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will it be a well-rounded and self-consistent whole, the pure receptacle of the Gospel and the fountain of divine and spiritual blessedness for mankind."
We have now seen that Dr. Kaftan makes full and intelligent earnest with the claims of history. We have seen, further, that he tries hard to get at the true sense and spirit of orthodoxy, and that he has the highest respect for what he conceives it essentially to be. Still he insists upon it that we need a new dogma. And by the way he ridicules and deprecates the idea of an undogmatic Christianity as much as any one. statement must be definite and distinct, and in all respects must meet the requirements of a dogma. Now we would naturally infer that he presumes that he is competent to draw up a new formula of this kind calculated to meet the wants of the Christianity of the present day. O that our modern sectarians had some of the modesty of this decried Berlin professor! And it would not be harmful to many of our creedrevisionists, especially those who would undertake to tinker at the most venerable of them, the symbolum apostolicum. He tells us on page four, that no man can make the dogma that is needed, nor any dogma that is worthy of the name. He thinks that it would not be far out of the way to say that if that man lived, as he does not live, who could lay the dogma finished on one's table, it would be of no use to us. "It cannot be made by this or that one. In the on-goings of history it must force itself upon us, as something which the moment demands and can never be forgotten, as is wont to be the case when the Lord God creates anything in His church on earth." What, then, does he mean, and at what is he aiming? One thing is to direct attention to, and bring the reader to realize, the fact that no man can make the dogmas. It is a fact certainly that means much. To hear some of our modern theological sages talk, is to infer that had they been at the elbow of the man who wrote the creed, a few suggestions might have been made which, if adopted, would have rendered it a symbol acceptable to all right-minded men to the end of time. One of the things
that Dr. Kaftan aims at is to get such nonsense entirely out of his readers' heads. What he has in view in addition to this he tells us in the following language, on page five: "All historical growth is the result of individual attempts and efforts. These can in no wise be dispensed with. They are and must be presupposed when in a given situation, in consequence of the necessitation which is involved in it, something new arises and finds place. As an individual we allow ourselves some concern and give ourselves some trouble about a matter of great significance and weight, and in this sense must be taken all that is here said about the new dogma"
Now the question must arise in the minds of many, Cui bono. They are ready to say to Dr. Kaftan: You disclaim any desire to disturb the old orthodoxy; you concede that everything essential is there; and yet, how can anything but agitation, doubt and confusion arise from the course you are pursuing? The smooth and peaceful current of evangelical Christianity can only become troubled and beclouded by your pedantic investigations, speculations and beating about for improvements upon what is old, tried and commonly accepted. You theological professors seem to think that the Christian public, like the Athenians in the days of the Apostle Paul, is constantly on the lookout for something new, and deem it your chief business to entertain it with some startling invention or discovery. Why not stick to your legitimate work as teachers of the Church, that; namely, of setting forth the plain old truths of the Gospel, which during these long centuries have proved themselves efficacious for the salvation of souls? Dr. Kaftan would reply to such: Your interrogations are precisely to the point; your point of view is identical with my own; you represent that sensible class of church-members constituting the great majority of them whose deeply-felt wants precisely I am anxious to have met; and I would be ashamed to find myself in the number of the impractical and unhelpful professors to whom in terms of stricture so proper you refer. On page 28 we find the following, which might cause us to suspect that he
had been taking lessons from some theological lecturer in Iowa or Kansas and had caught the spirit of our trans-Mississippi advancement: "We want to say to the corporation cünftigen) professors: Soar aloft into the airy regions of speculation, grasp the shadows, form them into combinations, untie the knots, and begin the play anew. That may be a fine employment for thought on the part of those who can spare the time and pay the cost. But for the church, her ministers, and the service to be rendered to the people, all that is labor lost. For our part, we are a plain folk; we should like to serve the church; we have gotten an idea, which will not let us go, that the concern of the church is the salvation of men, and that to minister to this end is the highest dignity of our theological labor. Hence we do not go out airing ourselves, and investigate questions which nobody can answer, and discuss problems which nobody can solve; for, we have something to do. A practical profitable task has been committed to us. Oar aim is to bring the truth of God to the people; to awaken faith, that men may be born anew." Sooner accomplish something in this direction than to have written ten volumes of theological speculation, which to-day gratify clever realers, but after a generation, at most, moulder away in the cool shades of the library."
Of the four chapters of the brochare the second is entitled, "Hid with Christ in God." Orthodoxy has its truth and its right. In so far as it has these, it must be respected and defended. But one of its errors has been to overlook the truth and right of pietism and mysticism, two most important elements in the development of the history of Christian life and thought. In this second chapter he shows how justice must be done to these. It will be necessary for us to translate somewhat at large in order more fully to comprehend the aim Dr. Kaftan has in view. At the same time we will become better acquainted with the method by which he would accomplish it, and also with the man.
"The Apostle Paul never grows weary of inculcating the
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