Author: Louis Berkhof
Year of Publication: 1958 (reprinted 1994)
Pages Read: Part 2 – pages 181 – 299 and Part 4 – pages 415 - 549
The book Systematic Theology, by Louis Berkhof, is interesting because it gives the reader an in-depth understanding of theology and the various areas associated with it. He stated that the reason that so many Christians have only a weak faith, and that so many churches present only a rather superficial form of Christianity, is that they never really see the system in its logical consistency. It is not enough for the professing Christian to know that God loves him and that his sins have been forgiven. He should know how and why his redemption has been accomplished and how it has been made effective. Part 2 - “The Doctrine of Man in Relation to God”
1. The usual view is that man consists of two parts, body and soul. This is in harmony with the self-consciousness of man, and is also borne out by a study of Scripture, which speaks of man as consisting of "body and soul," Matt. 6:25, or of "body and spirit," Eccl. 12:7. Some are of the opinion that the words 'soul' and 'spirit' represent different elements, and that therefore man consists of three parts, body, soul, and spirit. It is evident, however, that the two words 'soul' and 'spirit' are used interchangeably. Death is sometimes described as a giving up of the soul, Gen. 35:18; and sometimes as the giving up of the spirit, Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59. The dead are in some cases named "souls," Rev. 9:6; 20:4, and in others 'spirits,' I Pet 3:19; Heb. 12:23. The two terms represent the spiritual element in man from different points of view. As spirit it is the principle of life and action, which controls the body, and as soul it is the personal subject, which thinks and feels and wills, and in some cases the seat of the affections. 2. The Origin of the Soul in Each Individual - there are three views respecting the origin of the individual souls. They...