Editor’s Note: The following essay appears in the Spring 2020 issue of Eikon.
Imagine, if you will, a divinely-designed institution perfectly tuned toward maximal human flourishing — dynamic, responsive, devoted, fecund, nurturing. Now consider any concerted opposition to such an institution. Would it be motivated by hatred toward God? Or man?
At the turn of the twentieth century, Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) found himself confronted by a society increasingly hostile to human flourishing according to divine design. Sufficiently alarmed, he busied himself with a counteroffensive, which has been passed down to the anglophone world under the title, The Christian Family. The family was in trouble, and one of the most influential theologians of the Christian era unsheathed his pen in defense — he knew it was a matter of civilizational life or death.
Bavinck wrote The Christian Family in a day animated with revolutionary spirits. Socialism, Marxism, and the…