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Book Title: Systematic Theology|
The author of the book: Louis Berkhof
ISBN 13: 9780851510569
Edition: The Banner of Truth Trust
Date of issue: December 1st 1996
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 26.93 MB
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Having read up to this point, by way of comprehensive systematics, Calvin's "Institutes" (Magisterial Reformer), Erickson's "Christian Theology" (Baptist) and Oden's three-volume systematic (Methodist/Wesleyan), it was thoroughly refreshing to dive into the Late Louis Berkhof's "Systematic Theology" which is unabashedly Dutch Reformed.
Let me preface by saying that I am also currently going through Herman Bavinck's "Reformed Dogmatics" which Berkhof relies heavily on. At the end of each section the bibliography usual always runs Berkhof and then Kuyper. This is, however, a good thing. The outline of Berkhof is clear, precise, neatly arranged, and indeed systematic. The questions at the end of each section for further review are fantastic, especially in the classroom / ecclesiastical setting. That is to say that the strength of Berkhof's systematic lies in its ability to catechize. It truly is a work, to perhaps coin a word myself, of "doxological catechisis " Since I am currently book three of four of Bavinck's Dogmatics, it was refreshing to go through Berkhof at a much more comfortable pace and hammer home Reformed doctrines that I had just previously read in Bavinck.
What is great about Berkhof is that his terse style serves to cut to the chase, as it were, and make the final point as clear as possible in contradistinction to opposing viewpoints. Again, this is going to serve as an amazing reference tool in the future. As I hinted at previously, Berkhof is not the text to go to in order to find irrefutable proofs of such and such a doctrine. In fact, he often times characterizes opposing viewpoints if anything perhaps for brevity. But that was not Berkhof's point, which is namely for instruction, teaching, and catechisis.
Understanding the intent and purposes of Berkhof's Systematic, my only complaint is the use of Greek and Hebrew transliteration instead of the actual typesetting. If anything, keep the original and put the transliterations in parentheses.
This text is still used as a systematic theology, or at least a suppliment, at numerous seminaries around the globe as it ought to be. While it certainly is mildly dated, I would not be loath to use Berkhof myself as a tool, for example, to instruct elders of a church, or to help catechize lay-teachers etc. A great resource.
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Read information about the authorLouis Berkhof (1873–1957) was a Reformed theologian best known for his Systematic Theology (1932). He taught for almost four decades at Calvin Theological Seminary and served as its president from 1931–1944. In his work on systematic theology Berkhof followed in the line of John Calvin and embraced the development of Reformed theology by the Dutch theologians Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck.
Systematic Theology. Eerdmans, 1932; New Combined Edition, 1996.
The History of Christian Doctrines. Baker, 1978; Banner of Truth, revised, 1996.
Principles of Biblical Interpretation. Baker Academic, 1981; republished, 1994.
A Summary of Christian Doctrine. Eerdmans, 1939; Banner of Truth, 1960.
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