Herman Bavinck on Religious Experience

Touching the subject of certainty of a Christian, Dutch reformer Bavinck explains why religious experientialism not rooted on the Bible should be denounced:

“The method that seeks to derive the objective facts of Christendom from religious experience of the church by reasoning from effect to cause out to be rejected. The Holy Scriptures never points us in that direction. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul does point out to the church of Corinth the indissoluble unity between blessings believers share in and the resurrection of Christ. But he does so only after establishing and confirming it with the witness of Scripture and the appearance of the risen Savior. The Holy Scriptures never make a believer dependent on himself. They always bind him to the objective word—to the law and the witness. If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. If they rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have? The church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Paul threatens with God’s curse anyone who  preaches another gospel.”

(“The Certainty of Faith” by Herman Bavinck pg.69. Translation and special content copyright 1980 by Paideia Press Inc. © All rights reserved.)


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