In this present volume, the third in English translation of Dr. G. C. Berkouwer’s ambitious series, Studies in Dogmatics, the author continues his brilliant and much-needed project of bringing up to date the discussions of the great Reformed faith, and of making this faith relevant to the present-day crisis of human certainties.
Concerned with Luther’s great doctrine of Justification by Faith, Professor Berkouwer includes in his study the theories of both the dialectical and Roman Catholic theologians, as well as the developments in the so-called Luther renaissance. He discusses in turn the theories of Luther and Calvin, Bohl, Osiander and Newman, Kohlbrugge and Kuyper, and Barth and Brunner, and weighs all that is relevant to the way of salvation. Berkouwer does not search primarily for a logical synthesis, and a finished proposition. He is rather concerned with the living relationship between God and man, depending upon attentiveness to the Word of revelation for the purity and clarity, as well as the relevance, of this study. Like the other studies already published in this series, this book is reasoned, penetrating, and carries forward the great vitality of the Reformation.
Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer (1903-1996), Dutch theologian. He studied at the Christian Gymnasium and at the Free University of Amsterdam, obtaining a doctorate there in 1932. As pastor in the Gereformeerde Kerken (1927–45), he served in Oudehorne and Amsterdam. Also lecturer in modern theology at the Free University of Amsterdam (1940–45), he became professor of systematic theology there in 1945 and continued until his retirement in 1973. He was an observer at Vatican Council II (1962) and a member of the Royal Academy of the Sciences. His Studies in Dogmatics (14 vols., 1952–76) have earned high praise. “The importance of Berkouwer lies in his refusal to accept simplistic either-or’s … in which the fulness of truth is torn apart” (A Half Century of Theology, 208) and his “conviction that theology, if it is to be meaningful … had to be a theology directed to the pulpit” (L. B. Smedes). Other significant works include The Triumph of Grace in the Theology of Karl Barth (1956), The Second Vatican Council and the New Catholicism (1965), and A Half Century of Theology (1977). - From Biographical Entries from New 20th-Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge