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by Gerrit C. Berkouwer

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0802830293
Author:
Gerrit C. Berkouwer
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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (June 1952)
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Providence of God (Studies in Dogmatics Vol 2. Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer (1903-1996) taught systematic theology at the Free University in Amsterdam.

Providence of God (Studies in Dogmatics Vol 2). Gerrit C. Berkouwer. Studies in Dogmatics: Faith and Justification. The other volumes in this series are: The Providence of God,Faith and Justification,The Person of Christ,General Revelation,Faith and Perseverance,Divine Election,Man: The Image of God,The Work of Christ,The Sacraments,Sin,The Return of Christ,Holy Scriptures,The Church.

The Studies in Dogmatics series noted by many as one of the most .

The Studies in Dogmatics series noted by many as one of the most significant works of Christian Dogmatics of the 20th century. Berkouwer's work is seen by many to be second only to his predecessor Karl Barth in its significance and contribution to Reformed Christian theology. The translation of G. C. Berkouwer's Studies in Dogmatics is more than just another theology on the market. God’s guidance, says Professor Berkouwer, has become the problem; and he points out that some facts of experience most striking as arguments for the providence of God have now become even more convincing counter-arguments.

Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer (1903–1996) was for years the leading theologian of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (GKN). He occupied the chair in systematic theology of the Faculty of Theology, Free University (VU) in Amsterdam

Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer (1903–1996) was for years the leading theologian of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (GKN). He occupied the chair in systematic theology of the Faculty of Theology, Free University (VU) in Amsterdam. Berkouwer was born in Amsterdam on 8 June 1903. He was raised in Zaandam. In 1927 he married Catharina Cornelia Elisabeth Rippen in The Hague. In 1932 he obtained his doctorate from the Free University.

The Work of Christ: Studies in Dogmatics. View All 10 Products. If you need immediate assistance regarding this product or any other, please call 1-800-CHRISTIAN to speak directly with a customer service representative.

Like them, too, this study of the providence of God is a fine example of Reformed theology being defended .

Like them, too, this study of the providence of God 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. Like its companions, it stands independently of the series as well as forming part of a larger theological whole.

Learn More at LibraryThing

Learn More at LibraryThing. Berkouwer at LibraryThing.

Faith and Justification, Faith and Sanctification, Faith and Perseverance, The Providence of God, General Revelation . Studies in Dogmatics Series. 14 primary works, 15 total works. Faith and Justification.

Faith and Justification, Faith and Sanctification, Faith and Perseverance, The Providence of God, General Revelation, The Person of Christ, The Work o. . In this series rooted in the normativ. ore.

Bibliology Berkouver, G. Studies in Dogmatics: Holy Scripture 15 Henry, Carl F. H. God, Revelation and Authority. Studies in Dogmatics: Holy Scripture. 15 Henry, Carl F. Waco: Word Books, 1976-83.

Berkouwer, Gerrit C. Faith and Sanctification (Studies in Dogmatics: Theology Vol 1). ISBN 13: 9780802830289.

Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer (8 June 1903, Amsterdam – 26 January 1996, Voorhout) was for . In 1949 the first volume of his eighteen-volume Studies in Dogmatics appeared in the Netherlands. The Providence of God. 1952.

Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer (8 June 1903, Amsterdam – 26 January 1996, Voorhout) was for years the leading theologian of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (GKN). Berkouwer was born in Amsterdam.

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Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer (1903-1996) taught systematic theology at the Free University in Amsterdam. The other volumes in this series are: Faith and Sanctification,Faith and Justification,The Person of Christ,General Revelation,Faith and Perseverance,Divine Election,Man: The Image of God,The Work of Christ,The Sacraments,Sin,The Return of Christ,Holy Scriptures,The Church. He also wrote books such as The Second Vatican Council and the New Catholicism,Modern Uncertainty and Christian Faith,Recent Developments in Roman Catholic Thought,A Half Century of Theology: Movements and Motives, etc.

He wrote in the first chapter of this 1952 book, “These are times in which the Church of Christ must ask herself whether she still has the courage, in profound and unshakable faith, in boundless confidence, to proclaim the Providence of God. Or is she possessed by secret doubts fed by daily events? Can she still speak of God’s rule over ALL things, of His holy presence in THIS world? Can she yet confidently proclaim His unlimited control over the world and life---war and peace, East and West, pagans… and Jews? Dare she still, with eyes open to the facts of life---no less than those who FROM THE FACTS concluded an imperative atheism---still confess her old confession?” (Pg. 12)

He observes, “A one-sided, optimistic God-concept is in absolute contradiction to the God-picture of, for instance, Psalm 46. This Psalm certainly sings jubilantly of the protection of God, of God as refuge and strength. But it also breaks through all over-simplification and sings of the Lord of Hosts who devastates the earth and makes an end to wars… At the center of the Biblical message lie salvation and redemption, unmotivated and inconceivable philanthropy (Titus 3:4), but the comfort that comes to us in this gospel is first seen against the background of real wrath and real judgment. The comfort is revealed in this, that Jesus Christ saves us from that wrath (1 Thess 1:10).” (Pg. 29)

He adds, “We can speak less than ever today of Providence as a confession commanding more or less universal agreement. In this situation, the Church must not lose her courage, nor the strength of her witness. She is called to clarity and fidelity of Scriptural confession. We must be conscious that our own reflections will never have the power to overcome the crisis involving the doctrine of Providence. But as the Scriptures rule our thinking and speaking, as they measure the preaching of the Church, so the Word of God will speak to the distressed and disordered life of our times.” (Pg. 31-32)

He states, “Nothing forms an absolute menace any longer: neither oppression nor fear; persecution, hunger, nor sword; life nor death; present nor future. But this faith is no general, vague notion of Providence. It has a concrete focus… All dangers are relativized, contained by this love: the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. There is no purer expression than this of the depth of man’s faith in God’s providence. This is the Providence of which the confessions speak. They are defined by this salvation… This is the comfort, that we stand at the disposal of a merciful heavenly Father to whom we can with confidence abandon ourselves.” (Pg. 51)

He points out, “We cannot make a logical scheme of the speech of Scripture. No one can comprehend God in His holy wrath and grace, in His ruling and sustaining, in His tolerating and sparing. But let no one in face of these incomprehensible realities sacrifice God’s longsuffering to His wrath, or His wrath to His longsuffering. We need only to fix our attention on what the Scriptures reveal of salvation, of the earlier wrath and the later grace, and of what they teach us of the continuation of the world amidst the preaching of the decision for or against salvation.” (Pg. 89)

He states, “God’s rule is executed and manifested in and through human activity. There are no two powers working apart from and parallel to each other, the Divine and the human, each limiting each other. Yet, we see men performing extraordinarily important roles in sacred history… This does not mean that the work of God is always evident in the interlacing of Divine and human activity. We cannot set Divine action under any one common denominator. He does not, for instance, always allow human plans to be consummated. He often frustrates their execution by an interference from outside.” (Pg. 100-101)

He argues, “The powers to whom ‘every soul’ (Rom 13:1) must be subject are obviously human governmental powers, which possess their authority as a result of their being instituted by God. We find this not only in Paul, but also in Peter [1 Pet 2:13-14]… That Peter calls them human institutions does not mean that they carry any less Divine authority. We must, in fact, subject ourselves to them for the Lord’s sake, though they remain, nevertheless, purely human institutions… We certainly do not mean to deny that earthly government as a human institution cannot come into league with fallen angels… It is certain that these spiritual disruptive and corruptive influences also go out to earthly powers and governments.” (Pg. 126-127) He adds, “obedience to government also has its limits. These limits become evident whenever the Divine authority that rests on human shoulders is misused… The government can throw off its responsibility a become a power without service, and tyranny denying its own boundaries…” (Pg. 128)

He notes, “history, as it progresses under God’s providential rule, becomes tremendously serious. And anyone who does not take both this Divine ruling and human responsibility seriously can never rightly understand history. He will always assume one or the other of two basically erroneous perspectives: either he will make man the lord of history, creator of events, holding history in his hand or propelling it though the power of his personality—with the ‘leaders of men’ blazing a trail; or he will make history a Divine game in which human beings are pushed about like chessmen, void of responsibility.” (Pg. 153)

He suggests, “We need not accept determinism-indeterminism as the only alternatives. It is possible that the problem is not altogether fairly formulated in this dilemma. This is why one should take care that he, from aversion to determinism, does not, without further reflection, flee into the arms of indeterminism… The plea for indeterminism usually implies a plea for the sovereign freedom of the autonomous individual… The battle against determinism rises, thus, out of a desire for sovereign autonomy… The alternatives, determinism or indeterminism, are true alternatives only on a horizontal, anthropological level. They pose a dilemma that is resolved in the relationship that man sustains to God…. [which] alone gives possibility to a correct understanding of the problem of freedom. Both determinism, which destroys free personality, and indeterminism, which declares personality sovereign as well as free, at bottom neglect the religious aspect of the problem.” (Pg. 157-158)

He explains, “Divine determining is utterly different from what is generally understood by determinism… This is why we never find in the Scriptures either the rigidity or the violence typical of determinism… Responsibility is not crowded out by His power; neither is the meaning of guilt and punishment… The Reformed confession of Providence does not reason from the idea of causation. It simply recognizes the invincibility of God’s sovereign activity… But true creaturely freedom is such that it can be given its place within the activity of God without its contesting God’s prerogatives. This is why it is so very important to keep aloof from determinism. We may not involve the Providence doctrine in any offence other than the ‘scandalon’ of the Gospel, the offense to the natural man who does not understand the things of the Spirit of God.” (Pg. 163-164)

He observes, “In fear and trembling faith confesses God’s Providence over the entire flight of history. Providence does not remove the seriousness of history; it charges history with responsibility… History moves onward, not as though coerced, but in creaturely freedom and continually fresh decision. Meanwhile, the servitude of the will exposes itself in history by its slavish confinement in sin… That is the terrible seriousness of history, that God works in it and that man is responsible for it… In history, always anew, the invincibility of the Divine activity shall manifest itself.” (Pg. 171-172)

He cautions, “There is danger that we subconsciously identify our own lands and people with Israel, in the sense that they too are specially chosen by God for a mission in the world. This probably lies behind the tendency to suppose that, as God’s finger was evident in Israel’s history, so it is (or has been) evident in that of ours. It is often forgotten that we have not been given a norm for explaining the facts of history, and that in the absence of a norm only untrustworthy plausibility remains. Otherwise one must take refuge in religious intuition or divination, which, it has been claimed, is capable of discerning God’s finger in the panorama of history. This would introduce a second source of Divine information and, if one accepted it, he could hardly criticize such divination as it operated in Nazi Germany and in Stalinist Russia.” (Pg. 185)

He points out, “Scripture does not systematize its teaching of miracles. The nature and number of Divine miracles are determined by the historical situation as He guides it. We encounter in the turning points of history of revelation a complete cycle of miracles… Miracles are not the intersection of the supernatural with a self-sufficient natural life, but with the life of sin under the influence of demons, and powers, and unbelief. God does not work against nature but against presumptively autonomous life as it is fallen in sin and guilt.” (Pg. 226)

He goes on, “the special signs and miracles were not limited to the time of Christ’s walk on the earth. Scripture tells us of many signs in the days that followed the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. But it is everywhere evident that these miracles do not provide the Church with a supernatural means of self-protection. They are aimed at the establishment and extension of the kingdom in the world… And we find nothing in the Scriptures to indicate that we can draw a line through a definite period to mark off a boundary between the time of miracles and the time of the absence of miracles. It is significant that this problem does not come up in Scripture.” (Pg. 241)

He asserts, “reality, including sin and death, evil and suffering can never be considered as having its existence in itself… The basic problem of theodicy is defined by the manner from which one approaches reality. One cannot mount FROM reality to the righteousness of God, because reality can only be known through the explaining word of revelation… This makes all natural theodicy, in spite of its apologetic intent, worthless and unacceptable. Instead of preparing the way for fruitful conversation, instead of erecting a dam against the secularization of thought, theodicy only suggests that we try again to reach God by way of natural understanding. It is the ironic drama of theodicy that it actually abets the progressive secularizing of thought by insisting that man can understand his world without revelation. And the fact that one in theodicy usually concludes with an empty, abstract God concept is already a judgment against this method.” (Pg. 268-269)

For anyone interested in conservative Reformed theology, this entire series will be of great interest. The diversity of the theologians and sources with whom Berkouwer interacts make this series a very stimulating reading project.