Johan H. Bavinck in gesprek met Westerse en Oosterse mistiek. 'n Boodskap vir vandag?
Van der Walt, Bennie J.
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Johan H. Bavinck's dialogue with Western and Eastern mysticism. A message for today? For a variety of reasons all kinds of mystical writings and experiences have again become a common phenomenon. Mysticism seems to be like a creeper or climbing plant or even a parasite which may easily attach itself to existing religions and worldviews, the Christian included. Superficially viewed it may seem very attractive, in this way hiding its deceptive nature, full of inner contradictions. Therefore, the main question in this contribution is how one can escape from this labyrinth. The answer to the question is given in this article by a man who personally experienced the strong attraction of both Western and Eastern mysticism. The Dutch theologian, Johan Herman Bavinck (1895-1964), however, finally overcame its appeal by judging it's tempting voice in the light of God's voice in the Bible about genuine godliness, piety or spirituality. Apart from an introduction this essay firstly provides an overview of Bavink's description of mysticism in his different publications. In the next, main section, it is followed by his assessment in the light of his Christian convictions. The conclusion indicates what he regarded as the correct substitute for mysticism.
- Faculty of Humanities