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  • ISBN 9781848719941
  • Pub Date 01/01/2021
Louis Berkhof's loyalty to the well-defined lines of the Reformed faith, his concise and compact style and his up-to date treatment have made this work the most important twentieth century compendium of Reformed theology...

This book was recommended by David Clarkson as part of the 50 years- 50 people- 50 books! series. Here is David's full message and recommendation:

When you were involved in GLO and in what role?

'I had the privilege of being part of GLO from 1991 to 2014. Following a 28-year teaching career in secondary schools, I sensed God's call to transition into full-time Christian ministry. This led me to join GLO, where I served part-time alongside my involvement with Cartsbridge Evangelical Church. My GLO involvement included teaching in the one-year course, majoring in OT and NT surveys.

'My role at GLO extended beyond traditional teaching; with my wife Margaret, we established the 'Extension Ministries' department, facilitating seminars for local church elders to explore pertinent and sometimes contentious issues. This evolved into the 'Learning to Lead' course, used both in the UK and internationally, later published in book form co-authored by Stephen McQuoid and myself. We later published a companion volume entitled “Learning to Care” which addressed issues of pastoral care in the local church.'

Can you share a significant memory of that time?

'One particular memory encapsulates how God can work through us. I vividly recall going, with no great enthusiasm, to preach at a church which I had seen declining in recent years and, to be honest, I was a little surprised it was still going. However, when I arrived, I found a thriving fellowship with a real sense of purpose and expectant atmosphere. I asked how this transformation had come about and was reminded that the elders had attended one of our leadership training courses some eighteen months earlier and, as a result, were encouraged to make the changes they knew were required to bring the church back to health.

'That experience had a profound effect on me. Driving home that night, God rebuked and humbled me for my totally wrong attitude towards His work and taught me that even when we think nothing is happening, He is quietly working out His purposes.'

Why have you recommended 'Systematic Theology'?

'Louis Berkhof's single-volume work spans nearly 800 pages, covering the great doctrines of the Bible. First published in 1939, the book remains relevant to contemporary issues, thanks to Berkhof’s scholarly yet accessible writing style and logical presentation.

'Now, you might wonder, why get excited about such a weighty tome? Let's rewind a bit. I was converted in 1957 from a non-church background so my knowledge of the Bible was very limited. The first couple of years I focused on reading the Bible to grasp its contents, but I was aware that I lacked a broader theological context. That was when, in 1960, I came across “Berkhof”.

'Even after 60 years, my old and battered copy remains my go-to resource whenever I seek theological insights. This book has widened my horizons, instilled in me a profound love for the Bible and prompted deeper reflection of the majesty and glory of God.

'Berkhof’s book was, for evangelicals, probably the most influential theological book of the twentieth century but has, in more recent years, been replaced by Wayne Grudem’s book, also titled "Systematic Theology". Grudem himself acknowledges Berkhof's enduring influence, describing it as "a great treasure-house of information and analysis, and is probably the most useful one-volume systematic theology available from any theological perspective."

'For me, Berkhof's Systematic Theology remains a guide and companion that has stood the test of time and enriched my spiritual journey in so many ways.'

With great thanks to David for his recommendation, 'systematic Theology' will be available at the discounted price of £16.00 for the duration of the 50 years- 50 people- 50 books! series

Louis Berkhof's loyalty to the well-defined lines of the Reformed faith, his concise and compact style and his up-to date treatment have made this work the most important twentieth century compendium of Reformed theology. 'The work seemed particularly important to me', writes the author, 'in view of the widespread doctrinal indifference of the present day, of the resulting superficiality and confusion in the minds of many professing Christians, of the insidious errors that are zealously propagated even from the pulpits, and of the alarming increase of all kinds of sects.

If there ever was a time when the church ought to guard her precious heritage, the deposit of the truth that was entrusted to her care, that time is now'. This expanded edition contains Berkhof's Introductory Volume, which was designed to be read together with the Systematic Theology itself.

Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust; 2nd ed. edition (16 Aug. 2021)
Language: English
Hardcover: 1048 pages