Bavinck notes the traditional division of providence into preservation, concurrence, and governance, but then adds: “These do not divide the work of providence into materially and temporally distinct and successive parts for they are always integrally connected. From the very beginning, preservation is also government, and government concurrence, and concurrence is preservation. Preservation tells us that nothing exists, not only no substance, but also no power, no activity, no idea, unless it exists totally from, through, and to God. ’Concurrence’ speaks of the same providence as an activity that affirms and maintains the distinct existence of creatures, and ‘government’ describes the other two as guiding all things in such a way that the final goal determined by God will be reached. And always, from beginning to end, providence is one simple, almighty, and omnipresent power.”
A great example of a) Bavinck’s resistance to reifying abstractions – the distinctions of the doctrine of providence are angles of vision on the unified action of the living God and b) Bavinck’s wonderfully Trinitarian, perichoretic imagination.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm
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