Herman Bavinck’s Lectures in Dogmatics

Exciting news for those who can read Dutch: Herman Bavinck’s manuscript for his Amsterdam lectures in Dogmatics , “The Most Important Problems in Dogmatics Today” [“De voornaamste problemen der tegenwoordige dogmatiek”], has been published for the first time. The text was curated, introduced, and annotated by Dr. Dirk van Keulen of the Neo-Calvinism Research Institute at the Theological University Utrecht.

Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) left the Theological School in Kampen in 1902 to teach Dogmatics (Systematic Theology) at the Free University of Amsterdam. This manuscript formed the basis of these lectures in 1903 and 1904, and focus on the history of theology and philosophy. About a decade later (1915–1920), Bavinck again used this manuscript for his lectures in the history of Dogmatics. Thus the text serves as a bridge between the first and second editions of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics.

The book was published by the Archief- en Documentatiecentrum, Kampen.

Here is an overview of the contents:

In addition to an introduction, this part of Bavinck’s lectures (“Historical Overview”) include the following chapters :

  1. Holy Scripture.
  2. The Triumph of Christianity over Paganism
  3. Supernaturalism in Rome
  4. The Reformation
  5. Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel
  6. The Development of Theology in the Nineteenth Century
  7. Most Recent Theology
  8. Most Recent Theology (continued).

Two further chapters in the appendix deal with “Marxism” and “The Fall.”

Launch of Books on Herman Bavinck by Bruce Pass

On Theology: Herman Bavinck's Academic Oration by Bruce  R. Pass: Brill Books

An event celebrating the launch of two books on Herman Bavinck by Dr. Bruce Pass will be held on 26 October at the Brisbane School of Theology, Brisbane, Australia, from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm. (For those who wish to follow on Zoom, this is 5:30 am to 7:00 am EST, or 10:30 am to 12:00 in the U.K.) Presentations will be given by Dr. Mark Baddeley (Queensland Theological College) and Assoc Prof Ben Myers (Alphacrucis College), as well as by Bruce Pass.

Visit https://bst.qld.edu.au/event/book-launch/ to register for the event, or to join remotely via Zoom.

Bruce Pass

Bavinck Review 7 Published

The Bavinck Institute at Calvin Seminary is pleased to release The Bavinck Review 7 (2016) (1.2 MB PDF). See the editorial for an update on the Reformed Ethics project, two additional pending publications, and the formal establishment of the Institute.

Editorial

Articles

Knowledge according to Bavinck and Aquinas by Arvin Vos

In Translation

Herman Bavinck’s Modernisme en Orthodoxie: A Translation by Bruce R. Pass

Pearls and Leaven

An Excerpt on Prayer from Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics by John Bolt

Bavinck Bibliography 2015

“Herman Bavinck Speaks Today” — John Bolt, Gordon Graham, J. Mark Beach

Professor John Bolt
John Bolt

This plenary session panel discussion (MP3; 70 MB) with Professors John Bolt, Gordon Graham, and J. Mark Beach is from the 2008 Bavinck Conference at Calvin Seminary.

  • Professor Bolt’s lecture, “Herman Bavinck’s recipe for theological cake,” begins at ~16:00.
  • Professor Graham’s lecture, “Bavinck’s Philosophy of Revelation,” begins at ~42:00.
  • Professor Beach’s lecture, “Can’t We All Just Get Along? Herman Bavinck as a Pastoral Polemicist,” begins at ~59:15.

Related publications

Gordon Graham
Gordon Graham

Bavinck, Herman. Saved by Grace: The Holy Spirit’s Work in Calling and Regeneration. Edited by J. Mark Beach. Translated by Nelson D. Kloosterman. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2008.

Beach, J. Mark. “Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, and ‘The Conclusions of Utrecht 1905’.” Mid-America Journal of Theology 19 (2008): 11–68.

———. “Can’t We All Just Get Along? Herman Bavinck as a Pastoral Polemicist.” Mid-America Journal of Theology 24 (2013): 73–79.

Bolt, John. “The Bavinck Recipe for Theological Cake.” Calvin Theological Journal 45, no. 1 (2010): 11–17.

J. Mark Beach
J. Mark Beach

Graham, Gordon. “Bavinck, Nietzsche, and Secularization.” In The Kuyper Center Review, Volume 2: Revelation and Common Grace, 14–26. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2011.

———. “Bavinck’s Philosophy of Revelation.” Calvin Theological Journal 45, no. 1 (April 2010): 44–50.

“Neo-Calvinism: A Theology for the Global Church in the 21st Century” by Richard Mouw

Prof. Richard MouwOn 1 June 2015 Prof. Richard Mouw delivered the first Bavinck Lecture at TU Kampen: “Neo-Calvinism: A Theology for the Global Church in the 21st Century” (watch on Vimeo).

For these lectures scholars are invited who share Bavinck’s love for Reformed theology, are enthusiastic about his take on grace as a transforming force in both personal life, society and culture, and who in there academic work reflect his deep and catholic view on the Christian faith. They are asked to answer important questions in their lectures concerning the value of Reformed theology in a postmodern world for church and society.

Dr. James K. A. Smith will deliver the second Bavinck Lecture at TU Kampen later this year.

The outline of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics

View Bavinck’s original outline for the Gereformeerde dogmatiek (PDF; 89 KB) A reader of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics: Abridged in One Volume recently asked me how to correlate the text of the abridgement with the unabridged translation. After mulling it over, I concluded that combining the subparagraph numbers and Bavinck’s original outline for the Gereformeerde dogmatiek (PDF; 89 KB) provided both a good answer to this practical question and a boon to understanding the Dogmatics as a whole. The outline itself is refreshingly simple: three main points, traditional loci, traditional order. I share it here with the simple hope that it might provide a useful tool for enjoying the abridged or unabridged Dogmatics as an organic whole, a body of divinity.1


  1. For more on Bavinck’s view of dogmatics as a synthetic whole, see his “The Pros and Cons of a Dogmatic System,” translated by Nelson D. Kloosterman, Bavinck Review 5 (2014): 90–103. 

The outline of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics

View Bavinck’s original outline for the Gereformeerde dogmatiek (PDF; 89 KB) A reader of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics: Abridged in One Volume recently asked me how to correlate the text of the abridgement with the unabridged translation. After mulling it over, I concluded that combining the subparagraph numbers and Bavinck’s original outline for the Gereformeerde dogmatiek (PDF; 89 KB) provided both a good answer to this practical question and a boon to understanding the Dogmatics as a whole. The outline itself is refreshingly simple: three main points, traditional loci, traditional order. I share it here with the simple hope that it might provide a useful tool for enjoying the abridged or unabridged Dogmatics as an organic whole, a body of divinity.1


  1. For more on Bavinck’s view of dogmatics as a synthetic whole, see his “The Pros and Cons of a Dogmatic System,” translated by Nelson D. Kloosterman, Bavinck Review 5 (2014): 90–103.