Recent Appreciations of SemlerJoh. Salomo Semler in seiner Bedeutung für die Theologie, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung seines Streites mit G. E. Lessing. Paul GastrowLessing und Semler: Ein Beitrag zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Rationalismus und der kritischen Theologie. Leopold ZscharnackJohann Salomo Semler in seiner Bedeutung für die Theologie. Gottwalt Karo

Gregory D. Walcott, George H. Gilbert
1906 The American Journal of Theology  
In his judiciously appreciative study of Semler,' Pastor Gastrow by numerous quotations affords the reader an excellent first-hand knowledge of that fearless, earnest, many-sided, indefatigable theologian. Neglected, and not infrequently misunderstood, he is presented here with all of his human sympathy and interest and profound ethical and religious convictions. The author sets forth clearly Semler's early pietistic environment, his acceptance of pietism after not a little hesitation, and
more » ... esitation, and later his rationalizing of his faith at Halle under the influence of Baumgarten, together with much of the inner working of the young man's mind during the process. When offered later a theological professorship at that distinctively pietistic university, he accepted reluctantly, since he could "no more go the old way with the pious party," and felt incapable of "blazing a way for himself as Spener, Francke, and Baumgarten" had done. His early bent toward the ethical in religion is emphasized, and also his exceptional thirst for knowledge of every sort, especially of the classics and of the Semitic languages, and history. I Joh. Salomo Semler in seiner Bedeutung far die Theologie, mit besonderer Beriicksichtigung seines Streites mit G. E. Lessing. Von Paul Gastrow. Giessen: T6pelmann, 1905. 366 pages. M. 9. 539 as he appeared to his contemporaries; but not enough to reveal to us in an objective way his inner life. Weinel observes that it is our scientific duty to confess that we do not know how high in the scale of being Jesus ranked himself. Thus in every remarkable modern life of the Master the biographer gives us a different type, embodying his own ideals. Mr. Foster thinks that the moral thought of Jesus centered in "the unity, the wholeness, the internality, the freedom of a personality, whose content is moral love." The author of Ecce Homo, an old book but ever new, made it center in the enthusiasm of humanity, which is perhaps much the same thing. We shall probably never come nearer the mark than in quoting Jesus' own words which give the sum of his teaching: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself." What our age finds it hardest to understand is why all the force and emphasis is concentrated on the first half of this formula, and the second half is regarded almost as a corollary. Perhaps we have here the real "secret of Jesus."
doi:10.1086/478629 fatcat:y2mh26mo3vafxf2qvophgotxam