apologetics history religion salvation

Selective Quoting of Bavinck

I’ve been noticing this Bavinck quote come up on the internet and it’s really annoying since people seem to be using it to support the old argument that at least Catholic works-righteousness is productive whereas the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith falls short. The quote already had me wondering how honest it was since it starts off mid sentence. Turns out, Bavinck is arguing against the position that posters have been using the quote online.

Anyway, here’s the quote that’s appearing on the internet (here are a few places I’ve seen it); after the jump I’ll post the context (Bavinck, The Certainty of Faith-PDF):

‘[W]e must remind ourselves that the Catholic righteousness by good works is vastly preferable to a protestant righteousness by good doctrine. At least righteousness by good works benefits one’s neighbor, whereas righteousness by good doctrine only produces lovelessness and pride. Furthermore, we must not blind ourselves to the tremendous faith, genuine repentance, complete surrender and the fervent love for God and neighbor evident in the lives and work of many Catholic Christians. The Christian life is so rich that it develops its full glory not just in a single form or within the walls of one church.’

But now, for what Bavinck was really saying and then what he continues saying even about paganism.

personal religion rey's a point

Speaking Hands

Two expressive hands, punctuating sentences with either callous, dismissive waves or dour, exasperated shrugs. That’s what I remember about my recent exchanges with friends of mine. Somehow the conversation turns to the benefits of this preached sermon or a visit to a recent church and of their own volition, like lawyers in court shouting “objection!”, my hands are up and waving.

apologetics history religion rey's a point

Based on a True Story

A good introduction is like a good pair of shoes: when it fits it’ll go a long way. On the big screen, right after the title credits you see that line and automatically you start expecting historical fiction. Oh you’ll easily acknowledge what parts are fact (like the Revolution, or the signing of documents) and which parts are fiction (the messy love triangle maybe) but in the end you come out thinking you’ve actually seen a bit of history, Hollywood style. Well, maybe we’re not all that naïve-but do we ever go back and research the facts from the false?

human religion

Being A Student (John 8)

John 8 is often used as an example of people who profess belief but never really believed, I want to look at it as it stands: people who believe who refuse to be disciples. Now disciple is one of those archaic words that have religious overtones making it almost incomprehensible in modern day discussion. When dropped in conversation it automatically evokes images of a Jedi-like figure, hooded and dust-covered or of one of Christ’s Dozen. But “disciple” simply means someone who follows and molds their lives from the teachings of their teacher: a student.

church human religion

Perfect Pitch in a Relative Group

In D.C, a small choral group got together to practice. They were classically trained voice musicians excelling in chamber music and using this to minister to churches up and down the East coast. One young man in particular was exceptional in the group because of his perfect (or absolute) pitch; and yet this young man had to lower the volume of his voice when he sang.