“In writing this Guidebook,” Bavinck says in his preface, “I had in mind, the pupils in the highest classes of our Christian gymnasium, public schools, in the education of teachers, and in normal schools, etc. and moreover those who desire to understand the main content of our Christian, Reformed confession of faith through a not too comprehensive or expensive book.”
Herman Bavinck completed Guidebook for Instruction in the Christian Religion in 1913 and reprinted it in the Netherlands in 1931. He originally intended it for high school students and Christians of every confession. Bavinck’s goal was to make Christians more familiar with the rich, deep thoughts of Scripture as universally expressed in the Christian faith.
Guidebook for Instruction in the Christian Religion is an introductory systematic theology by one of the foremost theologians of the past century. Alongside The Sacrifice of Praise, this is Bavinck at his best doing catechetical theology. To this end, Bavinck sets off to explain in a simplified manner the main contents of the Christian religion, even giving it a title that is a tip of the hat to John Calvin’s Institute of the Christian Religion. While Bavinck’s lengthy Reformed Dogmatics is an academic work, Guidebook for Instruction serves a more egalitarian aim. It is a theological guide for the everyday person in the pew. In this one—and much shorter—volume, Bavinck walks Christian readers through all the major topics covered in Reformed Dogmatics with theological depth and insight.