Quote: Louis Berkhof on God’s Existence

Quote for 3/14/16. Berkhof discusses the existence of God as related to the Biblical text. The Bible is incredibly presuppositional in this way. God’s existence is not “proved” by a syllogism, starting at a position of denial and arguing toward belief. Rather, the Bible begins presupposing the truth of the matter: God exists.

The Christian accepts the truth of the existence of God by faith. But this faith is not a blind faith, but a faith that is based on evidence, and the evidence is found primarily in Scripture as the inspired Word of God, and secondarily in God’s revelation in nature. Scripture proof on this point does not come to us in the form of an explicit declaration, and much less in the form of a logical argument. In that sense the Bible does not prove the existence of God. The closest it comes to a declaration is perhaps in Heb. 11:6 … “for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that seek after Him.” It presupposes the existence of God in its very opening statement, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co., 1938), 21.

Quote: Louis Berkhof on the Deity of Jesus

Quote for 3/10/16. Today’s quote is theologically potent. Berkhof summarizes the biblical case for the deity of Jesus. This flies in the face of cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and religions like Islam. These groups claim to respect and believe the Bible… until you open it up.

We find that Scripture (1) explicitly asserts the deity of the Son in such passages as John 1:1; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6; Tit. 2:13; 1 John 5:20; (2) applies divine names to Him, Isa. 9:6; 40:3; Jer. 23:5, 6; Joel 2:32 (comp. Acts 2:21); 1 Tim. 3:16; (3) ascribes to Him divine attributes, such as eternal existence, Isa. 9:6; John 1:1, 2; Rev. 1:8; 22:13, omnipresence, Matt. 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13, omniscience, John 2:24, 25; 21:17; Rev. 2:23, omnipotence. Isa. 9:6; Phil. 3:21; Rev. 1:8, immutability, Heb. 1:10–12; 13:8, and in general every attribute belonging to the Father, Col. 2:9; (4) speaks of Him as doing divine works, as creation, John 1:3, 10; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2, 10, providence, Luke 10:22; John 3:35; 17:2; Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3, the forgiveness of sins, Matt. 9:2–7; Mark 2:7–10; Col. 3:13, resurrection and judgment, Matt. 25:31, 32; John 5:19–29; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Phil. 3:21; 2 Tim. 4:1, the final dissolution and renewal of all things, Heb. 1:10–12; Phil. 3:21; Rev. 21:5, and (5) accords Him divine honour, John 5:22, 23; 14:1; 1 Cor. 15:19; 2 Cor. 13:13; Heb. 1:6; Matt. 28:19.

L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co., 1938), 94–95.

Of course the context of these passages will inform and justify their inclusion in this quote. Happy reading!