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that of a theology or science of God, outside of His Son, Jesus Christ. All these biblical Christologies are entitled to respect. They are significant voices in the wilderness of our nineteenth century, harbingering the longexpected new advent of our Lord, and calling upon men to prepare His way and make His paths straight.”—Dr. Nevin, “Review,” 1882, p. 9.
DR. KAFTAN is the successor of Dr. Dorner in the chair of Systematic Theology of the University of Berlin. A deliverance from one occupying so high a position on the subject treated in the pamphlet under consideration, properly claims the attention of every one interested in current theological literature. The readers of this "Review" in particular, and especially the older ones, will not regret a closer acquaintanceship with the author and his position. Whilst they will be gratified to find here many of those elements of Christian truth which it seemed to be the peculiar mission of this periodical to emphasize and inculcate, they will be startled on finding the author repudiating and antagonizing what always seemed to them vital and essential principles of our holy religion.
To say that we opened the book with many misgivings, is to say but little. We had conceived a decided prejudice against the writer. We had gotten the impression that he was a cold and heartless rationalist. A chilly fear stole over us lest we might be doing worse than wasting the time devoted to him. There was reason for this, for as he tells us himself, hints had been thrown out that he was bordering on atheism. One critic had gone so far as to ask him, what would be the title of the book in which he would advocate the doing away with Christianity?
The production originally appeared in the Christliche Welt. Afterwards it passed through three editions in separate form. It is not necessary to say that it is scholarly, logical and profound. The style is lucid, incisive and characterized by many rhetorical graces. Behind the learning, the logic and the style, the reader soon finds the man. And what kind of a man? A flippant caviler? Anything but that. A man of sincerity and earnestness-one might say an enthusiast. He breathes his enthusiasm into his book. The reader lays it down, and
from whatever quarter the caveats may come, he cannot help but say of the science of Chris tian theology as Galileo did of the earth, "it still does move."
Upon the mind of the average American theologian the question itself makes an unfavorable impression. It smacks of a decided negativism. No one, it would seem, could make the inquiry who was not imbued with the thinking of a Spencer, a Shopenhauer or some other influential foe of the received doctrines of the Christian church. It is a virtual confession on the part of the interrogator that he has never learned to make proper account of history, and that the fact that the Spirit of God has been and is still leading His church to the knowledge of all truth is something foreign to his mind. Further, that those who hold to the old dogma as he calls it, that is the so-called scientific statement of doctrinal truths as professed by orthodox Christians generally, are laboring under a harmful delusion. And still again that he himself feels himself competent to formulate a body of entirely new statements conformable to the actual state of the case.
So far from this being so, he professes the fullest faith in history as a divine force in the world. Especially in the history of the Christian church, he believes that God lives and moves by His enlightning and purifying presence and power. And he must be a shrewd hypocrite indeed if he is not possessed of what the Germans are accustomed to laud as an echt historischer Sinn. On page 45 he asserts that no man lives who makes more account of historical growth (Werden) in the spiritual sphere than himself. He retorts upon his orthodox opponents and on the same page declares, upon what he considers ground of conclusive proof that, their profession of faith in "God's moving and working in His church on earth is a lame affair." On page 49 he adds: "Of a truth we keep our eyes open; we strive to scan the whole of history and to learn. from it; we believe firmly that God's Spirit lives in and controls it, and His purpose is, in and by it, to tell and teach us somewhat. But not in spite of this, rather exactly on this
account do we say our Protestant church needs a new dogma." On page 47 he explains himself thus: "God's Spirit has so guided the development of the church, that Christianity has unfolded itself in great successive stages, and among these, Protestant Christianity is the highest, as it corresponds again with the historical import of the original Gospel. The entire history of the church is our past, and in no period has the divine guidance been wanting. But the case is not such that the products of one period could pass over into another unchanged and remain perpetually valid. This holds good as regards the dogmas, as well as cultus and practical life. Accordingly what history teaches and what faith in God's gracious providence in the church requires, is not to say that the old dogma must remain intact, rather, that we need a new dogma."
So far from condemning the old orthodoxy in the sense of the modern free-thinker, his position is the direct opposite of this. To set up a new truth, as did the prophets and apostles, is something foreign to his mind. From that truth, new to the word then, but old to us now, God forbid that he should take anything or that he should add anything. To formulate anew, is not to repudiate. St. Paul deprecated the making void of the law. As the apostle who above all others made account of the "glorious liberty of the children of God," he sought not the abrogation of the law, but its establishment. So our author with orthodoxy. He professes the highest respect for all who adhere to it in the true sense of it, those, namely, whose souls have been taken possession of by the "ideal of the fathers, the ideal of the pure faith, that of believing and implicit obedience to God's word." "And for this reason," he says on page 14, "we say confidently (getrost) we do not antagonize orthodoxy nor do we lay it aside; we would confirm it, we would have its ideal right hold and prevail." We are aware what many are prepared to say about professions of this kind. It is true it is not the dialect of a free-thinker, but it sounds much like the talk of the whole fraternity of modern Protestant sects. They
all want to finish the work which the Reformers began. But allow Dr. Kaftan to explain himself a little further. He tells us that early in his theological life he was confronted with a question, which took the deepest hold upon his thought, and which ever since has been a ruling factor in his theological and religious life. It was not until he had worked himself into the clear on the subject that he ventured upon authorship, and felt called upon to urge others-" allen und niemandem, dem grossen Publikum "-to lay to heart certain thoughts about the connection of Christian things, and about what is of advantage to the church of the Reformation. He owns frankly, further, that he got it from a Roman Catholic source. People may charge him with Catholicizing tendencies, and with considerable show of reason. For whilst Roman Catholics continue to make vast and vital account of the principle, among Protestants, it has gone entirely out of fashion. But does that charge disturb him? The very reverse of it! Referring to the writer to whom he is so much indebted, he says on page 12, "When an earnest Christian of that church-and we are proud, as Protestants, that we need not deny Christianity to Roman Catholics as such; it is a refreshment and a joy to find in a man like Möhler something of the one truth and of the one Lord of all Christendom; yes, when such a Catholic Christian speaks for the cause of his church it is not unusual for Christian thoughts and ideals to lie back of what he has to say." The great question had agitated his own soul, what is truth? Only after he had sat at the feet of Möhler, did the fact properly dawn upon him that the truth is not something that we get, but that gets us, not something that we master, but that is independent of us and greater than we. How are we to be brought to it? By intellectual activity, whether of an analytical, dialectic, intuitional or any other kind, if there be one? Nothing of this. The method is none other than the pure and simple one, the original one of the Gospel itself, and the one practiced by every true Christian since the days of the apostles until the present time. St. Paul calls it the "obedience of faith." But what
has St. Paul to do with Möhler? Möhler has a great deal to say about the authority to which faith must render obedience, and throws some light upon the relation of obedience to true liberty. Now we have no time here to present in detail the views of Dr. Kaftan on this vital and fundamental problem of the science of revealed religion; nor is it necessary to do so. They are substantially those which have been set forth in the pages of this Review from the beginning, which have given, perhaps, more than any other, specific character to the theological position it represents, and which were never made account of, more vigorously and with more practical effect than in what we may call the dying utterances of that great champion of them who, forty years ago, entered the lists for their vindication and found a foeman worthy of his steel in the person of the distinguished New England convert to Romanism, Orestes A. Brownson. Well may Dr. Kaftan lament that in modern Protestantism the great principle of obedience to properly constituted authority has verstummt. To our mind there is no lesson that orthodox Christians of the nineteenth century should more deeply lay to heart than that contained in the following statements, found on page 13 of the pamphlet before us: "There is a two-fold obedience, of which one leads into freedom, the other ends in slavery. The former is that which deserves the name. And this is the portion of us Protestants since Luther gave us the Gospel anew, and emancipated its liberating forces. If only we could remain conscious of the fact that, freedom takes its rise from obedience. This holds not alone in the ethical sphere. It holds of Christianity as a whole, for this latter is a totality, unseparated religion and morality. It holds also of faith. Only on Protestant soil, only in the Church of the Reformation, does that obedience of faith which Paul had in mind become an unadulterated reality. It will become such to the greatest extent when once the activity of, and agencies employed by, the Church lead on to this obedience. Then will evangelical Protestantism develop a hitherto undreamed of power in all lands and among all nations. Then