I recently had to break the news to one of my children that Africa is a continent. Africa is not a country. And Scripture is not dogmatics. Dogma (and its nearly identical twin, systematic theology) is derived from Scripture. Bavinck uses the analogy of Scripture being the gold mine and dogmatics being the currency (116). Theology is valuable stuff. Yet there are polar dangers to both underestimating and overestimating the role of dogma. Underestimating its significance would be to say the church has massively distorted what was originally the pure truth of Christianity. While overestimating dogma to the point where we give it infallibility or something close to it gives the church primacy over Scripture. The proper course recognizes Scripture as the source of our theology. The proper theologian depends on the Holy Spirit as they process what Scripture says and applies it.
Check out my previous posts in this series on Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics!