Bavinck on the Sacraments

Herman Bavinck, with his usual clarity and precision, defines the sacraments this way:

In keeping with this Reformed theology described the sacraments as visible, holy signs and seals instituted by God so that he might make believers understand more clearly and reassure them of the promise and benefits of the covenant of grace, and believers on their part might confess and confirm their faith and love before God, angels, and humankind.

Reformed Dogmatics, Vol 4, p. 473

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About futonreformer

I am a pastor in the PCA serving in Myrtle Beach, SC. I am a sixth generation Tampa native and I love the Rays and Bucs!

One response to “Bavinck on the Sacraments”

  1. Rich says :

    Love some Bavinck, but I struggle with this quote. It seems here that he is saying that the act of taking the eucharist basically operates like a “Creedal renewing of the Covenant” through worship action. Ofcoarse we renew our covenant relationship with the trinitarian God through the eucharist, but is that it? It seems incomplete

    Drawing from some Eastern themes and considering that we are covenantal members of the body of Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the father, then are we not participating in the kingdom to come at the table, in an eschatological sense. In other words, we participate in something that is going on both on this side and the heavenly side of the tapestry, with God, the angels, and the saints who have come before. The eucharist is the physical means by which we engage and participate in God’s kingdom to come, here and now. (Meyendorff, Cabasilas, Schmemann)

    The only thing that really can get in the way is Calvin’s distate for art, visual, and other physical things that he considered idolatrous, and to which I think he tried to swing the pendulum WAY too far. Ultimately, acknowledging this wouldn’t contradict Calvin’s Theology, merely augment our perspective in the Reformed Church.

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