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Showing posts from August, 2014

ANOTHER CALVINIST ON NATURAL THEOLOGY: THE CASE OF HERMAN BAVINCK

Herman Bavinck was a well-known, and highly respected, dutch reformed theologian who lived from 1854-1921. His works were influential for many of the Calvinists of the 20th century. Herman Bavinck’s theological work has been subject to some passionate critiques from authors such as Malcom Yarnell III.[1] In order to understand Bavinck’s views on Natural Theology we will first explain what he means by Natural theology, as well as its contents. We will then note a number of important points that Bavinck notes concerning Natural Theology. For more posts on how different calvinists view Natural Theology, see herehere and here. I have never dedicated blog posts before, but this one goes out to my good friend Daniel Henderson, as he is following in the steps of Herman Bavinck.
Herman Bavinck explains that when he uses the term Natural Theology, he is referring primarily to “the affirmation that such a natural disposition [‘a natural disposition to proceed from the finite to the infinite, f…

JOHN CALVIN’S VIEW OF NATURAL THEOLOGY

John Calvin is the notorious founder of that branch of Protestant reformed theologies which has always been one of the most outspoken and most passion driven theological positions in the circle of authentic Protestant theologies. John Calvin, educated in the classics, and a true humanist, was primarily influenced by the works of Cicero, Augustine and Plato. His view concerning the role and use of what we call Natural Theology should not be of passing interest to the student of theology, especially because some Calvinists of the 19th century have either denied the possibility of Natural Theology (as in Karl Barth),[1] or denied the use of Natural Theology in dialogues between Christians and non-Christians (as in Cornelius Van Til).[2] On the other hand, many of the greatest Calvinist theologians to ever write, since Calvin himself, have stated openly that Natural Theology is not only possible (for regenerate and unregenerate alike), but that it is a necessary part of any tr…