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The Riddle of Life
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The Riddle of Life


Eerdmans 2016

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


In the spirit of C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, this book by eminent Calvinist thinker J.H. Bavinck offers a compact and compelling treatise on Christian belief.

Addressing big questions that haunt every thinking human being—Why are we here? Where do we come from? What is our destiny? How should we live?—Bavinck’s Riddle of Life also explores such essential topics as sin and salvation, Jesus the Redeemer, faith and idolatry, God’s great plan for creation, and the ultimate purpose behind our lives.

This lucid new translation by Bert Hielema of a classic text will make Bavinck’s profound reflections on faith and the meaning of human life accessible to a new generation of seekers.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Features a fresh translation of a classic treatise on Christian belief
  • Addresses major philosophical questions through life and faith


  • The Great Awakening
  • What Do We Know?
  • Faith
  • The World Order
  • Where Do We Come From?
  • Who Are We?
  • The Meaning of Life
  • God’s Plan: The Grand Chess Game
  • Our Idols: Money
  • Our Idols: Honor
  • Our Idols: The Pursuit of Pleasure
  • Sin
  • The Cry for Deliverance
  • The Redeemer
  • Jesus, the Redeemer
  • The Offered Salvation
  • Why We Are Here
  • The Completion of Life

Praise for the Print Edition

Who are we? Why are we here? What and how do we know? What does it all mean? This apologetic for the Christian faith in today's world is not so much an argument as it is concrete, experience-based, persuasive poetry drawing the reader into an exciting journey of discovery and meaning. A perfect gift for college-age students or others wrestling with the deepest questions of life.

—John Bolt, Calvin Theological Seminary

Here is a winsome, clear, concise, and inviting presentation of the basis for the Christian faith. . . . Persons of all ages and cultures who are asking deep questions about life’s significance and purpose will find The Riddle of Life accessible, very contemporary, and profoundly meaningful.

—Charles Van Engen, Fuller Theological Seminary

Product Details

  • Title: The Riddle of Life
  • Author: J.H. Bavinck
  • Translator: Bert Hielema
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 102
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Christianity

About J.H. Bavinck

J.H. Bavinck (1895-1964) was the premier twentieth-century missiologist in the Dutch Calvinist tradition. A prolific author, he worked both as pastor and as professor in the Netherlands and Indonesia. His other books include Between the Beginning and the End: A Radical Christian Vision; selections from his writings can also be found in The J.H. Bavinck Reader.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition

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