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Reformed Dogmatics, 4 Volumes

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"We owe a great debt of gratitude to those who have made the treasures of Bavinck's thought available to a new world of appreciative hearers."--Donald K. McKim, editor, Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith

In partnership with the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, Baker Academic is proud to offer in English for the very first time all four volumes of Herman Bavinck's complete Reformed Dogmatics. This masterwork will appeal not only to scholars, students, pastors, and laity interested in Reformed theology but also to research and theological libraries.


"Herman Bavinck has often been unjustly overshadowed by Abraham Kuyper, especially in the English-speaking world. The unavailability in English of his crowning work, Gereformeerde Dogmatiek, has been a particularly significant lack. Bavinck's breadth, thoroughness, rigor, ecumenical interests, and spiritual fervor are clearly on display in this careful and readable translation. It is a splendid gift to theological studies and will contribute to redressing the neglect of this faithful servant of Christ and his church."--Stephen R. Spencer, Wheaton College

"A welcome addition to the works of Bavinck in English."--Donald G. Bloesch, emeritus professor of theology, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

"What a wonderful gift to the English-speaking theological world! The topics explored by Bavinck are still of the utmost importance, and he addresses them here in a theological voice that is amazingly fresh. I pray that the appearance of this volume signals the beginnings of a Bavinck revival!"-Richard J. Mouw, president emeritus and senior professor of faith and public life, Fuller Theological Seminary; Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, Calvin University

"Finally Bavinck becomes available to the English-speaking world. The Dutch version has been a constant stimulus for students, pastors, and other interested Christians. It has shaped generations of theologians and helped them to preach, think, and act on a fresh, Reformed basis. The strength of Bavinck's dogmatics is that it's neither conservative nor progressive, but its biblical character makes it constantly up-to-date. Baker and the Dutch Reformed Translation Society deserve praise for this project, from which without doubt church and theology will profit for years to come."--Herman Selderhuis, Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn

"Bavinck is one of the premier Reformed theologians, but till now much of his magnum opus has not been accessible to English-language readers. We owe a great debt of gratitude to those who have made the treasures of Bavinck's thought available to a new world of appreciative hearers."--Donald K. McKim, editor, Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith

"Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics has been the fountainhead of Reformed theology for the last hundred years. It is by far the most profound and comprehensive Reformed systematic theology of the twentieth century. The reader will be amazed by Bavinck's erudition, creativity, and balance. Bavinck is confessionally orthodox, but he recognizes the need to rethink the traditional formulations from Scripture in the context of contemporary discussion. I hope these volumes will have a large readership and will bring forth much theological and spiritual fruit."--John M. Frame, professor of systematic theology and philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary

"This is one of those seminal works that embodies a significant portion of our Reformed theological heritage. We all should rejoice to see this material finally available in English!"--Samuel T. Logan Jr., Westminster Theological Seminary

"Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics continues to be the standard of modern orthodox dogmatics in the Reformed tradition. It not only is encompassing in content but also shows everywhere a profound insight into the basic problems that a Reformed theology has to face and a deep sensitivity for modern culture. The combination of both made his work famous, and studying his work is fruitful also for a new generation."--Cornelis van der Kooi, Free University, Amsterdam

"Despite all the important contributions that Dutch Calvinists have made to North American Protestantism, Herman Bavinck remains an obscure figure, lagging behind the influential Abraham Kuyper. With the translation and republication of Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics, this unfortunate situation should change for the better. These four volumes demonstrate the importance and mastery of Bavinck's own contribution to Reformed theology, while providing a useful and striking point of comparison with the best-known twentieth-century Reformed dogmatics, that of Karl Barth. At a time when the scholastic nature of systematic theology has come under serious criticism, Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics reveals the advantage of careful and sustained reflection on Christian truth that is both faithful to the church and engaged with the academy. Readers will discover more than Bavinck the theologian in these volumes; they will learn about the God whom he worshiped and served."--D. G. Hart, author of The Lost Soul of American Protestantism

"Bavinck's Dutch masterwork was the Everest of which the textbooks by Louis Berkhof and Auguste Lecerf were foothills and Berkouwer's studies in dogmatics were outliers. Like Augustine, Calvin, and Edwards, Bavinck was a man of giant mind, vast learning, ageless wisdom, and great expository skill. Solid but lucid, demanding but satisfying, broad and deep and sharp and stabilizing, Bavinck's magisterial Reformed Dogmatics remains after a century the supreme achievement of its kind."--J. I. Packer, professor of theology, Regent College

"Arguably the most important systematic theology ever produced in the Reformed tradition. I have found it to be the most valuable. English-speaking theology throughout the 20th century until now has been singularly impoverished by not having at its disposal a translation of Bavinck's Dogmatiek in its entirety. The appearance of these volumes will be an incomparable boon for generations of students, pastors, teachers, and others, serving to deepen understanding and enrich reflection in both historical and systematic theology."--Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., professor of biblical and systematic theology, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

The Author

  1. Herman Bavinck

    Herman Bavinck

    Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) succeeded Abraham Kuyper as professor of systematic theology at the Free University of Amsterdam in 1902.

    Continue reading about Herman Bavinck


"Pastors and theologians will welcome the historic first complete translation of Herman Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics. . . . This masterful theological work is now available to passionate students of theology."--R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Preaching

"[Bavinck's] emphasis on faith seeking understanding in service of the Christian community is a helpful corrective to the tendency toward individualistic approaches to theological method, in which theologians are disconnected from the church and her heritage, sometimes found in contemporary American evangelicalism. . . . The translation of these volumes into English is a welcome addition to the resources for study of Reformed theology. Even those who are not Reformed in their theological heritage can gain much from Bavinck's clear presentation of Christian theology. This is not easy reading, but the effort is worthwhile to mine the depths of Bavinck's comprehensive and thoughtful summary of the Dutch Reformed tradition. Those who desire to understand the faith once for all delivered to the saints will be rewarded by a careful and systematic reading."--Glenn R. Kreider, Bibliotheca Sacra

"The theological world has been blessed by being the recipients of the translation of . . . Herman Bavinck's magnum opus the Gereformeerde Dogmatiek in English. . . . John Bolt has performed a great service by his editorial introductions and notes in the English translation. Far from hindering the reader's grasp of the material, Dr. Bolt provides us with highly helpful and pertinent comments in each of the chapters of material. By the same token, the translation team has done an admirable job in what is often a thankless task of a kind of theological midwifery. What is of greater import, however, is that the translation team was able to put older Dutch into a highly readable English format. . . . These volumes have been anticipated by the theological world for a long time and now that they are available, it would behoove every professor, theological student, Elder, and serious Christian to purchase them. . . . It would not be saying too much to state that reading any chapter of [Reformed Dogmatics] will have the effect of thoroughly grounding the Christian in the most important aspects of the subject under discussion. . . . What this translates into is a theological orientation from a decidedly well-balanced Reformed persuasion that enables the reader to critique more modern 20th and 21st century theologies and theologians. . . . You will find yourself taking these volumes from the shelf and pouring over the rich history of dogma, the profound and continued use of Scripture, and the thorough grasp of theology and theological positions that Herman Bavinck offers. . . . John Bolt and John Vriend have done us the great service of putting the works of this outstanding Dutch theologian into our hands in the English language. You will only be the richer for studying Bavinck's theology."--Ron Gleason, Reformation21

"[Bavinck] says much that seems even more directly addressed to our own context than to the environment in which he wrote. . . . Bavinck's probings . . . are now accessible to theological communities where his name is revered, but where little has been known about the details of his thought. This is a cause for rejoicing. But it is to be hoped that the larger English-speaking theological world will also accept the challenge of seriously engaging his considerable contribution to Reformed thought. . . . Bavinck comes across as a remarkably gifted and creative guide to the contemporary landscape."--Richard J. Mouw, IRT Bulletin

"I've seen nothing for a long time that compares with this work. . . . Bavinck's command of the theological literature of the whole Christian church, through all of its history, is truly amazing. He continually brings forth nuggets of wisdom from theologians of virtually every tradition. His incredible erudition has produced his carefulness, accuracy, and balance. His discussions are cogent and satisfying, and his conclusions are judicious. . . . I am also impressed by the clarity of this work. Credit for that is partly due to the translators. . . . It is no wonder that this work has long been regarded as the best statement of the Reformed system of doctrine since Calvin's Institutes. Although the original edition of these volumes is now a hundred years old, it is amazing how useful Bavinck is for our generation. . . . It is hard to read Bavinck without feeling that he is speaking directly to the churches of our day. Not many books written today give as many helpful insights as these volumes by Bavinck. I already regard them as my most valuable theological resource. . . . I hope that every pastor and every other serious student of theology will obtain and carefully study Herman Bavinck's magnum opus."--G. I. Williamson, New Horizons

"I recommend that all four volumes be purchased, read, underlined, and digested; the study of them is an edifying and enlightening theological journey."--Eugene Heideman, Reformed Review

"Herman Bavinck's magnum opus, his four-volume Reformed Dogmatics, offers a stunning synthesis of reflection upon the teaching of Scripture. It is arguably the finest multivolume Reformed systematic theology available in the English language. His theological formulations and biblical exposition are lucid and penetrating, offering stimulating insights on every topic he treats."--Lane G. Tipton, New Horizons

"At last, this model of Reformed theological scholarship is available in English to students of Reformed theology. . . . Bavinck evidences an extraordinary familiarity with the discussion of theological topics throughout the history of the church. . . . Only after a thorough canvassing of the biblical, historical, and confessional discussion of any particular topic does he arrive at a conclusion of his own. However, these qualities of meticulous and catholic scholarship, painstaking research, and consideration of the possible answers to a question, are among the reasons why Bavinck's Dogmatics continue to be a model for contemporary Reformed theologians. . . . It can only be hoped that, with the publication of Bavinck's Dogmatics in English, more readers will have access to the contributions of this remarkable theologian. Although readers will not always agree with Bavinck's conclusions, they will find him to be an outstanding model of Reformed theological scholarship--deeply rooted in the riches of scriptural revelation, sympathetically informed by the great confessions of the Reformed churches, instructed by the history of the church's reflection upon the Word of God, and carefully engaged with the broad range of contemporary challenges to the Christian faith. If readers learn anything from Bavinck, they should learn much about how the work of theology is to be conducted."--Cornelis P. Venema, New Horizons

"John Bolt, the editor, and John Vriend, the translator, have done the Christian church an inestimable service in bringing Herman Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics to the English-speaking world. The four volumes . . . are a systematic, richly biblical, deeply experiential and compellingly engaging exposition of God's revelation in Holy Scripture. Whether he is engaging with theological liberals, scientific/philosophical atheists, or with a fellow Calvinist like Abraham Kuyper, Bavinck wields the Scriptures with such insightful clarity that it is hard ever to think he could possibly be wrong! . . . It would be a mistake to think that these volumes belonged only in the minister's study. Certainly they are wonderful, even inspirational theology and will richly stimulate pastors as they seek to minister the whole counsel of God. But any thoughtful Christian would benefit greatly from dipping into Bavinck. . . . Here is theology at its best and most mind and heart engaging."--Ian Hamilton, Banner of Truth