Bavinck on Our Knowledge of the Triune God

Here’s a summary of Bavinck on human knowledge of God.  It can be found in his Reformed Dogmatics, volume II, page 110.  As you read this, also remember Bavinck’s constant chorus of the Creator/creature distinction.  The following sounds pretty much like Turretin on the same topic.  Don’t let anyone tell you that Bavinck wasn’t working with classic/historic Reformed distinctions!

“Theology must be called ectypal or analogical” instead of archetypal or univocal.

1)      All our knowledge of God is from and through God, grounded in his revelation, that is, an objective revelation.

2)      In order to convey the knowledge of him to his creatures, God has to come down to the level of his creatures and accommodated himself to their powers of comprehension.

3)      The possibility of this condescension cannot be denied since it is given with creation, that is, with the existence of finite being.

4)      Our knowledge of God is always only analogical in character; that is, shaped by analogy to what can be discerned of God in his creatures, having as its object not God himself in his knowable essence, but God in his revelation, his relation to us, in the things that pertain to his creatures.  Accordingly, this knowledge is only a finite image, a faint likeness and creaturely impression of the perfect knowledge that God has of himself.

5)      Finally, our knowledge of God is nevertheless true, pure, and trustworthy because it has for its foundation God’s self-consciousness, its archetype, and his self-revelation in the cosmos.

shane lems

sunnyside wa