God Hidden and Revealed: A Reformed and an Eastern Orthodox Perspective - PhDData

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God Hidden and Revealed: A Reformed and an Eastern Orthodox Perspective

The thesis was published by Bintsarovskyi, Dmytro, in September 2022, Theological University Kampen.


The Christian tradition widely recognizes that in some sense God is revealed, communicable, and knowable to human beings, while in another he remains hidden, transcendent, and incomprehensible to them. But in which sense? This study explores this question in detail focusing on two traditions: Reformed and Eastern Orthodox, represented by Herman Bavinck and John Meyendorff respectively. The study reflects the persuasion that by engaging in dialogue with other Christians each tradition can be enriched without denying its own distinctive features.
The first part of the study broadly introduces the approaches of the Orthodox and Reformed traditions, especially as they developed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The second part describes Bavinck’s views according to the following structure: first it discerns several underlying characteristics of his dogmatics, then it discusses at length his understanding of God’s hiddenness and revelation, and, finally, it analyzes how they are interrelated in his theology. The description of Meyendorff’s views in the third part follows the same structure.
In comparing Bavinck’s and Meyendorff’s positions, the study argues that their doctrines of God are closely related to their soteriological interests, which can be subsumed as “certainty of faith” and “certainty of experience” respectively. The study further identifies similarities and differences between Bavinck’s and Meyendorff’s approaches and points out the causes which contribute to these differences. In the last chapter, Bavinck’s and Meyendorff’s views are evaluated with the use of three criteria: the preservation of God’s incomprehensibility, the reality of union with God, and the oneness of God.

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