on 25 March 1999
Berkhof's systematic theology is a classic for good reason. He covers a broad spectrum of Biblical subjects, and treats them in a relatively thorough, albeit limited manner. Because he has produced a single volume theology, Berkhof must express himself in a succinct manner. He succeeds at this without compromising the clarity or quality of his thoughts. For a single volume theology, Berkhof's is hard to beat. (Review by Mark J Rich)
on 14 April 1999
Berkhof's Systematic Theology is an excellent summary of the Reformed Faith. Reading it fires the mind and calms the soul. Reading it, one is able to see that THIS is the faith that we are called to contend for.
The most interesting chapters are the opening chapters on Theology Proper which established strongly that theology begins with God. One cannot even begin to study theology without a proper consideration of factors such as the knowability/unknowability, revelation/hiddenness of God. Many other such volumes of Systematic Theology or Doctrine usually begin with "proofs" that the Bible is the "Word of God" and the authoritative guide to knowing God. This is very wrong. The first question that any student of theology must grapple with is not the doctrine of inspiration of the Bible but whether God is knowable in the first place! If God is unknowable, then theological study is a futile exercise. And herein lies the mystery of faith - that God is unknowable unless he first reveal Himself to the man of faith. There is therefore no such thing as theological study. There is only the humble attentiveness to the revelation of the mysterious Being (God).
Berkhof tried to cover a wide spectrum of theological trends and currents in his time within one volume. For the student, pastor or layman Christian who seek to delve deeper into the glorious wonderment of theology, I recommend this volume strongly. God bless.
on 16 October 1998
Excellent presentation of Reformed Theology. The best presentation of Systematic Theology in a single volume available. If we are to properly understand God's Word, we must make our study in a systematic manner. This is not a book that one sits down and reads from cover to cover, but is the best single volume reference to those topics where we need the most help.
on 5 February 2016
Arguably one of the best of Reformed Christianity. I read most of this over 40 years ago.
It is a useful book to give a clear concise reformed theology and will serve the studious person well.
I had cause to refer to this book many times for clarification.
With so many books on so- called theology available today, this holds true to The Bible and Apostolic teaching, it is an indispensable tool
to help the Christian to understand this faith they proclaim. I recommend it highly.
on 14 May 2016
The book is clear and well organised. As far as the concepts go, it is very good, and worth reading. However I have some reservations about the use of supporting evidence, which centres on "proof texts" - generally passages of one or two verses. When reading about the Holy Spirit, I found that many of these seemed to be taken out of context, so that it seemed more likely that the verse is intended to refer to some other concept, e.g. a literal wind. More seriously, in quite a few cases the verses quoted had no obvious relevance to the point at hand. I inclined to suspect typos rather than an artifact of the AV (KJV) translation which Berkhof may have used. The lesson is that you need to read the references!