Richard Mouw Praises Bavinck

Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, is a knowledgeable and wise man. So, it is gratifying to take note of his high praise for Herman Bavinck in his September 9, 2009 blog entry.

He speaks of a “Bavinck revival” (of sorts), compares him with his neo-Calvinist contemporary Abraham Kuyper, praises his “kinder and gentler orthodoxy,” notes that his observations on Islam remain relevant and, highlighting Bavinck’s caution to Protestants against excessive critique of Roman Catholic “works righteousness,” cites the following gem from Bavinck’s The Certainty of Faith:

[W]e must remind ourselves that the Catholic righteousness by good works is vastly preferable to a protestant righteousness by good doctrine. At least righteousness by good works benefits one’s neighbor, whereas righteousness by good doctrine only produces lovelessness and pride. Furthermore, we must not blind ourselves to the tremendous faith, genuine repentance, complete surrender and the fervent love for God and neighbor evident in the lives and work of many Catholic Christians. The Christian life is so rich that it develops its full glory not just in a single form or within the walls of one church.

Mouw concludes:

“If [Bavinck’s] way of being “orthodox Reformed” were to take hold here in North America, we might have a real revival on our hands!”

To that we can only say, “Amen and Amen!”