This small but important book by Hendrik Berkhof ushered in a wave of studies in this translation, and drew from it in his own famous work, The Politics of Jesus. : Christ and the Powers (John Howard Yoder) (): Hendrik Berkhof: Books. Hendrikus Berkhof was a professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Leiden. Berkhof The subject first published Christ and the Powers in which sought to understand the operation of spiritual and social forces especially in.

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The stoicheia are rules, regulations, traditions and moral philosophies. So you can add that this not-knowing might also have little urgency or importance anyway.

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. But I find Berkhof’s argument so interesting and compelling that I am giving it five stars anyway. My take on Paul’s treatment of the powers is that he does believe they have influence on human life and does believe they are personal.

Also, as someone who grew up playing computer RPGs such as Diablo II, I think that the language of “powers and principalities” is a cool way of depicting the issue.

A New View Part 1: Who is Christ for Us Today? I simply find lots in liberal theology helpful. Chances are this struggler only gets invited into further struggle, into my own struggle, which is a pretty lame and unsatisfactory response. Hans Deventer rated it really liked it Jan 14, Jason Evans rated it really liked it Jul 14, Basically, the stoicheia were the cosmic and spiritual forces that structured and ordered the universe as well as being the forces that determined your fate.


He’s just noting that Paul’s description of the Powers is more depersonalized than what is seen in other concurrent Jewish accounts. People might not like the liberal theological project, but I’m not doing it for people.

The Powers are listed with a group of fairly abstract forces, things like space height and depth and time present and future. Paperback80 pages. It was the basis for the better known, multi-volume work by Walter Wink on the same subject.

Hendrikus Berkhof

Avoiding the Ben Op of the Pharisees Part 3: What was Paul imagining when he spoke of “the Powers”? I really appreciate this balanced way of looking at human social structures, which neither completely embraces nor completely rejects society-as-it-is, chrisy remains critical of it.

The Charism of the Charismatics Part 1: So there you go. But Christ has defeated the Powers, among them these moral stoicheia.

Experimental Theology: Christ and the Powers: Part 1, Paul’s Demythologization of the Powers

The ‘powers’ are the undergirding of Creation, according to Berkhof, and become evil in their influence only as they seek dominion for themselves And I apologize for being overly sensitive about that remark, but it’s close to a slur. You can see that Berkhof was looking squarely in to the dark abyss of Nazism as he wrote this. I think theological argument is often ad hoc. Mar 13, Mark Oppenlander rated it really liked it Shelves: Christ and the Powers by Hendrikus Berkhof.


There the Powers refer to categories of angelic beings. It appears we human beings are and always have been vulnerable to these vague forces which we fear at some gut level. Hello, Interested to read your blog and comments. To clarify a bit, this emphasis on demythologizing is more mine than Berkhof. The Dark Night of Faith and Love. A Walk with William James Part 1: The subject first published Christ and the Powers in which sought to understand the operation of spiritual and social forces especially in light of the world wars.

In examining this list Berkhof argues that Paul wasn’t conceiving of the Powers in any personalized sense. Scarcity and Spiritual Formation Part 1: I am open to the possibility that Paul’s account of the powers might be marginally less personalized than that of other Jewish thinkers of his time.

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