« AnteriorContinuar »
Relation of Religion and Ethics; Revelation and Scripture-General view of the Christian Religion; God and his Kingdom-The Person and Godhead of Christ; Sin and Redemption-Justification and Reconciliation-The New Life; Agreement and Divergences of Ritschl's Disciples; General Survey-The Ritschlian Theology and the Evangelical Faith. An appendix gives a list of the works by Ritschl and Ritschlians and for and against their theology, which, though only a selection, is ample for the purpose of any one who wishes to take up the subject as a study.
If I have any fault to find with Dr. Orr it is that he has perhaps been too anxious to ratify the statements made in the text, by references in the notes, which, though of course very valuable to the careful student, not merely for their references, but also for incidental criticisms and elucidations, will prove, I should fear, rather distracting and repellent to the average reader.
By way of giving an idea of Dr. Orr's conclusions regarding the Ritschlian theology, I will quote two passages from the concluding chapter. The first thus: "The Ritschlian theology claims to be a witness for the purity of primitive Christianity as against later corruptions" (e.g. from Greek Philosophy, Metaphysics, Natural Theology, and what not else?): -"how do the facts tally therewith? We are afraid not well. . . . Laid alongside the ample, unmistakable declarations of apostolic doctrine in the New Testament, can its scheme be pronounced other than a highly artificial one-a product of a phase of reflection far removed from the simplicity of the early faith? We select but one notable contrast, in which it will hardly be denied that the advantage is on the side of the Evangelical theology. If anything is clear about the apostolic Gospel, it is that in it the stress was laid, not on the earthly life of Jesus, or the power of the impression of his historical image; but on the two great facts of his death and resurrection; that to these facts also was attached the weightiest doctrinal significance as having altered the whole relation of humanity to God. The life and teachings of Jesus had their place in catechetical instruction and their priceless value as example and inspiration; but the great subjects of apostolic testimony were the facts that Christ had died and had been raised again from the dead by the power of God, had afterward been exalted to glory and was living by his Spirit in the hearts of men. (Cf. 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4) There was but one other fact which helped as largely, and that was the prospective return of Christ to judgment. Kaftan speaks of Greek theology as shifting the center of gravity in Christianity from the kingdom of God to the doctrine of the Logos. But Ritschlianism not less shifts the center of gravity in the Gospel when it lays the emphasis, with Hermann, wholly on the impression of the earthly life, subordinates the cross' to this, and makes light of the Resurrection, or treats it only in a non-literal sense as a corollary of faith. This may be thought to be a Gospel nearer the VOL. LV. No. 218. II
mind of Christ, but it is not at least the Gospel by which the church was originally founded and spread abroad" (p. 261 f.).
The second relates to the Ritschlian doctrine of the person of Christ, and is as true as it is trenchant :-"The Evangelical faith treats the Incarnation as a reality. In its view God truly became man in the person of Jesus Christ. In Him the eternal personal Word literally became flesh. There is no ambiguity, or playing with phrases, in its confession of that fact. Can the same be said of the Ritschlian theology? For the older view of the true Deity of the Lord it substitutes, as we have seen, a 'Godhead' of religious value-of Revelation—worth. But this Godhead' it proposes is no real Deity at all. It hides under a veil of words the fact that Christ was simply uniquely-constituted, exceptionally endowed man. Whatever mystery is enclosed in his person, it does not touch this point. Here Ritschlianism is guilty of more than an abuse of language. It asks us to value as God one who is not God in fact. It will not allow us even to inquire into what or who Christ really is, on the ground that this would involve 'Metaphysics'" (p. 262 f.).
I conclude this inadequate notice with the expression of the hope that Dr. Orr's book may be very widely read.
D. W. SIMON.
A HISTORY OF THE HEBREW PEOPLE. BY CHARLES FOSTER KENT, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Biblical Literature and History, Brown University. With Maps. Two Vols. Vol. I.: THE UNITED KINGDOM. Pp. xxi, 220. Vol. II.: THE DIVIDED KINGDOM. Pp. xvii, 218. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1897. 12mo. Each, net, $1.25.
If we mistake not, there is no book on the history of Israel comparable to these volumes in adaptability to popular use, and no work on the Old Testament has appeared in late years which has as promptly found so many readers whose real need is really met. The author has wrought to produce a history which should be genuinely popular; and he has not wrought in vain. Aware of the needs of college students especially, he has known how to supply their wants.
The volumes are convenient in size; the binding ought to be better. The style of the author is agreeable, the page is not burdened with footnotes or technical discussions. However, each volume contains an appendix giving the bibliography of the topics treated, so that more advanced and thorough work is provided for.
The sympathies of the author are with Kittel, of whom he says that "while his methods are historical and critical, his positions are always as conservative as the facts will permit." This is the soundest attitude in biblical study and promises most for the future of our Bible knowledge. Kent incorporates much of the picturesque detail of the biblical narrative, not always because of its inherent historical moment, but as an illustration of historical situations-a distinction not always made.
The chapters on the historical sources for the several periods are doubtless as yet necessary, are certainly very instructive to the many who, in reading the book, will be for the first time brought face to face with the necessity of assuming some position upon the dates of the Bible narratives. This, however, is not an essential part of a popular history; it rather belongs to the workshop, and should be as much as possible out of sight.
Most of the Old Testament work which is done in our colleges is done: in Old Testament History, and every one who desires to see that work. raised to a higher plane of efficiency and yielding better returns to our educated Christian youth ought to be grateful for Professor Kent's contribution. O. H. GATES.
HISTORY OF DOGMA. By Dr. ADOLF HARNACK. Translated from the third German edition, by NEIL BUCHANAN. Vol. III. Pp. xv, 336.' Svo. Boston: Roberts Bros. 1897. $2.50.
This third volume of Harnack's "History of Dogma" contains 336 pages of very interesting reading for the advanced student of church history. The first 118 pages conclude the regular text of Band I., which shows the significance of the Logos doctrine in the various phases of its' development until the identification of faith and theology upon this? point, about 300 A.D. Harnack's treatment of the Alogi, and of Paul of Samosata, is a very fresh piece of historical writing, and may possibly be taken to indicate, in some degree, the personal sympathies of the writer himself as to the merits of the subject.
The remainder of the volume in hand is made up of the translation of the first 180 pages of Band II., together with an Appendix, on Manichæism taken from Band I. This part of the book, therefore, contains Har-` nack's valuable Historical Résumé (pp. 121-163); the General Outline of the System of Doctrine and a preliminary criticism of its principles (pp. 163-190); Scripture, Tradition, and the Church (pp. 191-239); a Consideration of the Doctrine of Redemption viewed as an expression of Natural Theology (pp. 241-264); and the first chapters of the historical development of the Doctrine of Redemption as necessarily connected with the consideration of the Person of Christ. The author's treatment of Athanasius is the most lively writing in this part of the volume.
Professor Harnack, in his own thought, without doubt gives a unique place to the person of Christ "as in the sphere of God." And it is evident in every historical statement that he intends to do fullest justice to every phase of the old doctrines. But that he is not in fullest sympathy with the orthodox symbol as to the relation of Christ in a Trinity is just as clear in every spontaneous touch of the subject. A competent review of this volume, therefore, would call for a review of the two previous volumes, and a criticism of the whole subject of the Logos christology as it stands treated in its various phases in these volumes.
The translation of this volume bears the marks of very great haste on the part of the translator, as a few illustrations will serve to indicate." On page 130, it is said that Clement of Alexandria had already transferred the figure of the "bride" (Braut) to the "married woman." But "Braut" in German does not mean "bride," but "betrothed"; so that' the translation should have read that he "transferred the figure of the betrothed to the figure of the wife." On page 132, the translation says that the genius of Origen was too "powerful for the Epigoni," as if these successors were overpowered, and thereby brought under Origen's complete control; while in point of fact the reverse was true. Origen's genius is represented as too "great" (mächtig), so that the Epigoni, through an inability to comprehend it, dropped below a true representation of Origen. On page 139, the school of Origen is said to have "embroidered" the doctrine of Paul of Samosata where "embellished" is probably meant. On page 140, we read that behind and beside Athanasius existed a speculation which "led on a shoreless sea" where it should read "sailed" (fuhr). On page 141 the German construction was misunderstood. The English reads, "He [Athanasius] became the father of Catholic orthodoxy and the patron of ecclesiastical Monachism, and that he never would have been had he not also set the practical ideal of the piety of the times on the candlestick." The German, however, says, "He [Athanasius] is the father of Catholic orthodoxy and the patron of churchly monachism. And he would never have become the former had he not at the same time placed the practical ideal of the piety of the time upon the candlestick." On page 271, by translating am wenigsten as if it were wenigstens, the meaning of the German is exactly reversed, "The most vital piety of the Greek Fathers and the strenuous effort to make themselves at home in religion insured them 'at least' against losing the historical Christ." But what is really said is that these things "were farthest from" securing them against losing the historical Christ. A. T. SWING.
CHRISTIAN INSTITUTIONS. (International Theological Library.) By ALEXANDER V. G. ALLEN, D.D., Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, author of "The Continuity of Christian Thought," "Life of Jonathan Edwards,” “Religious Progress,' etc. Pp. xxi, 577. Crown 8vo. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1897. $2.50 net.
Dr. Allen's "Christian Institutions" will at once take its place among the most valuable volumes in the International Theological Library, constituting in itself a very complete epitome both of general church history and of the history of doctrines; for, the institutions of the church are in a very important sense the embodiment of the faith and life of the church. The study of the origin, continuance, and development of church institutions is closely akin to that of the origin of species in the
natural world. A single quotation well illustrates the brilliant style and the profound thought of the book:—
"In the miracle, and in the history of the miracle, we may trace the preparation for modern science. The study of nature with the determination to know its secrets, which dates from the age of the Renaissance, was not wholly a new departure with a distinct origin of its own, but appears rather as a Christian product, drawing its inspiration and success from Christian motives. No other religion has been so associated as has the Christian with scientific development. Indeed, science only exists where Christian institutions have prepared the way for its advent; and it builds upon the conviction which the miracle has aided to develop, that nothing is impossible to man in his struggle with nature in order to clothe himself with its power and to subdue its forces to the control of the human will, till it becomes the fulfillment of the words of Christ: 'And greater works than these shall ye do, because I go unto my Fas ther'" (p. 343).
Primeval RevELATION: Studies in Genesis I.-VIII. By J. CYNDDYLAN JONES, D.D. Pp. xiv, 366. Crown 8vo. New York: American Tract Society. 1897. $1.75.
This volume constitutes a portion of the Davies Lectures for 1896. The author is a learned Welsh clergyman who combines in a marked degree extensive scholarship, logical thought, clear statement, and fervid eloquence. His defense, in the first lecture, of the genuineness and authenticity of the Pentateuch is most cogent and effective; while his lecture upon the relation of the Creator to the creation is very clear and satisfactory. The point of view from which he writes is that of conservative Calvinism; and, while we should differ from him in some of his statements concerning the consequences of the fall, and upon the question of the antiquity of the human race, we can most highly commend the volume as a whole. .
A HARMONY OF THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL, KINGS, AND CHRONICLES in the Text of the Version of 1884. By WILLIAM DAY CROCKETT, A.M., Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Canton, Pa. With an Introduction by WILLIS JUDSON BEECHER, D.D., Professor of the Her brew Language and Literature in the Auburn Theological Seminary. Pp. xi, 365. New York: Eaton & Mains. 1897. $2.00.
This Harmony is very convenient in view of the present deep interest in the study of the Old Testament documents. As in the case of New Testament harmonies, it enables the reader to see at a glance, upon a single opening of the pages, the points both of agreement and of differ ence in the parallel narratives of the historical books. The immense la bor of preparation has been thoroughly and satisfactorily done.