Yesterday, Gerard ter Horst interviewed Bavinck Society member, Rev. Dr. James Eglinton, in the Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch Daily): “Vol zelfvertrouwen door Bavinck” (“Full confidence through Bavinck”).
In the interview Eglinton reflects upon Bavinck’s distinctively orthodox and modern theological perspective in contrast with the neo-orthodox theology of Karl Barth. “Bavinck is really an alternative,” remarks Eglinton, “he takes a different direction than Barth.”
Furthermore, Eglinton notes that Bavinck chose a different mode of engagement with the modern world as compared with his fellow Dutch Calvinists.
He chose to go as an orthodox Reformed theologian in dialogue with the modern world, including theology, whereas many Calvinists sought to avoid the modern world. Unlike his contemporary, Abraham Kuyper, who sought to ground his thinking in a constant antithetical confrontation, Bavinck was properly respectful in conversation without leaving his orthodox views. Instead of seeking confrontation, he sought to bring his own views to a more profound depth.
In the remainder of the interview Eglinton reflects upon the similarities and differences between Calvinism in Scotland and in the Netherlands. He is currently studying this topic, and he plans to publish a book about it.