Interview with John Bolt regarding Bavinck on the Christian Life

Bavinck on the Christian Life — by John BoltToday, Books at a Glance published an interview with Professor John Bolt regarding his latest book, Bavinck on the Christian Life: Following Jesus in Faithful Service (Crossway, 2015; excerpt [PDF 2.8 MB]).

Bolt answers questions about:

  • who Bavinck was
  • his own interest in studying Bavinck’s theology
  • the grace-restores-nature theme in Bavinck’s thought
  • Bavinck’s significant other writings besides the Reformed Dogmatics
  • Bavinck’s vision for practical piety and Christian discipleship in the modern world
  • and where in Bavinck’s corpus are good entry points for new readers.

See also “What Bavinck Taught Me” by John Bolt

Bavinck: “Love Is the Law of His Kingdom”

Bavinck: “Love is the law of his kingdom”We are seeing a universal pursuit of equality, a yearning to eliminate all distinction based on birth or property and not on personal value, a strong push for independence and freedom. In church and state, in family and society, in vocation and business, each person wants to see their own rights defined, wants to cast their own vote, and wants to stand up for their own interests.

Continue reading at Letters to the Exiles. . . .

“Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms in the Thought of Herman Bavinck” — VanDrunen, Kloosterman

Nelson Kloosterman
Nelson Kloosterman
David VanDrunen
David VanDrunen

Rev. Prof. David VanDrunen and Rev. Dr. Nelson Kloosterman delivered the following lecture (MP3) at the 2008 Pearl and Leaven Bavinck Conference. Their papers appeared in published form:

  1. David VanDrunen, “‘The Kingship of Christ Is Twofold’: Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms in the Thought of Herman Bavinck,” Calvin Theological Journal 45, no. 1 (April 2010): 147–64.
  2. Nelson D. Kloosterman, “A Response to ‘The Kingship of Christ Is Twofold’: Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms in the Thought of Herman Bavinck by David VanDrunen,” Calvin Theological Journal 45, no. 1 (April 2010): 165–76.

Professor Bolt added a Society discussion guide and an essay on this same topic:

  1. The VanDrunen-Kloosterman Debate on Natural Law and Two Kingdoms in the Theology of Herman Bavinck
  2. “Herman Bavinck on Natural Law and Two Kingdoms: Some
    Further Reflections,”
    Bavinck Review 4 (2013): 64–93.

Though not directly related to the VanDrunen-Kloosterman lecture, it is worth noting Dr. Theodore G. Van Raalte’s prize-winning essay from the same conference: “Unleavened Morality? Herman Bavinck on Natural Law,” in Five Studies in the Thought of Herman Bavinck, A Creator of Modern Dutch Theology, ed. John Bolt (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2011), 57–100.

“Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics” by Dirk van Keulen

Dr. Dirk van Keulen
Dr. Dirk van Keulen

Dr. Dirk van Keulen, general editor of the works of A.A. van Ruler, lectured on “Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics” (MP3) at the 2008 “Perl and Leaven” Bavinck conference. He delves into the various manuscripts at the Bavinck archives at Kampen and De VU and sheds an intriguing historical light on Bavinck’s lectures in ethics.

A published version of Dr. van Keulen’s lecture, including illustrations of the manuscript, appears in the first volume of the Review: “Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics: Some Remarks about Unpublished Manuscripts in the Libraries of Amsterdam and Kampen”

An update on the ongoing English translation and publication of the Reformed Ethics will appear in vol. 6 of the Review.

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

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

Preview of The Bavinck Review 4 (2013)

TBR4_coverThe Bavinck Review 4 (2013) is now available to Bavinck Society members. Preview the contents and editorial.

This year’s essays include

  • an insightful study of the development in Bavinck’s view of non-Christian religions,
  • an exchange between two Society members regarding the relation of Herman and J. H. Bavinck to the contemporary insider missiological debate,
  • a review of digital Bavinck research tools,
  • and another voice in the discussion between Drs. VanDrunen and Klosterman regarding Herman Bavinck’s view of natural law and the two kingdoms.

The translation piece is a handful of letters that Herman Bavinck sent to one of his seminary students who was forced to leave his studies at Kampen due to a terminal illness.

John Bolt’s Dissertation on Bavinck’s Two Essays on the Imitatio Christi

A Theological Analysis of Herman Bavinck’s Two Essays on the Imitatio Christi by John BoltThe Bavinck Institute is pleased to announce its second publication this spring: John Bolt, A Theological Analysis of Herman Bavinck’s Two Essays on the Imitatio Christi: Between Pietism and Modernism (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2013).

Professor Bolt defended his original dissertation in 1982 at the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto, under the title, ”The Imitation of Christ Theme in the Cultural-Ethical Ideal of Herman Bavinck.” For the published edition he has updated the scholarship and added a concluding chapter on application and relevance. Also, he has included the first available English translations of Bavinck’s two imitation articles of 1885/86 and 1918.

Bolt’s investigation of Bavinck’s essays on the imitation of Christ . . . immerses us in some of the most important aspects of the Christianity and culture debate. What is the relationship of God’s work of creation to his work of redemption? What is the relationship of nature and grace? What is the significance of common grace and natural law? What is the relationship of the Old Testament law, as summarized in the Decalogue, to New Testament ethics, especially as set forth in the Sermon on the Mount? Can the Sermon on the Mount really direct our social-cultural life and, if so, how? These will undoubtedly remain central questions to discussions about Christian cultural activity, and Bolt reflects on all of them as he expounds Bavinck’s essays. I predict that his conclusions will surprise many readers, challenge simplistic assumptions about Bavinck’s view of culture, and inspire many people to read Bavinck anew. (David VanDrunen, “Forward,” v–vi)

Five Studies in the Thought of Herman Bavinck

The Bavinck Institute is pleased to announce the publication of the prize-winning essays from the 2008 “Pearl and Leaven” international Bavinck Conference held at Calvin Theological Seminary:

John Bolt, ed., Five Studies in the Thought of Herman Bavinck, A Creator of Modern Dutch Theology (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2011).

Contents

  1. Herman Bavinck’s Thomistic Epistemology: The Argument and Sources of his Principia of Science — by David S. Sytsma
  2. Unleavened Morality? Herman Bavinck on Natural Law — by Theodore G. Van Raalte
  3. Trinity and History: Bavrnck, Hegel, and Nineteenth Century Doctrines of God — by Adam Eitel
  4. Covenant Christology: Herman Bavinck and the Pactum Salutis — by Mark Jones
  5. The Status of Women in Contemporary Society: Principles and Practice in Herman Bavinck’s Socio-Political Thought — by Niels (GM.) van Driel

Price

$20.00 postpaid.

Note: this is for the paperback edition.

How to Order—Check

Mail a check payable to “The Bavinck Institute” to the following address:

Attn: Prof. John Bolt
Calvin Theological Seminary
3233 Burton SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Be sure to include your name and return mailing address.

How to Order—Credit Card (and International Orders)

  1. Send a credit card payment for $20.00 USD via the Bavinck Institute Online Donation Form. Designate the payment for “The Bavinck Institute.”
  2. E-mail us your shipping address.