Safe haven for hard questions

This very readable, 100-page book will be a blessing for everyone who likes to meditate on the nature or meaning of life. The author, Dutch pastor and theologian J. H. Bavinck, gives his own description in the first chapter: “The very intention of this book is to briefly touch upon some of the cardinal problems, without scaring anybody, without sowing doubt. No, the sole purpose is to discover how to see and how to question. After all, we do not seek as persons who despair. Our questioning is not an asking of the impossible. Believe me, there is a safe haven for our probing and pleading. God has spoken.”

He focuses on universal questions such as “What do we know?” and “Where do we come from?” He calls God’s plan a “Grand Chess Game” and calls out money, honour and pleasure as idols. This book was originally published 75 years ago in the Netherlands, where – according to translator Bert Hielema – a lively interest in the book continues. “Bavinck was primarily a missionary man,” Hielema says, “but his message still has much to offer to readers today.”

It is fascinating to follow this question-and-answer style writing to its conclusion: by revelation from God we can find what we are looking for! 

  • Ben is a retired teacher; he enjoys reading and lives in Bowmanville, Ont.

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