Book Briefs: Reformed Dogmatics

This review will not be a critical take of Vos’s theology. I am convictionally a reformed baptist and there would be aspects in which I would disagree with Vos. However, every believer can benefit from this volume and have a great respect to what he has written.

Geerhardus Vos was born in 1862 and died in 1949. He served on Princeton’s faculty as the first chair of biblical theology. 

This one volume of Reformed Dogmatics by Lexham Press was translated and edited by Richard Gaffin. Lexham Press has previously published 5 volumes of Vos’s Reformed Dogmatics, but now have made it into one volume.

In this work, there are 5 different sections. 

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

Lexham has done a fantastic job with this volume. It is not overwhelmingly large compared to other systematics so you will not feel weighed down if you carry it in a backpack. They have also made it at an accessible price point for $59.99 retail. The only negative with this volume is how thin the paper is. As a result, I would suggest taking notes in a journal.

Readers will benefit from this volume even if they disagree with some of Vos’s points. Reformed Dogmatics is laid out in a manner that the chapter begins with question one and then Vos answers the question that was raised. Each chapter looks like a Q&A back and forth. Unlike some volumes where the layout makes it hard to find a place and refer back to it. This volume has made it accessible to find the information you are seeking and will be a handy reference. At the end of the volume, Lexham has put an index for all of the questions brought up in this work. It contains a subject and author index as well. Lexham Press has done a fantastic job with making this volume a valuable resource that will be used for years to come.


Evan Knies is from West Monroe, LA. He is married to Lauren and father to Maesyn. He is Pastor of Families and Missions at North Hills Church. He is a graduate of Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies.

Family Worship Guide: Advent

Family Worship Guide: Advent by [Evan Knies]

www.amazon.com/dp/B08NF8KVFY/ref=cm_sw_r_oth_api_glc_iw9YFbGXMGGAM

Have you started an Advent devotional with your family? If you haven’t, I made a Family Worship Guide for Advent for my church. I made it available on Amazon (Paperback and Kindle).


Evan Knies is from West Monroe, LA. He is married to Lauren and father to Maesyn. He is a graduate of Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He serves at North Hills Church. You can follow him on Twitter @Evan_Knies.

JC Ryle on Practical Christian Holiness

JC Ryle (1816-1900) was the first bishop of Liverpool. He wrote many helpful works such as Holiness, Knots Untied, Light from Old Times, and Practical Religion.

Below is a quote from Practical Religion on Practical Christian Holiness (Banner of Truth), pages 11-12

“It is as certain as anything in the Bible that ‘without holiness no man shall see the Lord’ (Heb. 12:14). It is equally certain that it is the invariable fruit of saving faith, the real test of regeneration, the only sound evidence of indwelling grace, the certain consequence of vital union with Christ. – Holiness is not absolute perfection and freedom from all faults. Nothing of the kind! The wild words of some who talk of enjoying ‘unbroken communion with God’ for many mouths, are greatly to be deprecated, because they raise unscriptural exceptions in the minds of young believers, and so do harm. Absolute perfection is for heaven, and not for earth, where we have a weak body, a wicked world, and a busy devil continually near our souls. Nor is real Christian holiness ever attained, or maintained, without a constant fight and struggle. The great apostle, who said ‘I fight, -I labour, – I keep under my body and bring it into subjection’ (1 Cor. 9:27), would have been amazed to hear of sanctification without personal exertion, and to be told that believers only need to sit still, and everything will be done for them!

Yet, weak and imperfect as the holiness of the best saints may be, it is a real true thing, and has a character about it as unmistakable as light and salt. It is not a thing which begins and ends with noisy profession: it will be seen much more than heard. Genuine scriptural holiness will make a man do his duty at home and by the fireside, and adorn his doctrine in the little trials of daily life. It will exhibit itself in passive graces as well as in active. It will make a man humble, kind, gentle, unselfish, good-tempered, considerate for others, loving, meek, and forgiving. It will not constrain him to go out of the world, and shut himself up in a cave, like a hermit. But it will make him do his duty in that state to which God has called him, on Christian principles, and after the pattern of Christ. Such holiness, I know well, is not common. It is a style of practical Christianity which is painfully rare in these days. but I can find no other standard of holiness in the Word of God, – no other which comes up to the pictures drawn by our Lord and his apostles. In an age like this no reader can wonder if I press this subject also on men’s attention. Once more let us ask, – In the matter of holiness, how is it with our souls? ‘How do we do’?”