The Reality of Faith: A Way Between Protestant Orthodoxy and Existentialist Theology, by H. M. Kuitert, translated by L. B. Smedes (Eerdmans, 1968, 213 pp., $5.50), is reviewed by Fred H. Klooster, professor of systematic theology, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, now on sabbatical leave at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Dr. Kuitert is professor of ethics and dogmatics at the Free (Reformed) University of Amsterdam, where he is an associate of Professor G. C. Berkouwer. Lectures delivered to groups of Dutch ministers were expanded into book form and are here presented in English translation. The main part of the book consists of an analysis of the anti-metaphysical thrust of existentialist theology and is intended primarily for students and pastors as a guide through the labyrinth of contemporary theology. The new subtitle in the English translation highlights the final chapter of the book, in which Kuitert outlines his suggested new “way between protestant orthodoxy and existentialist theology.” Since Kuitert has become something of a controversial “Hans Küng” within Reformed circles at home and abroad, this chapter is likely to receive special attention from many readers.
Although the problems Kuitert considers lie primarily in the area of introduction to theology, the question of “the reality of faith” is so basic that it affects one’s entire understanding of Christianity and theology. Since the word “God” can be substituted for objectivity and the word “man” for subjectivity, it ought to be clear that every struggle between objectivity and subjectivity is abortive.
Kuitert devotes his attention mainly to an exposition and evaluation of existential theology as a reaction to metaphysical theology. ...1
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