Herman Bavinck looms large as one of the nineteenth century's greatest Christian thinkers, contributing much to modern Reformed theology. Yet, despite his theological prowess, Bavinck was first and foremost concerned with being “a worthy follower of Jesus.” In this book, John Bolt—editor of the English edition of Bavinck’s four-volume masterpiece, Reformed Dogmatics—brings the great Dutch theologian’s life and work to bear on following Jesus in the twenty-first century, helping us see the direct connection between robust theology, practical holiness, and personal joy.
Table of Contents:
Part 1: Foundations for Christian Living
Part 2: The Shape of Christian Discipleship
Part 3: The Practice of Christian Discipleship
Concluding Sermon: “The World-Conquering Power of Faith”
John Bolt (PhD, University of St. Michael’s College) is professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of several books and the editor of the four-volume English edition of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics.
“To use the word timely for a book about a nineteenth-century Dutch theologian may seem inappropriate. But in this case the adjective is exactly right. Many of us have wanted to spread the word that Herman Bavinck’s theological perspective can contribute much to a renewal of the church’s life and mission today. Now in this book John Bolt has made the case in a concise and convincing manner!” - Richard J. Mouw, President, Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary
“This obvious labor of love explores an important but insufficiently highlighted aspect of Bavinck’s thought. Leaving virtually no pertinent stone unturned throughout his life and published works, Bolt provides both a full presentation of Bavinck’s views and his own understanding of their continuing relevance for Christian discipleship today. Here is valuable instruction in Bavinck’s thought presented in a way that will also stimulate the reader’s own thinking on the issues raised.” - Richard B. Gaffin Jr., Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary
“Trinitarian, Christ-centered, and culturally engaged, Herman Bavinck immerses us into a vivid vision of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His rich theological imagination provides a compelling alternative to the many vapid, pragmatic approaches to faith today. John Bolt provides an accessible and illuminating guide to Bavinck’s theology of the Christian life in the most expansive sense: the Christian life of fellowship with God and others, in family, work, and politics. Bolt skillfully navigates these waters in order to open up the treasures of Bavinck for today’s church.” - Todd Billings, Gordon H. Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan
“Perhaps every generation in the church age could claim a need for Bavinck’s perspective on the Christian life. We can’t let our salt lose its saltiness and our light lose its brilliance—not now. Bavinck encourages us in this regard even as we are in the world, not of the world, and sent into the world. In one seamless volume, Bolt shows how Bavinck’s contributions help correct our nearsightedness as we become tethered to his conviction that the Word of God is ever living and ever active in every day.” - Gloria Furman, Pastor’s wife, Redeemer Church of Dubai; mother of four; author, Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full
“Not one square inch of nature, work, culture, or history escaped the reach of Herman Bavinck’s expansive Christ-centered worldview. Of the great Reformed theologians, Bavinck is the generous giant, with a heart as wide as his axiom ‘grace restores nature.’ Bavinck’s vision of a sovereign Savior at work in the world, carefully grounded in the gospel, suits him to speak authoritatively on the Christian’s place in this world. This book is a masterpiece from John Bolt, a man who knows Bavinck’s mind as well as anyone.” - Tony Reinke, Staff Writer and Researcher, desiringGod.org; author, Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books
“Never before have I read such a fine and stimulating overview of Herman Bavinck’s life and theology. John Bolt shows clearly why the study of Bavinck is growing worldwide and why this theology is a great help for today’s Christians. Bavinck and Bolt are a great team!” - Herman Selderhuis, Professor of Church History, Theological University of Apeldoorn; Director, Refo500, The Netherlands