Other Sellers on Amazon
Christian Worldview Hardcover – October 29, 2019
Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip.
View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look.
Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more.
Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration.
Enhance your purchase
For the First Time in English, a Foundational Work of One of the Church's Most Important Theologians
As some point in life, we all wonder: Who am I? What is the world, and what is my place within it? Only Christianity offers answers to these questions in a way that meets our truest needs and satisfies our deepest longings.
In this important book, translated into English for the first time, Herman Bavinck provides a framework for understanding why the Christian worldview is the only solution to the discord we feel between ourselves, the world, and God.
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
About the Author
Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) was a leading theologian in the modern Dutch Reformed tradition. He is the author of the magisterial four-volume Reformed Dogmatics.
N. Gray Sutanto (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC. He is the author of God and Knowledge: Herman Bavinck’s Theological Epistemology, and a cotranslator and coeditor of Herman Bavinck’s Christian Worldview.
James Eglinton (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the Meldrum Senior Lecturer in Reformed Theology at New College, the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Bavinck: A Critical Biography, which won the 2020 Gospel Coalition Book of the Year award for history and biography.
Cory C. Brock (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is a minister at St Columba's Free Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. He is also an adjunct lecturer in theology at Edinburgh Theological Seminary and Belhaven University. He is the author of Orthodox yet Modern: Herman Bavinck’s Use of Friedrich Schleiermacher and coauthor of Neo-Calvinism: A Theological Introduction.
- Publisher : Crossway (October 29, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 144 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1433563193
- ISBN-13 : 978-1433563195
- Item Weight : 8.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.59 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #741,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
After the editor’s introduction and Bavinck’s preface to the second edition and the book’s introduction the meat of the book is its three chapters which explores the problem of autonomous thinking. By autonomous thinking we mean thinking and worldview that does not begin with God’s revelation in Scripture but one that operates independently and contrary to Scripture and the Christian worldview. In rejecting God the problems that confront the thoughts of man is the relationship between thinking and being which is discussed in chapter one, the relationship between being and becoming which is discussed in chapter two and the problem of becoming and acting that’s discussed in chapter three.
Those who are familiar with Cornelius Van Til’s apologetics and theology would appreciate reading this book because there’s a lot of ideas and materials that Bavinck gives that Van Til later expanded and build upon. Likewise with Schaeffer’s apologetics. As an example of “proto-Van Tillian” concept here’s a quote from Bavinck: “If we reject Christianity because it does not suit us, it instantly proves at the very same time that Christianity is indispensable for us.” There’s other quotes like this that would make a Presuppositionalist jubilant. Of course to say Bavinck was “proto-Van Tillian” might be disrespectful to some because Bavinck came first and Van Til used a lot of ideas from Bavinck. Also Bavinck idea isn’t fully that of Van Til; still it is a treat to see Bavinck as the source for Van Til but also to read Bavinck’s discussion about world and life view in his own right.
There’s a refutation of the mechanical and materialist worldview in chapter two of the book that I really enjoyed. I especially enjoyed Bavinck’s point that divine energy in creation isn’t blind but led by God’s wisdom but in a mechanical worldview there’s no place of “development” since there’s nothing that need or must “become.” Thus the idea of progress and direction makes no sense in such a worldview within itself.
I also enjoyed the discussion about morality and ethics in chapter three. He makes an interesting observation after discussing how morals are always binding that people do often give excuses to not obey morals but then those excuses are rarely permitted by the same individual for others to not abide by them. Chapter three also have an excellent discussion about the problem of Kant’s dualism, and this discussion is important seeing how much of Western philosophy today has been impacted by Kant’s thinking. I also thought Bavinck was quite insightful into what was the future will be like ahead of his time when he said “Individualism turns into socialism, autonomy into heteronomy, nominalism into monism, autoism into pantheism, anarchy into despotism, the sovereignty of the people into the power of the state, freedom into the tyranny of the majority, not because of ethical necessity but rather because of practical motives and economical factors.” That’s quite what happen and this insight was written before the outbreak of world war one!
Just to show you the impact of Bavinck to theology today we can see the international flavor of those who translated and edited this book. Nathaniel Gray Sutanto is an Indonesian Chinese scholar on Bavinck while James Eglinton is a lecturer on Reformed theology in England and Cory C. Brock is an American specializing in modern dogmatic theology. Together these guys span three continents! They were not only helpful in providing an English translation of this book but also an editor’s introduction to the book discussing Bavinck’s understanding and conception of world and life view along with editorial footnotes explaining and providing biographical information of whom Bavinck was quoting or referring to and also other helpful explanation.
NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Crossway and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
The editors get to the core of Bavinck’s agenda:“It is only the Christian worldview that provides true harmony between God and the world, God and the self, and the self and the world.” The answer, then, to the deepest questions of the human heart are found in the Christian worldview.
Unfortunately, as Bavinck argues, “A unified world-and-life view is lacking, and therefore this word is the slogan of our day.” This is a lamentable reality, especially since the author is writing over one hundred years ago. Since that time, the Christian worldview has slowly eroded in many minds which render the church weak and ineffective.
The church would do well to recover the basic tenets of the Christian worldview. My own view, however, is that Bavinck’s work is probably not the first place to turn. Christian Worldview is designed for those who have been theologically trained and understand the fine-tuned arguments that he presents. Readers would be better off exploring Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, Worldviews in Conflict by Ronald Nash, Revolutions in Worldview by W. Andrew Hoffecker, Ed. or Tactics by Gregory Koukl.
In depth analysis, clear thinking, and logical conclusions permeate this work. Who are we, how do we see ourselves, and how do we see the world we live in are questions we all ask. Christianity, as the reader will see, is the only answer.
In only 144 pages the author offers clear and concise analysis. Observe the table of contents
Editors’ Introduction Herman Bavinck for the Twenty-First Century Preface to the Second Edition Introduction
1 Thinking and Being
2 Being and Becoming
3 Becoming and Acting
As the translators observe
Worldview, for Bavinck, is neither apriorism nor a tenuous theory for separating public intellectuals into neat compartments. Rather, it is a controlling principle and posture that is first discovered when religion comes to bear on both science and wisdom (philosophy), discovering between them a unity— one which attempts to satisfy both head and heart.
From this premise, Bavinck builds.
From ancient times onward, humanity has pondered how the mind [geest] in us can have consciousness of the things outside us and how the mind can know [kennen] them— in other words, what is the origin, the essence, and the limit of human knowledge [kennis]?
From chapters 2 & 3:
The second problem solved in our worldview is that of being and becoming, of unity and multiplicity, of God and world. And for this, Christianity is also of fundamental significance.
The harmony of this worldview [wereldbeeld], however, is interrupted by the sharp contrasts to which we are introduced especially in relation to the third problem, that between becoming and acting [handelen]. Is there, in the stream of occurrences, still a place for personal, independent, and free acting? Can we on good grounds and in confidence continue to say, “I think, I will, I act,”...
As the reader will discover, there is a logical progression to Bavinck's thought and it is well done. His worldview is clearly delineated and and fully applicable to us today.
A possible drawback to this book is that the average reader will need to patient and work through the material presented. Dutch translated to English sometimes has it’s difficulties as not all words translate with their exact original and nuanced meaning. Some help is provided by the translators. Yet, I believe the determined and long suffering reader will benefit greatly.
All quoted material is from Herman Bavinck; Nathaniel Gray Sutanto; James Eglinton; Cory C. Brock. Christian Worldview (Kindle Locations 39-47, 1284-1287, 725-726, 340-343,139-141). Crossway. [Paid link].
Crossway has provided a complimentary copy of this book through Beyond the Page. Thoughts and opinions are my own.