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Summary of Christian Doctrine - Louis Berkhof

Summary of Christian Doctrine - Louis Berkhof

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A summary of important Christian doctrines by reformed theologian Louis Berkhof. Contains questions for self-study
A summary of important Christian doctrines by reformed theologian Louis Berkhof. Contains questions for self-study

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Published by: api-3739029 on Oct 15, 2008
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03/18/2014

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 Summary of Christian Doctrine
by Louis Berkhof 
*
Note:
This book was first published in 1938. It’s copyright has expired and is in the publicdomain according to The Christian Digital Library Foundation, Inc. The book isoccasionally republished by various publishing companies.All Scripture references are from the 1901 American Standard Version
 
Summary Of Christian Doctrine
Page:2 of 118
Contents
 
Part 1: Introduction......................................................................................................3
 Chapter I: Religion......................................................................................................3Chapter 2: Revelation.................................................................................................5Chapter 3: Scripture....................................................................................................9
Part II: The Doctrine of God and Creation..............................................................13
 Chapter 4: The Essential Nature of God...................................................................13Chapter 5: The Names of God..................................................................................15Chapter 6: The Attributes of God.............................................................................17Chapter 7: The Trinity..............................................................................................22
Part II: The Doctrine of God and Creation..............................................................25
 Chapter 8 The Divine Decrees..................................................................................25Chapter 9: Creation...................................................................................................28Chapter 10: Providence.............................................................................................32
Part III: The Doctrine of Man in Relation to God...................................................35
 Chapter 11: Man in His Original State.....................................................................35Chapter12: Man in the State of Sin...........................................................................39Chapter 13: Man in the Covenant of Grace..............................................................43
Part IV: The Doctrine of the Person and Work of Christ.......................................49
 Chapter 14: The Names and Nature of Christ...........................................................49Chapter 15: The States of Christ...............................................................................52Chapter 16: The Offices of Christ.............................................................................56Chapter 17: The Atonement Through Christ............................................................60
Part V: The Doctrine of the Application of the Work of Redemption...................63
 Chapter 18: The Common Operation of the Holy Spirit: Common Grace..............64Chapter 19: Calling and Regeneration......................................................................66Chapter 20: Conversion: Repentance and Faith........................................................69Chapter 21: Justification...........................................................................................74Chapter 22: Sanctification and Perseverance............................................................76
Part VI: The Doctrine of the Church and the Means of Grace..............................80
 Chapter 23: Nature Of The Church...........................................................................80Chapter 24: The Government And Power Of The Church.......................................86Chapter 25: The Word Of God And The Sacraments In General.............................93Chapter 26: Christian Baptism..................................................................................98Chapter 27: The Lord's Supper...............................................................................102
Part VII: The Doctrine Of The Last Things...........................................................105
 Chapter 28: Physical Death And The Intermediate State.......................................106Chapter 29: The Second Coming Of Christ............................................................109Chapter 30: The Resurrection, The Last Judgment And The Final State...............114
Notes:..............................................................................................................................1
 
 
Summary Of Christian Doctrine
Page:3 of 118
Part 1: Introduction
Chapter I: Religion
1. The Nature of Religion.
The Bible informs us that man was created in the image of God. When he fell in sin, he did not entirely cease to be the image-bearer of the MostHigh. The seed of religion is still present in all men, though their sinful nature constantlyreacts against it. Missionaries testify to the presence of religion in some form or otheramong all the nations and tribes of the earth. It is one of the greatest blessings of mankind, though many denounce it as a curse. Not only does it touch the deepest springsof man's life, but it also controls his thoughts and feelings and desires.But just what is religion? It is only by the study of the Word of God that we can learn toknow the nature of true religion. The word 'religion' is derived from the Latin and notfrom any word that is found in the original Hebrew or Greek of the Bible. It is found onlyfour times in our translation of the Bible, Gal. 1:18, 14; Jas. 1:26, 27. The Old Testamentdefines religion as the fear of the Lord. This fear is not a feeling of dread, but of reverentregard for God akin to awe, but coupled with love and confidence. It is the response of the Old Testament believers to the revelation of the law. In the New Testament religion isa response to the gospel rather than to the law, and assumes the form of faith andgodliness.In the light of Scripture we learn to understand that religion is a relation in which manstands to God, a relation in which man is conscious of the absolute majesty and infinitepower of God and of his own utter insignificance and absolute helplessness. It may bedefined as a conscious and voluntary relationship to God, which expresses itself ingrateful worship and loving service. The manner of this religious worship and service isnot left to the arbitrary will of man, but is determined by God.
2. The Seat of Religion.
There are several wrong views respecting the seat of religion inman. Some think of religion primarily as a sort of knowledge, and locate it in theintellect. Others regard it as a kind of immediate feeling of God, and find its seat in thefeelings. And still others hold that it consists most of all in moral activity, and refer it tothe will. However, all these views are one-sided and contrary to Scripture, which teachesus that religion is a matter of the heart. In Scripture psychology the heart is the centralorgan of the soul. Out of it are all the issues of life, thoughts, feelings, and desires, Prov.4:28. Religion involves the whole man, his intellectual, his emotional, and his moral life.This is the only view that does justice to the nature of religion.
3. The Origin of Religion.
Particular attention was devoted during the last fifty years tothe problem of the origin of religion. Repeated attempts were made to give a naturalexplanation of it, but without success. Some spoke of it as an invention of cunning anddeceptive priests, who regarded it as an easy source of revenue; but this explanation isentirely discredited now. Others held that it began with the worship of lifeless objects

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