Book Review | Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics

Geerhardus Vos is probably one of the most-celebrated Reformed Theologians in the modern history of Christianity. Known as the first chair of biblical theology at Princeton, he released his groundbreaking work on the subject and was later known as the ‘Father of Biblical Theology.’ His other works include The Pauline Eschatology (considered his magnum opus) and the five-volume Reformed Dogmatics which is now published in one by Lexham Press.

Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics has previously been available only in its original Dutch. Translated and edited by biblical theologian and Vos expert, Richard B. Gaffin Jr., this monumental work is now accessible more than ever, and is divided into seven parts:

  • Chapter 1: The Knowability of God
  • Chapter 2: Names, Being, and Attributes of God
  • Chapter 3: The Trinity
  • Chapter Four: Of God’s Decrees in General
  • Chapter 5: The Doctrine of Predestination
  • Chapter 6: Creation
  • Chapter 7: Providence

This reformed systematic theology is like no other. I have a wide range of volumes on systematic theology from different theologians and this one stands out in terms of format—it is catechetical. Through and through, every subject in this volume is in question and answer format and this is what I love most about it. Catechism is a proven method of helping the reader memorize and retain as much information as possible, and this is exactly what this volume does. It makes the study more enjoyable and the information more retainable. There are subjects where Vos is brief and there are others where he tarries and expounds thoroughly. This is a perfect tool for discipleship, devotion, or family worship.

As aforementioned, Vos’ Dogmatics was originally released as a five-volume work.  Now, you might ask, how did it fit into an inch-thick 1200-plus page volume? The answer lies on its paper. Lexham Press used a thin Bible paper to print this work. Though I like that it is portable, there is a lot of bleed-through on its pages which could have been prevented if it were thicker and more opaque. Nevertheless, it is still readable and it does its job!

Final thoughts

Geerhardus Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics should be in the library of any Christian. This volume is very easy to read and a great starter if you want to study Systematic Theology. Dr. Gaffin did an excellent job in translating this magnificent work.

Disclosure: A review copy of Reformed Dogmatics was provided for review by Lexham Press, from whom you may purchase a copy.

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