In seinem Aufsatz “THE CATHOLICITY OF CHRISTIANITY AND THE CHURCH” (Vorlesung in Kampen, 1888) gibt Herman Bavinck freimütig zu: Wir sind Kinder unserer Zeit, das heisst Diesseits-orientiert.
We ourselves, perhaps more than we imagine, are influenced by this modern worldview. Our view of things is quite different from that of previous generations. While life this side of the grave was then chiefly viewed as a preparation for heaven, it now has its own independent value. While an earlier morality, focused on eternity, led to a certain indifference about life on earth, now a greater valuation of the earthly and an intense involvement with material concerns has taken its place. We all participate in the efforts to make this life as tolerable and as comfortable as possible. We attempt to alleviate misery, to reduce crime, to lower the mortality rate, to enhance health, to oppose public disorder, and to limit panhandling. Our differences with an earlier orientation are perhaps not a matter of principle, but we do look at things quite differently.
Dies bedeutet jedoch keine Weltflucht und ein Guerilla-Kampf an der Seitenlinie:
It is not a mighty, imposing conflict between the entire church militant and the world in the entirety of its organization as a kingdom under its own master, but rather a guerilla war that weakens the enemy here and there but never triumphs.
Bavinck warnt auch vor falscher Zufriedenheit, unseren Glauben in unseren privaten kleinen Zirkel zu leben:
Satisfied with the ability to worship God in their own houses of worship, or to engage in evangelism, many left nation, state and society, art and science to their own devices.
Er räumt dem Glaubensleben natürlich seinen Platz ein:
The mystical life has its own legitimacy alongside activity; the busyness of work makes rest necessary; Sunday, though situated at the beginning of the work days, does remain next to them. In this dispensation we will never achieve the full harmony and unity that we expect in the future. Some onesideness will remain in us as persons and churches.
Trotz des Wissens, dass im jetzigen Leben Tendenzen und Unausgewogenheit bestehen bleiben, gilt:
But even greater, it seems to me, is the faith of the person who, while keeping the kingdom of heaven as a treasure, at the same time brings it out into the world as a leaven, certain that He who is for us is greater than he who is against us and that He is able to preserve us from evil even in the midst of the world.
Der Aufsatz kann hier heruntergeladen werden. Das Lesen lohnt sich!