Crucial themes and issues explored by a premier missiologist
Johan Herman Bavinck (1895-1964) was a prominent twentieth-century Dutch Calvinist missiologist who wrestled with the tension between religious absolutism and relativism, as many Christians do in today's pluralistic context.
The J. H. Bavinck Reader gathers together a choice selection of Bavinck's significant writings that are essential for understanding his theology of missions, his approach to world religions, and his religious psychology. His treatment of religious consciousness and Christian faith expands on the brief treatment of it in his own work The Church Between Temple and Mosque. The concluding chapters show how Bavinck's theoretical reflection on religious consciousness was rooted in his close observation during his years as a missionary in Indonesia.
Offering a constructive way forward, Bavinck affirms both the particularity of salvation in Christ and the universality of the Christian hope. A substantial introduction enhances the book with the most thorough biographical sketch of Bavinck available.
Professor of systematic theology at Calvin TheologicalSeminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
James D. Bratt is professor of history at Calvin College andcoeditor of Perspectives: A Journal of ReformedThought. His other books include DutchCalvinism in Modern America and AntirevivalisminAntebellum America.
Paul J. Visser is pastor of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and chairman of the Foundation for the Promoting of Reformed Missiology and Ecumenics.
Richard J. Mouw
-- Fuller Theological Seminary
"J. H. Bavinck's wonderful contributions to missiology and the theology of culture have been a well-kept secret in the English-speaking world. Now, however, we have this marvelous reader! I pray not only that this volume will let the secret out about Bavinck's genius but also that the gems in this book will stimulate a renewal of creative thinking about the mission to which God calls us in contemporary life."
Jonathan J. Bonk
-- Overseas Ministries Study Center
"Time is a light that exposes both the foolishness and the wisdom of bygone generations. This rich collection of essays testifies to the vigor, versatility, and prescience of J. H. Bavinck's thought. The essays -- some written more than seventy years ago -- are as insightful now as anything currently being written by evangelical missiologists on the interplay between Christianity and human religiosity."
Jan A. B. Jongeneel
-- Utrecht University
"Bavinck combines a strong biblical orientation with a deep understanding of the human soul. His reflections on God's revelation to the human community, religious consciousness, and Eastern mysticism can help us to do Christian mission properly in today's context."