It’s an exciting time for Bavinck fans, with a number of his works being republished – some, like this one, translated into English for the first time. This is not somewhere to start however if you want to get a taste of Bavinck, or are simply looking for a Reformed approach to the idea of a Christian Worldview. This is a translation of a book originally published in 1904, taken from the second edition (1913) rather than the third, as the second is in the public domain. In terms of the big picture, Bavinck’s arguments still hold up, but while interacting at times with some well-known philosophers, he is also interacting with many people modern readers will be unfamiliar with. The editors have rectified this somewhat with footnotes, but it’s still a book which will appeal to a rather niche audience (Bavinck scholars and those with a strong interest in philosophy). Nor is it an easy read.
And yet there are parts of it that are startlingly up-to-date: ‘The battle today is no longer about the authority of pope or council, of church and confession; for countless others it is no longer even about the authority of Scripture or the person of Christ. The question on the agenda asks, as principally as possible, whether there is still some authority and some law to which the human being is bound…And in this struggle, every man of Christian profession should assemble under the banner of the King of truth’.
Thanks to Crossway for a complimentary copy of this book through their Beyond the Page review programme.