Recent Literature in Systematic Theology [review-book]

George B. Foster, Gerald Birney Smith
1903 The American Journal of Theology  
Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the mid--seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non--commercial purposes. Read more about Early Journal
more » ... out Early Journal Content at JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact RECENT THEOLOGICAL LITERATURE 405 RECENT LITERATURE IN SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. ONE of the most striking evidences that Harnack in his lectures on Das Wesen des Christentums has voiced a problem which men today feel to be very real is seen in the large number of books dealing with this theme. Some of them were evidently suggested by Harnack's book. Others have arisen independently. Seeberg, one of Harnack's colleagues at Berlin, who had the courage to write an excellent Dogmengeschichte almost immediately after Harnack's great work was completed, now publishes his public lectures on the fundamental truths of Christianity.! Unlike some of his professional brethren, Seeberg studiously avoids all polemic against Harnack, although the temptation to emphasize his own views by contrast must at times have been great. He has given us a strong, dignified presentation of Christianity as it has been traditionally interpreted. As the title indicates, he proceeds upon the theory that Christianity means certain " truths " concerning God, Christ, man, and the world. The first half 'of the book discusses the " truth " of the Christian religion, while the second half sets forth the " truths." His method is thus akin to that of the older theologians, who demonstrated the absoluteness of Christianity before setting forth its content. But in the presence of a miscellaneous audience of critical students, the lecturer naturally appeals to vital rather than to formal aspects of religious authority. The first part thus shows that Christianity meets the needs of religious aspiration as no other religion or philosophy does, while. the second part shows the religious significance of the traditional doctrines of theology. The author will thus have a valuable message for many who are repelled by the radical traits of Harnack's book. His wide scholarship and broad and sympathetic spirit were never seen to better advantage than here.-A book more in harmony with Harnack's purpose is Soltau's.2 He feels the pressure of the modern scientific spirit, and is willing to abandon a large portion of traditional Christianity if only he can save its central truth for modern life. He asserts that the current definitions of science are too narrow. Science should include morality, and here it finds common ground with Christianity. "Original Christianity" is then 1 Grundwahrheiten der christlichen Religion. Ein akademisches Publikum in sechszehn Vorlesungen vor Studierenden aller Facultiten der Universitit Berlin im Winter 1901-2 gehalten. Leipzig: Dieterich, 190o2. I60 pages. M. 2.80.