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Reformed Dogmatics Volume 1 : Prolegomena

(Reformed Dogmatics #1)

4.63  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  35 reviews
In partnership with the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, Baker Academic is proud to offer the first volume of Herman Bavinck's complete Reformed Dogmatics in English for the very first time.
Bavinck's approach throughout is meticulous. As he discusses the standard topics of dogmatic theology, he stands on the shoulders of giants such as Augustine, John Calvin, Francis
Hardcover, 685 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Baker Academic
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4.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  287 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Is it wrong for a prolegomena to dogmatic theology to be your favorite book in the whole wide world? Well, if it is, then I don't wanna be right!
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm hoping to try to finish the set before the end of 2015.

Remarkable. Astonishing breadth of sources with a pastoral focus. It maybe goes without saying, but a rich Prolegomena like this ought to be required reading for all pastors and students. Maybe not Bavinck, but *something*; but oh that I wish they would read Bavinck!
Nick Gibson
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bavinck's introductory volume defines the science of dogmatics, traces its history through the main streams of Christianity, and inspects its first principles. Bavinck is a lucid writer with devotional flair, even if his headier discourses on German philosophy and liberal Protestant academia are opaque. (It may just be the difficulty of reading technical criticism in translation.) I'm not a diehard Bavinck fan yet, but I'm already sympathetic to the demand that he should be more widely read. He' ...more
Brock Organ
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A few years ago, I read two of the volumes from Will Durant's "The Story of Civilization" series. I loved their epic flavor and grand vision in to so much specific details of history!

Well, in the area of Prolegomena (first things) and Reformed dogma, Bavinck creates the same kind of panorama, a beautiful landscape of the history and significance of each of the major schools and philosophers and theologians and how they have affected the church throughout history. The detail is rich, the scope is
Chris Comis
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
It is refreshing to read Van Til before Van Til. The influence on Van Til by men like Bavinck definitely had a great influence on Van Til's whole approach to theology, apologetics, etc. Bavinck was presuppositional through and through in this volume. He interacts well with all the current movers and shakers of his day. About the only downside to Bavinck's theological prolegomena is that he comes across as being way to enamored with the "science" of this or that theological issue. It's as if the ...more
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, theology
Bavinck provides a tour de force of orthodox protestant theology. With learning both deep and wide he moves with assurance through the thickets of theological controversy to present his own carefully considered account of the Reformed tradition in theology. Written over a hundred years ago, he remains remarkably fresh and relevant. Bavinck seems to have read and thought through nearly everything; patristic, medieval, Reformation and Counter-Reformation theology, as well the contemporary (of his ...more
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Still mulling over whether I agree with Bavinck on some details about the internal ground of faith, but otherwise, this is a monument to Bavinck's learning, an example for what Reformed and evangelical scholarship can be, and an excellent defense of Reformed views on theological method and revelation. Highly recommended.
Austin Mcgrath
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is finished. And no review that I am capable of writing can do justice to how good this was. Excited to get Volume 2!
Adam T.
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This volume is a master class in the discipline of Theological study. Bavinck carefully explains what many would simply assume. He thoughtfully engages with the great minds of history, and places the discipline of Dogmatics on solid ground amongst the other sciences.
He grapples with big ideas, but chooses to use language that is accessible to the common man.
This is an engaging read and has me hungry to continue into volume 2.
Peter Jones
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely unbelievable work that I wish I had been introduced to earlier. Bavinck is a scholar of the highest order. He understands the strands of Christian thought with a particularly strong grasp on Roman Catholic theology and various philosophical systems. He has the ability to recognize the truth tucked way inside these systems while not compromising. Many of his arguments anticipate 21st century debates about the connection between knowledge and faith, head and heart. His section on Rev ...more
Dec 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2010
Volume 1 and 3 to go.

There were moements like this...

"The revelation that Scripture discloses to us does not just consist in a number of disconnected words and isolated facts but in one single historical and organic whole, a mighty world-controlling and world-renewing system of testimonies and acts of God".
(Prolegmena. p. 340)
Ben Duncan
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding presentation of the foundational principles of theology. In particular, the section on the attributes of Scripture is fantastic.
Jun 01, 2014 is currently reading it
2014 Fall. Thrilled by the first 100 pages, but I haven't the time I need. Maybe next summer.

2018 Dec. Trying again.
Apr 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Bavinck's systematic is excellent. He's opperating out the Dutch Reformed tradition. He influenced Vos, Van Til, and Kline, among others.
David Goetz
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: systematics
Herman Bavinck has a way with P-r-o-legomen-a.
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
It's hard to give Herman Bavinck only three stars, but I think the next three volumes of his systematic theology will be even better. Because his prolegomena deal so much with method, he has to spend a ton of time dealing with 18th and 19th century philosophy, epistemology, theories of science, scholasticism, empiricism, rationalism, and so on. It gets pretty drudgerous. There are a few highlights nonetheless. His review of the history of Reformed dogmatics was interesting, and his discussion of ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was first introduced to Herman Bavinck was in my first year in seminary. The class was a systematic class called “God and Humanity.” IWe read excerpts from Volume 2. A couple guys wanted to continue reading him so we met together the next semester weekly to discuss readings from Volume 1.

I often say to my self in numerous biblical and theological questions, “I wonder what Herman has to say on this matter.”

To me, Bavinck is a CS Lewis type of writer - he writes profoundly and succinctly with
Andy Dollahite
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spectacularly profound exploration of the foundations supporting the fundamentals of Christianity — the prolegomena. There are rigorous and technical sections, but perseverance is rewarded tenfold. Philosophical training, or at least familiarity with Plato/Aristotle/Kant would be significantly helpful prerequisites. My own reading was interrupted by about 7 calendar months of various distractions, but returning for the final sections felt like a sweet homecoming. Bavinck and Calvin are two pilla ...more
Pastor Matt
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The translation of Bavinck is exceptionally clear and the flow of thought is captivating. One will have to peruse quite a bit of the author wrestling with the theological challenges of his day, some are unfortunately still relevant, others not so much. Yet, it is deservedly called a classic and a must read for all pastors and seminary students.
Eric Fults
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Challenging read, but really excellent.
Andrew Strenn
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very good. I learned a lot from this Volume. The chapter on the inspiration of scripture was very good. His discussion of special and general revelation was also very good.
Austin Hoffman
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and thorough treatment of the first principles of theology. Interacts heavily with modernism and is historically grounded.
Ryan Londeen
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, philosophy
So rich and edifying.
Jacob Aitken
Bavinck’s project consists of drawing upon the strengths of the Magisterial Protestants while formulating theology in response to the modernist crisis of his day. To do so, he realized he could not slavishly mimic older platitudes and simply “hope for the best.” Bavinck represents a very exciting yet somewhat embarrassing hero for modern Calvinists. Exciting, because his work is simply awesome and coming into English for the first time ever. Embarrassing, because modern Calvinists generally disl ...more
Jacob Rush
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Skipped chs. 3-7, 13, 15. Bavinck is very thorough and sometimes the references can seem overwhelming, but his insight and content is fantastic.
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, apologetics
This is an extraordinary introduction to systematic theology, or reformed dogmatics. It starts with some very heavy material on philosophy and there are many references to a number of philosophers and theologians that I am not familiar with. This made for a rather tedious start to this volume.
But there are definitely gems throughout even these introductory chapters, which form a good foundation for what comes later.
The last couple of chapters were especially helpful to me. The nature of God's r
Matthew Dudley
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful treatment of the reformed church doctrines. This is the first book of four. I have read all four last year and have started going through them again. Highly recommend. Bavinck goes through the different views...Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, and also many philosophical opinions.
Bentley Crawford
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An incredible book that's actually pretty easy to read given the fact that the translation into english is fresh. Bavinck interacts with philosophies and theologians all across the spectrum of the prolegomena to theology, showing their strengths and weaknesses, while always setting forth a positive view of the truth of Christianity in the midst of it all.
Paulo Won
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Com certeza, a introdução à Teologia Sistemática mais elegante que já li! O conhecimento de literatura primária e secundaria de Bavinck é impressionante. Uma obra densa, mas agradável de se ler.
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  • An Introduction to Systematic Theology: Prolegomena and the Doctrines of Revelation, Scripture, and God
  • Systematic Theology
  • Given for You: Reclaiming Calvin's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper
  • The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way
  • Systematic Theology
  • The Holy Spirit (Contours of Christian Theology, #6)
  • The Doctrine of God (A Theology of Lordship)
  • Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction
  • The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship
  • A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life
  • Paul: An Outline of His Theology
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • The Person of Christ (Contours of Christian Theology, #7)
  • The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
  • The Church (Contours of Christian Theology, #4)
  • Incarnation: The Person and Life of Christ
  • Lectures on Calvinism
  • Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World
Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) succeeded Abraham Kuyper as professor of systematic theology at the Free University of Amsterdam in 1902.

Other books in the series

Reformed Dogmatics (4 books)
  • Reformed Dogmatics Volume 2: God and Creation
  • Reformed Dogmatics Volume 3: Sin and Salvation in Christ
  • Reformed Dogmatics Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation
“The task of dogmatics is precisely to rationally reproduce the content of revelation that relates to the knowledge of God.” 1 likes
“It is, moreover, of the greatest importance for every believer, particularly for the dogmatician, to know which Scriptural truths, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, have been brought to universal recognition in the church of Christ. By this process, after all, the church is kept from immediately mistaking a private opinion for the truth of God.” 1 likes
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