Bavinck on man's vocation
by Paul Sanduleac
[Man] received a double task to perform: first, to cultivate and preserve the garden of Eden, and second, to eat freely of all the trees in the garden except of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The first task defines his relationship to the earth, the second his relationship to heaven.
But man can fulfilll this calling over against the earth only if he does not break the bond of connection which unites him with heaven… The twofold task is essentially therefore one task. Adam must have dominion over the earth, not by idleness and passivity but through the work of his head and heart and hand.
But in order to rule, he must serve; he must serve God who is his Creator and Lawgiver. Work and rest, rule and service, earthly and heavenly vocation, civilization and religion, culture and cultus, these pairs go together from the very beginning. They belong together and together they comprise in one vocation the great and holy and glorious purpose of man… [If] man is really to be and remain such he must proceed in dependence on and in obedience to the Word of God. Religion must be the principle which animates the whole of life and which sanctifies it into a service of God.
(Herman Bavinck, The Wonderful Works of God, p. 169)
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