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Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 1: Prolegomena Hardcover – October 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801026326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801026324
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #597,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) succeeded Abraham Kuyper as professor of systematic theology at the Free University in Amsterdam in 1902. John Bolt is professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. The late John Vriend translated many classic theological works.

About the Author

Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) succeeded Abraham Kuyper as professor of systematic theology at the Free University in Amsterdam in 1902. John Bolt is professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. The late John Vriend translated many classic theological works.

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jacob on August 18, 2007
Bavinck's project consists of drawing upon the strengths of the Magisterial Protestants while formulating theology in response to the modernist crisis of his day. To do so, he realized he could not slavishly mimic older platitudes and simply "hope for the best." Bavinck represents a very exciting yet somewhat embarrassing hero for modern Calvinists. Exciting, because his work is simply awesome and coming into English for the first time ever. Embarrassing, because modern Calvinists generally dislike the movement "neo-Calvinism," yet Bavinck is the unofficial godfather of it.

Bavinck takes the traditional terminology of principia, yet in the background is an ever-present urgency to respond to modernism. Therefore, he takes the terminology and reframes it around the neo-Calvinist slogan, "Grace restores Nature." There is an antithesis and dualism, to be sure, but it is not between nature and grace, but sin and grace.

Principia

God himself is the principle of existence for theology (principium essendi). Objective revelation of God in Christ is recorded in the Scriptures and this is the external source of knowledge (externum principium cognoscendi). The Holy Spirit is the iternal source of knowledge. This leads Bavinck to a line he repeats throughout the book: there must be a corresponding internal organ to receive the external revelation. This anticipates the later Reformed Epistemology school.

Contrary to the convertskii, everyone's reception and evaluation of his or her ultimate authority will be subjective in some sense. One often hears the refrain, "You Protestants make yourself the Pope and judge of authority while we simply submit to the Church.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bradley L Kautz on November 4, 2013
Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Prolegomena is the first of Herman Bavinck's four volume masterwork of Reformed systematic theology. Bavinck (1854-1921) was a pastor and professor in the Netherlands. This work, which was originally written in Dutch, was translated into English and published by the Dutch Reformed Translation Society in 2003. Bavinck's words may be a century old but they speak vibrantly today.

This volume is his prolegomena, or the "first things" that need to be addressed before delving at length into theology proper. While they may be considered preliminary issues there is nothing about Bavinck's treatment of them that is less than thorough. In turn he divides this works as follows: Introduction to Dogmatics; The History and Literature of Dogmatic Theology; Foundations of Dogmatic Theology; Revelation; and Faith.

Bavinck is an extremely well-read student of theology and he digs deeply into each aspect of his principle topics. He points out what he feels are the strengths and weaknesses of various theological positions, including the Reformed position in which he is grounded. This includes the Church Fathers, Scholasticism, Roman Catholicism and various strands of Protestantism. As a European theologian of the late 19th century he is acutely aware of the effects of Kant and Schleiermacher on philosophy and theology and he addresses their influence frequently.

Late in this volume he discusses the connection between reason and faith, noting that reason is invaluable in the service of faith, writing: "Furthermore, faith is not an involuntary act but a free act. Christians do not believe on command, out of fear, or in response to violence.
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