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About Henk Bakker

Henk Bakker portrait

Introduction

Born (1960) and raised in the eastern part of Haarlem, close to Amsterdam, Henk Bakker grew up in an open minded and typical Dutch Protestant environment. Fascinated by the Gospel, and in particular by the calling of the Church to relate Gospel life to the world, he turned to believer’s baptism and became a Baptist follower of Jesus. Gradually a ‘calling’ to study and to become a minister grew and, happily, also materialized. After finishing studies at Leiden University, at Leuven (Belgium, Lic./MA), at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (Memphis, USA) and a second Master at Utrecht University (New Testament), he completed a doctorate in early Christian literature at Groningen University. The research done resulted in the PhD thesis Exemplar Domini: Ignatius of Antioch and His Martyrological Self-Concept (2003, with Prof. Gerard Luttikhuizen and dr. Ton Hilhorst).

From 1991 to 2005 Dr. Bakker pastored several Baptist churches. He and his wife Jenny have two adult daughters.

 

From 2013 – 2017 Rev Prof Dr Henk Bakker was Professor of Baptist Studies - History, Identity, and Theology of the Baptist Faith at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Recently he has become Chair holder of the James Wm. McClendon Chair for Baptistic and Evangelical T heologies at VU University Amsterdam (Sept. 1st. 2017). Dr. Bakker is also lecturer of Theology and Historical Theology at the Dutch Baptist Seminary, Amsterdam, and lecturer of Baptistic Histories and Theologies at IBTS Centre, Amsterdam.

From 2005 – 2017 Dr. Bakker was Lecturer of New Testament and Theology at Ede Christian University of Applied Sciences, and from 1991 - 2004 Lecturer of New Testament and Theology and the Evangelical Theological Institute, Veenendaal. From 1985 – 1990 he was Lecturer of Theology at the Evangelical Theological Faculty and at Bible Institute Belgium, Leuven.

Dr. Bakker published extensively on early Christian studies, especially on martyrdom, and history and modern (predominantly Baptistic) theology. We will only mention some of his publications. Currently he supervises around 10 PhD-students.

At VU University Amsterdam Dr. Bakker initiated a project ‘Religious Martyrdom in Dialogue’, consisting of a research group taken from major religious traditions (Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian) to discuss religious texts on martyrdom. The outcome of the dialogue is promising. Publications will probably follow next year.

"In the community of Christ conventional boundaries between status, culture, and sexes were overcome (which did not imply serious societal negativism for Paul). As Luther would articulate one and a half millennium later: omnes sumus aequales, “we are all equals.” For Paul the church was a kind of new breed of mankind, the cornerstone of a new society in anticipation of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. Here, a fisherman, a Moroccan, and an ordinary lady have just as much voice as a governor, a Jew, or some powerful male personality."

Publications

  • Martyrdom

    2015: ‘”Beyond the Measure of Man”: About the Mystery of Socratic Martyrdom’, Church History and Religious Culture 95 (2015) 1-17

    2010: Henk Bakker, Paul van Geest, Hans van Loon (eds.), Cyprian of Carthage: Studies in His Life, Language, and Thought (Late Antique History and Religion 3; Leuven: Peeters, 2010) See: Bookreview by Allen Brent, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 63     (2012) 354-356

    2010: “'Instigator and Standard-bearer” of Christianity (Acta Proconsularia 4.2): A Reconstruction of Early Impressions of Cyprian's Image as a Bishop’, in: Henk Bakker, Paul van Geest, Hans van Loon (eds.), Cyprian of Carthage: Studies in His Life, Language, and Thought (Late Antique History and Religion 3; Leuven: Peeters, 2010) 43-64

    2010: Henk Bakker, Paul van Geest, Hans van Loon, ‘Introduction: Cyprian's Stature and Influence’, in: Henk Bakker, Paul van Geest, Hans van Loon (eds.), Cyprian of Carthage: Studies in His Life, Language, and Thought (Late Antique History and Religion 3; Leuven: Peeters, 2010) 1-27

    2010: ‘Martelaren’, in: P.H.R. van Houwelingen (ed.), Apostelen: dragers van een spraakmakend evangelie (CNT; Kampen: Kok, 2010) 314-338

    2009: ‘Animosity and (Voluntary) Martyrdom: The Power of the Powerless‘, in: John T. Fitzgerald, Fika J. van Rensburg, Herrie F. van Rooy (eds.), Animosity, the Bible and Us: Some European, North American and South African Perspectives (Society of Biblical Literature, Global Perspectives on Biblical Scholarship 12; Atlanta, 2009) 287-297

    2006: Ze hebben lief, maar worden vervolgd. Radicaal christendom in de tweede eeuw en nu (Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum, 20063)

    2005: ‘Potamiaena: Some Observations About Martyrdom and Gender in Ancient Alexandria’, in: A. Hilhorst, G.H. van Kooten (eds.), The Wisdom of Egypt. Jewish, Early Christian and Gnostic Essays in Honour of Gerard P. Luttikhuizen (Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 59; Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2005) 331-350

  • Patristic Research

    Dr. Bakker is Fellow Researcher at the Centre for Patristic Research, Amsterdam and actively participates in the ‘mystagogy’ project.

    2017 [forthcoming]: ‘”So On Earth”: Liturgy From Heaven’, in Paul van Geest (ed.), The Mystagogy of the Church Fathers, Vol. 2 (Late Antique History and Religion, Center for Patristic Research; Leuven: Peeters)

    2016: ‘A Martyr's Pain is Not Pain: Mystagogical Directives in Tertullian's Ad martyras, and some other North African Martyr Texts’, in: Paul van Geest (ed.), Seeing Through the Eyes of Faith: New Approaches to the Mystagogy of the Church Fathers (Late Antique History and Religion 11; Leuven: Peeters, 2016) 629-648

    2010: ‘Herders’, in: P.H.R. van Houwelingen (ed.), Apostelen: dragers van een spraakmakend evangelie (CNT; Kampen: Kok, 2010) 292-313

    2010: ‘Getuigen’, in: P.H.R. van Houwelingen (ed.), Apostelen: dragers van een spraakmakend evangelie (CNT; Kampen: Kok, 2010) 339-361

  • Evangelical & reformation theology

    Dr. Bakker is also Fellow Researcher Centre for Evangelical and Reformation Theology, Amsterdam.

    2017: Laura Dijkhuizen en Henk Bakker (eds.), Typisch evangelisch. Een stroming in perspectief (Amsterdam: Ark Media, 2017)

    2016: ‘Towards an Evangelical Hermeneutic of Authority’, M. Klaver, S. Paas, E. van Staalduine-Sulman (eds.), Evangelicals and Sources of Authority: Essays Under the Auspices of the Center of Evangelical and Reformation Theology (CERT) (Amsterdam Studies in Theology and Religion, Vol. 6; Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2016) 25-43

    2012:‘Finding a Place of Holiness: Towards a Typological Characterisation of Evangelical Churches in the Netherlands’, in:  C. van der Kooi, E. van Staalduine-Sulman, A.W. Zwiep (eds.), Evangelical Theology in Transition: Essays Under the Auspices of the Center of Evangelical and Reformation Theology (CERT) (Amsterdam Studies in Theology and Religion 1 [AmSTaR]; Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2012) 15-39

    Dr. Bakker is also Fellow Researcher at the Herman Bavinck Centre for Reformed and Evangelical Theology

    2017: '“We are all equal” (Omnes sumus aequales): A Critical Assessment of Early Protestant Ministerial Thinking', Perspectives in Religious Studies 44/3 (2017)

    2014: H.A. Bakker, M.J. de Kater, W. van Vlastuin, Verantwoord geloof. Handboek christelijke apologetiek (Kampen: Brevier, 2014)
    [2017: 2nd Edition, Summum Academic Publications]

  • Baptist Theology, History & Ethics

    2015: Olof H. De Vries, Alles is geschiedenis. Bouwstenen voor een baptistische geloofsvisie uit de dogmatiek van Olof H. De Vries, onder redactie van Henk Bakker, Jelle Horjus, Jos Jumelet, Teun van der Leer, Anne de Vries (Utrecht: Kok, 2015)

    2014: Henk Bakker en Daniël Drost (eds.), Andersom – een introductie in de theologie van James Wm. McClendon (Unie van Baptistengemeenten in Nederland; Veenendaal: WoodyDesign, 2014)

    2014: Henk Bakker, Albrecht Boerrigter, Jeanette van Es, Winfried Ramaker (eds.), De geschiedenis van het Schriftwoord gaat door. Gedachten ter markering van de theologie van dr. O.H. de Vries (Utrecht: Kok, 2014)

    2013: ‘Tangible Church. Challenging the Apparitions of Docetism (I): The Ghost of Christmas Past’; ‘Tangible Church. Challenging the Apparitions of Docetism (II): The Ghost of Christmas Present’; ‘Tangible Church. Challenging the Apparitions of Docetism (III): The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come’, in Baptistic Theologies 5/2 (2013) 1-17, 18-35, 36-58

    2012: Gunnende Kerk. Kompas voor een waardegestuurde gemeente ethiek (Brevier, 2012)

    2011: ‘The Roaring Side of the Ministry: A Turn to Sacramentalism’, Perspectives in Religious Studies 38/4 (2011) 403-426

    2011: ‘Towards a Catholic Understanding of Baptist Congregationalism: Conciliar Power and Authority’, Journal of Reformed Theology 5 (2011) 159-183

    2008: De Weg van het wassende water. Op zoek naar de wortels van het baptisme (Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum, 2008)

    2006: Draads en tegendraads. Leren van de puriteinen (Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum, 2006)

"As a reconciling community the church’s first aim is to reconcile humanity with God and from there with each other. Hence, it can be explained that churches are critical regarding any kind of violence and breakup."

Inaugural Address, VU University Amsterdam, 2013

Partners

The James Wm. McClendon Chair is made possible by these national and international partners:


Logo Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Logo Unie van Baptistengemeenten in Nederland

Dutch Baptist Union

Logo IBTSC Amsterdam

International Baptist Theological Study Centre

Logo Evangelisch Werkverband binnen de PKN

Evangelisch Werkverband

Nancey Murphy

Nancey Murphy

Logo Baptist World Alliance

Baptist World Alliance

Christelijke Hogeschool Ede

Christelijke Hogeschool Ede

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The Netherlands

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