Posted by: proregno | December 10, 2012

PRTJ, November 2012 – Herman Bavinck

Nov2012Cover

Die PRTJ van November 2012 is aanlyn hier beskikbaar:

PRTJ November 2012

Die uitgawe fokus op Herman Bavinck, en veral sy Gereformeerde Dogmatiek.  Drie belangrike temas word aangespreek:

– Bavinck se lewe en teologie oor die algemeen

– Bavinck se verbondsleer

– Bavinck se siening van die algemene genade

Dit wil vir my voorkom, dat net soos Kuyper, daar ‘n ‘besondere genade Bavinck’ en ‘n ‘algemene genade Bavinck’ was.  Voor Bavinck professor geword het by die Vrye Universiteit in Nederland, in 1903 waar hy Kuyper opgevolg het, was sy fokus op die kerk van Christus, terwyl hy professor was by die Teologiese Skool in Kampen (wat ontstaan het uit die Afskeidingkerke van 1834 en daarna). Dit was ook in hierdie tydperk wat Bavinck sy magnus opus geskryf het, Gereformeerde Dogmatiek, in vier dele.  Na 1903 het sy fokus begin val op die ‘kultuur’ en ‘sielkunde’ en die ‘politiek van die dag’, wat moontlik verduidelik dat hy daarom ‘n ‘algemene genade’ siening moes ontwikkel om die vraag te beantwoord (waarmee Kuyper ook besig was): op watter basis kan saamgewerk word met die ongelowige in die samelewing ?

Prof. Engelsma in sy lesings/skrywes soos in hierdie PRTJ vervat, wys daarop dat daar vandag baie gefokus word op Bavinck se bydraes wat opvoeding, kultuur, ekumenisiteit en algemene genade sake betref (d.w.s. die post-1903 Bavinck), terwyl die pre-1903, die ‘besondere genade Bavinck’, eintlik baie meer aandag moet kry, veral vandag, met soveel dwalinge wat in die kerk van Christus bestry moet word.  Verder lyk dit ook asof die ‘algemene genade’ besig is om die ‘besondere genade’ op te eet, ook in die kerk.

Sien ook die verskillende boekresensies aan die einde van die joernaal.

Hier is die voorwoord:

This issue of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal is a special issue. It is devoted to the life and theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). Bavinck was a towering figure among the Dutch Reformed in the Netherlands during the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He taught first at the Theological School at Kampen (1883-1902); the rest of his career he spent as Abraham Kuyper’s successor at the Free University of Amsterdam, from 1902 until his death in 1921. Of great significance for our understanding of Bavinck is the publication of Bavinck’s magnum opus, the four-volume Reformed Dogmatics (2003-2008), in English by the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. Although a few of Bavinck’s works had found their way into English, in the Reformed Dogmatics the English-speaking world has access to the breadth of Bavinck’s teaching on all the main topics of Reformed theology.

On March 6, 2012 Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches held an Officebearers’ Conference in Redlands, California. We are grateful that Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. James Laning graciously complied with our request and submitted their speeches at the conference for publication in PRTJ. Their articles will give the broad sweep of Bavinck’s theology, as well as point out weaknesses and even errors in Bavinck’s teaching.

The Protestant Reformed Churches have a special interest in Herman Bavinck. That interest is due to the fact that there can be no doubt that our founding fathers were influenced by Bavinck. In their seminary training and in their studies they read Bavinck. What was true of the men generally, was true of Herman Hoeksema in particular. His Reformed Dogmatics, not just in name, but also in content, reflects a definite similarity to Bavinck in certain fundamental ways. Particu­larly did Hoeksema build on Bavinck’s doctrine of the covenant. And yet, Hoeksema also corrected Bavinck in places where correction was needed.

Included in this issue is a review article, “Another Defender of Shepherd (and the Federal Vision),” by Prof. Engelsma. This article is an analysis of Not of Works: Norman Shepherd and His Critics, by the Canadian Reformed minister and theologian Ralph F. Boersema. The review exposes the faulty doctrine of justification by faith and works, on the basis of a conditional covenant of grace and works, embraced by Boersema, Shepherd, and the proponents of the Federal Vision. Boersema openly acknowledges that Shepherd and the Federal Vision embrace the Liberated doctrine of a conditional covenant, a covenant that does not originate in and is not governed by election. A most revealing book!

Besides the articles on Bavinck that are the meat of this issue and the review article, be sure to read Prof. Dykstra’s review of Ron Gleason’s biography of Bavinck, Herman Bavinck: Pastor, Church­man, Statesman, and Theologian. And while you are at it, read the other book reviews that are included in this issue.

At the end of this issue is an advertisement for the upcoming

At the end of this issue is an advertisement for the upcoming conference, which is being planned by the seminary faculty. The conference will mark the 450th anniversary of the publication of the Heidelberg Catechism—precious creed of the Reformed churches. The conference theme is: “Our Only Comfort: Celebrating the 450th Anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism.” This promises to be a very worthwhile conference and we encourage as many of our read­ers as possible to make plans to attend the conference, which will be held the evenings of October 18 and 19, 2013, and Saturday morn­ing, October 20, 2013. We look forward to seeing many of you at the conference.

We hope you enjoy reading the articles and reviews in this issue of PRTJ, and that what you read you find informative, intellectually stimulating, and edifying.

Soli Deo Gloria! 

– RLC


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