Bavinck image

Bitesize Bavinck

It was one of those strange coincidences that I should post about Herman Bavinck last Friday and then Andrew did the same on Monday. This was entirely unplanned and I don’t think either of us have posted anything about Bavinck previously. Strange indeed.

Andrew has come to Bavinck via the urgings pf Derek Rishmawy; I thanks to Andrew Haslam sending me a copy of The Wonderful Works of God. It’s early days, but so far we are both grateful for the introduction – and Herman is proving eminently quotable.

Take this, from the chapter on general revelation, in The Wonderful Works of God:

Race instinct, sense of nationality, enmity, and hatred, these are the divisive forces between peoples. This is an astonishing punishment and a terrible judgment, and cannot be undone by any cosmopolitanism or leagues of peace, by any “universal” language, nor by any world-state or international culture.

If ever there is to be unity among mankind again, it will not be achieved by any external, mechanical rallying around some tower of Babel or other, but by a development from within, a gathering under one and the same Head (Eph. 1:10), by the peacemaking creation of all peoples into a new man (Eph. 2:15), by regeneration and renewal through the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:6), and by the walking of all people in one and the same light (Rev. 21:24).

Bavinck was writing in the early 20th century, before either of the World Wars, before the civil rights movement, during the age of empire, and yet this quote feels entirely contemporary.

The human race is always trying to rebuild Babel. We are now at the extraordinary point where manmade material outweighs biomass, but our towers never stand. The ‘divisive forces’ keep on breaking through. True unity – true peace – is in Christ’s domain. Bite down on that.


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