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Reformed Dogmatics Volume 2: God and Creation

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In partnership with the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, Baker Academic is proud to offer the second volume of Herman Bavinck's complete Reformed Dogmatics in English for the very first time. This masterwork will appeal to scholars, students, pastors, and laity interested in Reformed theology and to research and theological libraries. "Bavinck was a man of giant mind, v In partnership with the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, Baker Academic is proud to offer the second volume of Herman Bavinck's complete Reformed Dogmatics in English for the very first time. This masterwork will appeal to scholars, students, pastors, and laity interested in Reformed theology and to research and theological libraries. "Bavinck was a man of giant mind, vast learning, ageless wisdom, and great expository skill. Solid but lucid, demanding but satisfying, broad and deep and sharp and stabilizing, Bavinck's magisterial Reformed Dogmatics remains after a century the supreme achievement of its kind."-J. I. Packer, Regent College


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In partnership with the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, Baker Academic is proud to offer the second volume of Herman Bavinck's complete Reformed Dogmatics in English for the very first time. This masterwork will appeal to scholars, students, pastors, and laity interested in Reformed theology and to research and theological libraries. "Bavinck was a man of giant mind, v In partnership with the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, Baker Academic is proud to offer the second volume of Herman Bavinck's complete Reformed Dogmatics in English for the very first time. This masterwork will appeal to scholars, students, pastors, and laity interested in Reformed theology and to research and theological libraries. "Bavinck was a man of giant mind, vast learning, ageless wisdom, and great expository skill. Solid but lucid, demanding but satisfying, broad and deep and sharp and stabilizing, Bavinck's magisterial Reformed Dogmatics remains after a century the supreme achievement of its kind."-J. I. Packer, Regent College

30 review for Reformed Dogmatics Volume 2: God and Creation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pastor Matt

    Indispensable.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ben Mordecai

    Whenever Christians are talking about the great theologians of the Reformed faith, Bavinck's name is surpassed perhaps by only John Calvin himself. The reasons are obvious. In addition to his comprehensive mastery of the content of scripture and its theological implications, he is also perhaps a literal genius, demonstrating an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Christianity, the specific positions of all the Christian denominations, the writings of the church fathers, the then extant writ Whenever Christians are talking about the great theologians of the Reformed faith, Bavinck's name is surpassed perhaps by only John Calvin himself. The reasons are obvious. In addition to his comprehensive mastery of the content of scripture and its theological implications, he is also perhaps a literal genius, demonstrating an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Christianity, the specific positions of all the Christian denominations, the writings of the church fathers, the then extant writings of the ancient Near East, top contemporary theories in physics, geology, and biology, technical knowledge of biblical Greek and Hebrew, and the complete history of philosophy and it's influences on theology. Each chapter ends with about 115 footnotes for that chapter alone, which can be skipped unless you need to follow them out. This 2nd volume on God and Creation is where the magic begins. Volume 1, though equally studious was concerned with first principles and presuppositions. Wonderful ground work, but the meat of the theology begins here. The beauty of this systemic is not so much in tweetable insights consumable in piecemeal fashion but in a complete "way of thinking" about the core doctrines and the associated controversies with their significance. It's a book where you may read and not consciously notice any specific doctrinal position change but in the end step back and release you grasp the full extent of the doctrine and how to approach it holistically. The most difficult aspect of the book is that Bavinck assumes a certain knowledge of philosophical concepts, Greek and Hebrew literacy, and understanding of philosophical terms. As a layman, I was fortunate to have just come off of finishing the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps podcast by Peter Adamson, which was a huge help as a primer, and I can only imagine how much of a slog it would have been if I needed to individually research the ideas as they came up in the text. Additionally, knowing zero Hebrew, I was able to follow along by context clues, though for Greek it is helpful to be able to at least transliterate the words from the characters. No knowledge of actual grammar was required and a simple Google search of each Greek word would likely suffice for the monolingual like myself. Bavinck is huge on the consequences of the ideas one holds, readily showing how this or that view leads finally to pantheism, deism, atheism, or an established heresy. He is reverent, and his theology is meant to be both useful for the church and unapologetically reformed. Now, some of the key quotes I highlighted. "God is self-sufficient: in him there is no need or compulsion to actualize any of his ideas in a world of creatures. He is perfectly free in his choices; it is only by his will that all things exist and were created (Rev. 4:11)." "God does not need the world for his own perfection. He does not need the work of creation and preservation in order not to be unemployed. He is absolute activity within himself." "Thousands of blossoms fall to the ground so that a few may ripen and bear fruit. Millions of living beings are born, yet only a few remain alive. Thousands of people labor in the sweat of their face in order that a few persons may swim in wealth. Riches, art, science, all that is high and noble, are built on a foundation of poverty, deprivation, and ignorance. The equal distribution envisioned in socialist theory has never been seen anywhere in the world. Equality exists in no area of life. Election exists everywhere alongside, and on the basis of, reprobation. The world is not ordered according to the Pharisaic law of work and reward. Merit and riches are totally unrelated. And even on the highest level, it is only God’s grace that makes the difference. Like all the decrees, so also that of election is ultimately rooted in God’s good pleasure. Pelagians of all stripes have consistently wanted to view these decrees as acts of divine justice based on human merit." "No one has a right to believe that he or she is a reprobate, for everyone is sincerely and urgently called to believe in Christ with a view to salvation." "If the world did not originate by an act of creation, then certainly there must be some other explanation. And in that case—excluding dualism—there are only two options available here: either one explains matter from mind, or mind from matter. Pantheism and materialism are not pure opposites; rather, they are two sides of the same coin; they constantly merge into each other and only differ in that they address the same problem from opposite directions. Thus, both run into the same objections."

  3. 5 out of 5

    An Idler

    I took 40 pages of notes and feel like I only skimmed this content. It's so rich, well-ordered, and thorough. I took 40 pages of notes and feel like I only skimmed this content. It's so rich, well-ordered, and thorough.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter Krol

    One of my life goals is to read at least one respected systematic theology in full. As I polled pastoral theologians whom I respect, Bavinck was the nearly unanimous recommendation. It was also recommended that I begin with volume 2 and then go back to volume 1. So here I am, having completed my first (the second) volume. I am glad to have read it, but I confess it was a slog. To get through it, I had to put it right on my schedule to read 5 pages per day, 4 days per week. That just kept me movin One of my life goals is to read at least one respected systematic theology in full. As I polled pastoral theologians whom I respect, Bavinck was the nearly unanimous recommendation. It was also recommended that I begin with volume 2 and then go back to volume 1. So here I am, having completed my first (the second) volume. I am glad to have read it, but I confess it was a slog. To get through it, I had to put it right on my schedule to read 5 pages per day, 4 days per week. That just kept me moving. Bavinck is at his best when he compiles everything the scripture says on his topic. He can pull all the ideas together and show how they fill out the Christian body of knowledge, and he does this in plain and persuasive language. However, Bavinck consistently moves beyond what the scripture says, and into a vast, ethereal realm of philosophizing, which is less than helpful. I appreciate his engagement with every key historical thinker on his topics (he is impressively thorough). But when he pushes his ideas farther and farther from the scripture, he is not only unclear and hard to follow, but also uncompelling.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David Pulliam

    Here are some scattered thoughts on volume 2: first his discussion on the Trinity is rich, very rich. Even better is his discussion on the attributes of God, I know Gid better because of that section. Second, his section on God's will as opposed to pelagianism and fatalism was so so but probably because that topic of debate does not interest me much, third he is a young earther but seems to try to respect the text and his criticism of science is helpful- frames the debate well. I found his discu Here are some scattered thoughts on volume 2: first his discussion on the Trinity is rich, very rich. Even better is his discussion on the attributes of God, I know Gid better because of that section. Second, his section on God's will as opposed to pelagianism and fatalism was so so but probably because that topic of debate does not interest me much, third he is a young earther but seems to try to respect the text and his criticism of science is helpful- frames the debate well. I found his discussion on Imago dei confusing mainly because it could have been written more clearly- he compared quite a few views and jumped back and forth between them but that might have been more on me. His section on Providence very good and this is where he brings up the doctrine of Christ's kingdom. So that doctrine is discussed under Gods Providence.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brance Gillihan

    A fantastic read, but not for the faint of heart. Absolutely worth the effort though.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    The second volume of Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics is excellently written, thought provoking, and spiritually formative. I always appreciate that Bavinck is willing to give time to telling the historical background of the given doctrine that he is discussing. His "organic" motif is seen throughout this volume and is especially helpful in his sections on the doctrine of election as well as human destiny. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to have a better understanding of reform The second volume of Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics is excellently written, thought provoking, and spiritually formative. I always appreciate that Bavinck is willing to give time to telling the historical background of the given doctrine that he is discussing. His "organic" motif is seen throughout this volume and is especially helpful in his sections on the doctrine of election as well as human destiny. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to have a better understanding of reformed theology.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Really enjoyed chapters 1, 3, 7, 8, 14. Chapter 14, God's Providence, is a must-read. Really enjoyed chapters 1, 3, 7, 8, 14. Chapter 14, God's Providence, is a must-read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    An absolutely amazing piece of theological literature. The concepts are so deep that it will take you several readings to wrap your head around some of them. Well worth your time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Becoming my favorite systematic theologian, but yet to be determined. The treatment of the Trinity in this volume would almost merit the book five stars even if the rest was bunk.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Bavinck is always good, and in this volume he does not disappoint. This is an exceptional work of theology: rich in scholarship and devotion. Highly recommended. Also read in January 2013

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ethan McCarter

    One of the clearest and most thorough systematic texts on these doctrines. Bavinck is indisputably thorough and addresses numerous other theologians, philosophers, and modern science. From Schliermacher to Darwin to Augustine to Cajetan, Bavinck has a thorough grasp on a vast number of topics on theology proper, creation, and the numerous subsets in this volume. His section on doctrine of God is among the best that the modern era (1800-present) has to offer and is better than Hodge and Dabney, i One of the clearest and most thorough systematic texts on these doctrines. Bavinck is indisputably thorough and addresses numerous other theologians, philosophers, and modern science. From Schliermacher to Darwin to Augustine to Cajetan, Bavinck has a thorough grasp on a vast number of topics on theology proper, creation, and the numerous subsets in this volume. His section on doctrine of God is among the best that the modern era (1800-present) has to offer and is better than Hodge and Dabney, in my opinion, on this topic. I give 4 stars instead of 5 for a few reasons. In particular, it is because Bavinck does not always clearly distinguish between his opponents and his views; this is more a stylistic comment than a substantial one. I appreciate his grasp of Reformed Scholasticism, including Zanchi and Ursinus, but wished he interacted more with traditional Reformed thinkers on certain points. His doctrine of creation, I think, could be more thorough in certain aspects; in particular, in discussing views on creation length, textual issues, etc. However, he hits the big points. In toto, this is one of the best theological tomes that I've read on these topics. It is not for everybody, one may want some background before diving into it on the subjects, it's very helpful for pastors and students of theology.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adam T.

    The recent discoveries and translations of Bavinck to the English speaking world is a treasure. In Volume 2, Bavinck tackles the doctrine of the Trinity. He addresses everything from aseity to governance. Bavinck continually pushes against the dualistic ideologies such pantheism which attempts to merge the material world into the divine and materialism which attempts to cast aside the divine. Bavinck skillfully articulates the tensions of Scripture and points us to a biblical worldview in which The recent discoveries and translations of Bavinck to the English speaking world is a treasure. In Volume 2, Bavinck tackles the doctrine of the Trinity. He addresses everything from aseity to governance. Bavinck continually pushes against the dualistic ideologies such pantheism which attempts to merge the material world into the divine and materialism which attempts to cast aside the divine. Bavinck skillfully articulates the tensions of Scripture and points us to a biblical worldview in which we see that the Creator and His creation are both separate and united. This volume is a gift to anyone looking to see our Triune God and the creation with clarity and greater understanding. It took me 1 year to methodically mine this volume and it was worth every page and every second.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie Nichols

    I knew that this was a highly touted systematic in the reformed tradition and was certain I would find a "scholarly" presentation of the Dutch Reformed Systematic. What I have found after reading the first two volumes is was a warm and inviting systematic theology that has encouraged and helped me in my love for Scripture, theology, and most importantly my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His writing is clear, concise, and biblically centered. I plan to keep these on the "top shelf" in my reference I knew that this was a highly touted systematic in the reformed tradition and was certain I would find a "scholarly" presentation of the Dutch Reformed Systematic. What I have found after reading the first two volumes is was a warm and inviting systematic theology that has encouraged and helped me in my love for Scripture, theology, and most importantly my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His writing is clear, concise, and biblically centered. I plan to keep these on the "top shelf" in my reference library. Great stuff! Every Pastor should read these books!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jason Ferguson

    If you love Reformed apologetics, and you want to read about, and help defend, the Reformed position on God and creation, you must, must, must get this book. This volume by Bavinck has been fascinating to read so far, and has been astronomically helpful! I would give Bavinck's work 7 stars if I possibly could. If you love Reformed apologetics, and you want to read about, and help defend, the Reformed position on God and creation, you must, must, must get this book. This volume by Bavinck has been fascinating to read so far, and has been astronomically helpful! I would give Bavinck's work 7 stars if I possibly could.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    There's a reason Bavinck is lauded as at theologian. He is clear, insightful and creative all while being helpfully unoriginal. Excited to read vol. 3. There's a reason Bavinck is lauded as at theologian. He is clear, insightful and creative all while being helpfully unoriginal. Excited to read vol. 3.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Parker

    Just as insightful as the first volume, but without the boring slog that accompanied certain introductory material. Bavinck's writing is clear, logical, and even beautiful at times. Just as insightful as the first volume, but without the boring slog that accompanied certain introductory material. Bavinck's writing is clear, logical, and even beautiful at times.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brett Mclaughlin

    Bavinck is an author of which most won't have heard, certainly not like many have heard of Calvin or Luther or Edwards. But in Reformed thought, it would be impossible to not drop Bavinck's name when theology comes up. He's every bit as important in the reformed line of thinking as Calvin and Luther, and should be read along with Hodge and Berkhof. His systematic theology is a masterwork, and is one of the more well-documented theologies you'll find. There are thousands of Scripture references, a Bavinck is an author of which most won't have heard, certainly not like many have heard of Calvin or Luther or Edwards. But in Reformed thought, it would be impossible to not drop Bavinck's name when theology comes up. He's every bit as important in the reformed line of thinking as Calvin and Luther, and should be read along with Hodge and Berkhof. His systematic theology is a masterwork, and is one of the more well-documented theologies you'll find. There are thousands of Scripture references, and even the most obscure approaches to (in this volume) creation are examined. There is not a paragraph on supra- and infra-lapsarianism; there's a page or two on each. Bavinck systematically (pun intended) takes on providence, God's nature, character, and attributes, predestination, election, retribution, and man himself. This is a wonderful translation, as well. It reads well and you forget that you're reading a work originally written in Dutch. Perhaps most welcome to the entire volume (and it's large, clocking in at around 500 pages) is the occasional moments where Bavinck sets aside formal defense and simply speaks his heart. These paragraphs are passionate and resplendent with truth and a love for God. I always found myself ready to renew my own war against the sin living in my flesh, encouraged and challenged by Bavinck's love for God borne out of right theology.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John

    While Bavinck is incredibly dense, it is incredibly good. Bavinck does an excellent job of articulating the view that God is a person and must be known as such. He dispenses with the idea of describing God as an "essence" with "attributes" in favor of describing God as a "person" with "characteristics." He also places a high priority on the need for revelation to reveal God to us. Moreso than any other theologian I have read, Bavinck does an excellent job of interacting with the major Western ph While Bavinck is incredibly dense, it is incredibly good. Bavinck does an excellent job of articulating the view that God is a person and must be known as such. He dispenses with the idea of describing God as an "essence" with "attributes" in favor of describing God as a "person" with "characteristics." He also places a high priority on the need for revelation to reveal God to us. Moreso than any other theologian I have read, Bavinck does an excellent job of interacting with the major Western philosophers up through the German Idealists like Hegel and Schelling. This book is not for someone who wants an easy Christian Living book, but is excellent for someone who wants a serious work of theology that will expand your view of God. Given those qualifications, I recommend this book very highly.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Richard Van den broek

    A very profound and brilliant book, well worth reading. The translation is excellent so you don't end up being lost in the language, but can actually get down to the theological ideas he is trying to convey. It is a bit expensive, but definitely a book every theologian should have! A very profound and brilliant book, well worth reading. The translation is excellent so you don't end up being lost in the language, but can actually get down to the theological ideas he is trying to convey. It is a bit expensive, but definitely a book every theologian should have!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sean McGowan

    Fantastic!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Broussard

    Excellent, save the excess verbosity. Not sure if it's the translation, but can be quite confusing. Excellent, save the excess verbosity. Not sure if it's the translation, but can be quite confusing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andy Smith

    Very good survey and historical investigation (not always rock solid) of reformed dogmatics.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Spectacular.

  25. 4 out of 5

    G.M. Burrow

    Bavinck behaved much better in his books than he did on my quizzes.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Petruzzi

    Better than most systematic theologies. I'm glad it's been abridged into one volume so I can feasibly read the whole thing. Better than most systematic theologies. I'm glad it's been abridged into one volume so I can feasibly read the whole thing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lu Tsun

    After actually reading it, you will find it is not so formidable as it appears. Bavinck's writing is very clear and the translation is great. This is a must-read. After actually reading it, you will find it is not so formidable as it appears. Bavinck's writing is very clear and the translation is great. This is a must-read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ian Hammond

    Herman Bavinck is like three men in one. He is a historian, philosopher, and theologian of very high caliber.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jared Mcnabb

    Bavinck is just about the best Dogmatics out there

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Bavinck's systematic is excellent. He's opperating out the Dutch Reformed tradition. He influenced Vos, Van Til, and Kline, among others. Bavinck's systematic is excellent. He's opperating out the Dutch Reformed tradition. He influenced Vos, Van Til, and Kline, among others.

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