Reading through Herman Bavinck’s Reasonable Faith, I came across the following quote, which helped me realize something about doctrine. Here’s the quote:
This declaration of faith on the part of the church is not a scientific doctrine, nor a form of unity that is being repeated, but is rather a confession of a deeply felt reality, and of a conviction of reality that has come up out of the experiences of life. The prophets and the apostles, and the saints generally who appear before us in the Old and New Testament and later in the church of Christ, did not sit and philosophize about God in abstract concepts, but rather confessed what God meant to them and what they owed to Him in all circumstances of life. God was for them not at all a cold concept, which they then proceeded rationally to analyze, but He was a living, personal force, a reality infinitely more real that the world around them. Indeed, he was to them the one, eternal, worshipful Being. They reckoned with their lives, they lived in His tent, walked as if always before His face, served Him in His courts, and worshipped Him in His sanctuary. (p.25)
Too many theological discussions today forget that we are dealing with a real Being. We must reckon ourselves accordingly to God Himself. It is easy to treat God, as Bavinck says, as a cold concept to analyze rather than a living personal force, a reality more real that the world around us. Amazing! Hope you are encouraged today to draw near to this real One.