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Appreciative and Faithful?

Karl Barth’s Use of Herman Bavinck’s View of God’s Incomprehensibility

Ximian Xu


This article is intended to assess Karl Barth’s appreciative use of Herman Bavinck’s view of God’s incomprehensibility in Church Dogmatics II/1. The main argument is that despite Barth’s appreciative gesture, Barth in fact offers an unfaithful or mistaken reading of Bavinck’s view. Whereas Bavinck makes God’s knowability the presupposition of the divine incomprehensibility, Barth renders the veracious knowledge of God predicated upon God’s incomprehensibility, which is in turn grounded in God’s hiddenness. In any event, Barth’s appreciative gesture toward Bavinck should not cover up their divergent lines of reasoning in demonstrating the doctrine of God’s incomprehensibility.

Eddy Van der Borght

Cornelis van der Kooi and Cornelius A. Rietveld


This article explores to what extent God and his works can be understood in terms of entrepreneurship. We give several theological reasons for using this lens, and we survey briefly the use of the word ‘oikonomia’ in the New Testament, the early church, and Reformed theology. Thereafter, we investigate how the entrepreneurship metaphor fits the narrative of the Bible. We argue that by looking at how features of entrepreneurship can be found in the way in which the triune God acts, we obtain a more comprehensive view on our history as a risky drama between God and humanity. The metaphor also highlights the important role played by humans in letting creation flourish.