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|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Publication Date: 2015
Series: Theologians on the Christian Life
The importance of Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck to Reformed theology is difficult to overstate. Bavinck's comprehensive four volume systematic theology, Reformed Dogmatics, is a modern classic that has influenced countless pastors and theologians over the past 100 years. In Bavinck on the Christian Life, scholar John Bolt brings the great Dutch theologians life and work to bear on following Jesus in the 21st century. By practically applying Bavinck's systematic works to the Christian life and looking at the life of the man himself, this book shows the direct connection between robust theology, practical holiness, and personal joy.
John Owen is widely hailed as one of the greatest theologians of all time. His many worksespecially those encouraging Christians in their struggle against sincontinue to speak powerfully to readers today, offering much-needed spiritual guidance for following Christ and resisting temptation day in and day out. Starting with an overview of Owens life, ministry, and historical context, Michael Haykin and Matthew Barrett introduce readers to the pillars of Owens spiritual life. From exploring his understanding of believers fellowship with the triune God to highlighting his teaching on justification, this study invites us to learn about the Christian life from the greatest of the English Puritans.
Part of the Theologians on the Christian Life series.
John Bolt (PhD, University of St. Michaels College) is professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author and editor of several books. John and his wife, Ruth, have three children and nine grandchildren.
Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.
Justin Taylor (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books, including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center, and he blogs at Between Two Worldshosted by the Gospel Coalition.
Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. Previously, he served as research professor of Christianity and culture at Lancaster Bible College. He is an editor (with Justin Taylor) of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and is the author of several books, including The Reformation, For Us and for Our Salvation, The Church History ABCs, and Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life.
Justin Taylor (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway. He has edited and contributed to several books including A God-Entranced Vision of All Things and Reclaiming the Center, and he blogs at Between Two Worlds - hosted by the Gospel Coalition.
-Richard J. Mouw,
President, Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary
This obvious labor of love explores an important but insufficiently highlighted aspect of Bavinck's thought. Leaving virtually no pertinent stone unturned throughout his life and published works, Bolt provides both a full presentation of Bavinck's views and his own understanding of their continuing relevance for Christian discipleship today. Here is valuable instruction in Bavinck's thought presented in a way that will also stimulate the reader's own thinking on the issues raised.
-Richard B. Gaffin Jr.,
Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary
Trinitarian, Christ-centered, and culturally engaged, Herman Bavinck immerses us into a vivid vision of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His rich theological imagination provides a compelling alternative to the many vapid, pragmatic approaches to faith today. John Bolt provides an accessible and illuminating guide to Bavinck's theology of the Christian life in the most expansive sense: the Christian life of fellowship with God and others, in family, work, and politics. Bolt skillfully navigates these waters in order to open up the treasures of Bavinck for today's church.
Gordon H. Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan
Perhaps every generation in the church age could claim a need for Bavinck's perspective on the Christian life. We can't let our salt lose its saltiness and our light lose its brilliance - not now. Bavinck encourages us in this regard even as we are in the world, not of the world, and sent into the world. In one seamless volume, Bolt shows how Bavinck's contributions help correct our nearsightedness as we become tethered to his conviction that the Word of God is ever living and ever active in every day.
Pastor's wife, Redeemer Church of Dubai
Not one square inch of nature, work, culture, or history escaped the reach of Herman Bavinck's expansive Christ-centered worldview. Of the great Reformed theologians, Bavinck is the generous giant, with a heart as wide as his axiom 'grace restores nature.' Bavinck's vision of a sovereign Savior at work in the world, carefully grounded in the gospel, suits him to speak authoritatively on the Christian's place in this world. This book is a masterpiece from John Bolt, a man who knows Bavinck's mind as well as anyone.
Staff Writer and Researcher, desiringGod.org
Never before have I read such a fine and stimulating overview of Herman Bavinck's life and theology. John Bolt shows clearly why the study of Bavinck is growing worldwide and why this theology is a great help for today's Christians. Bavinck and Bolt are a great team!
Professor of Church History, Theological University of Apeldoorn; Director, Refo500, The Netherlands
Bolt's portrait of Bavinck and his theology captures the man himself: clear, elegant, biblically saturated, theologically rich, philosophically nuanced, irenic, and aimed at the Christian life. Drawing on a diversity of sources, Bolt not only brings the riches of Bavinck's mature theology into conversation with current theological concerns, but also applies it to the most practical elements of faith, marriage, family, work, and culture. He ably introduces readers to Bavinck's vision of the Christian life as part of God's movement of grace restoring nature and a cosmic redemption aimed at restoring and elevating creation to its intended goal. Most of all, it is a vision of following Jesus out into the world as the Father conforms his children into the image of the Son in the power of the Spirit for the sake of his glorious name.
Director of College and Young Adult Ministries, Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Santa Ana, California
ChrisSingaporeAge: 25-34Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5A good overview and introduction to Bavinck's theologySeptember 12, 2016ChrisSingaporeAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4For anyone who is a reformed or Van Tillian fan, Herman Bavinck would be one person you would highly respect. However the 4 volume Reformed Dogmatics may be a bit too intimidating for someone who wants to know what Bavinck has to teach to Christians. There is now one introduction to the works of Bavinck that aims to serve the laity.
John Bolt, the translator of the 4 volume Reformed Dogmatics has written this book to let christian readers know what Bavinck has to say about christian living. Bolt starts by telling the readers Bavincks theological foundation for the christian life. In this section, Bolt elaborates on what it means to be created in Gods image and more importantly, what union with Christ means for the christian. Bolt highlights and shows why Bavinck thought this doctrine is foundational to the christian life.
Next, Bolt moves to show what it means to be a disciple of Christ and what a christian worldview is. This section really is a bridge to the applicational section which comes next. Bolt shows how Bavinck used his theological might to think deeply about issues that are fundamental to the christian life. Bolt shows what Bavinck thought about the value and bibles teaching on marriage and family and vacation. Bolt also highlights what Bavincks thought on the society from a macro-perspective.
What is valuable in this book is how Bolt shows the historical context of the times Bavinck lives in. As we are often reminded, history does not occur in a vacuum, Bolt shows the significance of Bavinck in the way he critiques his society and the liberal christians in the Netherlands. Similarly, Bolt highlights areas where Bavinck differs from Abraham Kuyper. This gives the readers a wholesome picture that sometimes even the titans of the Dutch Reformed church had issues they didnt agree with. Bolt also ends with the translation the only sermon we currently have from Bavinck. I have to say, I think it was a great idea by Bolt and the editors to have included this sermon in this book.
I have gained much from reading this book, this has given me a much deeper appreciation of Bavinck not only as a theologian, but as a churchman, as a pastor and and a public theologian. This book is certainly recommended for any Reformed christians or for anyone who is interested in knowing more about Herman Bavinck.
Rating: 4.25 / 5
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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