Each week on Credo we welcome you to join us in the Author’s Corner where we will meet a set of authors whose recent books deserve your attention and might even help you grow in your knowledge of theology, history, philosophy, and the scriptures. We hope the Author’s Corner can keep you up-to-date on the most important books published today and where you can find them.
Charges and Addresses (Banner of Truth, 2021) by J. C. Ryle
A man of good scholarship, sterling character, wide sympathies, and tremendous zeal, J. C. Ryle accounted it no light thing to be entrusted with the work of organizing and advancing the cause of God and truth in a diocese noted for its extensive industrial development and in a city of world fame. As a man of God he gave unfeigned allegiance to the plenary inspiration of Holy Scripture. Linked with this was his determination to strive for the maintenance of the Protestant character of the Church of England as by law established in the days of the sixteenth-century Reformation. Doctrine, experience, and practice based upon and shaped by the pure word of God were to him the essentials of the ongoing life of the Church.
In the Liverpool Diocese Ryle faced a formidable task. Called to it at the age of sixty-four, Ryle laboured in season and out of season with untiring pertinacity. To present-day readers he will chiefly be known through his expository and biographical writings. The Charges and Addresses here brought together show how he laboured to educate the clergy of his diocese in biblical principles and to impress upon them the vast importance of maintaining evangelical doctrine and practice in their varied ministries and contacts.
In England Ryle stands in the foremost rank of those who have held forth the word of life and fought the good fight of faith. He is one of the Lord’s standard-bearers of the late Victorian age. The ‘healthful spirit of God’s grace’ was upon him. Being dead he continues to speak to our backslidden generation.
Systematic Theology: Expanded Edition (Banner of Truth, 2021) by Louis Berkhof
Louis 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. If there ever was a time when the church ought to guard her precious heritage, the deposit of the truth that was entrusted to her care, that time is now’.
This expanded edition contains Berkhof’s Introductory Volume, which was designed to be read together with the Systematic Theology itself.
‘Objections have frequently been raised against a systematic presentation of the doctrinal truths of Scripture; and also in the present day some are decidedly averse to it. There seems to be a lurking fear that the more we systematize the truth, the farther we wander from the presentation of it that is found in the Word of God. But there is no danger of this, if the system is not based on the fundamental principles of some erring philosophy, but on the abiding principles of Scripture itself. God certainly sees the truth as a whole, and it is the duty of the theologian to think the truths of God after Him.’ — LOUIS BERKHOF in the Introductory Volume included with this edition.
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 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.
On Free Will and The Law: Vermigli’s Common Places, Vol. 2 (Davenant Press, 2021) translated and edited by Joseph A. Tipton
Appearing now in English for the first time since 1583, “On Free Will and the Law” represents Part II, Ch. 2 and 3 of the Loci Communes of Peter Martyr Vermigli. Presented here in a clear, readable, and learned translation, we first have Vermigli’s deft treatment of the thorny issue of free will. Demonstrating clearly his peerless erudition and subtle mind, Vermigli simultaneously upholds the the fallen will’s enslavement to sin and freedom to act. Likewise, Vermigli’s considerably more brief exposition of the catholic doctrine of the Law alongside his criticisms of Manichean and Pelagian errors is a helpful summary of Protestant teaching on this issue. With the Scriptures as his final authority, the Church Fathers as his guides, and philosophy as his handmaid, Vermigli produced Loci that withstand the rigors of time and remain a helpful guide to Protestants everywhere.