Professor Berkhof died in 1957, at the age of 83. He was an outstanding American teacher and the author of some 22 books. After two pastorates, he began his long career as a professor at Calvin Seminary, Grand Rapids, in 1906. Here he remained for 38 years, devoting his talents and immense stores of knowledge to the training of men for the ministry. His ‘Systematic Theology’ was his magnum opus, being revised and enlarged during his lifetime until it reached its present final form.
Berkhof’s loyalty to the well-defined lines of the Reformed Faith, his concise and compact style and his up-to-date treatment have made this work the most important twentieth-century compendium of Reformed Theology. ‘The work seemed particularly important to me’, writes the author, ‘in view of the widespread doctrinal indifference of the present day, of the resulting superficiality and confusion in the minds of many professing Christians, of the insidious errors that are zealously propagated even from the pulpits, and of the alarming increase of all kinds of sects.
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