Emerging Neo-Calvinistic Barth Interpretation in Sinophone Scholarship: Its Significance for Sino-Christian Theology

In: Journal of Chinese Theology
Shao Kai Tseng ZJU100, Research Professor, School of Philosophy, Zhejiang University China

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Theology and philosophy are strange bedfellows: although they share many similar interests and constantly influence each other, their relationship is fraught with suspicion or even enmity. This problem is especially acute for those who want to harmonize their commitment to sola Scriptura with the use of philosophy in their theology. Drawing insights from Herman Bavinck’s Neo-Calvinist worldview, I argue that this apparent competition is mainly caused by the failure to recognize the organic unity between both disciplines. Without theology, all disciplines would be meaningless, but without philosophy, all disciplines would be unintelligible. Portraying the harmony between theology and philosophy depends on the success of locating the difference and relationship between the universality of theology and that of philosophy. Further, the organicity that suffuses all things and affirms the primacy of special revelation reflects the Neo-Calvinist belief in both sola scriptura and the sacredness of all vocations.

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