Bavinck On The Difference Between Reformed and Lutheran … Behold R2K is Lutheran

The difference seems to be conveyed best by saying that the Reformed Christian thinks theologically, the Lutheran anthropologically. The Reformed person is not content with an exclusively historical stance but raises his sights to the idea, the eternal decree of God. By contrast, the Lutheran takes his position in the midst of the history of redemption and feels no need to enter more deeply into the counsel of God. For the Reformed, therefore, election is the heart of the church; for Lutherans, justification is the article by which the church stands or falls. Among the former the primary question is: How is the glory of God advanced? Among the latter it is: How does a human get saved? The struggle of the former is above all paganism- idolatry; that of the latter against Judaism- works righteousness. The Reformed person does not rest until he has traced all things retrospectively to the divine decree, tracking down the “wherefore” of things, and has prospectively made all things subservient to the glory of God; the Lutheran is content with the “that” and enjoys the salvation in which he is, by faith, a participant. From this difference in principle, the dogmatic controversies between them (with respect to the image of God, original sin, the person of Christ, the order of salvation, the sacraments, church government, ethics, etc.) can be easily explained.

—Herman Bavinck
Reformed Dogmatics — Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Baker, 2003), 177.

This quote reveals how R2K is more Lutheran that it is Reformed. R2K is not concerned with how God’s glory is advanced in the common realm because God’s glory can’t be advanced in the common realm because the common realm is common. It is a realm where good and evil grow together and the only realm where the glory of God that is advanced happens in the Church. If R2K struggles against paganism / idolatry it struggles against it only in the Church. It is clear, per Bavinck, that R2K’s primary struggle is Lutheran in as much as it see’s works righteousness everywhere, especially in those of us who are not R2K. R2K does not think it is possible to make anything in the common realm uniquely subservient to God.

R2K is not Reformed. It is instead a mish mash of Lutheran thinking, and Anabaptist thinking, heavily seasoned with Dualism.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

2 thoughts on “Bavinck On The Difference Between Reformed and Lutheran … Behold R2K is Lutheran”

  1. Good points. Unfortunately it’s impossible to use Bavinck to argue with R2Ks because they regard him as practically heretical. I just left the church and in 15 years in the 2K churches here in SoCal I heard nothing but disgust for Bavinck…and anyone else who disagreed with “us.” I am interested in your reference to Anabaptist’s though. Having sat under some of the bigger theologians in the church I believe they’d be repulsed to find themselves compared to them. What things do you see that lead you to this conclusion? Thanks so much for your time.

    1. Sara,

      I just finished a book titled, “Calvin and the Radical Anabaptists.” I will pull quotes from that work and create a post that points in the direction of R2K being “neo-anabaptist.” It will be a few days as I am away from my Library.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *