The Only Way To Unity

The Great Commission

Although we cannot endorse Lessing’s views, it is certainly understandable that many theorists join him in retreating to the position of indifferentism and try to console themselves with the idea that it does not matter what one believes provided one lives a good life. But this consolation soon evaporates. Aside from the fact that religion does not simply allow itself to be shouldered aside, the study of ethnology shows that humanity is as divided over morality and justice as it is over religion. And even if the scientific investigator assumes a “neutral” stance, he or she does not thereby make any difference in this awesome reality of the division of humankind over its highest interest and values. All people, including the men and women of science, have to acknowledge this fact; and they can do this only if, along with Paul, they see in this reality an effect of the darkening of the human mind, a cross that sin has forced humanity to bear. No science, however “presuppositionless,” is or will ever be able to undo this division and bring about, in the life of all nations and people, unity in the most basic convictions of the heart. If there is ever to be unity, it will have to be achieved in the way of mission; only religious unity will be able to bring about the spiritual and intellectual unity of humankind. As long as disagreement prevails in religion, science too will be unable to achieve the ideal of unity. [Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics vol. 1, 298-299]