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History of Christian Doctrines by Louis Berkhof

$24.00 $18.75
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History of Christian Doctrines by Louis Berkhof

$24.00 $18.75
(You save $5.25)
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The study of doctrinal truth, apart from its historical background, leads to a truncated theology. There has been too much of this in the past, and there is a great deal of it even in the present day. The result has been the lack of a sound understanding and a proper evaluation of the truth. There was no appreciation of the fact that the Holy Spirit guided the Church in the interpretation and development of the truth as it is revealed in the Word of God. The checks and the road-signs of the past were not taken into consideration, and ancient heresies, long since condemned by the Church, are constantly repeated and represented as new discoveries.

The lessons of the past are greatly neglected, and many seem to feel that they should strike out entirely on their own, as if very little had been accomplished in the past. Surely, a theologian must take account of the present situation in the religious world, and ever study the truth anew, but he cannot neglect the lessons of the past with impunity. May this brief study of the history of doctrines serve to create a greater interest in such historical study, and lead to a better understanding of the truth.

A companion volume to the author’s Systematic Theology, also available from Banner of Truth.

The Evangelical Quarterly: ‘This work is a truly great one and it promises to retain for a long time its place among the most valuable books in theology. It is especially serviceable as a handbook on the special subject dealt with.
As might be expected from a man holding so high a position in the theological world as to be in line with such princely theologians as Charles Hodge and Benjamin Warfield, the book is ably executed, and forms a worthy companion to those by the same author, which preceded it. It makes a fitting completion of the set on Dogmatics.
The matter is so well arranged and marked, that as a textbook, and for convenience of reference by the ordinary reader, it is ideal in construction. Attached to each section also is a number of questions as aids to further study. A list of books on each subject is also given. These add very considerable to the value of this volume.’

 

Table of Contents

Prolegomena  
I: THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF THE HISTORY OF DOGMA  
  1. The meaning of the word ‘dogma’ 15
  2. The origin and character of dogmas 16
II: THE TASK OF THE HISTORY OF DOGMA  
  1. Its presuppositions 20
  2. Its subject-matter 23
III: METHOD AND DIVISIONS OF THE HISTORY OF DOGMA  
  1. Divisions of the history of dogma 25
  2. Method of treatment 26
IV: HISTORY OF THE HISTORY OF DOGMA  
  1. Factors that gave rise to the history of dogma as a separate discipline 29
  2. Earlier works on the history of dogma 31
  3. Later works on the history of dogma 32
  Preparatory doctrinal development  
I: THE APOSTOLIC FATHERS AND THEIR DOCTRINAL VIEWS  
  1. Their reputed writings 37
  2. Formal characteristics of their teachings 38
  3. Material contents of their teachings 40
II: PERVERSIONS OF THE GOSPEL  
  1. Jewish perversions 44
  2. Gentile perversions: Gnosticism 45
III: REFORM MOVEMENTS IN THE CHURCH  
  1. Marcion and his movement of reform 52
  2. The Montanist Reformation 54
IV: THE APOLOGISTS AND THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHURCH’S THEOLOGY  
  1. The task of the apologists 56
  2. Their positive construction of the truth 57
  3. Their significance for the history of dogma 59
V: THE ANTI-GNOSTIC FATHERS  
  1. The anti-Gnostic Fathers; Biographical 62
  2. Their doctrines of God, Man, and the history of redemption 63
  3. Their doctrine of the Person and work of Christ 64
  4. Their doctrines of Salvation, the Church, and the last things 67
VI: THE ALEXANDRIAN FATHERS  
  1. The Alexandrian Fathers; Biographical 70
  2. Their doctrines of God and Man 71
  3. Their doctrine of the Person and work of Christ 73
  4. Their doctrines of Salvation, the Church, and the last things 74
VII: MONARCHIANISM  
  1. Dynamic Monarchianism 77
  2. Modalistic Monarchianism 78
  The doctrine of the Trinity  
I: THE TRINITARIAN CONTROVERSY  
  1. The background 83
  2. The nature of the controversy 84
  3. The Council of Nicaa 86
  4. The aftermath:  
  [a] Unsatisfactory nature of the decision 87
  [b] Temporary ascendancy of semi-Arianism in the Eastern Church 87
  [c] The turning of the tide 89
  [d] The dispute about the Holy Spirit 90
  [e] Completion of the doctrine of the Trinity 91
II: THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY IN LATER THEOLOGY  
  1. The doctrine of the Trinity in Latin theology 94
  2. The doctrine of the Trinity in the period of the Reformation 95
  3. The doctrine of the Trinity after the period of the Reformation 96
  The doctrine of Christ  
I: THE CHRISTOLOGICAL CONTROVERSIES  
  1. The first stage of the controversy:  
  [a] The background 102
  [b] The parties to the controversy 103
  [c] The decision of the Council of Chalcedon 107
  2. The second stage of the controversy:  
  [a] Confusion after the decision of the Council 108
  [b] The Monothelitic Controversy 109
  [c] The construction of the doctrine by John of Damascus 110
  [d] The Christology of the Western Church 111
II: LATER CHRISTOLOGICAl DISCUSSIONS  
  1. In the Middle Ages 114
  2. During the Reformation 115
  3. In the nineteenth century 117
  [a] The view of Schleiermacher 118
  [b] The conceptions of Kant and Hegel 119
  [c] The Kenotic theories 120
  [d] Dorner’s conception of the Incarnation 121
  [e] Ritschl’s view of the Person of Christ 122
  [f] Christ in modern theology 122
  The doctrine of sin and grace and related doctrines  
I: THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE PATRISTIC PERIOD  
  1. The importance of anthropological problems 127
  2. The anthropology of the Greek Fathers 127
  3. The gradual emergence of another view in the West 129
II: THE PELAGIAN AND AUGUSTINIAN DOCTRINES

 

OF SIN AND GRACE

 
  1. Augustine and Pelagius 131
  2. The Pelagian ___ of sin and grace 132
  3. The Augustinian view of sin and grace 133
  [a] Augustine’s view of sin 134
  [b] His view of grace 135
  4. Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian controversies 137
III: THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE MIDDLE AGES  
  1. The views of Gregory the Great 140
  2. The Gottschalkian controversy 141
  3. The contribution of Anselm  
  [a] His doctrine of sin 142
  [b] His doctrine of the freedom of the will 143
  4. Peculiarities of Roman Catholic anthropology 144
IV: THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE PERIOD OF THE

 

REFORMATION

 
  1. The anthropology of the Reformers 147
  2. The Socinian position 149
  3. Arminian anthropology 150
  4. The position of the Synod of Dort 151
  5. The position of the School of Saumur 153
V: ANTHROPOLOGICAL VIEWS OF POST-REFORMATION TIMES  
  1. Divergent views:  
  [a] A modification of the Arminian view in Wesleyan Arminianism 155
  [b] A modification of the Reformed view in New England theology 156
  2. Some modern theories of Sin:  
  [a] Philosophical 157
  [b] Theological 158
  The doctrine of the atonement or of the work of Christ  
I: THE DOCTRINE OF THE ATONEMENT BEFORE ANSELM  
  1. In Greek patristic theology 165
  2. In Latin patristic theology 168
II: THE DOCTRINE OF THE ATONEMENT FROM ANSELM TO THE REFORMATION  
  1. The doctrine of the atonement in Anselm 171
  2. Abelard’s theory of the atonement 174
  3. Reaction to Abelard in Bernard of Clairvaux 175
  4. Syncretistic views of the atonement  
  [a] Peter the Lombard 176
  [b] Bonaventura 176
  [c] Thomas Aquinas 177
  5. Duns Scotus on the atonement 179
III: THE DOCTRINE OF THE ATONEMENT IN THE

 

PERIOD OF THE REFORMATION

 
  1. The Reformers improve on the doctrine of Anselm 182
  2. The Socinian conception of the atonement 182
  3. The Grotian theory of the atonement 186
  4. The Arminian view of the atonement 188
  5. The compromise of the School of Saumur 190
IV: THE DOCTRINE OF THE ATONEMENT AFTER THE

 

REFORMATION

 
  1. The Marrow controversy in Scotland 192
  2. Schleiermacher and Ritschl on the atonement 193
  3. Some of the more recent theories on the atonement:  
  [a] The governmental theory in New England theology 195
  [b] Different types of the moral influence theory 196
  [c] The mystical theory of the atonement 198
  The doctrine of the application and appropriation of Divine Grace  
I: THE SOTERIOLOGY OF THE PATRISTIC PERIOD  
  1. The soteriology of the first three centuries 203
  2. The soteriology of the remaining centuries of the Patristic Period 205
II: THE SOTERIOLOGY OF THE SCHOLASTIC PERIOD  
  1. The scholastic conception of grace 211
  2. The scholastic conception of faith 212
  3. The scholastic conception of justification and merit 213
III: REFORMATION AND POST-REFORMATION

 

SOTERIOLOGY

 
  1. The Lutheran order of salvation 217
  2. The Reformed order of salvation 219
  3. The Arminian order of salvation 221
  4. Minor conceptions of the order of salvation  
  [a] Antinomian 222
  [b] Mystical 223
  The doctrine of the Church and the Sacraments  
I: THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH  
  1. In the Patristic Period 227
  2. In the Middle Ages 232
  3. During and after the Reformation  
  [a] The Lutheran view 236
  [b] The Anabaptist view 237
  [c] The Reformed view 237
  [d] Divergent Post-Reformation views 238
II: THE DOCTRINE OF THE SACRAMENTS  
  1. The sacraments in general:  
  [a] Development of the doctrine before the Reformation 242
  [b] The doctrine of the Reformers and of later theology 245
  2. Baptism:  
  [a] Development of the doctrine before the Reformation 247
  [b] The doctrine of the Reformers and of later theology 249
  3. The Lord’s Supper:  
  [a] Development of the doctrine before the Reformation 251
  [b] The doctrine of the Reformers and of later theology 254
  The doctrine of the last things  
I: THE INTERMEDIATE STATE 259
II: THE SECOND ADVENT AND THE MILLENNIAL HOPE 262
III: THE RESURRECTION 265
IV: THE LAST JUDGMENT AND FINAL AWARDS 267
  Literature 273
  Index of names 277
  Index of subjects 280

 

About the Author

Louis Berkhof (1873-1957) was born in Emmen in The Netherlands, and emigrated with his family in 1882 to Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was an outstanding teacher, and the author of some twenty-two books, including his magnum opus, Systematic Theology, first published in 1934. He served in two pastorates in Michigan, between them taking a BD degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.

In 1906 Berkhof returned to his alma mater, Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, as professor, and served on the faculty for thirty-eight years until the end of his life. He was the seminary’s President from 1931.

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