Whenever we discuss spiritual realities, we do so metaphorically, figuratively, poetically. But this does not mean that all such thought and speech is contrary to truth. On the contrary, real poetry is truth, for it is based upon the resemblance, similarity, and relation which actually exists between the different groups of phenomena. All language and every figure and symbol presupposes as the foundation upon which it rests this penetration of the visible by the invisible. If speaking in symbols were contrary to truth, all our thinking and all our knowledge would be a delusion, and speech itself would be impossible.
Herman Bavinck QuotesSubscribe
From this point of view there is truth in the saying that in hell there is no eternity but only time, and that the more a creature resembles God and becomes God’s image so much the more will he be victorious over the imperfections of time, and approach eternity. Hence, God’s eternity does not exist in the abstract: it is not separate from time, but it is present and immanent in every moment of time. There is, indeed, an essential distinction between eternity and time; but there is also analogy and resemblance so that the former can be immanent in and exert influence upon the latter.
In the Scriptures God daily comes to his people, not from afar but nearby. In it he reveals himself, from day to day, to believers in the fullness of his truth and grace. Through it he works his miracles of compassion and faithfulness. Scripture is the ongoing rapport between heaven and earth, between Christ and his church, between God and his children. It does not just tie us to the past; it binds us to the living Lord in the heavens. It is the living voice of God.
In an astronomical sense the earth may be small and insignificant; in mass and weight it may be surpassed by thousands of planets and suns and stars; but in a religious sense the earth remains the center of the universe. It and it alone has been chosen as a dwelling place for man. It is the arena in which the great struggle against every evil power is conducted. It is the place for the establishment of the kingdom of heaven.
Christianity does not introduce a single substantial foreign element into the creation. It restores what was corrupted by sin. It atones for the guilty and cures what is sick; the wounded it heals.
Of the human nature there is a dual unfolding: in the individual, human nature unfolds itself into personality; in the race human nature unfolds itself into many individuals, which in turn together constitute a unity, a personality, just as Christ and the church constitute one full-grown man… The fact that the mind illumined by God’s revelation, is able to find in the realm of nature traces of that God whom it learned to know from Scripture as being triune in his existence and works cannot be summarily denied… The thoughtful person places the doctrine of the trinity in the very center of the full-orbed life of nature and mankind.