Open Access

Reformation or Revolution? Herman Bavinck and Henri de Lubac on Nature and Grace

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Special Issue: Tome troisième: Celebrating 500 Years since the Reformation, 1517-2017. Theologizing about Spirituality, Pedagogy, and Soteriology. Miscellanea Antiqua, Medievalia, Reformatorica & Moderna by Corneliu Simuț


Henri de Lubac’s treatment of the relationship between nature and grace will be critiqued by Herman Bavinck’s ‘grace restores nature’ theme. In two significant addresses, Bavinck critiqued a Roman Catholic approach to nature and grace. De Lubac’s influence upon Roman Catholic thinking addressing nature and grace occurred post-Bavinck and has altered Catholic thinking on the subject. Neo-Calvinist scholar, Wolter Huttinga admits that Bavinck and de Lubac offer similar critiques of Roman Catholicism (Huttinga 2014). The question remains then, do Bavinck’s critiques still hold? I propose that Bavinck’s account of grace restores nature still makes valid critiques of a post-Vatican II construction of nature and grace. The paper is broken into three sections: (1) an exploration of de Lubac’s nature and grace theme, (2) the framework of Bavinck’s ‘grace restores nature’ theme, and (3) a Bavinckian critique of de Lubac’s nature and grace theme.

Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception