Since the English translation from Dutch of Herman Bavinck’s magisterial 4-volume Reformed Dogmatics, there has been a blossoming interest in Bavinck’s theology. Readers have been drawn to Bavinck for his faithfulness to the Reformed tradition while also engaging the questions of 19th-century Europe. Far from simply revisiting the older dogmatic systems, Bavinck faithfully engages modern trends like historical-criticism, the epistemological problems raised by Kant, the rationalism of the philosophes, and the radical changes ushered in through the French and European revolutions.
The question then is, was Bavinck orthodox, modern, or both?
In Orthodox yet Modern, Cory C. Brock argues that Bavinck acts as a bridge between orthodox and modern views, insofar as he subsumes the philosophical-theological questions and concepts of theological modernity under the conditions of his orthodox, confessional tradition. By exploring the relation between Bavinck and Schleiermacher, Orthodox yet Modern presents Herman Bavinck as a theologian eager to engage the contemporary world, rooted in the catholic and Reformed tradition, absorbing the best of modernity while rejecting its excesses. Bavinck represents a theologian who is at once orthodox, yet modern.
Anyone interested in having a better understanding of Bavinck’s theology and method will benefit from this insightful study.
–J. V. Fesko, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary
Filled with detailed analysis and big ideas, Brock’s study is an important contribution.
–Zachary Purvis, Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
This lucid and scholarly study makes an important contribution to a more nuanced understanding of Bavinck.
–David Fergusson, Professor of Divinity, University of Edinburgh
Brock presents a method of theological inquiry that is relational, dialogic, and so also humane. From the pages of Orthodox yet Modern to the ears of all contemporary theologians!”
–Christine Helmer, Professor of German and Religious Studies, Northwestern University
“Bavinck argued both that Calvinism is ‘the only consistent theological view of the world and humanity,” (Page 7)
Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology is a peer-reviewed series of contemporary monographs exploring key figures, themes, and issues in historical and systematic theology from an evangelical perspective.
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Cory C. Brock (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is assistant pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi. He serves as adjunct professor of theology at Belhaven University in Jackson.