This article aims to make a comparison between Herman Bavinck, a leading neo-Calvinist theologian, and Mou Zongsan, arguably the most innovative New Confucian philosopher, on human nature and its quality, and to build a dialogue between them. Bavinck sets forth a theocentric explication on human nature, that is the imago Dei, which was created, is fallen and can only be restored in Jesus Christ who is the true imago Dei. In contrast, Mou anthropocentrically expounds human nature, which immanentizes the heavenly decree and is innately good. Despite their fundamental differences, a dialogue can still be articulated by differing Bavinck’s God from Kant’s God, the latter of which is critiqued by Mou.
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.