Author: GEERHARDUS VOS
Publisher: Banner of Truth
Geerhardus Vos is often described as the father of Reformed biblical theology, a subject to which he devoted his considerable gifts and a lifetime of study and teaching, mostly at Princeton Seminary from 1893 to 1932.
Biblical theology, as taught by Vos, follows the development of key biblical themes as they are progressively revealed in redemptive history recorded by Scripture. The principles of his thought are laid out in what is perhaps his most famous book, Biblical Theology.
Grace and Glory is a collection of sermons preached at Princeton chapel. Six of these have been published before, but this new edition includes ten which are published in book form for the first time. In these sermons the reader will find the principles of Vos’s writing illustrated and exemplified, and presented with rich eloquence and warm devotion. They are like ‘worked examples’ of the theory laid out in his larger writings.
That is not to say that they are easy to read. As Sinclair Ferguson writes in his introduction, ‘We may be tempted to ask, “What group of people – even of theological students – could have taken in the substance of any of these sermons at one hearing?” Perhaps the answer is “very few, either then or now”.’
But a slow, careful, meditative reading of these sermons will bring great blessing. We are commanded to add knowledge to our faith (2 Peter 1:5). It is good to have our minds stretched and the horizons of our understanding broadened and to be humbled by a sense of the infinite glory of God. And at the same time we will be filled with fresh wonder that such an unspeakably glorious God should be so unutterably gracious.
Let me illustrate this with just one example of Vos’s preaching, from the sermon entitled ‘Rabboni’, to whet your appetite and stir your soul.
‘The first person to whom [Jesus] showed himself alive after the resurrection was a weeping woman… The time was as solemn and majestic as that of the first creation when light burst out of chaos and darkness… it was the turning point of the ages… Jesus felt himself the central figure in this new-born universe, he tasted the exquisite joy of one who had just entered upon an endless life in the possession of new powers and faculties such as human nature had never known before.
‘Would it have been unnatural, had he sought some quiet place to spend the opening hour of this new unexplored state in communion with the Father? Can there be any room in his mind for the humble ministry of consolation required by Mary? He answers these questions himself. Among all the voices that hailed his triumph no voice appealed to him like this voice of weeping in the garden.’