A Thick Book on Christian Doctrine: Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics

One of my favorite authors is Geerhardus Vos. He has been formative to my thinking about the Bible. I started with his book Biblical Theology in college, then followed it with his works on the Kingdom of God and the Church, The Teaching the Epistle to the Hebrews, and his Eschatology of Paul. I constantly re-read his sermon series Grace and Glory; and I regularly consult the collection of his shorter works, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation.

All to say, I was thrilled to see that his notes for his students at Calvin Theological Seminary were published recently as Reformed Dogmatics. They are written in a question and answer approach, and trace the basic areas of Christian theology:

  • Volume 1: Theology Proper
  • Volume 2: Anthropology
  • Volume 3: Christology
  • Volume 4: Soteriology
  • Volume 5: Ecclesiology, The Means of Grace, Eschatology

The original set was five individual volumes, but it has now been combined into a single, hefty tome of a mere 1211 pages (yes, it weighs over 2 pounds).

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Although this work represents a younger Vos (he was around 26 when he started writing the notes), they are clear, broad ranging, and Biblical. More importantly, they stand strongly against the modernism that he saw running like a virus through much of intellectual Christendom.

Take, for instance, his stand on creation: theistic evolution or old earth creation was in vogue with many theologians, including many conservative theologians. Vos instead states emphatically that creation in six normal days is the only consistent view from the perspective of the Biblical text and Biblical history, including its vital importance to almost every other aspect of theology.

If you want a good, readable introduction to many theological topics, as well as something that will go much deeper into many areas of theology, this is a great reference.