The Church Between Temple and Mosque: A Study of the Relationship between Christianity and Other Religions

Bavinck, J.H.; Strange, Daniel (edited by)

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In this influential posthumous masterpiece, Dutch missiologist J. H. Bavinck guides readers in a candid, eloquent, and eye-opening exploration of religion, revelation, and the distinctness of the Christian faith in the context of global religions. Bavinck’s five ‘magnetic points’ (cosmic relationship, religious norm, the riddle of existence, our craving for salvation, and our awareness of a supreme power) are a transformative rubric for bringing Christ to the world, including those identifying as religious “nones.” Now for the first time in hardcover, with a luminary introduction by Daniel Strange, a new generation of Christians, pastors, and theologians can benefit from J. H. Bavinck’s must-read study of the contrast between Christianity and world religions.

Endorsements

“Anything from the pen of J.H. Bavinck is important to read. This work is even more valuable for the western church than it was when written, for the great religions of the world are now present in Europe and North America in numbers that could not have been imagined in the mid-20th century. Beyond that, the ‘magnetic points’ are crucial for helping us speak to the religious and non-religious as well. Read this little gem of a book!”

Tim Keller, Redeemer City to City

“This book, which in spite of its modest size is a masterpiece, brings together all the theological and psychological lines that Bavinck traced in the course of his working life in the light of Scripture. His drive to interpret the uniqueness of the gospel broadly, especially in missionary contexts, motivated him to try to fully grasp the essence of non-Christian religions theologically and psychologically. His aim was to bring the insights he had gained into dialogue with the core of the Gospel and to show in a convincing way that all religious striving of people asks for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The very results of his research confirmed Bavinck in his conviction that this remains the redeeming turning point in the (religious) history of this world.”

Paul J. Visser Author, Heart for the Gospel, Heart for the World: The Life and Thought of a Reformed Pioneer Missiologist, Johan Herman Bavinck, 1895-1964

“With the rage and lure of contemporary ‘religious fantasies’, and the swelling demands for unqualified acceptance of all faiths, philosophies, and moral paradigms, the republication of this book comes as a welcome gift to the Church. Like an expert world art historian, J. H. Bavinck explains the common features of world religions as they have been crafted throughout the centuries, yet punctuates their distinct religious colors and contours. He then, with both insight and compassion, distinguishes Christianity from all other religions, and compellingly affirms why the Christ of Scripture delivers what other faiths simply cannot. No fabrication of human idolatry, Christ alone is the true Logos, the true Savior, the true Hope. This seasoned missionary-scholar writes not as a remote academic, but as a man among religious men, pressed by their assertions, but finally and blessedly impressed only by the Christ of Scripture. Even as your nagging religious questions receive compelling answers, you will find yourself more deeply amazed and touched afresh by the gospel of God in his Son.”

David B. Garner Professor of Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary