A century ago when this book was first published, marriage and the family were already weathering enormous changes, and that trend has not abated. Yet by God’s power the unchanging essence of marriage and the family remains proof, as Bavinck notes, that God’s “purpose with the human race has not yet been achieved.”
Neither a ten-step guide nor a one-sided approach, this book embodies a Christian theology of marriage and the family. Accessible, thoroughly biblical, and astonishingly relevant, it offers a mature and concise handling of the origins of marriage and family life and the effects of sin on these institutions, an appraisal of historic Christian approaches, and an attempt to apply that theology.
Aptly reminding Christians that “the moral health of society depends on the health of family life,” Bavinck issues an evergreen challenge to God’s people: “Christians may not permit their conduct to be determined by the spirit of the age, but must focus on the requirement of God’s commandment.”
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Herman Bavinck (1854–1921), born the second of eleven children, was a husband, father, pastor, professor, and the author of many books, including his four-volume magnum opus, Reformed Dogmatics (Gereformeerde Dogmatiek). As a Dutch Reformed theologian he engaged the fields of politics, philosophy, and education and was a key figure along with Abraham Kuyper in the Union of the Reformed Churches in 1892.
"Those who know and love Herman Bavinck as the magisterial theologian and author of the Reformed Dogmatics, will enjoy the change of pace in this biblically rich and historically aware theology of marriage and family. While they might not share all of Bavinck’s applications, contemporary readers will be rewarded by a sympathetic reading. They will be challenged on precisely the issues that threaten the family today because Bavinck applied biblical wisdom to his own prescient reading of trends in Western culture and society. They will also be encouraged because Bavinck so obviously loved the family and celebrated it in hope. A great read for those who are married or contemplating marriage and family." - John Bolt, Professor of Systematic Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary, Editor, Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics