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First English Translation of Herman Bavinck’s The Christian Family

Contact:  Bob Todd
For Christian’s Library Press

“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 be also 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

First English Translation of Herman Bavinck’s
The Christian Family

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  (November 1, 2012) — Christian’s Library Press and Acton Institute announced today the release of the first English translation of The Christian Family by Herman Bavinck.

When this book was first published in Dutch, 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.”

Accessible, thoroughly biblical, and astonishingly relevant, The Christian Family offers a mature and concise handling of the origins of marriage and family life along with 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.”

From the Introduction by James Eglinton:

“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.”

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.

Stephen J. Grabill (PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is Director of Programs and International at the Acton Institute.

Nelson D. Kloosterman (ThD, Theological University of the Reformed Churches [Liberated], Kampen, the Netherlands) is Ethics Consultant and Executive Director of Worldview Resources International.

James Eglinton (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is senior researcher at the Theological University of the Reformed Churches [Liberated], Kampen, the Netherlands.

The Christian Family
Herman Bavinck
Translated by Nelson D. Kloosterman
Introduction by James Eglinton
Edited by Stephen J. Grabill
Publisher: Christian's Library Press
Paperback: 168 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-938948-14-5
Price:  $12.00

To receive a review copy (for media), or a exam copy (for professors) please contact

About Christian's Library Press:

Founded in 1979 by Gerard Berghoef and Lester DeKoster, Christian’s Library Press has been committed to publishing influential texts on church leadership, the vocation of work, and stewardship for more than thirty years. During that time Berghoef and DeKoster wrote significant works including The Deacons Handbook, The Elders Handbook, and God’s Yardstick, which still are in demand today. After the passing of Lester DeKoster in 2009, the imprint is now administered by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. For more information about Christian’s Library Press, visit

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty is a leading voice in the international environmental and social policy debate. With offices in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Rome, Italy, , the Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies. The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank working internationally to “promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.” For more on the Acton Institute, please visit