This is the eighth volume to appear in the American edition of Professor Berkouwer’s Studies in Dogmatics. Like its predecessors, it stands independently of the series as well as being a part of a larger theological whole. Like the other books, too, this study in theological anthropology, or the Biblical doctrine of man, is a fine example of Reformed theology being defended and developed through interaction with a wide range of both past and present theologies and theologians, and through a fresh look at the Biblical message.
The subject of the book-the nature of man-“is today, more than at any time,” writes Dr. Berkouwer, “at the center of theological and philosophical concern. The number of studies that have taken this problem as their theme is almost innumerable.” But “this almost irresistible problem appears to many a mind not to have found a clear and obviously irrefutable answer…Indeed, there is scarcely another theme dealt with by human consciousness which has aroused so much controversy as this theme-the nature of man.”
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