July 9, 2012

Louis Berkhof (1873–1957) on the Great Love of God in the External Calling

c. The general nature of the external calling. While all the other movements of the Holy Spirit in the ordo salutis terminate on the elect only, the external calling by the gospel has a wider bearing. Wherever the gospel is preached, the call comes to the elect and reprobate alike. It serves the purpose, not merely of bringing the elect to faith and conversion, but also of revealing the great love of God to sinners in general. By means of it God maintains His claim on the obedience of all His rational creatures, restrains the manifestation of sin, and promotes civic righteousness, external morality, and even outward religious exercises.2

2. Cf. Bavinck, Geref. Dogm. IV, pp. 7 f.
Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969), 457.

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