In this series rooted in the normative significance of Scripture, noted Dutch theologian G. C. Berkouwer examines great doctrines of the Reformed faith, developing and defending Reformed theology through interaction with a wide range of theologies and theologians. In this volume Berkouwer examines the question of the nature and reality of revalation, the claims of naturalIn this series rooted in the normative significance of Scripture, noted Dutch theologian G. C. Berkouwer examines great doctrines of the Reformed faith, developing and defending Reformed theology through interaction with a wide range of theologies and theologians. In this volume Berkouwer examines the question of the nature and reality of revalation, the claims of natural theology, and the radical character of the history of religion since the 19th century....
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General Revelation Reviews
I ran into a friend at seminary the other day who saw I was reading Berkouwer. He shrugged and said that whenever he saw Berkouwer on the reading list, he skimmed the title, not really caring to read in depth. I was a bit surprised. While Berkouwer isn't an easy read by any means, he's writing excellent material. This particular work focused on the tension between general revelation and special revelation. If there is something of God revealed in nature, is that revelation separate from the revelation of God in Jesus Christ? More importantly, is that revelation appropriated before a knowledge of Christ occurs? In context, Berkouwer is reacting to the rise of natural theology in his day: the idea that God can be known through reasoning. This is the Thomistic position of the Catholic church, and today's children of the Enlightenment (those refusing to move into post-modernism) share the position. The problem with this, as Berkouwer points out with devastating clarity, is God is singularly revealed through the person and work of Jesus Christ to the believer.Berkouwer then goes on to demonstrate that creation and natural revelation are invisible to the darkened mind of the unbeliever. It is only with the enlightenment that Jesus provides--rather than the 19th century thinkers--that natural revelation is perceived correctly.It takes some time to wade through this book, largely because Berkouwer couches his writing and argument in the prevalent works of the day. You'll often feel you need to read four or five other books to even understand a line of thought. But perseverance is rewarded, and this book is a worthwhile endeavor. You'll see clearly the lines between what the darkened unbeliever's mind can and cannot comprehend.
Some people fiercely oppose the concept of general revelation; others not only embrace general revelation, but also praise it as a portal to natural theology. Between the two margins lies a sweep of perspectives that are impacted in varying degrees by the nature psalms, John’s gospel prologue, Paul’s references to Creation in Romans, the Roman Church, the Belgic Confessions, and the great thinkers of the Reformation. G. C. Berkouwer, in his book, General Revelation, navigates readers through the prevailing opinions, as well as the strengths and dangers associated with each one, and ultimately arrives at his own deduction on the subject. interesting book.