Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Herman Bavinck - "I have my faith, and in this I have all"

In the providence of God, Bavinck's life ended unexpectedly, at a time when he was still engaged in a variety of academic, political, cultural, and church activities. After offering an eloquent address on the floor of the synodical meeting of the Reformed churches in Leeuwarden, Bavinck suffered a heart attack, from which he first rallied but never fully recovered. After a prolonged period of illness, Bavinck "fell asleep" in the Lord on July 29, 1921. Among the poignant memories recorded of visits with Bavinck at the time was his reply to the question of whether he was afraid to die: "My dogmatics avail me nothing, nor my knowledge, but I have my faith, and in this I have all."

(Cornelis P. Venema, "Herman Bavinck: His Life and Theology,"New Horizons, October 2008)
For a helpful introduction to the life and theology of Herman Bavinck, I recommend the following brief articles:
I also commend to you his magnum opus, Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics. 4 Volumes. Edited by John Bolt and translated by John Vriend. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2003 - 2008. Hardcover, 3,008 pages.