How do we determine right from wrong? What factors into our assessments of what is good and evil? Have you ever pondered these questions? What do they imply? What do they not consider? How are they applied?
As we consider these questions, and similar ones that we have not raised, how can we provide an answer? If you ask the world at large, a hundred possible answers can be and typically are offered. But what is the foundation? Isn’t that just your opinion? Of course, this is often the response to Christians, as well as others, who attempt to present any concrete answers.
As I was reading about the communicable attributes of God as discussed by the Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck, I was struck at his answer to my unasked questions. His answer comes from his discussion on God. He writes, “[The order of] justice, in the Bible, is not a property of God’s ‘absolute dominion’ but rests on a moral foundation….it is God himself who gives his creatures ‘rights’ (so to speak)….God is the supreme Lawgiver, and that the entire order of justice undergirding every domain of life is rooted in him.” (227)
How do we determine right from wrong? Through God.
What factors into our assessments of what is good and evil? Through God.
We know God through revelation (which Bavinck treats at length in volume I of his Reformed Dogmatics). We have the foundation of justice in God and God alone. Bavinck says, “Justice above all is the way in which the grace and love of God are maintained and made to triumph.” (228) We have another Bavinck Blessing!
Check out the previous blessing from Bavinck here.
You can purchase Reformed Dogmatics here.