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Reformed Ethics, Volume 1: Created, Fallen, and Converted Humanity (Herman Bavinck)

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Herman Bavinck's four-volume Reformed Dogmatics is one of the most important theological works of the twentieth century. Leading Bavinck expert John Bolt edited that work, which has received wide acclaim. Now Bolt has edited a recently discovered manuscript from Bavinck, in print for the first time, which serves as a companion to Reformed Dogmatics. Reformed Ethics follows the same method and explores the ethical and spiritual dimensions of key doctrines beyond those of Reformed Dogmatics. It mines the moral teachings of the early church and medieval and Puritan spirituality while addressing a variety of topics, offering scholars, pastors, and students Bavinck's mature reflections on ethical issues. This book is the first of three planned volumes.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to Herman Bavinck's Reformed Ethics by Dirk van Keulen and John Bolt


§1 Historical Overview of Christian Ethics

§2 Terminology

§3 Division and Organization of Ethics

§4 Foundation and Method of Ethics

Book I: Humanity before Conversion

1. Essential Human Nature

§5 Human Beings, Created in God's Image

§6 The Content of Human Nature

§7 Human Relationships

2. Humanity under the Power of Sin

§8 The Devastation of the Image of God in Humanity

§9 The Organizing Principle and Classification of Sins

3. The Self against the Neighbor and God

§10 Sins of Egoism in the Narrow Sense

§11 Sins against the Neighbor

§12 Sins against God

4. The Fallen Image of God

§13 The Image of God in Fallen Human Beings

5.Human Science

§14 The Conscience

6. The Sinner and the Law

§15 The Law

§16 Natural Morality

Book II: Converted Humanity

7. Life in the Spirit

§17 The Nature of the Spiritual Life

§18 The Origin of the Spiritual Life

§19 The First and Basic Activity of the Spiritual Life

8. Life in the Spirit in the Church's History

§20 Mysticism, Pietism, and Methodism

9. The Shape and Maturation of the Christian Life

§21 The Shape of the Christian Life: The Imitation of Christ

§22 The Growth of the Spiritual Life

10. Persevering in the Christian Life

§23 Security and Sealing

11. Pathologies of the Christian Life

§24 Diseases of the Spiritual Life and Their Roots

12. Restoration and Consummation of the Christian Life

§25 Means of Restoration

§26 Consummation of the Spiritual Life; Meditation on Death



"For the last decade, a global readership has enjoyed the theological and historical richness of Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics. At the outset of that work, Bavinck set out that dogmatics is happiest in the company of its twin discipline, theological ethics. Dogmatics and ethics, respectively, show us why and how we should love God. For that reason, they belong together as 'related members of a single organism.' Since its release, Reformed Dogmatics has given a wide audience the chance to engage with a great Christian theologian on God and God's works of creation, salvation, and consummation. In Reformed Ethics, we are invited to think with Bavinck about the concreteness of human life in the light and strength of God's deeds for us. For that, we owe the editor and translators a great deal."

James Eglinton, Meldrum Lecturer in Reformed Theology, New College, University of Edinburgh

"In addition to Bavinck's magisterial Reformed Dogmatics, we have here the firstfruits of his complementary Reformed Ethics. John Bolt and his accomplished team of translators and editors have added amazing value to Bavinck's recently rediscovered manuscripts in the field of moral theology. Their lucid translation, background studies, notes, and careful documentation of bibliographic sources used by Bavinck make this volume an invaluable background study on the history of theological ethics. Equally important, the book fills out our understanding of Bavinck the complete theologian. Working through it is an exhilarating eye -opener."

James A. De Jong, emeritus president and professor of historical theology, Calvin Theological Seminary

Product Details

Title:  Reformed Ethics, Volume 1: Created, Fallen, and Converted Humanity

Author: Herman Bavinck

Publisher: Baker Publishing Group

Pages: 608

Binding: Hardcover

Size: 23 x 15 cm

ISBN: 9780801098024

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