Defining and delineating the Work of Christ has been the concern of the church since the first century. Unfortunately, many attempts to understand that work have resulted either in wholesale rejections of theology or in complex theological jargon which, saying nearly everything, says nothing.
Professor G. C. Berkouwer avoids both these pitfalls in this volume, the ninth to appear in the American edition of his Studies in Dogmatics series. The Work of Christ treats such theologically important questions as: Would there have been an incarnation without sin? What is the relation of Christ’s humiliation and exaltation? How are we to understand the doctrine of the virgin birth? Why does the church confess that Christ suffered “under Pontius Pilate”? Following the order of the Apostle’s Creed in his study of the work of Christ, Berkouwer concludes with a lengthy discussion of four aspects of the work of Christ: reconciliation, sacrifice, obedience, and victory. The author’s thorough treatment of the Work of Christ is reflective of his mastery of the subject matter as it has developed throughout the history of Christian thought. His historical treatment includes references to the hymns of the church, its confessions and creeds, and its preaching, in addition to its strictly theological works. Throughout, Berkouwer maintains the normative position of Scripture, never obscuring the responsibility of dogmatic theology to be subservient to the Word of God.
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