OUR REASONABLE FAITH,
by Herman Bavinck (translated by Henry Zylstra); Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan; 568 pages, $6.95 (paperback). (Reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema)
THE DOCTRINE OF GOD,
by Herman Bavinck (translated by William Hendriksen); Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan; 407 pages, $5.95 (paperback). (Reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema)
Both of these books are reprints in Baker’s “Twin Brooks Series.” The original publications were hardbacks, published by Eerdmans. Our Reasonable Faith is a survey of Christian doctrine intended not for the theological student but for the general reading public. It is an excellent translation by that English language perfectionist, the late Henry Zylstra. The Dutch work had the imposing title Magnalia Dei. For those interested in the study of Christian doctrine and in enrichment in the thinking of other Reformed thinkers, this is an excellent book. Do not expect easy, relaxing reading, however; you will have to put on your thinking-cap. Nevertheless, Herman Bavinck was a Reformed scholar, an interesting writer, and a penetrating thinker. An excellent addition to anyone’s library.
The Doctrine of God is a translation of that part of Volume II of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics which deals with the first locus of Dogmatics. This work is of a more technical nature; but Dr. Hendriksen has furnished an excellent translation on the whole and has made the work easier reading by translating into English all the German, Latin, Hebrew, and Greek quotations and expressions. It is always better to read a work of this kind in its original language; and at the seminary we expect our students to be able to read Bavinck in the Dutch. Nevertheless, it is good that this part of Bavinck’s Dogmatics has been made available in the English language for those unable to handle the Dutch. Besides, with a little effort and use of the thinking-cap, the run-of-the-mill Christian reader who is interested in growth and enrichment in Reformed doctrine can very well read this book. For example, Bavinck’s discussion of supra- and infralapsarianism is very interesting and instructive. One does far better to wade through books of this kind than to float through much of the trash on today’s religious book market.Ä±
One minor criticism: for theological students the value of the book would have been enhanced if all of the references to other writers had been included.