Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bavinck on Humanity and Science

In "Our Reasonable Faith" (which is a popular translation and condensed version of Bavinck’s four volumes Gereformeerde Dogmatiek), Bavinck describes this ambivalence of the human condition as follows: "Man longs for truth and is false in nature… He pants for a permanent and eternal bliss and seizes on the pleasures of a moment. He seeks for God and loses himself in the creature. He is born son of the house and feeds on the husks of the swine in a strange land." And then Bavinck made a very interesting and true statement: "Science cannot explain this contradiction in man. It reckons only with his greatness and not with his misery, or only with his misery and not with his greatness. It exalts him too high, or it depresses him too far, for science does not know of his Divine origin, nor of his profound fall. But the Scripture know of both …"

Thanks to my favourite sausage eating South African, my colleague Dr. Innes Visagie, for reading this quote in our morning worship.

1 comment:

Paul said...

As I understand it, science isn't directed at either exalting humanity or making little of humanity but at understanding the phenomena and processes of the observable physical world. The search for the meaning of human life is the province of religion and philosophy.