à Brakel’s Spirituality of Virtues and Its Implications for Soul Care

This paper will highlight one of the key components of his spirituality as he discusses it in The Christian’s Reasonable Service (CRS), namely his emphasis on virtues. à Brakel’s exposition of virtues is unique and of great value for Christian soul care. In order to demonstrate this, an introduction to à Brakel’s life and his major work The Christian’s Reasonable Service (CRS) will be provided, followed by an analysis of his treatment of the virtues. The paper will conclude with observations regarding the uniqueness of his spirituality of virtues and make comments and suggestions regarding the implications of it for Christian soul care.


The essay is by Lydia Kim-van Daalen, a Ph.D. student in Pastoral Theology and Christian Psychology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

To read her entire article, click here.

Dutch Reformed Piety Further Reformation Piety Spirituality Wilhelmus à Brakel

“Satisfied with the Lord’s All Sufficiency”: Wilhelmus à Brakel’s Theology of Joy

The subject of this paper is the theology of Wilhelmus à Brakel, a Reformed Dutch pastor and theologian who lived in the 17th and start of the 18th centuries. The thesis of this paper is: Joy in God is central and pervasive to true religion in the theology of Wilhelmus à Brakel. Hence comes the paper’s title, “Satisfied with the Lord’s All-Sufficiency,” a phrase taken from Brakel’s own pen (3.370).1 This paper does not try to establish that joy is the center of Brakel’s theology, but that it is central. Joy stands among his core concerns and permeates his theology.


The article is by Paul Smalley, the Teaching Assistant to Dr. Joel R. Beeke at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He has an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and served as a pastor for twelve years in the midwestern United States.

Click here to read his entire article.

Dutch Reformed Piety Further Reformation Joy Wilhelmus à Brakel

Piety in the wake of trade. The North Sea as an intermediary of reformed piety up to 1700

Paying attention to theology at the expense of piety is characteristic of the historiography
of Christianity in general and Protestantism in particular. The experience
of the doctrine and the resulting moral behaviour always remain underexposed.
With this article I wish to give some counterbalance on a very modest scale.
Throughout the ages there has been the tendency within Christianity to pursue
pious life as a specific aim. Attention to spiritual experiences and mysticism and
the practice of piety went hand in hand. The Protestant form of that tendency
was Pietism. This religious movement arose in various European countries rather
quickly after the political, military, economic and ecclesiastical consolidation of
the Reformation. In reaction to ethical abuses and the degeneration of religious
and ecclesiastical life, it emphasized the necessity of internal and external piety.
Religion should be a matter of the heart, becoming visible in life-style.1
Pietism manifested itself both in Reformed and Lutheran Protestantism. Since
this article deals with the former, whenever I employ the term Pietism I mean
Reformed Pietism.


This essay, written by W.J. op ‘t Hof, is found in The North Sea and culture (1550-1800): Proceedings of the International Conference Held at Leiden 21-22 April 1995, eds. Juliette Roding and Lex Heerma van Voss (Hilversum: Verloren, 1996), 248-265.

Click here to read the entire article.

Dutch Reformed Piety Further Reformation Pietism Piety Puritan

Introduction to Sweet Communion: Trajectories of Spirituality from the Middle Ages Through the Further Reformation

“I believe that one of the most serious symptoms of the present crisis in church and culture is the increasing loss of sweet fellowship [communion] with God. I also believe that its renewed practice contains healing power” (16).


Click here to read Introduction to Sweet Communion: Trajectories of Spirituality from the Middle Ages Through the Further Reformation by Arie de Reuver, trans. James A. De Jong (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 15-24.

Further Reformation Middle Ages Piety Puritan Spirituality