Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pactum salutis: Penal substitution and the counsel of the Triune God

I have recently been reading Bavinck's chapter on Christ's humiliation in the second volume of his Reformed Dogmatics. I intend to post a fair bit from him in the coming week.

His insights on this matter are remarkable, his handling of the debates judicious, and his tone warm and evangelical in the best sense of those terms. Here we see a great mind and heart at work, expressing the truth with depth, clarity and power. Or, to state the matter in a different way, we have the very best theology precisely because the intellect, affection and will have been moulded, mastered, and put in service to the truth.

One comes away from reading his comments on penal substitution, and witnessing his grasp on all the relevant literature and arguments, with a real sense that here is voice to be listened to.

We are all caught up in our reading by the tyranny of the present. Reading the magisterial work of this great theologian is not only a tonic but also breath of fresh air:
Vicarious satisfaction has its foundation in the counsel of the Triune God, in the life of supreme, perfect and eternal love, in the unshakable covenant of redemption. Based on the ordinances of that covenant, Christ takes the place of his own and exchanges their sin for his righteousness, their death for his life.
RD, Vol. 2: Sin and Salvation in Christ, p. 406

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I'm currently reading Bavinck myself, although I am in the first volume, first section - on regeneration. Frankly, I find Bavinck far more rewarding than many of the current authors I've read. Yes, there is a "tyranny of the present" that we need to consciously escape at times. jb