The Three Uses of the Law in Reformed Theology (Berkhof)

  (This is a re-post from March 2018) For quite some time Reformed theologians have, following various texts and nuances in Scripture, taught that there is a three-fold use of God's moral law.  For one example, here's how Louis Berkhof explained it: It is customary in theology to distinguish a three-fold use of the law. …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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. …

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