‘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 (1903-1996). When Berkouwer was the Professor of Systematic Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam, he was 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 was 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 salvation.
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