Religion, the fear of God,
must therefore be the element which inspires and animates all
theological investigation. That must be the pulsebeat of the science. A
theologian is a person who makes bold to speak about God because he
speaks out of God and through God.
From Bavinck's Inaugural Address as Professor of Systematic Theology in the Free University of Amsterdam.
Bavinck lived from 1854-1921. He was a contemporary of Abraham Kuyper and B.B. Warfield, both of whom he knew well. He graduated magna cum laude with a double major in Systematic Theology & OT. His doctoral dissertation was on the concept of the State in Zwingli's theology. Bavinck taught at the Theological Seminary in Kampen, Holland before accepting the position of professor at the Free University of Amsterdam. He is best known for his magnum opus, "The Reformed Dogmatics" (Gereformeerde Dogmatiek, in 4 volumes). Until recently, a translated version of his popular Dogmatics (Our Reasonable Faith) was available in paperback. Bavinck is one of the most balanced and solidly Reformed theologians Holland has ever produced.
Born on December 13, 1854, in Hoogeveen, Drenthe, Holland, Herman Bavinck was the son of the Reverend Jan Bavinck, a leading figure in the secession from the State Church of the Netherlands in 1834. After theological study in Kampen, and at the University of Leiden, he graduated in 1880, and served as the minister of the congregation at Franeker, Friesland, for a year. According to his biographers, large crowds gathered to hear his outstanding exposition of the Scriptures.
In 1882, he was appointed a Professor of Theology at Kampen, and taught there from 1883 until his appointment, in 1902, to the chair of Systematic Theology in the Free University of Amsterdam, where he succeeded the great Abraham Kuyper, then recently appointed Prime Minister of the Netherlands. In this capacity — an appointment he had twice before declined — Bavinck served until his death in 1921.
Born in 1854, Herman Bavinck was the son of Jan Bavinck, a minister of the Afscheding (Seceded) churches in the Netherlands. He, much to the surprise of his family, chose to study at the modernist University of Leiden, where he composed his doctoral thesis on the ethics of Ulrich Zwingli. However, this time at Leiden did not subvert Bavinck's Reformed foundations. He went on to become a professor at the seminary of the Seceded Churches in Kampen and would later join Abraham Kuyper at the Free University of Amsterdam. Bavinck's field was dogmatics and he made several important written contributions in this area, the most noteworthy of which was his four volume Gereformeerde Dogmatiek (Reformed Dogmatics, presently being translated into English). Bavinck introduced the notion of organic inspiration of the Scriptures and also developed a solution to the infra/supralapsarian conundrum. Although Bavinck passed on in 1921, he remains a powerful force in Reformed theology. Several important Reformed theologians owe large debts to him, including Cornelius VanTil and Louis Berkhof.
HERMAN BAVINCK, Creation