Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 5: Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology
Geerhardus Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics represents the early theological thought of one of the premier Reformed thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Originally self-published in five volumes in 1896 under the title Gereformeerde Dogmatiek (also known as Dogmatiek), this important piece of Reformed theology has never been available to an English audience.
The fifth and final volume of Reformed Dogmatics presents Geerhardus Vos’ views on ecclesiology, the sacraments, and eschatology. He deals with the nature of the church and its purpose. Vos’ discussion of the means of grace goes beyond merely the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist into issues of the gospel proclamation as well. Lastly, he concludes with his examination of eschatology both in the sense of “things to come” and also in the sense of the current state of the church as existing in the “already, but not yet.”
Geerhardus Vos is perhaps best known to English speakers for his books Pauline Eschatology, published in 1930, and Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments, published in 1948. Vos’ strong grounding in biblical scholarship and biblical theology makes his Reformed Dogmatics unique, bringing a fresh biblical perspective. Though this five-volume set is systematic in nature, Geerhardus Vos brings the skills and acumen of a biblical theologian to the task.
- Part One: Ecclesiology: The Doctrine of the Church
- Organization, Discipline, Offices
- Part Two: The Means of Grace
- Word and Sacraments
- The Lord’s Supper
- Part Three: Eschatology: The Doctrine of Last Things
- Individual Eschatology
- General Eschatology
Geerhardus J. Vos, born in 1862, was a Dutch American theologian. He was the first alumnus of Calvin College (then Theological School) to earn a doctoral degree. Vos studied Old Testament at Princeton Seminary and graduated with honors. He then went on to do doctoral work in Semitics at the University of Berlin for one year, followed by two years at the University of Strasburg. He returned to teach at Calvin in 1888, but accepted an invitation to hold Princeton's new Chair of Biblical Theology in 1892. He held the chair until his retirement in 1932. During his time at Princeton he taught some of the great Reformed minds of the 20th century, including John Gresham Machen and Ned Bernard Stonehouse. Vos was also an essential catalyst in the establishment of Biblical Theology as a discipline. He passed away in 1949. Vos' thinking and scholarship in theology has influenced Cornelius Van Til, John Murray, Richard B. Gaffin Jr., and Herman Ridderbos.