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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
In 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.
“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.
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)