Revelation and Grace
A Critical Appraisal of Hendrik Kraemer’s Theology of Religions
Our globalized world, with its increasingly pluralistic societies, necessitates a theological framework that enables Christians to embrace their neighbors – with respect, understanding, and love – without compromising the essential components of their own faith.
In Revelation and Grace, Dr. Philip Djung explores the ways in which Hendrik Kraemer’s theology of religions offers the church such a framework. By placing Kraemer in conversation with other twentieth century Dutch Reformed theologians, namely Herman Bavinck, Johan H. Bavinck, and Abraham Kuyper, Dr. Djung allows the doctrine of revelation and grace to inform his interpretation of Kraemer’s work. He provides a critical assessment of Kraemer’s theology, illustrating the significance of Kraemer’s commitment to the uniqueness of Christ and the necessity of Christian mission, while advocating for the need to amend certain aspects of Kraemer’s perspective to more fully reflect God’s presence in world religions.
I consider Djung’s project of bringing together two significant Dutch Reformed missiological traditions into a new synthesis to be largely successful and the result is new theological prolegomena to Christian missiology that promises to be a helpful guide in contemporary Christian engagement with the world’s religions.
John Bolt, PhD
Director, Bavinck Institute, and Editor, Bavinck Review
In this timely and clearly argued work, Dr. Djung pointedly distinguishes Hendrik Kraemer’s theological understanding of world religions. This study advances the Dutch neo-Calvinistic thinking on these matters in ways that are insightful and important in our era of globalization. It is a very important contribution that deserves widespread attention.
James A. De Jong, ThD
President Emeritus, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Djung has written a welcome reassessment of Kraemer’s works and offers a thorough account of Kraemer’s understanding of revelation, grace, salvation, the uniqueness of Christ, his appreciation of world religions and cultures, the necessity of Christian missions, and much more. This is a thought-provoking book for missiologists.
David Hartono, PhD
Former President, Asian Society of Missiology
This book sheds new light on the significance of Hendrik Kraemer and his theology of religions with its insistence on the centrality of the gospel, the necessity of Christian missions, and the uniqueness of Christian revelation. Djung carefully navigates Kraemer’s main theological thoughts, and as a response to Kraemer’s critics, he constructs a helpful amendment to read the missionary’s theology in light of the doctrines of general revelation, common grace, and the work of the Holy Spirit as developed by other Dutch theologians such as Herman Bavinck, Abraham Kuyper, and Johan H. Bavinck.
Yudha Thianto, PhD
Professor of Theology,
Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois, USA
What is the source and meaning of non-Christian religions and how are these religious convictions related to the core message of the gospel? In his contributions, Kraemer thought through aspects of the discussion from the perspectives of biblical theology and the science of religions and combined them in creative ways. Dr. Djung presents this vision afresh and brings it in a positive-critical way in interaction with later and different voices. In a convincing manner, he shows that the essence of Kraemer’s approach is non negotiable, at least when we want to do justice to the content of a number of crucial Christian convictions and to the content of the Scriptures.
Rev. Paul J. Visser, DS
Pastor, Protestant Church in the Netherlands
Chair, Foundation for the Promoting of Reformed Missiology and Ecumenics