dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish

2.01.2008

February's Quote to Ponder

"People no longer confessed their beliefs, but they only believed their confessions."
--Herman Bavinck, The Certainty of Faith

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6 Comments:

Blogger Jason said...

Usually the quotes that I put up are ones that have immediate impact on my thinking. Wow, that's a powerful way of stating that! or I hadn't thought of it in those terms before!

But there's a reason I call these "Quotes to Ponder" and not just "Quotes to Memorize." I've really had to ponder this one since I read it, and to be honest, I'm still pondering it.

Context always helps. Bavinck spent the last few pages talking about the certainty of faith in the lives of the reformers. (A great quote from those pages is the following: "Their emotions did not rule their reason, while their reason and will did not deny the rights of their emotions.")

The quote I posted is in the first paragraph under the heading, "Certainty in Orthodoxy and Pietism," where he discusses the shift away from the certainty of faith of the reformers. "[U]ncertainty and fear entered the language of faith. The faith of the sixteenth century became the orthodoxy of the seventeenth. People no longer confessed their beliefs, but only believed their confessions. Among most people this orthodoxy prepared the road for rationalism. Religion became a matter of reason, the truth regarding eternal things was now dependent on historical proofs and rational argument, and the certainty of faith became confused with rational insight. On the other hand, within small circles of the faithful it evoked another reaction: they were not satisfied with merely rational knowledge but sought the essence of salvation in experience. This movement gradually devolved into pietism."

I can't quote the entire book here, so I'll have to stop with that paragraph (even though it would be helpful to have the entire context). If that peaks your interest, you might consider reading the book.

2/01/2008 11:41 PM

 
Anonymous stephen said...

I will strongly consider reading Bavnick's The Certainty of Faith. Justice, from Heritage, told me just the other week that if he were really to strive to know and understand one great Christian author, Bavnick would be the man. Your quote has been the proverbial straw that has broken this camels back. [Hmmm... maybe that didn't come out so flattering.]

This quote does indeed make me stop and think. I had to read it a few times before I caught the meaning of it. Your comment was very helpful. This quote is different than your usual fare, but it is no less powerful. The Church must be mindful of her history; she must be willing to admit her wanderings and idolatry. This quote echoes with the words of the Hebrew prophets. Like these prophets, we must be bold in owning our sin (in this case rationalism), we must be radical in our repentance from that sin, and we must be steadfast in our return to God. And all along we must declare and praise God for His faithfulness.

The truth of this quote is bleak and I don't want to minimize it's message, but the bright side of this situation is that God yet maintains a remnant of the faithful even in the lands where this rationalism wrecked its spiritual havoc.

Man, it seems like ages since we've seen one another. We have to get our breakfast bunch together again soon.

2/07/2008 8:48 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that Justice would say that. He seems to have thoroughly read the Dutch Reformed authors. I honestly hadn't heard of Bavinck until I received his book.

Blogging = straw-making

Hmm, interesting.

2/08/2008 10:56 PM

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Sorry, you've sparked my crazy imagination...

Blogging = straw-making

Straw = fodder for ruminating
mammals.

Ruminating mammals = readers of blogs

Therefore, let's pray for (and strive to be) farmers who will provide nourishing fodder.

Let's also pray for (and strive to be) mammals with sufficient ruminating powers to digest the nourishing fodder we receive.

2/19/2008 12:18 PM

 
Blogger Clear Ambassador said...

In the midst of all these analogy-laden ruminations, I have only time to do unto another what I would want done for myself:

It's not peaked, it's piqued. Look it up. It's a cool word.

Rarely is one of my blog posts written without a trip or two to www.merriam-webster.com to check out words that come to mind. Great way to expandize your vocabulation!

2/22/2008 2:23 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Doggone it! I knew I'd used that word improperly recently. While using it in writing the 2/16 Na post, I realized that, as you said, it's "piqued," not "peaked." But I couldn't remember where else I'd used it recently. Good catch, man.

2/22/2008 6:24 PM

 

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