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Systematic Theology

by Louis Berkhof

In ePub, .mobi and .pdf formats

You may also download the separate Introductory Volume to Systematic Theology here. 

Professor Berkhof, who was the President of Calvin Seminary and professor of Systematic Theology at the same in the first half of the twentieth century, has given us an excellent compendium of Reformed theological thought in this hefty volume. The subject is treated in the classical style, moving through the Doctrines of God, Man in Relation to God, the Person and Work of Christ, the Application of the Work of Redemption, the Church and the Means of Grace, and the Last Things. For decades, Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology has remained one of the most important and widely-used systematic theologies. It provides the clearest and most succinct articulation of Reformed theology. From its first publication in 1932, Berkhof’s work was revised, reprinted, and translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese, and it had become a standard theological text by 1950. It has gained near-universal use in seminaries and Bible colleges across the world, and is widely cited and used by pastors, theologians, and students of nearly all denominational affiliations.

Fri, 07/02/2021 - 11:23 -- john_hendryx

A Practical Exposition of the Lord's Prayer

by Thomas Manton

in ePub.mobi & .pdf formats

SUCH is the divine matter and admirable order of the Lord’s Prayer, as became the eternal wisdom of God, that composed and dictated it to his disciples. In it are opened the fountains of all our regular petitions, and the arguments contained to encourage our hopes for obtaining them. In our addresses to men, our study is to conciliate their favourable audience; but God is most graciously inclined and ready to grant our requests, therefore we are directed to call upon him by the title of ‘Our Father in heaven,’ to assure us of his love and power, and thereby to excite our reverent attention, to raise our affections, to confirm our confidence in prayer. The supreme end of our desires is the glory of God, in conjunction with our own happiness: this is expressed in the two first petitions, that ‘his name may be hallowed,’ and ‘his kingdom come,’ that we may partake of its felicity. In order to this, our desires are directed for the means that are proper and effectual to accomplish it. And those are of two kinds — the good things that conduct us, and the removal of those evils that obstruct our happiness.

Mon, 06/28/2021 - 19:40 -- john_hendryx

Introductory Volume to Systematic Theology (eBook)

by Louis Berkhof

in ePub, .mobi & .pdf formats

This volume is a prolegomena for Berkhof's SystematicTheology. In it he defines the concept of dogmatic theology, theology, apologetics, ethics, and science. He also explains the Reformed doctrine of revelation and inspiration. It exxplains what is a theology and how should it be defined? Is theology necessary? What is the task of theology and what are the methods which it should use? What is religion? Is it possible for God to reveal himself to human beings, and how? How can we know if the Bible is the Word of God? For those who are considering going to Seminary, to be pastors or simply Christians with ample knowledge of their faith, this is a good book to begin with. This is a very helpful volume in understanding the foundational matters of theology, ranging from the nature of Dogmatics, to the grounds of our knowledge of God, to the doctrines concerning scripture. Berkhof spends a fair amount of time discussing the differing theologies of Rome, Schleiermacher, Barth, etc. but he does it to show how they contrast with the true and full Christian Theology, namely the Reformed tradition.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

The Idea and History of Dogmatic Theology

I. Names Applied to the Systematic Presentation of Theology

Thu, 06/24/2021 - 13:49 -- john_hendryx

Practical Religion (eBook)

by J. C. Ryle

in ePub  mobi & .pdf formats

KEY QUOTES
“The love of the bible will show itself in a believer's readiness to bear evil as well as to do good. It will make him patient under provocation, forgiving when injured, meek when unjustly attacked, quiet when slandered. It will make him hear much, put up with much and look over much, submit often and deny himself often, all for the sake of peace.”

“The early Christians made it a part of their religion to look for his return. They looked backward to the cross and the atonement for sin, and rejoiced in Christ crucified. They looked upward to Christ at the right hand of God, and rejoiced in Christ interceding. They looked forward to the promised return of their Master, and rejoiced in the thought that they would see him again. And we ought to do the same”

“The incorruptible things are all within the narrow gate. The peace of God which passed all understanding - the bright hope of good things to come - the sense of the Spirit dwelling in us - the consciousness that we are forgiven, safe, insured, provided for in time and eternity, whatever may happen - these are true gold, and lasting riches.”

Thu, 06/17/2021 - 11:52 -- john_hendryx

The Privileges of the True Christian

J. C. Ryle

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:27-29)

About the first part of this text, beloved, I spoke to you this morning. I told you then that this passage contains two things—first the character of true Christians, and secondly their privileges—first what they are to their Savior, and secondly what their Savior is to them.

Let me, then, remind you what the text says of their character. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27)

1. God's children, His real believing people, are compared to sheep, because they are gentle, quiet, harmless and inoffensive; because they are useful and do good to all around them; because they love to be together, and dislike separation; and lastly because they are very helpless and wandering and liable to stray.

2. Jesus calls them "My sheep," as if they were His peculiar property. "Mine," He would have us know, by election, "Mine" by purchase, and "Mine" by adoption.

3. Christ's sheep hear His voice, they listen humbly to His teaching, they take His word for their rule and guide.

4. Christ's sheep follow Him, they walk in the narrow path He has marked out, they do not refuse because it is sometimes steep and narrow--but wherever the line of duty lies they go forward without doubting.

Wed, 05/26/2021 - 11:38 -- john_hendryx

Thoughts on Religious Experience (eBook)

by Archibald Alexander

In ePub, .mobi and .pdf formats

On the basis of fifty years as a pastor, preacher and professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) deals with the subjective work of the Holy Spirit in the heart in all its phases, from the new birth until final preparation for heaven.

There are two kinds of religious knowledge which, though intimately connected as cause and effect, may nevertheless be distinguished. These are the knowledge of the truth as it is revealed in the Holy Scriptures; and the impression which that truth makes on the human mind when rightly apprehended. The first may be compared to the inscription or image on a seal, the other to the impression made by the seal on the wax. When that impression is clearly and distinctly made, we can understand, by contemplating it, the true inscription on the seal more satisfactorily, than by a direct view of the seal itself. Thus it is found that nothing tends more to confirm and elucidate the truths contained in the Word, than an inward experience of their efficacy on the heart. It cannot, therefore, be uninteresting to the Christian to have these effects, as they consist in the various views and affections of the mind, traced out and exhibited in their connection with the truth, and in their relation to each other.

Fri, 05/14/2021 - 11:25 -- john_hendryx

The Glory of Christ (eBook)

BY JOHN OWEN

IN .EPUB.MOBI & .PDF FORMATS

Formatted, lightly modernized and spelling corrections by Denise Kristiansson

To design of the ensuing Discourse is to declare some part of that glory of our Lord Jesus Christ which is revealed in the Scripture, and proposed as the principal object of our faith, love, delight, and admiration. But, alas! after our utmost and most diligent inquiries, we must say, How little a portion is it of him that we can understand! His glory is incomprehensible, and his praises are unutterable. Some things an illuminated mind may conceive of it; but what we can express in comparison of what it is in itself, is even less than nothing. But as for those who have forsaken the only true guide herein, endeavouring to be wise above what is written, and to raise their contemplations by fancy and imagination above Scripture revelation (as many have done), they have darkened counsel without knowledge, uttering things which they understand not, which have no substance or spiritual food of faith in them.

Sat, 05/01/2021 - 12:21 -- john_hendryx

Apologetics for Hipsters & Other Secularists

"Although They Knew God ... They Suppressed the Truth..."

The opportunities are wide open for Christians to speak with secular people these days, especially if you live in a metropolitan area. The average hipster you may meet in the medium to big sized city is a secularist who may listen to NPR, has a liberal, ecological, and/or anti-capitalist political ideology ... wears vintage clothing from a thrift store and consumes ethically. He or she often either rides a bike, uses public transportation or even may be driving a hybrid or bio-diesel vehicle. This person is deeply concerned with the ethical treatment of animals, is strongly against slavery, torture, racism and political oppression against women. In other words, he takes morality very seriously. Another characteristic of this individual is that he/she thinks Christianity is irrelevant at best.

Since we deeply care about the eternal destinies of such individuals how should we go about reaching such a person with the gospel? Where would you start?

Once of the more effective ways, I have found, is to remember that that your secular friend already knows God exists. He/she knows God exists and lives as if He does. In Romans chapter 1 Paul clearly teaches this about all people when he says, "For although they knew God" (verse 21) "...by their unrighteousness suppress the truth" (verse 18).

But how can we demonstrate to your friends that they already believe in God, when intellectually they deny His existence?

While there are many ways this could be done, I would like to suggest one way that I have found to be quite persuasive: The knowledge of God through their own morality.

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 13:54 -- john_hendryx

The Plan of God

by J. I. Packer

“THE PLAN”

MEN and women today feel lost and astray in this world. A glance at our modern art, poetry or novels, or five minutes’ conversation with a sensitive unbeliever, will assure us of that. In an age that has won a higher degree of control over the forces of nature than any before, this may seem odd; but it is not really odd. It is God’s judgment, which we have brought down on ourselves by trying to feel too much at home in this world.

For that is what we have done. We have set our faces against the idea that one should live on the basis that there is something more than this world to live for. Even if we privately thought that the materialists were wrong in denying God and another world exist, we have not allowed our belief to stop us living on materialistic principles: treating this world as if it were the only home we should ever have, and concentrating exclusively on arranging it to our comfort. We thought we could build heaven on earth, and tried. And now God has judged us for our impiety. In less than half a century, we have had two “hot” world wars and one “cold” one, and now we find ourselves in the age of such horrors as nuclear warfare and brainwashing. In such a world, it is not possible to feel at home. It is a world which has disappointed us. We expected life to be friendly (why? — but we did); instead, however, it has mocked our hopes and left us disillusioned and baffled. We thought we knew what to make of life, but now we do not know whether anything can be made of it. We thought of ourselves as wise men, but now we find ourselves like benighted children, lost in the dark.

Wed, 02/24/2021 - 17:38 -- john_hendryx

A Summary of Henry Scougal's 'The Life of God in the Soul of Man'

By Justin Taylor

The short classic The Life of God in the Soul of Man originated as a private letter of spiritual counsel to a friend, but Scougal allowed it to be published in 1677, a year before his death. Sixty-eight years later, in the spring of 1735, Charles Wesley (1707-1788), whose mother Susanna had commended it to her sons, gave a copy of this little book to his friend George Whitefield (1714-1770). Upon reading it, Whitefield was convinced: “I must be born again, or be damned.” Whitefield testified that he “never knew what true religion was” until he read this book.

Who Was Henry Scougal?

Henry Scougal (1650-1678) was a Scottish minister, theologian, and author. Upon his graduation in 1665 from King’s College, University of Aberdeen, the 19-year-old was appointed professor of philosophy at the school. In 1673, after a one-year pastoral stint, he became professor of divinity at King’s, where he served until he died of tuberculosis five years later, just shy of his 28th birthday.

What Scougal Means by “True Religion”

By “true religion” Scougal means something like authentic spirituality or genuine Christianity. He is at pains to defend the term from common misconceptions among Christians. “I cannot speak of religion,” he writes, “but I must lament that, among so many pretenders to it, so few understand what it means.”

3 Places Where Religion Does Not Reside

Scougal identifies three places where religion is incorrectly located.

(1) Theological correctness. Some place religion “in the understanding, in orthodox notions and opinions; and all the account they can give of their religion is, that they are of this or the other persuasion, and have joined themselves to one of those many sects whereinto Christendom is most unhappily divided.”

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 16:55 -- john_hendryx

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