BibleWorks 9 - Systematic Theologies: Bavinck and GrudemWritten by Michael Hanel on July 8th, 2011
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I don’t want to leave undocumented the addition to BibleWorks of two unlockable modules which fit the category of systematic theologies. The first is a Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics (which in print is a four volume work for $99 and the second is Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology for $39.96. As someone of the Lutheran persuasion, I will confess that I am not overly familiar with contents of either of these systematic theologies. Again I won’t attempt to review the content of either of them, as you can find a lot of reviews online and I am sure there are many of you who are much more familiar with them than I am. As of the writing of this post, Grudem’s theology was not yet available, but BibleWorks is predicting that it will be done shortly before or after the release of BibleWorks 9. So I will only be talking about Bavinck here.
I must say, however, that although I have never heard of Herman Bavinck, there’s actually quite a bit online written about him.
There’s not much to say more than has been said about navigation of Bavinck. It’s typical HTML navigation. The table of contents remains on the left side of the page. A more detailed table of contents is available under the option Table of Contents. Bible references are linked and show up in the Resources Tab.
Overall I’d say there are two things working against Bavinck (and Grudem) to me. 1. They’re systematic theologies intended for an audience that I’m not a part of. 2. They’re fairly long books (or multiple volumes, as it were) and despite it being many years later, I still haven’t been won over to reading books on a computer screen.
BibleWorks wisely avoided a conflict with my first problem by not including these in the basic package. These are extra add-ons that you must purchase. The benefit here is that when I buy the main BibleWorks 9 package, I’m not paying a lot of money for a systematic theology I really don’t plan on using.
As far as the second problem, I still don’t think BibleWorks has bought into the “let’s have lots of books” philosophy, but they do add books that will have particular and positive uses within their software. Obviously this covers lexicons and grammars, but when you see a page like this you can understand why it might make sense for a systematic theology. Imagine if you read this page in the book. What are the odds you’re going to pause and look up these verses? But in BibleWorks, the book really opens up before you and gets to what I think should be the most important part of any theology book: The Word.
In the end, I don’t really give a rousing recommendation to Bavinck, but keep in mind that the reason is primarily theological. Since I know it’s a Reformed theological work, I’m sure there’s a lot I won’t like. But also realize that in the few weeks that I’ve had it, I haven’t actually read all of Bavinck, so you can take my reasoning with a grain of salt and I won’t be offended at all.
If anyone else wishes to give a more hearty endorsement to Bavinck, I will listen and link to it as I know the number of Lutheran readers here is outnumbered by other faith traditions and not everyone cares to hear my theological critiques.