A century ago when this book was first published, marriage and the family were already weathering enormous changes, and that trend has not abated. Yet by God’s power the unchanging essence of marriage and the family remains proof, as Bavinck notes, that God’s “purpose with the human race has not yet been achieved.”
Neither a ten-step guide nor a one-sided approach, this book embodies a Christian theology of marriage and the family. Accessible, thoroughly biblical, and astonishingly relevant, it offers a mature and concise handling of the origins of marriage and family life and the effects of sin on these institutions, an appraisal of historic Christian approaches, and an attempt to apply that theology.
Aptly reminding Christians that “the moral health of society depends on the health of family life,” Bavinck issues an evergreen challenge to God’s people: “Christians may not permit their conduct to be determined by the spirit of the age, but must focus on the requirement of God’s commandment.”
The family is foundational in many respects. Readers will be instructed by Bavinck's unfolding of the importance of the family for economics and work, on the one hand, and as a template for the structure and relationships within broader society, on the other. Throughout history, the family has survived and succeeded as economic entrepreneurs and producers, and has supplied training and stability for social relationships beyond the home. (From the Introduction by James Eglinton)
About the Author
Herman Bavinck (1854–1921), born the second of eleven children, was a husband, father, pastor, professor, and the author of many books, including his four-volume magnum opus, Reformed Dogmatics (Gereformeerde Dogmatiek). As a Dutch Reformed theologian he engaged the fields of politics, philosophy, and education and was a key figure along with Abraham Kuyper in the Union of the Reformed Churches in 1892.
About the Editor
Stephen J. Grabill (Phd, Calvin Theological Seminary) is Director of Programs and International at the Acton Institute.
About the Translator
Nelson D. Kloosterman (ThD, Theological University of the Reformed Churches Liberated, Kampen, the Netherlands) serves as ethics consultant for Worldview Resources International.
Publisher: Christian Library Press
Publication Date: February 2012
ISBN 10: 1938948149
ISBN 13: 9781938948145
"Who should read this book? Those who are tired of the micromanaging trivia of so much of the output of the reformed evangelical 'how to raise your family' industry? Those who are fed up of the cliched writing that dominates the genre today? Those who want insights into how a truly great theologian understood the family? Those who just want some simple, sanctified Christian common sense instead of banal how-to manuals pretending to be pious wisdom? All of the above. This is a good, solid presentation, a little dated in places but on the whole well-worth reading."
- Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary
"Those who know and love Herman Bavinck as the magisterial theologian and author of the Reformed Dogmatics, will enjoy the change of pace in this biblically rich and historically aware theology of marriage and family. While they might not share all of Bavinck’s applications, contemporary readers will be rewarded by a sympathetic reading. They will be challenged on precisely the issues that threaten the family today because Bavinck applied biblical wisdom to his own prescient reading of trends in Western culture and society. They will also be encouraged because Bavinck so obviously loved the family and celebrated it in hope. A great read for those who are married or contemplating marriage and family."
- John Bolt, Professor of Systematic Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary, Editor, Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics