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12.27.2015

Why Mark Jones wants to stain Louis Berkhof

Mark Jones is a creepy sort. In the political realm he is the type to write for a pseudo conservative, very establishment magazine that lo and behold never saw a cultural Marxist move on the nation and culture that didn't make him get all tingly with approval. And just watch him go full Rex Reed on the untermensch when needed.

You can google it, but Jones has recently written a blog post at Reformation21 citing examples of Berkhof plagiarizing Geerhardus Vos in his Systematic Theology. The examples are of the nature of: Berkhof wrote, "Adoption and eternal life follow upon justification." Vos wrote, "With justification comes adoption and eternal life."

I kid you not.

Then Jones proceeds to give mitigation, several reasons, why Berkhof probably isn't guilty of plagiarizing Vos. Yet the headline stands that Berkhof was a plagiarist.

Why does Mark Jones want to put a stain on Louis Berkhof? Because Jones lately has come fully out of the closet as showing a nose-in-the-air dislike of Reformed Theology. It's too......common. Not enough separation, or hierarchy regarding the teaching church and the.......laaaay people. He's moved in a bit of a Romanist direction and adopted the old label last popular in the early 2000s of Reformed Catholic. He, for instance, wants sola ecclesia (church alone, whatever that can mean) to be made a sixth sola. He believes, with some of his friends at Ref21, that the word of God should only be heard, through the mediation of a properly ordained cleric, and not read by people who are biblical morons at best..you know, the untermensch. Reformed Catholics have similar Romanist leaning beliefs as Federal Visionists, who don't like Berkhof either.

So why does Berkhof come under their wrath? Isn't Berkhof's work just sort of an on-the-mark, well-organized, clear textbook variety of Reformed - i.e. biblical - systematic theology? Why pick on Berkhof? It's in the sentence above: on-the-mark. When Reformed Theology is presented on-the-mark its power becomes manifest. And Berkhof's work has another quality. He laces historical theology through his systematic theology in a way that inevitably convicts those not content with the basic truth and would twist doctrine and distort doctrine to suit their demands. I.e. Berkhof is an ever wakeful sentinel, and his presence annoys them. So now Jones has decided the tactic must be to separate Berkhof out from Vos and Bavinck (lesser read so less of a threat) by smearing the mud of a plagiarism accusation against him.
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Wow. In a totally unrelated blog post by Mark Jones I found this: "...it is no coincidence that some of the best theologians over church history were men of the Scriptures first and foremost, otherwise they would have, like Berkhof, merely regurgitated Reformed theology!"

http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/12/of-the-reading-of-many-books
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I wrote the above post without knowing about this:
http://www.nsa.edu/mark-jones-begins-nsa-lectureship/

Doug Wilson once disdainfully said, in a comments thread at greenbagins blog, that he didn't even own a copy of Berkhof's Systematic Theology. It was beneath him, it seems.


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