Completely sold out to the King
From the back cover:
"Since his Reformed Dogmatics was translated into English in the last decade, 19th-century Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck has gained wide popularity among pastors and theologians in the 21st century. Christian Worldview, another of his foundational works, is here translated into English for the first time, introducing more of Bavinck’s ideas to a contemporary audience. This book was originally written in response to the challenges of modernity, such as the loss of unity of the self, increasing political tension, the rise of scientism, the reduction of humanity to the merely physical, and more—challenges that continue to reverberate in our day and age."
Here is some historical information on the origins of this title:
"The cultural experience common to modern Europeans—Bavinck included, by implication—was marked by constant social, intellectual, technological, cultural, and spiritual upheaval. T. C. W. Blanning memorably describes that generation’s ever-present awareness that “the ground [was] moving beneath their feet.” Bavinck, a professor of systematic theology at the Theological School in Kampen and then (at the time of writing this work) at the Free University of Amsterdam, wrote this treatise as a theologian addressing his constantly changing late modern world. The ideas found in this book were first aired in a rectorial address in Amsterdam in 1904. That address was immediately published and sold quickly. An expanded second edition was printed in 1913, with a third (posthumously released, otherwise unchanged) edition appearing in 1927. It is also worth noting that he intended his 1908 Stone Lectures, published as Philosophy of Revelation, to be a kind of sequel that further elaborated on the ideas in this work.2 This volume, Christian Worldview, is the first English translation of Bavinck’s address to a world in the throes of profound change on every front." - Taken from the Editor's Introduction.
The following is an excerpt from chapter 1, "Thinking and Being:"
"This reconciliation occurs first in the light of the problem
of thinking [denken] and being [zijn]. From ancient times
onward, humanity has pondered how the mind [geest]1
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]? The fact is certain that of ourselves
and without coercion, we presume a world that exists
outside us, that we seek to make it our mental property
by way of perception and thinking [denken], and that
acting thusly, we also suppose that we should obtain a
certain and trustworthy knowledge of it. But on what
grounds does this faith in a reality that is independent
from our consciousness rest, and what guarantee is there
that our consciousness—enriched through observation
and thinking—corresponds to the world of being [zijn]?
For as long as the human being has occupied himself
with this problem, he almost always ends up on one
side or another, either sacrificing knowledge to being
or being to knowledge. Empiricism trusts only sensible
perceptions and believes that the processing of elementary
perceptions into representations and concepts, into
judgments and decisions, removes us further and further
from reality and gives us only ideas [denkbeelden] that,
though clean and subjectively indispensable, are merely
“nominal” [nomina] and so are subjective representations,
nothing but “the breath of a voice” [flatus vocis],
bearing no sounds, only merely a “concept of the mind”
[conceptus mentis]. Conversely, rationalism judges that
sensible perceptions provide us with no true knowledge;
they bring merely cursory and unstable phenomena into
view, while not allowing us to see the essence of the
things. Real, essential knowledge thus does not come out
of sensible perceptions but comes forth from the thinking
of the person’s own mind; through self-reflection we learn
the essence of things, the existence of the world."
1. Geest has a wide semantic range and can refer to the mind, the spirit, or a
This title is exclusively available from RHB right now. It is on sale for $13. The list price is $25.