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The J. H. Bavinck Reader
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The J. H. Bavinck Reader

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Eerdmans 2013

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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

In the Logos edition, The J. H. Bavinck Reader is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful searches help you 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

  • Crucial themes and issues explored by a premier missiologist
  • Introductory biographical sketch of J. H. Bavinck
  • Foundational material on revelation and religion


  • Part 1: God’s Revelation to the Nations
    • General Revelation and the Non-Christian Religions
    • Proclaiming Christ to the Nations
  • Part 2: Religious Consciousness and Christian Faith
    • Defining Religious Consciousness: The Five Magnetic Points
    • Debating Religious Consciousness: Natural Religion?
    • Religious Consciousness in History
    • Religious Consciousness in Christian Faith

Praise for the Print Edition

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.

Richard J. Mouw, professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

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 70 years ago—are as insightful now as anything currently being written by evangelical missiologists on the interplay between Christianity and human religiosity.

—Jonathan J. Bonk, retired executive director, Overseas Ministries Study Center

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.

—Jan A. B. Jongeneel, professor emeritus of missiology, Utrecht University

Product Details

  • Title: The J.H. Bavinck Reader
  • Editors: James D. Bratt, John Bolt, and Paul J. Visser
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 429

About the Editors

James D. Bratt is professor of history at Calvin College.

John Bolt is professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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.

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