G.C. Berkouwer on Election


One of the things that I am thankful for my local church is its library which has a lot of now out-of-print books on systematic theology (since the church used to have a Bible School), it was during December last year when I stumbled upon familiar names on the shelf that's labeled Systematic Theology where more prominent names like Bultman, Brunner, Barth, Berkoff would normally standout, one book there that I particularly noticed was a book entitled: Studies in Dogmatics: Divine Election by G.C. Berkouwer.

I borrowed that book and read it through the Christmas season and I was amazed especially at his insight on the Doctrine of Election which rejects both the traditional and Barthian view of the equal ultimacy of election and reprobation.

Here's his take on the subject where he relates election with Christ's work in relation to Ephesians 1:4 1:

“The issue here is not a metaphysical contrast between time and eternity, but the foundation of salvation in God's plan as immutable reality. 'Before' (in Eph. 1:4) indicates that this divine act of salvation, preached to us by the Gospel, is free from what we know in the world to be arbitrary and precarious. To be sure in this depth-aspect of God's salvation it becomes at the same time evident that this salvation did not originate in our flesh and blood that it is by no means of human merit or creation. But precisely this fact does not obscure the way; on the contrary it illuminates it. 'Before the foundation of the world” means to direct our attention to what can be called the opposite of chance and contingence.”2

This insight has been very much helpful for me in my understanding of the Gospel message and its relationship with God's sovereignty in the work of salvation.

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1“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love” Ephesians 1:4 (NIV)

2Berkouwer, p152, Studies in Dogmatics, Divine Election

1 comment:

charlescameron said...

Thanks for this post.
I found it through a search on G C Berkouwer.
I wrote a PhD thesis (later published as a book) on Berkouwer's theology.
You can find my work on Berkouwer at either my Wordpress blog or my Blogger blog.