Reformed Dogmatics: Abridged

This graphic  sketch of Bavinck was commissioned by the society’s board and produced by Erik G. Lubbers
This graphic sketch of Bavinck was commissioned by the society’s board and produced by Erik G. Lubbers

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, four volumes. John Bolt, editor; John Vriend, translator. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003-2008.

Herman Bavinck was born on December 13, 1854, the son of Rev. Jan and Gesina Holland Bavinck.  His father was a respected, influential pastor in the Dutch Christian Reformed Church and a leader in the second generation of the 1834 Afscheiding movement that sought to recapture confessional Reformed orthodoxy and deep spirituality. Herman was educated at the University of Leiden, where he confronted the theological modernism of the era. After a brief pastorate, he served as professor of dogmatics first at his denomination’s seminary in Kampen (1893-1902) and then at the Free University of Amsterdam (1902-1921). At both places he was at the forefront of the revival of Calvinistic theology and the shaping of a Reformed world-and-life view often designated as Neo-Calvinism. Bavinck died in 1921.

Bavinck’s dogmatics represents a lifetime of work. It is biblically incisive, philosophically informed, spiritually balanced, pastorally motivated and scientifically engaged with issues of enduring significance. Durable and magisterial, it is considered by many to be the finest post-Reformation articulation of Reformed theology.

The society’s translation is enhanced with excellent introductions, expanded and helpful footnotes, a fuller and modernized bibliography, and a copious index. These features make it an indispensible resource in this age of globalized Christianity.

Herman Bavinck's four-volume Reformed Dogmatics is one of the most important theological works of the twentieth century. The recently completed English translation has received wide acclaim. Now John Bolt, one of the world's leading experts on Bavinck and editor of Bavinck's four-volume set, has abridged the work in one volume, offering students, pastors, and lay readers an accessible summary of Bavinck's masterwork. This volume presents the core of Bavinck's thought and offers explanatory materials, making available to a wider audience some of the finest Dutch Reformed theology ever written.

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