Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Monday, October 13, 2014

13 October 1873 A.D. (Rev. Prof.) Louis Berkhof was born. He died on May 18, 1957

13 October 1873 A.D.  (Rev. Prof.) Louis Berkhof was born.  He died on May 18, 1957.

Berkhof, Louis.  Systematic Theology.  Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977. 

There is also free online pdf-version of Systematic Theology at:

First, we include a brief Wiki-bio.  Second, we call attention to a short bio: .  Third, there is an excellent summary by Banner of Truth’s Mr. (Rev.) Geoff Thomas at: .  We did not reduplicate that but we do recommend the article.  Fourth, we have included an outline of Mr. Berkhof’s infamous Systematic Theology. (5) Before the Wiki-bio, this observation:  Aren’t you glad for the Calvinists in Grand Rapids?  For Zondervan, Baker Academics, William B. Eerdmans, Kregel Publishing and more?

Louis Berkhof (1873 – 1957) was a Reformed systematic theologian whose written works have been influential in seminaries and Bible colleges in the United States and Canada and with individual Christians in general throughout the 20th century.

Personal life

Berkhof was born in 1873 in Emmen, Drenthe, in the Netherlands and moved with his family to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1882.

About the time he graduated from the seminary he married Reka Dijkhuis. They had four children before her death in 1928. He then married Dena Heyns-Joldersma who had two daughters.[1]

Education and career

In 1900, he graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids after which he was appointed pastor of the First Christian Reformed Church in Allendale Charter Township, Michigan. Two years later he attended Princeton Theological Seminary where he earned his B.D. in two years. He returned to Grand Rapids to pastor Oakdale Park Church.

In 1906, he joined the faculty of Calvin Theological Seminary and taught there for almost four decades. For the first 20 years he taught Biblical Studies until in 1926 he moved into the systematic theology department. He became president of the seminary in 1931 and continued in that office until he retired in 1944.[2]


Berkhof wrote twenty-two books during his career.[1]

His main works are his Systematic Theology (1932, revised 1938) which was supplemented with an Introductory Volume to Systematic Theology (1932, which is included in the 1996 Eerdmans’s edition of Systematic Theology) and a separate volume entitled History of Christian Doctrines (1937).

He wrote a more concise version of his Systematic Theology for high school and college students entitled Manual of Christian Doctrine, and later wrote the even more concise Summary of Christian Doctrine.

He also delivered Princeton Theological Seminary's Stone Lectures in 1951. These were published as The Kingdom of God.

In addition to this, he worked on many papers for the Christian Reformed Church as well as collections of sermons.[2]


Berkhof was not known for being original or speculative but for being very good at organizing and explaining basic theological ideas following in the tradition of John Calvin, Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck.

Theologian Wayne Grudem has called Berkhof's Systematic Theology "a great treasure-house of information and analysis... probably the most useful one-volume systematic theology available from any theological perspective."[3]

Berkhof's writings continue to serve as systematic presentations of Reformed theology. They are organized for use in seminaries and religious education as well as individual reference, though his systematics works are demanding reads.[4]


1.      ^ a b Berkhof, Louis

2.      ^ a b Louis Berkhof

3.      ^ Grudem, Systematic Theology, Zondervan, 1994, pg. 1225

External links

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