Reformed Dogmatics by Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) is arranged like a standard systematic theology text and includes seven branches of theology overall. Bavinck was a seminal thinker in his day and deserves to be read in ours. The new abridged volume by Baker Academic is a welcome addition to the growing number of theological works in print.
The writing, while dense at times is easy to follow and offers readers a Reformed framework which stands in the tradition as writers such as Warfield, Hodge, and Edwards.
Perhaps an assortment of citations will give readers a better idea of Bavinck’s style and theological convictions:
The entire life of the Christian is dedicated to the worship of God – we are not our own; we are God’s. We belong to God completely and always, in life and in death.
Sin, therefore, is never an arbitrary matter, merely a whimsical displeasure of a jealous God. Sin is knowingly breaking God’s command and flows from a heart that rebels against God.
… The human heart and head can rest in God’s will, for it is the will of an almighty God and a gracious father, not that of a blind fate, incalculable chance, or dark force of nature. His sovereignty is one of unlimited power, but also of wisdom and grace. He is both king and father at one and the same time.
Mystery is the lifeblood of theological reflection. From the start of its labors, dogmatic theology is shrouded in mystery; it stands before God the incomprehensible One. This knowledge leads to adoration and worship; to know God is to live.
The content of the Christian faith is the knowledge of God in his being and in his works.
Even the abridged edition weighs in at 777 pages, so readers will need to demonstrate a measure of discipline and patience in order to reach the finish line of Dogmatic Theology. But the time and effort will be well-spent and one dives into the deep end of the theological pool.