Along with classic oxymorons like “jumbo shrimp” and “pretty ugly” we can add a new phrase—“concise 940-page book.”
The new Concise Reformed Dogmatics from P&R is a contemporary, single-volume systematic theology that collects the best of the rich reformed theology of our Dutch friends.
For a single-volume theology I’ve never seen anything like it.
There is no doubt that authors could have easily fluffed this volume out into a 3 or 4 volume series. But instead they carefully distilled the content into a “concise” and sharpened format. And it doesn’t take long to notice this in the details and in the weightiness of each sentence.
The contemporary Dutch authors (J. van Genderen and W. H. Velema) and the English translators (Gerrit Bilkes and Ed M. van der Maas) have blessed the church with an excellent work of theology that captures the best dogmatic exegesis, the most valuable thoughts of Augustine, John Calvin, and Martin Luther, the best of our Dutch homeboys like Herman Bavinck, Wilhelmus à Brakel, and Abraham Kuyper and manage to interact frequently with the notorious Karl Barth.
Typical of Dutch dogmatics, it’s really not exactly what we think of in American when we talk about “systematic theology.” It’s more a combination of a little John Frame ethics and a little J.I. Packer practical theology added to Wayne Grudem’s systematic theology. I mean when is the last time you read a systematic theology with sections covering prayer, mission work, and human sexuality?
For a single-volume dogmatic, this is a precious gift to the church. And despite it’s length (940 pages) and price tag ($40) the addition of this volume to your library is worth consideration.
You can view the table of contents and a sample chapter over here.
Title: Concise Reformed Dogmatics
Authors: J. van Genderen and W. H. Velema (Dutch)
Translators: Gerrit Bilkes and Ed M. van der Maas (English)
PDFs: Sample chapters available here.
Boards: cloth (as in real cloth)
Dust jacket: yes
Topical index: yes
Scriptural index: yes
Text: perfect type
Year: 1992 (Dutch) + 2008 (English)
Price USD: $59.99 / $40.79 at Westminster