Announcing Bavinck on the Christian Life: Following Jesus in Faithful Service by John Bolt

Bavinck on the Christian Life — by John Bolt

The Bavinck Institute is pleased to announce Professor John Bolt’s latest publication on Herman Bavinck: Bavinck on the Christian Life: Following Jesus in Faithful Service (Wheaton: Crossway, 2015); in print and ebook via Amazon, Google Books, WTS books.

“The question I want to pose at the very beginning of a volume on Herman Bavinck’s understanding of the Christian life,” writes Bolt in the preface,

is whether this great Reformed theologian, broadly celebrated for his erudition and theological genius, practiced what he preached and taught. How does his theology relate to his ethics? In other words, was his great mind combined with a warm heart for the Lord and a commitment to a life of Christian service? Does his life stand up to the scrutiny of his own theology?

It is my honor and pleasure in the pages that follow to provide the evidence for a positive answer to these queries. The opening chapter is an exploration of Bavinck’s own desire, frequently expressed during the years he was a student at the University of Leiden, “to be a worthy follower of Jesus.”

Part 1 explores the basis of Bavinck’s theology of Christian discipleship, which can be summarized especially under the rubrics of creation/law and union with Christ. The three chapters of this foundational section are followed by two chapters describing the shape of Christian discipleship in terms of the imitation of Christ and sketching out the contours of Bavinck’s worldview.

The remaining four chapters apply this vision concretely in marriage and family, work and vocation, culture and education, and finally, civil society. The volume concludes with Bavinck’s only published sermon—on 1 John 5:4b—as a summary statement of triumphant Christian discipleship. My translation of this sermon into English was prepared specifically for this volume. Taken together, the chapters of this volume serve as an introduction to and brief primer of Herman Bavinck’s thought.

Read ch. 1: Introducing Bavinck: “A Worthy Follower of Jesus” (PDF; 2.9 MB)

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