Bavinck on Pietism and Rationalism

For Pietism and rationalism are ever prone to separate what God has joined together and either with disdain for the sacrament stress personal conversion or emphasize the practice of ecclesiastical confirmation.  But the rule of the covenant is that the church must nurture its youthful members, who were born as children of the covenant and incorporated as members by baptism, to where they can make an independent personal profession of faith and on that basis admit them to the Lord’s Supper.  It does not and cannot judge the heart.  Accordingly, while on the one hand it bars from the Lord’s Supper all those who by their talk or walk manifest themselves as unbelieving and ungodly people, it never, on the other hand, desists from seriously preaching that the Lord’s Supper is instituted only for those who are displeased with themselves because of their sins but who nevertheless trust that their sins have been forgiven for Christ’s sake and who also desire more and more to strengthen their faith and lead a better life.

The Rev. Dr. Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Dutch Reformed Translation Society, 2008), IV, 585.

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