The Power of God’s Word

“What God’s voice does, God does. God’s speaking and acting are equated.” -Tim Keller

BTW NOTE: Think about this next time you open your Bible. God speaks, today, through Scripture. This means that when your Bible is opened and you are reading it, God is acting in your life–maybe even in ways you cannot discern, but he is there at work.

‘Modern Man Wants the Shortest Road to God’

“The preaching of the O.T. also has great significance for promoting the correct understanding of the historical progression of revelation. Modern man calls for the shortest road to God, meanwhile setting aside the history of redemption. Even outside the movement of modernism one notes a superficial type Christianity [sic.] which supposes it is sufficient to proclaim what God in Christ wants to be for the individual heart and life. But God, on the contrary, has given his revelation to us with a historical progression; for the nourishment and up building of the congregation. It is important that a correct understanding of this progression be propagated. (Jan Ridderbos, “Schild en Pijl” #8, Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1922)”

Bavinck on Word-Act Revelation

“The case, after all, is not that revelation only contains certain facts whose interpretation it leaves to our own insights. Revelation, rather, itself casts a peculiar light on these facts; it has, so to speak, its own view and its own theory about those facts. In the revelation of Scripture, word and fact, prophecy and miracle, always go hand in hand. Both are needed so that the human mind as well as being itself are re-created and the entire cosmos is redeemed from sin. ‘The light needs the reality and the reality needs the light to produce… the beautiful creation of his grace. To apply the Kantian phraseology to a higher subject: without God’s acts the words would be empty, without his words the acts would be blind’ (Vos). Word and fact are so tightly interwoven in revelation that the one cannot be accepted or rejected without the other.” (Bavinck, RD1, 366)

NOTE: What Bavinck describes as ‘fact revelation’ is that revelation which comes as historical action or event (the exodus, miracles, theophanies, etc.). Thus, ‘word and fact’ revelation is another way of speaking of ‘word and act’ revelation. This passage in Bavinck also serves as evidence that the Reformed doctrine of revelation is not the propositional model of revelation (see here for more info). While propositions are a necessary component of revelation, they are not a sufficient description of revelation in the Bible.