Johan Herman Bavinck

Johan Herman Bavinck

Johan Herman Bavinck (November 22 1895-June 23 1964) was a Dutch pastor, missionary and theologian.


Bavinck was born in Rotterdam as the second son of reverend Coenraad Bernardus Bavinck. Both his father and his grandfather (Jan Bavinck) were pastors. His uncle Herman Bavinck was pastor and Professor of Dogmatics at the theological school in Kampen and at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. In 1922 Bavinck married Tine Robers. Their children are Koert, Ben and Annemarie.

tudy and Ministry

After his secondary education he went to study theology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. After this study he moved to Germany to continue his study in Gießen and Erlangen. In 1919 he graduated from Erlangen having completed a dissertation on psychology and mysticism in the work of Heinrich von Suso. In 1920 his work as pastor of the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland began. He became pastor in Medan and the next year in the congregation in Bandoeng, both in Indonesia. Both churches were focussed on the Dutch population. During a furlough he decided to stay in the Netherlands, and in 1927 he became pastor in Heemstede. January 1930 he departed again to Indonesia, after months of preparations. This time he went as a missionary pastor. He settled in Solo and worked from 1934 to 1939 as a teacher on the Seminary for Javanese Ministers in Jogjakarta. Back in the Netherlands he became in 1939 Professor at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. At the same time he was from 1939 till 1954 Professor of Missions at the Kampen Theological Seminary. In 1954 he was appointed Professor of Practical Theology at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Because of this assignment he had to end his work in Kampen. Among his contributions to the theology of missions, are his views on elenctics. [Visser, P.J. Bemoeienis en getuigenis – Het leven en de missionaire theologie van Johan. H. Bavink, 285-286. Translated as: Heart for the Gospel, Heart for the World – The Life and Thought of a Reformed Pioneer Missiologist: Johan Herman Bavinck (1895-1964).]


* "Der Einfluss des Gefulhs auf das Assoziationsleben bei Heinrich von Suso" - Erlangen 1919
* "Inleiding in de zielkunde" - Kampen 1926
* "Christus en de mystiek van het oosten" - Kampen 1934
* "De boodschap van Christus en de niet-christelijke religies. Een analyse en beoordeling van het boek van dr. Kraemer: The Christian message in a non-Christian world" - Kampen 1940
* "The impact of Christianity on the non-Christian world" - Grand Rapids 1948
* "Religieus besef en het christelijk geloof" - Kampen 1949
* "Inleiding in de zendingswetenschap' - Kampen 1954; translated as "An Introduction to the Science of Missions" - 1960
* "The Church Between Temple and Mosque – A Study of the Relationship Between the Christian Faith and Other Religions" - Grand Rapids 1966


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