The classic treatise on Reformed systematic theology that nurtured the faith of Dutch believers for more than three centuries - now available in English.
Packed with lucid insights and helpful applications, Wilhelm a Brakel's The Christian's Reasonable Service clearly explains Reformed doctrine, discusses Christian life and ethics, and provides a history of God's covenantal work. Translated by Bartel Elshout; edited by Joel Beeke.
Volume 1: God, Man, and Christ
Volume 2: The Church and Salvation
Volume 3: The Law, Christian Graces, and the Lord's Prayer
Volume 4: Ethics and Eschatology
Wilhelmus a Brakel's The Christian's Reasonable Service is a tremendously insightful work that showcases the marriage between scholastic precision and a warm pastoral piety. A Brakel not only challenges the mind as he plumbs the depths of the teachings of Scripture, but he also challenges the heart as readers must grapple with the truth and its implications for their growth in grace. Not only can historians read à Brakel to learn about historic Reformed theology, but scholars, pastors, and laymen can all benefit from a close reading of these wonderful volumes.
-J. V. Fesko,
Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Westminster Seminary California
With its fine balance of Reformed doctrinal statement and application to Christian life and personal piety, à Brakel's Christian's Reasonable Service provides a superb illustration of the theological project associated with the late seventeenth century development of the Dutch Nadere Reformatie, or 'Further Reformation.' Although it abounds in sound definition and detailed exposition, this vernacular theology was intended not for the academic setting but for the purpose of educating the laity in both faith and practice. It remains a significant study in Reformed theology even as it exemplifies the true sense of the old Reformed maxim, Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda-namely, that the doctrine of the church has been reformed but the life of the Christian is always to be reformed, guided by the teachings of the Reformation. The Elshout translation beautifully conveys the sense and the spirit of à Brakel's work.
-Richard A. Muller,
P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary
No systematic theology compares to Wilhelmus A Brakel's The Christian's Reasonable Service for its explicit concern to weld the objective and subjective in theology. Emerging from the Dutch Further Reformation, à Brakel is without equal in exploring both the intricate details of the Reformed theological system whilst ensuring that at every turn theology is done in the interests of piety and the glory of God. In an era when the subjective has either been lost in a sea of postmodernity or viewed with suspicion for its apparent lack of academic integrity, only those who have never read this monumental treatise would dismiss it as guilty of either. An achievement to place alongside Calvin's Institutes and the systematic theologies of Turretin, Hodge, and Berkhof.
-Derek W. H. Thomas,
John E. Richards Professor of Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary
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