Herman Bavinck’s four-volume Reformed Dogmatics is one of the most important theological works of the twentieth century. Leading Bavinck expert John Bolt edited that work, which has received wide acclaim. Now Bolt has edited a recently discovered manuscript from Bavinck, in print for the first time, which serves as a companion to Reformed Dogmatics. Reformed Ethics follows the same method and explores the ethical and spiritual dimensions of key doctrines beyond those of Reformed Dogmatics. It mines the moral teachings of the early church and medieval and Puritan spirituality while addressing a variety of topics, offering scholars, pastors, and students Bavinck’s mature reflections on ethical issues. This book is the first of three planned volumes.
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For the last decade, a global readership has enjoyed the theological and historical richness of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics. At the outset of that work, Bavinck set out that dogmatics is happiest in the company of its twin discipline, theological ethics. Dogmatics and ethics, respectively, show us why and how we should love God. For that reason, they belong together as ‘related members of a single organism.’ Since its release, Reformed Dogmatics has given a wide audience the chance to engage with a great Christian theologian on God and God’s works of creation, salvation, and consummation. In Reformed Ethics, we are invited to think with Bavinck about the concreteness of human life in the light and strength of God’s deeds for us. For that, we owe the editor and translators a great deal.
—James Eglinton, Meldrum Lecturer in Reformed Theology, New College, University of Edinburgh
In addition to Bavinck’s magisterial Reformed Dogmatics, we have here the firstfruits of his complementary Reformed Ethics. John Bolt and his accomplished team of translators and editors have added amazing value to Bavinck’s recently rediscovered manuscripts in the field of moral theology. Their lucid translation, background studies, notes, and careful documentation of bibliographic sources used by Bavinck make this volume an invaluable background study on the history of theological ethics. Equally important, the book fills out our understanding of Bavinck the complete theologian. Working through it is an exhilarating eye-opener.
—James A. De Jong, emeritus president and professor of historical theology, Calvin Theological Seminary
Ethics is no marginal relative of doctrine and theology, as the letters of Paul bear eloquent witness. The translation of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics has been of major significance, and now it is followed, appropriately, by his Reformed Ethics. It is wonderful that this work has been discovered, translated, and published. One of the great needs of our day is close attention to the ‘theological’ in theological ethics, and Bavinck does not disappoint in this respect, with his characteristic rigor and creativity. John Bolt and his colleagues have provided us with a fresh resource for theological and ethical reflection.
—Craig G. Bartholomew, director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, Cambridge
Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) succeeded Abraham Kuyper as professor of systematic theology at the Free University of Amsterdam in 1902.