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Wilhelmus a Brakel

Who is Wilhelmus a Brakel? (1635-1711) Wilhelmus studied theology at Franeker and Utrecht, and was particularly influenced by his mentor, Gisbertus Voetius. At the age of twenty-four he was ordained as a minister of the gospel. His sermons were Christ-centered, rich in gospel content, experiential, and addressed all who were present. After a fruitful ministry of forty-nine years, it pleased the Lord to take this eminent divine (affectionately referred to by the godly as 'Father Brakel') home to Himself in 1711 at the age of seventy-six, to receive the reward of a faithful servant.

What is 'The Christian's Reasonable Service'? It demonstrates one of the strengths of the Dutch Nadere Reformatie (Second or Further Reformation), namely, the balance between objective truth and the subjective experience of that truth. 'The Christian's Reasonable Service' is a systematic exposition of Christian doctrine, covering all of the intricacies and debated points of Reformation and post-Reformation dogmatics. This is done is scholastic fashion, with great precision and theological acumen. That being said, it was primarily written for the author's congregation and is a tremendous work of piety and pastoral concern. Brakel labors to bring practical application to each doctrine he treats, showing the value and use of the truths of God's Word. It is not enough to assent to right doctrine; one must also engage these truths with hearts of faith and repentance. Let this work be an encouragement to all who read it, and an example to today's ministers in directing doctrine to its proper end.

"Wilhelmus a Brakel's 'The Christian's Reasonable Service' is a tremendously insightful work that showcases the marriage between scholastic precision and a warm pastoral piety. + Brakel not only challenges the mind as he plumbs the depths of the teachings of Scripture, but he also challenges the heart as readers must grapple with the truth and its implications for their growth in grace. Not only can historians read a Brakel to learn about historic Reformed theology, but scholars, pastors, and lay-men can all benefit from a close reading of these wonderful volumes." J. V. Fesko, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Westminster Seminary California

"With its fine balance of Reformed doctrinal statement and application to Christian life and personal piety, a BrakelĘs 'Christian's Reasonable Service' provides a superb illustration of the theological project associated with the late seventeenth-century development of the Dutch Nadere Reformatie or 'Further Reformation.' Although it abounds in sound definition and detailed exposition, this vernacular theology was intended not for the academic setting but for the purpose of educating the laity in both faith and practice. It remains a significant study in Reformed theology even as it exemplifies the true sense of the old Reformed maxim, 'Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda' namely, that the doctrine of the

church has been reformed but the life of the Christian is always to be reformed, guided by the teachings of the Reformation. The Elshout translation beautifully conveys the sense and the spirit of a Brakel's work." - Richard A. Muller, P. J. Zondervan Professor of Histori-

cal Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary

SGCB Price: $110.00 (list price $200.00)
Four Large Hardcover Volumes with Dustjackets