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.
“Synthetic justification was understood as a declarative judgment of God whereby the sinner was justified solely on the basis of the work of Christ.” (Page 15)
“THE way of salvation—or the ordo salutis—is actually the application to man of the salvation which was won for him by Christ in His three-fold office of prophet, priest, and king.” (Pages 23–24)
“Our reflection on the ordo salutis concerns, finally, what Calvin expressed simply as ‘the manner in which the grace of Christ is obtained, the fruits that come to us therefrom, and the works that follow.’” (Page 28)
“Holl described God’s justification of man as an analytical, by which he meant that God’s judgment is based on what man in reality is or shall certainly become. Justification, thus, is eschatologically considered.” (Page 16)
“It appears to us, however, that the critics of the ordo salutis often fail to see that the motive behind it was the maintenance of the sovereignty of God’s grace. The origin of the ordo salutis was closely connected with a virulent defense of the gospel.” (Page 26)