Announcing the Bavinck Collection Grand Opening

Heritage HallJohn Bolt, Jean and Kenneth Baker Professor of Systematic Theology at Calvin Seminary, cordially invites you to attend the grand opening of the Bavinck Institute Special Collection.

The Bavinck Institute Special Collection is housed in Hekman Library’s Heritage Hall. It contains some 1,750 books including copies of original and unpublished Bavinck manuscripts as well as scholarly essays by and about Bavinck, Abraham Kuyper, and Dutch neo-Calvinism. It is available to faculty, students, and visiting scholars.

The grand opening is open to the public. No need to RSVP.

When: 2 May 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: the Calvin Seminary auditorium (map)

Questions: Prof. Bolt’s office: (616) 957-6010; [email protected]

Neo-Calvinism and Islam, Istanbul: Call for papers

The KabaConference: “Another Religion? Neo-Calvinism and Islam”

When: 25–26 August 2016

Where: Istanbul, Turkey

Plenary speakers:

  • Prof. George Harinck, Theological University Kampen
  • Prof. Kees van der Kooi, VU University Amsterdam
  • Prof. Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena


  • The Historical Documentation Centre at the Free University Amsterdam
  • The New College, University of Edinburgh
  • The Theologische Universiteit Kampen

See the conference brochure (PDF 127 KB) for more on the conference theme and instructions for paper propsals.

“Autopistia, the Self-Convincing Character of Scripture in H. Bavinck and B. Warfield” by Henk van den Belt

Prof. Dr. Henk van den Belt
Prof. Dr. Henk van den Belt

Prof. Dr. Henk van den Belt delivered the following lecture at the 2008 Bavinck Conference at Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan: “Autopistia, the Self-Convincing Character of Scripture in Herman Bavinck and Benjamin Warfield” (MP3). Dr. Raymond Blacketer is the respondent.

TheAuthorityOfScripture_VanDenBeltVan den Belt surveys the similarities and differences between Bavinck and Warfield on the nature of Holy Scripture and the certainty of faith. He develops these themes at length—beginning with Calvin and proceeding to the Reformed Orthodox period and then Warfield and Bavinck—in his Authority of Scripture in Reformed Theology (Brill, 2008).

Also note Prof. Van den Belt’s other essays on Herman Bavinck:

  1. “De Autonomie van de Mens of de Autopistie van de Schrift,” in Ontmoetingen Met Herman Bavinck, ed. George Harinck and Gerrit Neven, Ad Chartas-Reeks 9 (Barneveld: De Vuurbaak, 2006), 287–306.
  2. “Herman Bavinck and Benjamin B. Warfield on Apologetics and the Autopistia of Scripture,” Calvin Theological Journal 45, no. 1 (2010): 32–43.
  3. “An Alternative Approach to Apologetics,” in The Kuyper Center Review, Volume 2: Revelation and Common Grace (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2011), 43–60.
  4. “De Katholiciteit van de Kerk Als Kwaliteit van Het Christendom: De Visies van Herman Bavinck En Hendrikus Berkhof,” Theologia Reformata 54, no. 3 (2011): 270–87.
  5. “Herman Bavinck and His Reformed Sources on the Call to Grace: A Shift in Emphasis towards the Internal Work of the Spirit,” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 29, no. 1 (2011): 41–59.
  6. “Herman Bavinck on Scottish Covenant Theology and Reformed Piety,” Bavinck Review 3 (2012): 164–77.

Around the Old World Sea with English subtitles

Professor George Harinck’s eight-part documentary on Abraham Kuyper’s journey into the Mediterranean Islamic world is now available with English subtitles. In this intriguing series, produced by Martin Maat and Hans Hermans, Professor Harinck follows Kuyper’s footsteps through 16 countries around the Mediterranean Sea, examining the roots of present-day religious and socio-political conflict in light of Kuyper’s observations a century ago.

Take Words with You by Tim Kerr

Pastor Tim Kerr
Pastor Tim Kerr

If you have had the privilege of crossing paths with Bavinck Society member Tim Kerr, it is likely that two things characterized your experience: first, you came away deeply encouraged in the faith; second, you were prayed for sincerely before you departed.

take-words-with-youIn hopes of further multiplying this privilege, the Bavinck Institute is pleased to call your attention to the 5th edition of Pastor Kerr’s Take Words with You: Scripture Promises & Prayers / A Manual for Intercession (2015). In this work Pastor Kerr uses a simple five-step method to help believers to pray regularly, both individually and corporately, according to God’s promises and prayers in Holy Scripture (1 John 5:14).

To borrow a line from Herman Bavinck (RD 4:225), this manual puts into practice the rock solid biblical teaching that believers in Jesus Christ

do not pray in doubt and despair; they do not pray as though they are no longer children of God and again face eternal damnation; [rather] they pray from within the faith as children to the Father who is in heaven, and say Amen to their prayer.

This faith-filled “Amen-ing”—the bold response of a heart whose prayers in Jesus’s name proceed from God, are prayed through God, and return unto God—is the aim of this faith-fueling guidebook.

For an intro to the manual, read Pastor Kerr’s answers to these questions:

  • Why is it needed?
  • Who is it for?
  • How is this book different from similar manuals?

Related elsewhere

Dissertation published: Eine Theologie des Lernens by Hanniel Strebel

Hanniel StrebelThe Bavinck Institute congratulates Society member Hanniel Strebel, whose fine Olivet University PhD dissertation on Herman Bavinck’s philosophy of education has been published:

Hanniel Strebel, Eine theologie des lernensEine Theologie des Lernens: Systematisch-theologische Beiträge aus dem Werk von Herman Bavinck [A theology of learning: systematic-theological contributions from the work of Herman Bavinck] (Bonn: VKW, 2014).

Dr. Strebel provides the following abstract:

This study is the first German dissertation on Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). Thematically, it builds on the place where Bavinck research took its beginning in the 1920s and 30s: with his educational philosophy. Starting with his “Principles of Pedagogy” (1904), three key questions regarding learning are examined: What is the purpose of learning? Who can learn? How does one appropriate human knowledge?

See also Strebel’s recent articles on the same topic:

Germanophone Bavinckians will be interested as well in Strebel’s German Bavinck bibliography.

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)

Related Elsewhere

#wereldzee: George Harinck follows Kuyper to the ancient ocean

Om de oude wereldzee at the HDCShortly after Professor Emeritus Bert de Vries’s essay, What Kuyper Saw and Thought: Abraham Kuyper’s Visit to the Holy Land, was published in this year’s Review, I happened upon this hashtag in my Twitter feed: #wereldzee. I was surprised to see what I thought was a reference to the subject of De Vries’s essay, Kuyper’s Om de oude werldzee (vol. 1, vol. 2), in tweet form. In looking into this coincidence I learned, lo and behold, that Bavinck Society member Prof. George Harinck is in the process of shooting an eight-part documentary on Kuyper’s Mediterranean journey with the acclaimed Dutch filmmaker Hans Hermans.

The documentary’s episodes follow Kuyper’s itinerary in his travelogue. The series will be aired on IKON (Netherlands Interdenominational Broadcasting Company):

Om de Oude Wereldzee is a new eight-part documentary series about clashing culture and religions, past and present. Watch it every Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. starting May 10, 2015, on NPO2.

Learn more: