Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 29.1: Special Bavinck Edition

The Rutherford House and the Scottish Evangelical Theological Society have announced an upcoming special edition of the Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology (29.1) that contains the plenary papers from the September 2010 Edinburgh Bavinck Conference.

SBET 29.1 Contents

Guest Editorial

Dogmatics Papers

  • “Bavinck’s use of Wisdom Literature in Systematic Theology” – Prof John Bolt (Calvin Seminary)
  • “Bavinck’s use of Augustine as an antidote to Ritschl” – Dr Mark Elliott (St Andrews)
  • “Herman Bavinck and His Reformed Sources on the Call to Grace: A Shift in Emphasis towards the Internal Work of the Spirit” – Dr Henk van den Belt (Utrecht)
  • “Bavinck, Barth and the Uniqueness of the Eucharist” – Dr Paul T Nimmo (New College)

Ethics Papers

  • “The religious character of modernism and the modern character of religion: A case study of Herman Bavinck’s engagement with modern culture” – Prof George Harinck (VU Amsterdam and TU Kampen)
  • “Herman Bavinck and the Imitation of Christ” – Dr Dirk van Keulen (PThU Kampen)
  • “Herman Bavinck and the basis of Christian certainty” – Prof Donald Macleod (Free Church College)

Special Orders

SBET 29.1 will be available in early June. The Rutherford House is offering this special Bavinck issue to non-SBET subscribers for the following prices (USD), postpaid:

Surface Mail (takes up to 6 weeks): $16
Airmail: $23

Orders may be placed by check or CC. Checks should be made out to “Rutherford House” and mailed to the following address:

Rutherford House
1 Hill Street
Edinburgh EH2 3JP

For CC orders, please contact [email protected] to receive instructions.

“What Herman Bavinck Taught Me” — a lecture by John Bolt

On 6 April 2011 Professor John Bolt delivered the following lecture for the annual Den Dulk lecture series at Westminster Seminary California: “What Herman Bavinck Taught Me.” Bolt summarizes under four headings what he has learned from his 30 years of engaging Bavinck’s work: What Bavinck taught me about

  1. myself (who we are before God),
  2. theological method (how we approach God in his revelation),
  3. the content of good theology (it is always about God),
  4. and the church (how God uses us in the mission of the Gospel).

Listen to the lecture below, or download the lecture from Westminster.

Bolt’s second Den Dulk lecture is also available on the Westminster web site: “What America Owes Jesus as Lord: Theocratic Fears and Patriotic Ambitions.”

Confirmed Speakers for the 2011 Bavinck Conference

The following is a list of confirmed speakers for the 12-14 October 2011 international Bavinck conference, “After 9/11/11. . . . What? Reformed Theology and the Church’s Global Mission Today,” to be held at Calvin Theological Seminary:

  • Dr. Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, 2002-2010
  • Dr. Clifford Anderson, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Dr. John Bolt, Calvin Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Bert De Vries, Professor of History, Calvin College
  • Rev. Dr. Mark Durie, Islamic Scholar, Human Rights Activist, Anglican Pastor, Australia
  • Dr. Roger Greenway, Professor of Missions, Calvin Theological Seminary (retired)
  • Dr. George Harinck, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
  • Rev. Bassam Madany, Arabic Language Minister, Back to God Ministries (retired)
  • Richard J. Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Dr. David Koyzis, Professor of Political Science, Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario
  • Dr. Diane Obenchain, Professor of Religion and Theology, Calvin College
  • Dr. James Payton, Professor of History, Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario
  • Dr. Dirk Van Keulen, Protestantse Theologische Universiteit
  • Dr. Cornelis Vander Kooi, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
  • Dr. Paul J. Visser, J. H. Bavinck scholar, pastor, Amsterdam
  • Dr. Ashley Woodiwiss, Grady L. Patterson Professor of Politics, Erskine College

Details regarding conference registration, schedule, and accommodations are forthcoming.

James Eglinton Interviewed in Nederlands Dagblad

Yesterday, Gerard ter Horst interviewed Bavinck Society member, Rev. Dr. James Eglinton, in the Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch Daily): “Vol zelfvertrouwen door Bavinck” (“Full confidence through Bavinck”).

In the interview Eglinton reflects upon Bavinck’s distinctively orthodox and modern theological perspective in contrast with the neo-orthodox theology of Karl Barth. “Bavinck is really an alternative,” remarks Eglinton, “he takes a different direction than Barth.”

Furthermore, Eglinton notes that Bavinck chose a different mode of engagement with the modern world as compared with his fellow Dutch Calvinists.

He chose to go as an orthodox Reformed theologian in dialogue with the modern world, including theology, whereas many Calvinists sought to avoid the modern world. Unlike his contemporary, Abraham Kuyper, who sought to ground his thinking in a constant antithetical confrontation, Bavinck was properly respectful in conversation without leaving his orthodox views. Instead of seeking confrontation, he sought to bring his own views to a more profound depth.

In the remainder of the interview Eglinton reflects upon the similarities and differences between Calvinism in Scotland and in the Netherlands. He is currently studying this topic, and he plans to publish a book about it.

Download the full Nederlands Dagblad interview as a PDF (courtesy of Nederlands Dagblad).

Call for Papers for the 2011 Bavinck Conference

The Bavinck Institute at Calvin Theological Seminary is pleased to announce a call for papers for the October 12-14, 2011, international Bavinck Conference, entitled, After 9/11/11…What? Reformed Theology and the Church’s Global Mission Today.

are invited to submit papers for a scholarship contest and a pre-conference discussion with Bavinck scholars on October 12, 2011. Please send paper proposals to office of Continuing Education.

The conference will be held at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA (map). Further details regarding the conference schedule, speakers, rates, registration, and accommodations will be posted on this website shortly.

Bavinck’s Travel Journal of North American Visit Wins Prize

Congratulations are in order for Bavinck Society member and VU University of Amsterdam Professor Dr. George Harinck. The Royal National Dutch Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek; Nationale Bibliotheek van Nederland) announced on 25 November 2010 that Herman Bavinck’s Mijn Reis Naar Amerika, transcribed, annotated, and introduced by Dr. Harinck, has been awarded the prize as the Best Dutch Travel Narrative.

A portion of Dr. Harinck’s publication of Bavinck’s travel journal has been made available as a PDF at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek web site. The original hand-written manuscript resides in the Bavinck archives of the Historisch Documentatiecentrum voor het Nederlands Protestantisme at the Free University, Amsterdam, which Dr. Harinck directs.

The journal dates back to 1892 when Bavinck travelled to the United States and Canada primarily to deliver an address to the Fifth General Council of the Alliance of the Reformed Churches holding the Presbyterian System, Toronto, 1892: “The influence of the Protestant Reformation on the moral and religious condition of communities and nations.” Bavinck’s conclusion to this volume is of interest:

Let American Christianity develop according to its own law. God has entrusted America with a high and great calling. Let it pursue that in its own way. After all, Calvinism is not the only truth.

The occasion of the award is the public launch of a volume on Dutch travel literature by Jan Blokker, De Nederlandse Reisliteratuur in 80 en Enige Verhalen (Koninklijke Biblotheek en Prometheus, 2010). Here is Blokker’s description of Bavinck’s journal:

The travel narrative of dominee Bavinck is decidedly unprejudiced and written with astonishment and admiration. He travelled through the United States at a time when the continent was truly “new” for Europeans. His judgment about the religious life of Americans (a topic close to his heart) bears witness to a great openness. This account is an intellectual tour de force.

Congratulations to Dr. Harinck, and our best wishes for him and for the Documentatiecentrum.

James Eglinton Interviewed in Reformatorisch Dagblad

Yesterday, Reformatorisch Dagblad (Reformed Daily) published Klaas van der Zwaag’s interview with Bavinck Society member, Dr. James Eglinton (read the English translation via Google Translate).

The interview covers both Dr. Eglinton’s recent dissertation on the organic motif in Herman Bavinck’s thought and his year-long research appointment at de Theologische Universiteit van de Gereformeerde Kerken vrijgemaakt in Kampen. Congratulations to Dr. Eglinton for both accomplishments!

Upcoming Dissertation

Aart Goedvree, Theological University of Kampen (PThU)

Title: Een ondoordringbaar mysterie: Herman Bavinck en zijn concept van wedergeboorte en zijn bronnen (ET: An Impenetrable Mystery: Herman Bavinck and his concept of regeneration and its sources)

Description: My dissertation examines Herman Bavinck’s doctrine of regeneration. The extensive debates over this doctrine in 19th and 20th century Dutch neo-Calvinism form the context for my study. The scope of my research includes Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics (1st and 2nd eds.), his unpublished Reformed Ethics manuscript, and many sources relating to the doctrine of regeneration as developed from Calvin’s to Kuyper’s times. My study is divided into two parts: First I present a systematic-theological overview of the developments of regeneration from Calvin to Kuyper. Second, I analyze Bavinck’s formulation of the concept and sources of regeneration.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. J. Hoek.

Introducing Society Discussions

We are pleased to announce the first Bavinck Society Discussion:

The VanDrunen-Kloosterman Debate on Natural Law and Two Kingdoms in the Theology of Herman Bavinck.

Drs. VanDrunen and Kloosterman delivered papers regarding Bavinck’s view of natural law and the two kingdoms at the 2008 Pearl and Leaven Conference (listen to the original exchange; Real Audio format). Both papers have been published in the Calvin Theological Journal (45.1, April 2010). Professor Bolt has provided a discussion guide which summarizes the papers and suggests five propositions as conversation-starters.

Society members are welcome to join the discussion.