Pride and Faith in Berkouwer’s "Studies in Dogmatics" (introduction)

‘The great theologians from Paul and Augustine to G. C. Berkouwer and Karl Barth … have been
able to explain what the faith does not mean as well as what it means.’1 This is a short study in
the writings of one of those great theologians named here by D. G. Bloesch. G. C. Berkouwer,
Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam has been
described as one of ‘the best theological writers of our day’, ‘one of the genuinely significant
leaders of Christian thought in our day’. His Studies in Dogmatics, running¯in English
translation to thirteen volumes, has been described as ‘one of the most ambitious undertakings
in contemporary theology’. Berkouwer has been commended for his ‘complete familiarity with
all the currents in contemporary theology’. Concerning Berkouwer, it has been said that ‘the
theological student who neglects him is not wise’.2 In this study, we will explore the meaning of
faith by considering both what faith is and what it is not. This will be done by tracing the
contrasting themes of pride and faith in Berkouwer’s Studies in Dogmatics. To assist us in
structuring our thinking about pride and faith, we will consider these themes under three major
headings: man’s need of salvation; God’s provision of salvation; the believer’s experience of
1 D. G. Bloesch, The Ground of Certainty, (Grand Rapids, 1971), 61.
2 These words of commendation from E. T. Ramsdell and Dr. Dale Moody are found on the rear dust cover of
Berkouwer’s Studies in Dogmatics.

More about Berkouwer, see


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