Biblical and natural theology may not appear to mix, but the two actually do belong together. Vos’s reputation as the father of contemporary biblical theology is not negated by his earlier teaching of natural theology, appearing here for the first time in English.
Gathered from source material found in the Heritage Hall archives at Calvin Seminary and University, these are the earliest notes of Vos’s lectures on natural theology. They demonstrate his understanding of Reformed orthodox approaches as well as extensive knowledge of contemporary developments in the subject.
The present volume could be regarded as, and may have formed, a partial introduction to Reformed Dogmatics since it lacks a prolegomenon and because Natural Theology discusses religion and the proofs for the existence of God.
Geerhardus Vos (1862–1949) was born in the Netherlands and emigrated to the US in 1881. He earned degrees from Calvin Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Strasbourg (PhD in Arabic). In 1894 he was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in the USA. Before beginning a thirty-nine-year tenure on Princeton’s faculty, he was professor of systematic and exegetical theology at Calvin Theological Seminary.
“The recent discovery of Geerhardus Vos’s lectures on natural theology is an enormous blessing to the church. In these lectures, Vos brings his unique gifts to bear on subjects such as the history of religion and the various proofs for the existence of God. In effect, it serves as a prolegomenon to his Reformed Dogmatics. For those interested in the late nineteenth-century development of Reformed thought on these subjects, this work is a must read.” — Keith Mathison, professor of systematic theology, Reformation Bible College
“At the nexus of Kuyper, Bavinck, and Warfield stands Vos. To Vos’s Biblical Theology and Reformed Dogmatics, add a third must-read work to your reading list. Now for the first time in English, this critical translation is necessary to understand Vos’s reception, contribution to, and development of Reformed theology in response to philosophies deeply shaping the modern period. Vos’s questions and answers on natural theology will and should inspire further research, deliberation, and discussion.” — Todd M. Rester, associate professor of church history, Westminster Theological Seminary
“We have the unfortunate curse of living in a day that is all too quick to criticize or abandon natural theology. Thankfully, we also live in a day when we have the fortunate blessing of retrieving works of natural theology by biblical theologians like Geerhardus Vos. With the full support of Scripture, Vos showcases the significance of God’s general revelation in nature for understanding God’s existence, His divine attributes, and wise providence. This book has a secret weapon: J. V. Fesko’s priceless introduction, which demonstrates the Reformed tradition’s continuity with the church fathers and medieval scholastics in its affirmation and use of natural theology. Recovering natural theology today will not be easy, but it will not be a lonely endeavor either, for we stand on the shoulders of a well-established Christian tradition, one that includes the sacred Scriptures. From Augustine to Aquinas to Calvin to Turretin, Vos is but another voice bearing witness to God’s existence through the natural order and human reason, yet always in a way that is confirmed by special revelation. Praise God for biblical theologians like Vos who defended natural theology!” — Matthew Barrett, associate professor of Christian theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; host of the Credo podcast