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By pursuing this aim, dogmatics does not become a dry and academic exercise, without practical usefulness for life. The more it reflects on God, the knowledge of whom is its only content, the more it will be moved to adoration and worship. Only if it never forgets to think and speak about matters rather than about mere words, only if it remains a theology of facts and does not degenerate into a theology of rhetoric, only then is dogmatics as the scientific description of the knowledge of God also superlatively fruitful for life. The knowledge of God-in-Christ, after all, is life itself (Ps. 89:16; Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34; John 17:3). For that reason Augustine desired to know nothing other and more than God and himself. “I desire to know God and the soul. Nothing more? No: nothing at all.” For that reason, too, Calvin began his Institutes with the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves, and for that reason the Genevan catechism, answering the first question, “What is the chief end of human life?” stated, “That human beings may know the God by whom they were created.”

Herman Bavinck, John Bolt, and John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 29–30.