Monday 6 December 2021

Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies 6.2 (2021) on Herman Bavinck

The most-recent issue of the Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies is devoted to ‘Herman Bavinck (1854-1921): A Centenary Celebration’.

The summaries of the essays below are taken from the Introduction by N. Gray Sutanto and Justin McLendon, in which they ‘suggest three particular exemplary traits in Bavinck’s life and work that are particularly noteworthy for emulation:

1. Bavinck models the importance of theological priorities.

2. Bavinck models Christian charity with every interlocutor.

3. Bavinck models an expansive vision of the Christian faith.’

The full issue is available as a pdf here.

N. Gray Sutanto and Justin McLendon

Introduction to Herman Bavinck

George Harinck

Herman Bavinck on Antirevolutionary Politics

George Harinck explores Bavinck’s views on political developments and issues within the Antirevolutionary Party, of which he was a member. Harinck presents Bavinck as a “reflective theologian,” and one whose doctrinal commitments informed his awareness and appreciation of the state’s roles in society.

James Eglinton

Planting Tulips in the Rainforest: Herman and Johan Bavinck on Christianity in East and West

James Eglinton explores an unresolved tension in the thought of the “mature Bavinck” (distinguished from the “young Bavinck”); namely, the tension between Bavinck’s views on the global export of culture and religion and his affirmation of the catholicity of the Christian faith. In his analysis, Eglinton suggests Bavinck’s nephew, the missiologist Johan Herman Bavinck (1895- 1964), sought to resolve this tension with Augustinian remedies.

Gregory Parker Jr.

Encyclopedia Bavinck: The Case of the History of the Theological Encyclopedia

Gregory Parker, Jr. provides a survey of Bavinck’s narrative regarding the historical origin and development of the theological encyclopedia. Parker believes a Reformed catholic thread exists throughout Bavinck’s encyclopedia, and he explains how Bavinck appropriated modern grammar to answer his most pressing concerns.

Jessica Joustra

Jesus the Law Restorer: Law and the Imitation of Christ in Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics

Jessica Joustra explores Bavinck’s understanding of the imitation of Christ within the Christian life. Joustra describes Bavinck’s commitment to couple imitation with a traditional Reformed emphasis upon the law. In the end, Joustra believes Bavinck’s view of the imitation of Christ to bring functionally new understandings of the law.

Gayle Doornbos

Bavinck’s Doctrine of God: Absolute, Divine Personality

Gayle Doornbos engages Bavinck’s utilization of “absoluteness” and “personality” in his doctrine of God proper. Doornbos suggests this aspect of Bavinck’s thought represents a creative appropriation of modern philosophical concepts from within his classical, Reformed tradition.

Cameron Clausing

Dogmatics: A Progressive Science?

Cameron Clausing explores Bavinck’s view that Dogmatics is a progressive science. Clausing argues that Bavinck’s view was an innovative move uniquely connected to his nineteenth century milieu and theological method.

Cory Brock

Revisiting Bavinck and the Beatific Vision

Cory Brock revisits Bavinck’s view of the Beatific Vision. In doing so, Brock challenges recent critiques of Bavinck (especially from Hans Boersma) that has questioned Bavinck’s analysis of this theme. Ultimately, Brock asserts that a careful reading of Bavinck’s overall corpus demonstrates a careful eschatological unity.

Matthew Kaemingk

Christology and Economic Ethics: Herman Bavinck’s Prophet, Priest, and King in the Marketplace

Matthew Kaemingk argues that Bavinck’s Christology offers relevant instruction for the economic marketplace questions of the day. Relying on Bavinck’s munus triplex formation, Kaemingk suggests Christians employ a prophetic, priestly, and royal model of economic engagement.

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