Sunday, August 21, 2016

G. C. Berkouwer and Holy Scripture as the Word of God

Theopedia supplies this description for G. C. Berkouwer:

Gerrit Cornelis Berkouwer (1903-1996) was a minister of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands (GKN) and a Christian theologian. He was the chair of Systematic Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam, and a prolific author. While critical of the teachings of Karl Barth, Klaas Schilder, and Roman Catholicism, he is also known for leading the ecumenical movement of his day.

Berkouwer allows us to perceive his view of Scripture in one important work:

"We are also reminded in the discussion of Scripture of the function of the phrase 'it is written' as the final and ultimate appeal of the Lord himself in his temptations (Mt. 4:4, 6, 10), and we are reminded of many statements, both warning and admonishing, 'to live according to the scripture' (1 Cor. 4:6). Such statements constituted the background of the discussion and the heeding of the Word in the church and of the conviction that Holy Scripture is the trustworthy Word of God." (Holy Scripture, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1975, page 12.)

While making such lofty professions about Scripture, Berkouwer disappointed many Evangelicals by means of his insistence that a priori formalizations of the Bible should be eschewed. He believed that we should pay close attention to the divine and human elements of Holy Writ.

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