Total Depravity, Total Inability

While studying the biblical teaching of sin and depravity, I was re-reading Louis Berkhof's summary of total depravity and total inability. As usual, I appreciated the concise and clear way Berkhof described these biblical concepts. Here are those two sections from his Systematic Theology: Total depravity. In view of its pervasive character, inherited pollution is… Continue reading Total Depravity, Total Inability

Sanctification and Co-operation (Berkhof)

How would you explain the Bible's teaching on sanctification in just one or two paragraphs? Of course, it would take more than a couple of paragraphs to give a full and concise biblical answer to that question. But it is good for us to be able to summarize the Bible's teaching on various doctrines. Speaking… Continue reading Sanctification and Co-operation (Berkhof)

Theology Derived from Scripture (Berkhof)

 One chief characteristic of Christian doctrines or "dogmas" is that they originate in Scripture.  I appreciate how Louis Berkhof explained this near the opening of his introduction to systematic theology (prolegomena): Their Subject-Matter is derived from Scripture. The Bible is God’s Word, the book which is His continuous revelation of redemption for all successive generations.… Continue reading Theology Derived from Scripture (Berkhof)

The Three-fold Use of the Law (Berkhof)

 For quite some time Reformed theologians have, following various texts and nuances in Scripture, said there is a three-fold use of God's moral law.  Here's how Louis Berkhof explained it: It is customary in theology to distinguish a three-fold use of the law. 1. The three defined. We distinguish: a. A usus politicus or civilis.… Continue reading The Three-fold Use of the Law (Berkhof)

Assurance, Good Works, and Sovereign Grace (Berkhof)

 The Heidelberg Catechism says that the Christian's good works help in the assurance of faith: "we do good so that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits" (Q/A 86).  The Westminster Larger Catechism notes under assurance that the Holy Spirit enables Christians to "discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of… Continue reading Assurance, Good Works, and Sovereign Grace (Berkhof)