The Dogmatician: The Target, the Arrow, and the Archer of Truth

The aim of theology, after all, can be no other than that the rational creature know God and, knowing him, glorify God (Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 3:17). It is his good pleasure to be known by human beings (Matt. 11:25, 26). The object of God’s self-revelation, accordingly, is to introduce his knowledge into the human consciousness and through it again to set the stage for the glorification of God himself. But that divine self-revelation, then, cannot end outside of, before, or in the proximity of human beings but must reach into human beings themselves. In other words, revelation cannot be external only but must also be internal. For that reason a distinction used to be made between the external and the internal principle of knowing, the external and the internal word, revelation and illumination, the working of God’s Word and the working of his Spirit. —Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics

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