Monday, November 12, 2007

He speaks to us on our level

Some gems from Bavinck to set us on the right track in thinking about God:
In Scripture God's name is his self-revelation...God's revealed names do not reveal his being as such but his accommodation to human language. Scripture is accommodated language; it is anthropomorphic through and through. God himself is described in human terms via human faculties, body parts, emotions, sensations and actions. In Scripture all creation, the theatre of God's glory, is mined for the description of the knowledge of God.
We rightly use anthropomorphic language because God accommodated himself to creatures by revealing his name in and through creatures. We cannot see God in himself; we can only see him in his works. To deny this is to deny the possibility of knowing God at all.

Of course, all our knowledge of God is ectypal or derived from Scripture. Only God's self-knowledge is adequate, undervied, or archetypal. Yet our finite inadequate knowledge is still true, pure, and sufficient. Ectypal knowledge must not be seen as merely symbolic, a product of poetic imagination. God then becomes mere projection and religion mere subjective art. Christian theology teaches the opposite. We are God's creation; he is not ours. While our knowledge of him is accommodated and limited, it is no less real, true, and trustworthy. As God reveals himself, so he trule is. His revealed attributes truly reveal his nature.
Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: vol. 2 God and Creation, p. 95