THEOLOGY, literally the science which deals with God or the gods. The word is Greek (0E6s, God; Aayos, theory). But doctrine counted for less in Greek or Roman religion than in Christianity, and forms of worship for more. In the oldest usage BEoX6yoc were those who dealt in myths, like Hesiod and like the supposed Orpheus, the OeoX6yos par excellence. Paul Natorp 1 contends that OEoXoyia in Plato 's Republic refers wholly to the control of myths. He further denies that Aristotle identified his First Philosophy with a " theology," holding the text of the Metaphysics to be out of order and 1 Philosophische Monatshefte (1888), Heft 1 and 2. See also Theism.
corrupted, though from a very early period. He regards the Stoics as having initiated a philosophical theology, and gives numerous references for the " three theologies " which they distinguished. Philo the Jew is also quoted as using OeoXoyos of poets, of Moses par excellence, and of Greek philosophers. It is possible that the epithet 9eoXo^yos for St John may go back as far as Papias. This is the first appearance of the term upon Christian ground. The primitive application of O€oX6 yon to the poets and myth-fanciers meets us again in Church writers; but there is also a tendency to use the name for a philosophical theology based on the doctrine of the Logos. In this sense Gregory Nazianzen also receives the title BeoXo yos. His ircpi OeoXoylas is a dissertation on the knowledge of God.1 Many centuries later Abelard generalized the expression in books which came to bear the titles Theologia Christiana and Introductio ad Theologian. (Abelard speaks himself of " theologia nostra.") 2 It is of interest to note that even in these books the Trinity and Christology are the topics of outstanding importance. In the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas the technical sense is fully established. Except in special circumstances which generally explainthemselves, e.g. " Homeric Theology " (a book by Nagelsbach), Old Testament Theology, Comparative Theology, Natural Theology, the word in modern languages means the theology of the Christian Church. What follows here will be confined to that subject.
While the word points to God as the special theme of the theologian, other topics inevitably find entrance. Theistic Contents philosophy thinks of God as the absolute being; and of every monotheistic religion insists, not indeed that theology. the knowledge of God includes all knowledge, but that this supremely important knowledge throws fresh light upon everything. So, with an added Christian intensity, St Paul declares: " If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new. But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ " (2 Cor. v. 17, 18). A minimum division might be threefold - Gottesbegriff, Selbstbeurteilung, Weltanschauung.3 But historically it is more important to note that Christian theology has developed as a doctrine concerning Christ: his relation to God, our relation to God in or through him. For Christ is viewed as bringing redemption - a conception of importance in many religions, but in none so important as in Christianity. Indeed, another possibility opens up here. Instead of being mainly a doctrine concerning God, or one concerning Christ, theology may be construed as being mainly the theory of Christian experience. Most schools of theology will concur, however, in giving prominence to a complementary point of view and making their systems a study of Divine revelation. Even if they accept Natural Theology, they generally hold that Christian theology, properly so called, begins at a further point. Those who deny this were formerly called Naturalists, i.e. deniers of supernatural revelation; those who extend the province of reason in theology, and push back the frontier of revelation, are often called Rationalists!' Such being the Theology usual point of view, it is plain that the claim of as a theology to be a science, or a group of sciences, is science. made in a sense of its own. In so far as theology is orderly, coherent, systematic, and seeks to rest upon good grounds of some sort, it may be called a science. But, in so far as it claims to deal with special revelation, it lifts itself out of the circle of the sciences, and turns away from natural know 1 Other usages of O€oXoyla are the Divine nature of Christ (St John Chrysostom, quoted in Konstantinides' Greek Lexicon), Old and New Testaments (Theodoret, ib.); Greek theology and Mosaic or revealed theology (Theodoret).
F. Nitzsch in Herzog-Plitt, Realencyk. (1877). Fuller details regarding Abelard's writings in the same author's art. in HerzogHauck (1896).
So Ritschl, following Schleiermacher, Der Christliche Glaube, § 30.
A. W. Benn (History of English Rationalism in the zgth Cent.) goes beyond ordinary usage in defining rationalism as a militant theory opposed to all belief in God.
ledge towards what it regards as more intimate messages from God.
Two special usages should be noted: (1) a medieval use of " theology " for mystical or intuitive knowledge of God, as in the well-known book called Theologia Germanica; (2) " theology proper," in Protestant systems, is the portion of theology which deals directly with the doctrine of God.
Another characteristic of theology is its secondary and reflective character. Religion, therefore, is earlier than theo logy. Or the theology which religion contains is in Theology a state of solution - vaguely defined and suffused and with emotion; important practically, but intellectu- Religion. ally unsatisfying. " Scientific " theology contrasts with this as a laboratory extract. History may soften the contrast by discovering transitional forms, and by showing the religious interest at work in theology as well as the scientific interest affecting early utterances of religion. Still, this contrast enters into the meaning of divines when they say that they are at work upon a science. A religious man need no more be a theologian than a poet need have a theory of aesthetics.
Where, then, are we to look for Christian theology? It is not the truism it may seem if we reply that we are to find it in the writings of theologians. As authorities control- Sources. ling their work, theologians may name the Bible, or tradition, or the religious consciousness, or the Church, or some combination of these. But the teaching of the Bible is not systematic, and the authority of consciousness is vague; while the creeds into which Church tradition crystallizes emerge out of long theological discussions. Ordinarily, doctrine has been in close connexion not only with edification but with controversy. Anselm of Canterbury stands almost alone among the great theological masters in working purely from a scientific interest; this holds alike of his contribution to theism and of his doctrine of Atonement. Among the earlier theological statements are catechetical books, e.g. Cyril of Jerusalem. These books record doctrinal instruction given, for practical ends, to laymen of adult years who were candidates for baptism. Disinterested discussions by experts for experts is medieval rather than primitive. Modern catechisms in the form of question and answer for the instruction of baptized children are sometimes convenient if dry summaries of doctrine (e.g. the Westminster Assembly's Shorter Catechism); but sometimes they have the glow of religious tenderness, like Luther's Lesser Catechism, or the Heidelberg Catechism. They generally expound (I) The Apostles' Creed, (2) the Ten Commandments, (3) the Lord's Prayer. Medieval theology has an appearance of keeping in touch with the Apostles' Creed when it divides the substance of doctrine into (usually) twelve " articles " - not always the same twelve - a reminiscence of the legendary composition of the Creed in twelve sections by the twelve apostles. This treatment, however, has little real influence upon the structure of medieval theology. German Protestant writers, again, following their catechisms, often distinguish three articles - of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This, too, is no more than convenient phraseology.
Before the Christian age, there had been a good deal of reflective thinking in the Jewish schools, though the interest there was legal rather than speculative. To some extent Christianity in- Jewish herited this Jewish theology. True, Jesus Christ sprang theology. from the people. He was a layman (Paul Wernle), without technical Jewish lore. The great attainment of the Old Testament, ethical monotheism, had become the common property of the nation; it occurs in Christianity as a simple presupposition. Early Christian writers find it unnecessary to prove what no one dreams of questioning. Along with this great doctrine there pass on into Christianity the slowly attained hope of resurrection and the dreadful doctrine of future punishment for the wicked. Leading thoughts in the teaching of Jesus, so far as they are new, are the Fatherhood of God - new at least in the central place given it - the imminence of the " kingdom " or judgment of God, and Jesus' own place as " Messiah," i.e. as king (and as judge). The "second founder" of Christianity, Paul of Tarsus, was indeed rabbinically trained. His recoil from Judaism is all the more intense because of St Paul. the special intellectual presuppositions which he continues to share with Judaism. In many respects, Pauline Christianity is the obverse of the Pharisaic creed. Modern Christians are tempted to charge the seeming extravagance of St Paul's thought upon his Jewish inheritance, while modern Jews are tempted to stigmatize them as grotesque exaggerations of reasonable rabbinical doctrines. Probably both are right, and both wrong. The germs were Jewish; but, transported to a new soil, and watered with a new enthusiasm, they assumed new forms. These cannot claim the merit of correctness, but they are works of religious genius. At the same time, they employ all the resources of dialectic, and have, therefore, taken quite half the journey from primary religion to theology. But the dislocation of religious thinking, when Christianity ceased to be a Jewish faith and found a home with Gentiles, destroyed the continuity of Paulinism and of Jewish thought working through St Paul. In later times, when Paulinism revived, the epistles spoke for themselves, though they were not always correctly understood. It should be added that, according to A. Harnack, Hellenistic Judaism had worked out the principles of a theology which simply passed on into the Greek-speaking Christian Church.
Besides the teaching of Jesus (best preserved in the first three gospels) and the teaching of Paul (in six, ten, or thirteen epistles), the recent " science " of New Testament Contents of New theology finds other types of doctrine. The Epistle to Testa- the Hebrews is a parallel to Paulinism, working out ment. upon independent lines the finality of Christianity and its superiority to the Old Testament. The Johannine Gospel and Epistles are later than Paulinism, and presuppose its leading or less startling positions. Whatever historical elements may be preserved in Christ's discourses as given in the Fourth Gospel, these discourses fit into the author's type of thought better than into the synoptical framework. They have been transformed. i Peter is good independent Paulinism. The Epistle of James may breathe a Christianized Jewish legalism, or, as others hold, it may breathe the legalism (not untouched by Jewish influences) of popular Gentile-Christian thought. The Johannine Apocalypse is chiefly interesting as an apocalypse. F. C. Baur and his school interpreted it as a manifesto of anti-Pauline Jewish Christianity; on the contrary, it closely approaches Paul's doctrine of the Atonement and his Christology. Other writings are of less importance. Acts is indeed of interest in showing us Paulinism in a later stage; the writer wishes to reproduce his great master's thought, but his Paulinism is simplified and cut down. Possibly the Pastoral Epistles show the same process. When we go outside the New Testament, this involuntary lack of grasp becomes even more marked.
Neither the theory of infallible inspiration, with its assertion of absolute uniformity in the New Testament, nor Baur's criticism, with its assertion of irreconcilable antagonisms, is borne out by facts, The New Testament is many-sided, but it has a predominant spiritual unity. Only in minor details do contradictions emerge. It is to be remembered that criticism has broken up the historical unity of the New Testament collection and placed many of its components side by side with writings which have never been canonized, and which conservative writers had supposed to be distinctly later. But in regard to date there has been a remarkable retreat from the earlier critical assertions. And at any rate, since the New Testament canon was set up, New Testament writings have had a theological influence which no others can claim.
On both sides of the great transition from being a Jewish to being a Gentile faith, Christianity, according to recent study, mani Enthus fested itself as " enthusiastic." We may distinguish m." several points in this conception. (I) Most important, ias perhaps - the end of the world was held to be close at hand. " Kingdom of God " as generally used was an eschatological concept; and, whatever difficulties there may be as to certain gospel passages, Christ, to say the least, cannot have disclaimed this view. The watchword rings through all the New Testament- " the Lord is at hand." A broader popular form was given to this expectation in " Chiliasm " - the doctrine of the " Thousand " years' reign 1 of Christ on earth (Rev. xx. 1-7). But even Chiliasm - which itself has its subtler and its grosser modifications - is found in early Gentile as well as in early Jewish Christianity. (2) I Corinthians shows us a Christian community filled with disturbances, and apparently without recognized officials. The democratic, or rather theocratic, rights of the spiritual man were for a time relied on to extemporize so much Church government as might be needed till the Master returned. Yet the beginnings of Church order come earlier than those of doctrine proper, and much earlier than the cooling of eschatological hopes. (3) There are traces inside and 1 Four hundred years is another significant figure in the Jewish book, 4 Ezra.
outside the New Testament of aversion to receiving back into Church fellowship those who, after confessing Christ, had been guilty of grave sins. The New Testament evidence is by no means uniform (contrast Heb. vi. 4-6, x. 26-31; i John v. 16; with 2 Cor. ii. 7); but this high conception of Church holiness is attested by a series of rigorist " heresies" during the early centuries; and nothing could be more characteristic of eschatological enthusiasm. Those who had fallen were not banished from hope, even by the rigorists. Still, their case was held over for a higher Judge; while the Church, especially in these more Puritian and separatist groups, kept her garments white. (4) The enthusiastic view of the possibilities of the Christian life - associated, as modern and especially Western Christians must suspect, with shallow external views of sin - lent itself to belief in sinless perfection. Even St Paul has been supposed, not without a certain plausibility, to teach the sinless perfection of real Christians. The West, with its theology protesting in the background, but in vain, still sings the prayer of the Te Deum: " Vouchsafe, 0 Lord, to keep us this day without sin." Such an enthusiastic temper does not lend itself to cool theory. Why should theology labour at definitions? " The Lord is at hand; " a Christian's one wisdom is to be ready to Material meet him. And yet materials for theology were richly f ur provided even during this period. That is true above all theology. of the man whom we know best in New Testament days St Paul. Himself through and through animated with the joyful hope, even when prepared to surrender (2 Cor. v. 8; Phil. i. 23, ii. 17) the prospect of personal survival (i Thess. iv. 17; i Cor. xv. 51, 52) until that bright day, yet as a teacher he lays such stress upon Christ's first coming that the emphasis on the second Advent may be struck out - leaving still, we might almost claim, a complete Paulinism. He who planned his campaigns to the great civilized centres of Corinth, Ephesus and Rome, and thus prepared for a historic future of which he did not dream, drew his parallels of thought with no less firm hand, and showed himself indeed " a wise master-builder." In one aspect Montanism is the central reaction of the primitive Christian enthusiasm against the forces which were transforming its character. Of course it had other aspects and elements as well. Hippolytus and Novatian repeat the protest less vehemently; Donatism shows it blended with later hierarchical ideas.
But, when the enthusiasm cooled, it was Greek thought which interpreted the contents of Christianity. The process of change is called by Harnack sometimes " secularization" and sometimes ' Hellenization." "Acute Hellenizing," we are told, took the form of Gnosticism. The Gnostics were the " first theologians." When the Church in turn began to produce a theology of her own she was imitating as well as guarding against those wayward spirits. What was to be the central topic? The Church's first creed had been " the Fatherhood of God and the Messiahship of Jesus " (A Ritschl); but the " Rule of Faith " (Irenaeus; Tertullian, who uses the exact expression; Origen)- that summary of religiously important facts which was meant to ward off error without reliance on speculations such as the Logos doctrine - built itself up along the lines of the baptismal formula of Matt. xxviii. 19.2 There are traces in the New Testament of a baptismal confession simply of the name of Christ (I Cor. i. 13, 15; Rom. vi. 2; cf. even the late verse Acts viii. 37), not of the threefold name. Moreover, textual criticism points to an early type of reading in Matt. xxviii. 19 without the threefold formula. Still, it is strange how completely this seemingly isolated passage takes command of the development of early theology.
Out of the Rule of Faith there came in time what tradition miscalls the Apostles' Creed - the Roman baptismal creed, a formulary of great importance in all the West; then other creeds, which also are in a sense expansions of the Rule of Faith. The Greek mind threw itself upon the problem - who precisely is Jesus Christ the Lord? His Messiahship is asserted; who then is D octrine the Messiah? and this second figure in the baptismal o f Tri n i ty confession? A provisional answer, linking Christian and of theology with the philosophical theology of antiquity, Person of asserted Jesus Christ to be the divine Logos. But this Christ. assertion was expanded and refined upon till two great doctrines had been built up - that of the Trinity of divine Persons in the unity of the Godhead, and that of the union of two distinct natures, divine and human, in the person of Jesus Christ. It is curious that the Syrian church of the 4th century (e.g. Aphraates) was almost unaffected by the great dogmatic debates. But there is no hint of a reasoned rejection of Greek developments in favour of primitive simplicity, still less of any independent theological development. Aphraates accepts the Logos Christology, and, soon after his time, his church is found on the beaten track of orthodoxy.
If -Harnack is right in regarding a New Testament canon as one of the " Apostolical authorities " which the Church brought into the field against Gnosticism, we see the truth on historical grounds of the position taught on dogmatic grounds by R. Rainy (Delivery and Development of Christian Doctrine) - scriptural faith not the starting-point but the goal of theological development. The starting-point is rather the " Rule of Faith." Modern Christians generally trust this development; and all of them must admit that it seeks to answer a question arising out of the elements of New Testament belief. There is one God; but also there is one Lord; how are the two related? The strongest claim that can be put forward for the doctrine of the Trinity is that it is loyal to Christ without being disloyal to the Divine unity. Concurrently, there was a speculative or philosophical interest; and some prefer to defend Trinitarianism as a reconciliation of the personality with the infinity of God. But the biblical materials worked up in the doctrine betray little sign of any except a religious interest. We may take it as well established that St Paul (2 Cor. viii. 9: Phil. ii. 5-11) taught the personal pre-existence of Christ. A. M. Fairbairn (Phil. of Christian Religion, p. 476) has argued that Paul could not have given this teaching unless he had known of Christ's advancing the claim. Fairbairn barely refers to the Fourth Gospel in this connexion, and it is doubtful whether Matt. xi. 27 will bear such weight as he puts upon it. Of course, we might seek to infer an unwritten tradition of Christ's words; but without pedantic ultra-Protestant devotion to written scripture, one may distrust on scientific grounds the attempt to reconstruct tradition by a process of inference. If such records as John vi. 36, viii. 58, xvii. 3, 4 can be taken as historical, we may feel certain that Jesus taught his pre-existence. If not, modern Christian minds will hardly regard the doctrine as more than a speculation. Yet we should mention another argument of some weight. There is no trace that any Jewish Christian critics challenged St Paul's Christology. This may point to its being the Christology of the whole Church. If so, who could first teach it except the one Master?
W. Bousset has suggested that the title " Son of Man " (Dan. vii. 13), used by Jesus, may have come to imply for all early Christians personal pre-existence. W. Wrede and others have more boldly conjectured that the Christ's pre-existence had become an accepted element in Jewish Messianic - it certainly occurs in one portion of the Book of Enoch and in 4 Ezra'--and chat Paul merely transferred to Jesus a doctrine which he had held while still in the Jews' religion. " Son of God " might seem to carry us further still; but the Old Testament makes free use of the title as a metaphorical honour, and we have no proof that any Jewish school interpreted the phrase differently.
The rival type of early theology is known as Adoptionism or Adoptianism. According to it, the man Jesus was exalted to Messianic or divine rank. It has been argued that m. the narrative of Christ's baptism points to an Adoptionist is Christclogy, and that the genealogies of Jesus (through Joseph) presuppose this type of belief, if not a still lower view of Christ's person. It has further been argued that the narratives of the Virgin birth (Matthew, Luke) are an intermediate stage in Christology. When pre-existence is clearly taught (Paul, John), virgin birth, it is suggested, loses its importance; another theory of Divine Sonship has established itself. This trenchant analysis is, however, not universally admitted. Further development of doctrine weeded out the last traces of Adoptionist belief, 2 though Christ's exaltation continued to be taught in correlation to His humiliation (Phil. ii. 8), and became in due time a dogmatic locus in Protestantism.
The lineaments of Greek Christian theology show themselves more clearly in Justin Martyr than in the other Apologists, but still more plainly in Irenaeus, who, with little speculative power, keeps the safe middle path. Tertullian's legal training as a lawyer was a curious coincidence, if nothing more, and those legal concepts which show themselves strongly in him have done much to mould the Western type of Christian theology. He had great influence on the course of Latin theology, partly through his own writings, but still more through the spell he cast upon Cyprian. At Alexandria, Clement and his great pupil Origen state Christianity in terms of philosophy. Origen's treatise, De Principiis, origen. is the first and in some respects the greatest theo logical system in the whole of Church history. The Catechetical school was primarily meant for instructing adult inquirers into Christianity. But it had attained the rank of a Christian university; and in this treatise Origen does not furnish milk for babes; he writes for himself and for like-minded friends. Wildly conjectural as it may seem, his thinking - though partly Greek and only in part biblical - is The passages referred to have sometimes, but with no great probability, been regarded as Christian infiltrations.
2 Adoptionism is one species of Monarchianism. The other species, Modalism, has its most important type historically in Sabellianism. And the name Sabellianism is often loosely applied (e.g. to Swedenborgianism) to any modalistic Monarchianism (Christ one phase of God. Not three persons in the Godhead, but a threefold revelation of a God strictly one in person).
completely fused together in his own mind. Nor does it ever suffer from lack of thoroughness. It may be summed up in one word as the theology of free will.
Unfaltering use is made of that conception as a key to all religious and moral problems. Usually, apologists and divines are hampered by the fact that, beyond a certain limited range, men cannot be regarded as separable moral units. A new world, after death, may be called in to redress the balance of the old; but anomalies remain which faith in a future immortality does not touch. Origen called in a second new world - that of pre-existence. All souls were tried once, with equal privilege; all fell, save one, who steadily clave to the Logos, and thus merited to become in due time the human soul of Jesus Christ. No higher function could be given to free will; unless, by an extravagance, some theologian should teach that the Almighty Himself had merited His sovereignty by the virtuous use of freedom. On the other hand, a shadow is cast upon the future by Origen's fear that incalculable free will may again depart from God. Human birth in a grossly material body is partly due to the pre-temporal fall of souls; here we see in Origen the Greek, the dualist (mind and matter), the ascetic, and to some extent the kinsman of the Gnostics. But he breaks away again when he asserts that God ever wills to do good, and is seeking each lost soul until He find it. Even Satan must repent and live.' It was not possible that this brilliant tour de force should become the theology of Christendom. Origen contributed one or two points to the central development of thought; e.g. the Son of God is " eternally " begotten in a continuous process. But while to Origen creation also was a continuous process, an unspeculative orthodoxy struck out the latter point as inconsistent with biblical teaching; and we must grant that the eternal generation of the Divine Son adds a more distinctive glory to the Logos when it is no longer balanced by an eternal creation. While the Church thus lived upon fragments of Origen's wisdom, lovers of the great scholar and thinker, who had dominated his age, and reconciled many a heretic to his own version of orthodoxy, must submit to have him branded as a heretic in later days, when all freedom of thought was falling under suspicion.
For a time, freedom in scholarship lingered in the younger rival of Alexandria, the school of Antioch; though speculation was never so strong there. Alexandria, on the other hand, tended to be unduly speculative and allegorizing even in its scholarship. The antagonism of the two schools governs much of the history of doctrine; and behind it we can trace in part the contrast between Church Platonism and what churchmen called Aristotelianism.
Arius, a Libyan by birth, of Antioch by training (though earlier than the greatest days 'of that theological school), and a presbyter of Alexandria, represents the working of Aristotelianism. His chief opponent, Athanasius, is probably the greatest Christian, if Origen is the greatest thinker, among all the Greek fathers. Few will deny that Athanasius stood for the Christian view of the questions at issue, upon the prin ciples held in common by all disputants. Arius repre- asius. sented a shallow if honest intellectualism. He found it necessary to think clearly and define sharply; but Athanasius found it necessary to believe in a divine redemption. According to Harnack, Athanasius simplified the faith of his time by fastening on the essential point - human immortality or " deification through the Incarnation of true God. Cosmic theories of the work of a Logos subordinate to the Father fell into the background. 'Owool o os, successfully discredited earlier as a Sabellian formula by Paul of Samosata, was now found to be the one unambiguous term which asserted that Christ was truly God (Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325) and uir60-rants (Lat. persona) became the technical name for each of the Divine Three. Athanasius himself tried to draw a distinction between affirming the Son oµoouvaoc, and calling Him ,uovoouvcos. Yet it seems plain that he considered Sabellianizing reduction of the Divine Persons to phases or modes in the unity a lesser evil than regarding the Logos (with Arius) as a creature, however dignified. This was made plain by the leniency of Athanasius towards Marcellus of Ancyra. In those days there was no word for. ` Person " as modern philosophy defines it; perhaps no word would have served the purpose of the Church if precisely so defined. The result is, however, that a critic of doctrine sometimes questions whether Athanasianism offers a definition of the mystery at all, or only.
Harnack takes a different view of Origen; the certainty of ultimate salvation overbears free will with a sort of physical necessity. He also thinks that in Origen's esoteric doctrine the historical Christ becomes unimportant. That is a severe judgment.
a set of sanctioned phrases, and a longer list of phrases which .are proscribed as heretical. The long and dubious conflicts of opinion concern Church history but left few traces on doctrine; Athanasius never flinched through all the reaction against Nicaea, and his faith ultimately conquered the Catholic Church. There is only this to notice, that it conquered under the great Cappadocians (Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa), who. represented a somewhat different type of teaching.' The Trinity in Unity stood firm; but, instead of recognizing God as one yet in some sense three, men now began to recognize three Divine beings, somewhat definitely distinguished in rank each from each and yet in some sense one. Athanasius's piety is thus brought into association with the details of Logos speculation. The new type passed on into the West through Augustine, and the so-called Athanasian creed, which states an s Augustinian version of Greek dogma. There is indeed one immense change. Subordinationism is blotted out,. more even than by Athanasius. On these lines modern popular orthodoxy maintains the doctrine of the Trinity. It seeks to prove its case by asserting first the divinity of Christ, and secondly the personality of the Holy Spirit. The modern idea of personality, though with doubtful fairness, helps the change.
The first great supplement of the doctrine of the Logos or Son was the more explicit doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Macedonius, who defended the semi-Arian or Homoiousian position that the Spirit was merely a Divine in Spirit. fluence - Origen had held the Spirit to be a creature - was branded as a heretic (Synod of Alexandria, 362; Council of Constantinople, 381); a strong support to Cappadocian or modern Trinitarianism. Then, in the light of the affirmation of Christ's full divinity, the problems of His person necessarily received further attention. Did the Divine Logos take the place of the higher rational soul in the humanity of Jesus ? So Apollinaris or Apollinarius of Laodicea taught, but the Council of Constantinople (381) marked the position as heretical. Did the two natures, human and divine, remain so separated in Jesus as to jeopardize the unity of His person ? This was the view which Cyril of Alexandria ascribed to Nestorius, who hesitated to call Mary Ocorkos, and represented the tradition of the Antiochene school. Such views were marked as heretical by the Council of Ephesus (431), the decision resulting in a profound and lasting schism. Did the two natures coalesce in Jesus so as to constitute a single nature? This is the Monophysite or Eutychian view, developed out of the Alexandrian tradition (" Eutychianism is simply Cyrillianism run mad," A. B. Bruce). The Council of Chalcedon (451) rejected the Alexandrian extreme in its turn, guided by Leo of Rome's celebrated letter, and thus put the emphasis on the duality rather than the unity in Christ's person. Another grave and lasting schism was the result. Two great doctrinal traditions had thus been anathematized; the narrow line of orthodoxy sought still to keep the middle track. Was there at least unity of will in Jesus? No, said orthodoxy; He had two independent faculties of will, divine and human. The Maronites of Syria, reconciled to the see of Rome in 1182, probably represent the Monothelete schism. John of Damascus's theory of Enhypostasy (Christ's manhood not impersonal, but made personal only through union with His Godhead) is held by some to be the copingstone of this great dogmatic development.
In the Trinity the problem is to combine independence and unity; in Christology, to combine duality of nature 2 with the unity of the person. Verbally this is done; is it done substantially? The question, Who is Jesus Christ? has been pushed to the very end, and authoritatively answered in the definitions of Church orthodoxy. With these the Orthodox Greek Churches - and with 1 Harnack and F. Loofs describe them as belonging to the Homoiousian party - believers in the Son's " likeness of essence " to the Father's, not " identity of essence." Bethune Baker vehemently denies that these great leaders were contented with Homoiousianism. Anyway, we must remember that radical theology had gone to much greater extremes in denial (Anomaeans - the Son unlike the Father). It was not by any means exclusively the " battle of a diphthong." 2 Spanish Adoptianism breaks up the unity almost without disguise.
their divergent decisions the various non-Orthodox Eastern Churches, Coptic, Armenian, &c. - desire to rest satisfied; theology has finished its work, unless in so far as it is to be codified. It is never true while men live that thought is at a standstill; but, as nearly as it may be true, Eastern theology has made it so. In the West the decisions of the great councils have been accepted as a datum. They enter into the basis of theology; results attained by long struggles in the East are simply presuppositions to the West; but, for the most part, no independent interest attaches to them in the Western world. They are taken as involved in redemption from sin - in the Atonement, or in the sacraments. Belief in the Trinity is almost unbroken. Western Christendom wishes to call Christ God; even the Ritschlian school uses the wonted language in the light of its own definitions. For others, the Trinity is the accepted way of making that confession. It becomes of practical importance, according to S. T. Coleridge, 3 in connexion with Redemption. It passes, therefore, as a datum of revelation. In Christology the tradition has been more frequently challenged since the Reformation.
Harnack criticizes the doctrinal development. He considers that Christianity is best defended on the basis of the doctrine that Christ is a man chosen and equipped for His task by God. But in the Eastern Church the religious interest, as he thinks, points to Monophysitism. Dyophysite orthodoxy has sterilized Eastern Christianity, or thrown it upon inferior forms of piety. Of course this does not mean that Harnack considers monophysitism nearer the historic truth, or nearer the normal type of Christian thought. On the contrary, he would hold that the scholarly tradition of Antioch more nearly reaches the real historical manhood of Jesus. But if it be presupposed that the purpose of Christ's mission was to deify men by bestowing physical immortality, then we must assume, first, Christ's essential Godhead, and, secondly, the fusion of His divine and human natures. Whatever be the truth in the assertion that death rather than sin is the enemy dreaded by Eastern Christianity, and immortality rather than forgiveness the blessing craved, it is difficult to take the talk about deification as anything more than rhetoric. Did they not start from belief in one God ? Was not polytheism still a living enemy ? It is a more obvious, if perhaps a more vulgar, criticism of the great development to say that it was too simply intellectual - seeking clear-cut definitions and dogmas without measuring the resources at the command of Christians or the urgency of their need for such things. We are sometimes told that the councils simply denied error after error, affirming little or nothing. But the Trinity and the Hypostatic Union are vast speculative constructions reared upon slender biblical data. To complain of the over-subtlety of a theological adversary is a recognized move in the game; it may constantly be played in good faith; it proves little or nothing. The facts appear to be, that the Church embarked confidently on the task of blending philosophy and religion, that the Trinity satisfied most minds in that age as a rational (i.e. neo-platonic) construction, but that in Christology the data or the methods proved less tractable. If two natures, divine and human, are added to each other, what can the humanity be except one drop in the ocean of divine power, wisdom, goodness ? The biblical authorities plainly set forth " the man Christ Jesus," but theological science failed to explain how Godhead and manhood came together in unity. Fact and theory sprang asunder; for theory had done its utmost, and was baffled. Another admission ought to be made. Western contributions to the prolonged debate constantly tended to take the form of asserting truths of faith rather than theories. Yet what was the whole process but a colossal theory?
One perplexity connected with theology is the question, How far does Christianity succeed in embodying its essential interests in its doctrines ? The Orthodox Eastern Church might seem to have succeeded beyond all others. Factions of lay-folk, who quarrelled furiously over in shades of opinion never heard of in the West, and h scarcely intelligible to Western minds even if expounded, might seem to have placed their sincerity beyond all question. And yet there were at least two other developments which were important in the East and proved still more so in the West - the legal development and the sacramental. The name " Catholic " is one which Protestant Christians may well 3 Cf. Aids to Reflection, Aphorism 2, Comment.
4 A. M. Fairbairn takes the rather unusual view that Greek Christian theology was the climax of the process of Greek philosophy, and so far alien to piety, although he is far from banishing speculation out of theology. Christ in Modern Theol., pp. 81, 90, 183.
hesitate to resign to their rivals. Yet there is convenience and no small significance in connecting the term with a certain characteristic and un-Protestant type of the Christian religion. Catholicism is not dogma only, but dogma plus law plus sacrament. From very early days Christianity was hailed as the " new law "; and the suppression of the rigorist sects, by definitely giving law supremacy over enthusiasm, aggrandized it, but at the same time aggrandized the sacraments. The Western Christian must needs hold that the Eastern development was incomplete. It laid these things side by side; it did not work them into a unity. The latter task was accomplished with no little power by the Western Church in the period of its independent development.' The Greek and the Roman Catholic Churches stand united against Protestantism in the general theory of law and of sacraments; but a Protestant can hardly doubt that, if Catholicism is to be accepted, a Catholic organization, and doctrine are better furnished by the Western Church than by the arrested development of its rival.
The theory of asceticism had also to be more fully worked out and better harmonized with Church authority. The priesthood had successive rivals to face. First in the period of " enthusiasm," the prophets; then the martyrs and confessors; finally the ascetics.
The last, in regulated forms, are a permanent feature of Catholicism; and the rivalries of these " regular " clergy with their " secular" or parochial brethren continue to make history to-day. That the ascetic life is intrinsically higher, that not every one is called to it, that the call is imperious when it comes, and that asceticism must be developed under Church control - all this may be common to East and West. But, in the utilization of the monks as the best of the Church's forces, the Western Church far surpasses the East, where meditation rather than practical activity is the monastic ideal. In the West, " enthusiasm," in the transformation under which it survives, is not merely bridled but harnessed and set to work.
The new developments of the West could not grow directly out of Eastern or even out of early Western conditions. They grow out of the influence of Ambrose of Milan, but far more of Augustine of Hippo; and behind the latter to no small degree there is the greater influence of St Paul. Intellectual developments do not go straight onward; there are sharp and sudden reactions. Pelagianism, the rival and contradiction of Augustinianism, represents a mode of thought which appeared early in Christianity and which could count upon sympathizers both in East and in West. But, when the Christian world was faced with the clear-cut questions, Was this, then, how it conceived man's relation to God? and Did it mean this by merit? Augustine without much difficulty secured the answer " No." In the East (Council of Ephesus, 431) he was helped by the entanglement of Pelagianism with Nestorianism, just as in the West the ruin of Nestorian prospects was occasioned partly by dislike for the better known system of Pelagianism. In Augustine's own case, reaction against Pelagianism was not needed in order to make his position clear. He may have left a vulnerable frontier in his earlier dealings with the same thorny problem of free will. Certainly his polemic as a Christian against the Manichaeism of his youth constitutes a curious preface to his vehement rejection of Pelagian libertarianism. Once again, a narrow track of orthodoxy midway between the obvious landmarks! But Augustine had a deeply religious nature, and passed through deep personal experiences; these things above all gave him his power. He was also genius and scholar and churchman, transmitting uncriticized the dogmas of Athanasianism and the philosophy of ancient Greece, according to his understanding of them. Without forgetting that Augustine was partly a symptom and only in part a cause - without committing ourselves to the one-sidedness of the great-man method of construing history - we must do justice to his supreme greatness. If earlier times lived upon fragments of Origen, the generations of the West since Augustine have largely lived upon fragments 1 Loofs declares that the very conception of a means of grace is medieval.
xxvi. 2, 5 a of his thought and experience. On the other hand, not even the authority of Paul and of Augustine has been able to keep alive the belief in unconditional predestination. If in the West Athanasianism is a datum, but unexamined, and not valued for its own sake, Augustinianism is a bold interpretation of the essential piety of the West, but an interpretation which not i even piety can long endure - morally burdensome if religiously mpressive. The clock is wound up at the great crises of history, but proceeds to run down, and does so even more rapidly in Protestantism than in Catholicism. It may be held by hostile critics that the whole thing is a delusion. More sympathetic judgments will divine unquenchable vitality in a faith whose very paradoxes rise up in new power again and again. Augustine's (erroneous) interpretation of the Millennium (Rev. xx.), as a parable of the Church's historic triumph, stands for the final eradication of primitive " enthusiasm " in the great Church, though of course millenarianism has had many revivals in special circles.
Even if the Augustinian stream is the main current of Western piety, there are feeders and also side-currents. Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, Gregory the Great are known as the four Latin Fathers. Jerome is very great as a scholar, and Pope Gregory as an administrator. As a writer, too, Gregory modifies Augustinian beliefs into forms which make them more available for Church teaching - a process very characteristic of Western Catholicism and carried still further in later centuries (notably by Peter Lombard). Perhaps two side-currents of piety should be named. There is an ethical rationalism which can never be wholly suppressed in the Christian Church by the Pauline or Augustinian soteriology. One thinks one sees traces of it, though held down by other influences, in the whole of medieval theology, and notably in Abelard. It disengages itself in the 17th century as Socinianism and in the 18th as Rationalism or Deism. Secondly there is a strong side-current in the mystical tradition, which we may perhaps treat as the modified form under which the philosophical theology of the Greek Church maintained its life in the medieval West. If so, Mysticism includes in itself a prophecy of modern Christian Platonism or idealism, with its cry of " Back to Alexandria." A Western echo of the Christological controversies of the East is found in the Adoptianism of Spain 785-818). These Adoptianists do not hold that Christ the person is adopted (He is God by birth), but his human nature may be. 2 There might be need of this, indeed, if the Adoptianists' theory of redemption were to stand, according to which Christ had taken to Himself a sinful human nature, and had washed it clean. This extreme assertion of duality as against Christological unity was naturally marked as heretical.
Great advance is made in organizing Catholic theology by the fuller theory of sacraments. The East had a tentative hesitating doctrine of transubstantiation; 3 the West defines it with absolute precision (cf. Paschasius Radbertus against Ratramnus; the fourth Lateran Council, 1215). But if the medieval Church and modern Catholics regard the Eucharist as the principal sacrament, Protestants can hardly keep from assigning the supreme place, in the medieval system, to the sacrament of penance. If early " enthusiasm " conceived the Christian as almost entirely free from acts of sin, and if Protestant Paulinism conceives the child of God as justified by faith once for all, the full Catholic theory, representing one development of Augustinianism, views the Christian as an invalid, perpetually dependent on the good offices of the Church. The number of sacraments is fixed at seven,4 first by Peter Lombard, and the essence of the three sacraments which do not allow of repetition - baptism, confirmation, orders - is defined as a " character " 5 imprinted on the soul and never capable of being lost. We must mark the advance in formal completeness. Theology is now not merely the dogma of the Divine nature or of Christ's person; it is also a dogmatic 2 The term Adoptianism arose at this time. Modern theologians carry it back to much earlier views.
3 Until indeed, in modern times, Greek theology accepted the Western term and definition.
4 This, too, has been adopted in modern Greek theology.
5 Augustine already has this conception (Loofs). A hostile critic might say that the conception affirms the absolute worth of sacraments while absolutely declining to say what they accomplish.
theory of how the Christian salvation is conveyed through sacraments to sinful men. On the other hand, a theology which is mainly sacramental is overtaken pretty soon by dumbness. It is of the essence of a sacrament to be an inscrutable process.
Theories of legal merit, amount of debt, supererogatory goodness, and ascetic claim - representing the aspect of Catholicism as law - are more and more worked out. The occasion of the formal separation of East and West - the Western doctrine of the twofold " procession " of the Holy Spirit, incorporated in the (so-called Nicene) creed itself (" filioque ") - is of little or no real theological importance. The schism was due to race rivalries, and to dislike for the ever-growing claims of the see of Rome.
An important contribution to doctrine is contained in the Cur Deus Homo of Anselm of Canterbury. The doctrine of Atonement, destined to be the focus of Protestant evangelicalism, has remained undefined in Catholic circles,' an implicate or presupposition, but no part of the explicit and authorized creeds. When treated in the early centuries, it was frequently explained by saying that Christ's sufferings bought off the devil's claim to sinful man, and some of the greatest theologians (e.g. Gregory of Nyssa) added that the devil was finely outwitted - attracted by the bait of Christ's humanity, but caught by the hidden hook of His divinity. Anselm holds that it was best for the injured honour of God to receive from a substitute what the sinner was personally in no condition to offer. Whatever other elements and suggestions are present, the atmosphere of the medieval world, and its sense of personal claims, are unmistakable. With Anselm Ritschl takes Abelard, who explains the Atonement simply by God's love, and thus is the forerunner of " moral " or " subjective " modern theories as Anselm is of the " objective " or " forensic " theory. It must be admitted, however, that there is less definiteness of outline in Abelard than in Anselm. He does not even deal with the doctrine as a specialist, in a monograph, but only as an exegete.
Contemporaneously with the new and vivid intellectual life of an Anselm or an Abelard, the " freezing up " of traditionalism is evidenced by the preparation of volumes of Sentences from Scripture and the Fathers. One of the earliest of such collections ,, is that of Isidore (q.v.) of Seville (560-636), who, from this and other writings, ranks among the few channels which conveyed ancient learning to the middle ages. His Sentences are selected almost (though not quite) exclusively from Augustine and Gregory the Great. Direct influence from the Greek Fathers upon the West is vanishing as the Greek language is forgotten. The great outburst of Sentences at a later time has been referred to the consternation produced by Abelard's Sic et Non. The modern reader can hardly banish the impression that Abelard writes in a spirit of sheer mischief. Probably it would be truer to say that he riots in the pleasures of discussion, and in setting tasks to other irresponsible and ingenious spirits. He does not fear to contrast authority with authority, upon each point in succession; the harder the task, the greater the achievement when harmony is reached ! In regard to Scripture alone does he maintain that seeming error or discrepancy must be due to our misinterpretation. If throughout the middle ages Scripture is treated as the ultimate authority in doctrine, yet Abelard seems to stand alone in definitely contrasting Scripture with later authorities. Moderns will question the possibility of asserting Bible infallibility a priori; but it is more really startling and noteworthy that Abelard should preserve a living sense of fallibility outside the Bible.
There are many great collections of Sentences, notably by Hugh of St Victor and Peter Lombard. The last-named - though with more continuity of texture than Isidore - quotes largely from the Bible and the Latin Fathers. If Abelard stands for the intellectual daring of scholasticism, Lombard represents its other pole - interest in piety, i.e. in the Church. He is almost timidly cautious. He does not open up difficulties like Abelard, but smoothes them over. This suits the coming age. The great writers of the early centuries were to tell on men's minds not in the breadth of their treatment but in a theological pemmican. And the characteristic task for living theologians was to consist in writing commentaries on the Lombard's Sentences; for a time these Sentences themselves had been suspected, but they gained immense influence.
' Even the Council of Trent defined what Protestants had challenged - nothing else.
Had this been all, Western theology might have sunk into a purely Chinese devotion to ancient classics. But the medieval world had not one authority but two. Thin and turbid, the stream of classical tradition had flowed on through Cassiodorus or Boetius or Isidore; through progress. these, at second-hand, it made itself known and did its work. But before the great outburst of scholasticism, ancient literature found a somewhat less inadequate channel in Arabian and partly even in Jewish scholarship. Aristotle was no longer strained through the meshes of Boetius; study of and the new light inspired Roscellinus with heresy. True, we must not exaggerate this influence. There was no genuine renaissance of civilization, such as marked the dawn of modern history. The medieval world did not copy the free scientific spirit of Aristotle; it made him, so far as known, a sort of philosophical Bible side by side with the theological Bible. But it was a very great matter to have two authorities rather than one. And if any man was to be put in the preposterous position of a secular Bible, no writer was fitter for it than Aristotle. The middle ages did their best in this grouping; only here and there a rare spirit like Roger Bacon did something more, something altogether superior to his age, in showing that the faculty of independent scientific inquiry was not quite extinct. It is possible to exaggerate the influence of the revived knowledge of Aristotle; but, so far as one can trace causes in the mysterious intellectual life of mankind, that influence gave scholasticism its vigour. (See Arabian Philosophy, Scholasticism.) With the new knowledge and impulse, there came a new method. Alexander of Hales is the first to adopt it, in place of the " rhetorical " method of previous theologians. Everything is now matter of debate and argument. The Sentences had resolved theology into a string of headings; with scholasticism each topic dissolves into a string of arguments for and against. These arguments are made up of " rationes " and " auctoritates," philosophical authorities and theological authorities. They are as litigious as a lawsuit - without any summing up; the end comes in a moment with a text of Scripture or an utterance by one of the great Fathers. Once such a dictum has been cited, the rest of the discussion is treated as by-play and goes for nothing. " I am a transmitter," Confucius is reported to have said. The great schoolmen were transmitters - putting in order, stating clearly and consecutively, conclusions reached by wiser and holier men in earlier times. Are the systems self-consistent? Their guarantee is the tireless criticism carried on by rival systems. No parallel display of debating acuteness has ever been seen in the world's history. It is easy to underrate the schoolmen. Indolence in every age escapes difficulties by shirking them, but the schoolmen's activity raised innumerable awkward questions. On the other hand, they possessed to perfection the means of making their speech evasive. If there are hollow places in the doctrinal foundations of the Church, it will be a tacit understanding among the schoolmen that such questions are not to be pressed. Above all, one must not look to a schoolman to speak " a piercing and a reconciling word. " There is no revision of the premises in debate from a higher or even from a detached and independent point of view. The premises from which he may select are fixed; many of the conclusions to be reached are also fixed. He speaks, most cleverly, to his brief, but he will not go outside it. He may argue as he likes so long as he respects the Church's decisions and reaches her conclusions.
The systems of the leading schoolmen must rank above their commentaries upon the Lombard's Sentences, as the greatest of all systems of theology. Especially is that honour due to St Thomas Aquinas's larger Summa Theologiae. 2 We may A well believe that he represents scholastic divinity at its best. He is not an Augustine, still less perhaps an Aristotle, but he is the Aristotle and the Augustine of his age, the normal thinker of the present and the lawgiver of the future. He teaches the medieval Platonic realism, but he accepts the Aristotelian philosophy of his day, marking off certain truths as proved and understood by the light of nature, and stamping those which are not so proved as not understood nor understandable, i.e. as " mysteries," 2 The Summa contra Gentiles has a more polemic or apologetic interest than the dogmatic Summa, but deals almost equally with the contents of Christian theology as a whole. Books i. - iii. are said to deal with what is later known as natural theology, and Book iv. with what is later known as dogmatic. But Aquinas appeals to the Bible as an authority all through. That is not the procedure of modern natural theology.
in the sense in which the term has come to be used by ages that have inherited Aquinas's thoughts. He has Augustine's Predestinarianism, stiffened (according to Loofs) by Arab philosophical determinism, and he has much of Augustine's doctrine of the grace of God, though it is flanked with doctrines of human merit which might have astonished Augustine. The seven sacraments of course have their place in the body of the system, and are exhaustively studied. When we turn to Duns Scotus, we still find realism, still predestinarianism. And yet these are rivals. An at, tempt has been made by R. Seeberg to interpret Duns Scotus as the forerunner of Luther in his emphasis on the prac tical. Expert knowledge and judicial insight must decide the point; but, so far as the present writer can judge, it is illusory to imagine that Duns points us beyond the medieval assumptions. As generally understood, Duns makes caprice supreme in God. The arbitrary divine will makes right right and wrong wrong. Here, says Ritschl, the involuntary logic of predestinarianism speaks its last word. Though he may technically be classed as an " extreme realist, " Duns is the forerunner of those later Nominalists, like William of Occam, who unsettled every intellectual ground of belief in order that they might resettle belief upon Church authority, not reason but rather scepticism being for them the ancilla domini. Later authoritative pronouncements on the part of the Roman Catholic Church favour Thomism and disown the Occamites; though the keen hostile criticism of Harnack affirms that the Church had need of both systems - of Thomism, to champion its cause in the arena of thought, and of the Nominalist theology to aggrandize the Church as the ruling power in practice.
When Protestantism arose, there was urgent need of reform. All sides granted that at the time, and all grant it now. Separation was not contemplated by any one at the first; of Protes- this again is manifest. Yet it is also matter of plain tantism. history that Protestantism is more than a removal of abuses, or even than a removal carried out with reckless disregard of consequences. It is partly an outcome of Luther's personality - of his violence, no doubt, but also of his great qualities. It is due mainly to the dominant tradition in Church doctrine. Augustinianism reacted against attempts to tone it down in theory or neutralize it in practice, until at last it broke loose in the form of Protestantism. But Protestantism is largely due further to the Renaissance. The new knowledge enabled men to read the Bible, like all other ancient books, with a fresh mind. Finally, we have the true central cause in the Pauline doctrine of faith. Evaded by Augustinianism, it came back now, with some at least of its difficulties and paradoxes, but also with its immense attractive and dynamic power. When the Reformers went beyond Augustine to Paul, Protestantism was born.' Even the Counter-Reformation, so far as it was a matter of doctrine (Council of Trent, 1545-63), took the form of reaffirming a cautious version of Augustinianism.
Whether Protestantism found its adequate doctrinal expression is very doubtful. Luther was no systematic thinker; Melanchthon, the theologian of the Lutheran Church, gave his system, the loose form of Loci communes, and went back more and more in successive editions to the traditional lines of doctrinal theory - a course which could not be followed without bringing back much of the older substance along with the familiar forms of thought. To find the distinctive technicalities of Lutheranism we have to leave Melanchthon's system (and his great Reformation creed, the Augsburg Confession) for the Formula of Concord and the lesser men of that later period. In Calvin, indeed,, the Reformed 2 theology possessed a master of system.
We notice in him resolute Predestinarianism - as in Luther, and at first in Melanchthon too; the vehicle of revived Augustinian piety - and resolute depotentiation of sacraments, with their definite reduction to two (admittedly the two chief sacraments) - baptism and the Lord's Supper. In affirming the " inamissibility " of grace in the regenerate (not simply in the unknowable elect) Calvin went beyond Augustine, perhaps beyond Paul, certainly beyond the Epistle to the Hebrews, resolutely loyal to the logic of his non-sacramental theory of grace. Yet, in contrast with the doctrine usually ascribed to Ulrich Zwingli, Calvin teaches that grace does come through sacraments; but then, nothing comes beyond the fruits of faith; from which grace all salvation springs 1 Roman Catholic scholars naturally hold that Paul was misconstrued, but they cannot deny that Protestant theology was directly a version and interpretation of Paulinism.
2 The more radical Protestantism of the non-Lutheran orthodox churches is called in a technical sense " Reformed. " German scholarship generally ranks the Church of England with the " Reformed " churches because of its Articles.
Lutheranism seeks to add, in a sense, a third sacrament, Penance (so even Melanchthon).
necessarily. To use technical language, Calvinism holds that sacraments are needful ex ratione praecepti, (merely) " because commanded. " In contrast with this, orthodox Lutheranism has to teach baptismal regeneration and consubstantiation, as well as justification by faith. It is hard to see how the positions harmonize. Zwingli and Calvin, developing a hint of Hus, introduce a distinction between the visible and the invisible Church which Melanchthon repudiates but later Lutheranism adopts. The Articles of the Church of England (19, 26) speak of the visible Church, but unless by inference do not assert a Church invisible. Upon most points Anglicanism seeks for a via media of its own. Resolutely Protestant in early days and even Calvinistic, it yielded to the suggestions of its episcopal constitution' and sacramental liturgies; and now its theologies range from Calvinism at one extreme to outspoken hatred of Protestantism at the other. Historically, great issues have hung upon the dislike by which High Lutheranism and High Anglicanism, those two midway fortresses between Rome and Geneva, have been estranged from each other.
It is thus plain that the stream of Protestantism was very early split up into separate channels. Did any of these theologies do justice to the great master thought of grace given to faith? Antecedently to their separation from each other the Reformers took over the theology of Greek orthodoxy as a whole. Complaints against that theology may be quoted from early writings of every Reformer, even Calvin. They knew well that the centre of gravity in their own belief lay elsewhere than in the elaborately detailed scheme of relations within the Godhead or in the Theanthropic person. But ultimately they persuaded themselves to accept these definitions as normal and biblical, and as presuppositions of Christ's saving work. The decision had immense results, both for religion and for theology. Nor did the unity of Protestant theology - Lutheran and Calvinist - confine itself to the period before the great divergence. Men of the second or third generation - often called the " Protestant Scholastics " - work together upon two characteristic doctrines which the fathers of Protestantism left vague. The Reformation doctrine of Atonement, while akin to Anselm's, differs in making God the guardian of a system of public law rather than of His private or personal honour. This conception came to be more fully defined. Christ's twofold obedience, (a) active and (b) passive, produces jointly a twofold result, (1) satisfaction to the broken moral law, (2) merit, securing eternal life to Christ's people. 5 There is no such full and careful theory of Atonement in any Catholic theology, and, according to so unbiassed a judge as A. Ritschl, it represents the last word in doctrine along the lines laid down by the Reformers. Could Catholics adopt it? Hardly; for the Protestant assertion of Christ's merit is shadowed, if any doctrine of merit in the Christian is brought in. Yet the very word reminds us of the legal piety which is characteristic of Western popular religion through all its history. We now find " merit " confined to Christ, and the usual application ruled out, somewhat as St Paul's intenser use of Pharisee conceptions destroyed instead of confirming the idea of righteousness by'works. But it is by no means clear that this Protestant doctrine of Atonement is a unity. " Merit " is an intruder in that region of more strict and majestic law; yet Christ's " merit " is the only form under which the positive contents and promises of the Christian Gospel are there represented. Even the most resolute modern orthodoxy usually tries to modify this doctrine. There is a break with the past, which no revival or reaction can quite conceal.
Again, the Reformation had drawn a line round the canon - sharply in Calvinism, less sharply in Lutheranism (which also gave a quasi normative position to its Confessions of Faith). Anglicanism once more resembles Lutheranism with differences; Few Lutheran churches possess bishops. In Germany the " episcopal system " is a right claimed on behalf of the civil government.
This is not fully formulated even in the Lutheran Formula of Concord, nor yet in the Calvinistic canons of Dort and Confession of Westminster, though these and other Protestant creeds have various instalments of the finished doctrine. One might add a still further distinction of the Protestant scholasticism. The Atonement imparts to the believer (a) forgiveness, (b) positive acceptance. Actual renewal is, of course, something beyond either of these.
it enjoins public reading of certain lessons from the Apocrypha and uses in worship even the " Athanasian " as well as the two more ancient creeds. On the basis of belief in inspiration we find, during the days of Protestant scholasticism, the most reckless and insane assertions of scriptural perfection. Even in our own time, popular Protestant evangelicalism joins with the newer emphasis upon conversion the two great early Protestant appeals - to Atonement and to infallible Scripture. But the Protestant Church is by no means alone in making such assertions. Other Churches make them too, though they overlay and disguise them with appeals to tradition and to the authority of the Church itself or the Fathers. The definite and limited burden had to be more definitely dealt with; hence these Protestant extravagances.
The first great rival to Protestant orthodoxy, apart from its old enemy of Rome, was Socinianism, guided by Laelius Socinian- Socinus, but still more by his nephew Faustus. ism. Thoroughly intellectualist, and rational, and supernaturalist, it has no one to champion it to-day, yet its influence is everywhere. Jesus, a teacher who sealed His testimony with His blood, and, raised from the dead, was exalted or adopted to divine glory, thus giving to men for the first time the certainty that God's favour could be won and eternal life enjoyed - such is the scheme. There is no natural theology; the teachings so described are really part, or rather are the essence, of the revelation of Jesus. Atonement is a dream, and an immoral dream. Supernatural sacraments of course drop out. The Lord's Supper is a simple memorial. Baptism were better disused, though Faustus will leave the matter to each Christian man's discretion. There is not in all Church history any statement of doctrine better knit together. Socinus's church is a school - a school of enlightenment. He was also - like Calvin, if on more narrowly common-sense lines - an admirable exegete. Harnack ranks his system with Tridentine and post-Tridentine theology on the one hand, and with Protestantism on the other hand, as the third great outcome of the history of dogma. Nevertheless the judgment of history declares that this brilliant exploit was entirely eccentric, and could only in indirect ways subserve theological study. Those to-day who are nearest the Socini in belief are as far as any from their fashion of approaching and justifying their chosen version of Christian doctrine.
Even after the loss of the Protestants and the suppression or expulsion of the Jansenists, the doctrinal history of the Later his- Church of Rome is described as governed by discus tory of sions in regard to Thomist Augustinianism. The Roman Molinists (i.e. followers of Louis Molina the Jesuit, Catholic not Michael Molinos the mystic) are the leading doctrine. representatives of a different theology. Harnack, a keenly hostile critic, draws attention to a change in the region of moral theology, not dogmatics. After long controversy, St Alfonso Liguori's doctrine of Probabilism (originated by Molina) definitely triumphed everywhere. Conduct is considered lawful if any good Church authority holds it to be defensible; and " probability " warrants the confessor in taking a lenient view of sins which he himself, and authorities of weight in the Church, may regard as black in the extreme. From Harnack's point of view, the theory destroys Augustinianism, whatever honour may still be paid to that name. Another important change in Roman Catholic theology has been the increasing personal power of the pope. This was significantly foreshadowed when Pius IV. put forward by his own act what is known as the creed of the Council of Trent; and, after the coldness of the 18th century and the evil days of the French Revolution, an Ultramontane revival, relying with enthusiasm on the papacy, grew more and more strong until it became all-powerful under Pius IX. It gained a notable victory when that pope, acting on his own authority, defined (1854) as of faith a doctrine which had been long and hotly discussed - the Immaculate or absolutely sinless Conception (deeper than mere sinlessness in act and life) of the Blessed Virgin. The second and decisive victory followed at the Vatican Council (1870), which, at the cost of a small secession of distinguished men, declared the pope personally infallible (see Infallibility) and irreformable as often as he rules ex cathedra points of faith or morals. This once again seems to be the last word in a long development. Uncertainty as to the authorities determining religious belief - Scripture, tradition, Fathers, Doctors - is now, at least potentially, at an end; the pope can rule every point definitely, if he sees good to do so.
The theory of Development (J. A. Mohler, J. H. Newman), which throws so new a light upon the meaning of tradition, is a valuable support of the conception of a sovereign pontiff drawing out dogmas from implicit into explicit life. Still, new then of and obscure questionings may still arise. When is the theory op- pope ruling faith and morals from his throne? When men ,, may the Church be assured that the infallible guidance is being given? A startling fresh development is suggested by Harnack, while vehemently dismissed as impossible by another Protestant scholar, H. M. Gwatkin. May a reforming or innovating pope arise? He would find, in theory at least, that he possessed a weapon of matchless power and precision. But hitherto Roman Catholic theology has refused to conceive of any development except by enlargement of the Church's creed. Much may be added to formulated belief; it is not admitted that anything has been or can be withdrawn. Brilliant Modernist scholars like A. Loisy may have successors who will champion theories of evolutionary transformation. But at the present hour a representative writer names as a typical open question in his communion the Assumption of the Virgin. Perhaps, indeed, it is rather a dogma hastening towards definition. Is the theory or tradition correct, that, after death and burial, Mary was bodily received into heaven and her graye left empty? Such problems engage the official theologians of the Church of Rome.
It is natural that the " variations " with which Bossuet reproached the Protestants should demand more space. The Christological problem seems to require separate Protes- treatment. In regard to the Trinity, Protestantism tart his- has nothing very new to say, though " Sabellianism " tors of is revived by Swedenborg and Schleiermacher. But doctrines. in regard to Christology opinion takes fresh forms as early as Luther himself. While this became conspicuous in connexion with his doctrine of consubstantiation in the Eucharist, it appears 1 that he had a genuine speculative interest in the matter. Communicatio idiomatum was well known in the schools as an affair of terminology. You might say correctly that God has died (meaning the Godman), or that a man is to be worshipped - Christ Jesus. According to Luther, however, it is not merely in words that the attributes of the Godhead qualify Christ's human nature. 2 That takes place in fact; and so the human glorified body of Christ is, or may become under conditions which please Him, e.g. at the Eucharist, ubiquitous. This new quasi-monophysitism disinclined the Lutherans to make much of Christ's humanity, while the Reformed, partly from the scholarly tradition of Calvin, partly from a polemical motive, laid great emphasis on the manhood. A. Ritschl 3 even speaks of the Reformed as teaching Kenosis in the modern sense; but it is to be feared they rather taught alternately the manhood and the Godhead than made a serious effort to show the compatibility of divine and human predicates in one person. Christ as man was one of the Elect (and their head); He needed grace; He depended upon the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, as God, He was the very source of grace. The Lutherans held that the Incarnate One possessed all divine attributes, but either willed to suspend their use - this is the Kenosis doctrine of the Lutheran school of Tubingen in the 17th century - or concealed their working; the latter was the doctrine of the Giessen school.
A theory which flickers through Church history in the train of mystical influence proceeding from the pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita has become more prominent in modern "Necestimes - that Christ would have become Incarnate sity" of even had man not sinned. Rejected by Thomas, it is patronized by Duns - not, one thinks, that he loved tion. rational certainties more, but that he loved redemptive necessities 1 According to I. A. Dorner.
2 The human predicates are not held to modify the Divine nature, except by modern Kenoticists, who therefore, when they are Lutherans, claim to be completing Luther's theory.
Rechtfertigung u. VersOhnung, i. p. 384.
less. In a sense this theory puts the coping-stone upon Christological development. If we are warranted in regarding the Second Person of the Godhead as in very deed " Himself vouchsafing to be made, " that great Becoming cannot well be suspended upon a contingency which might or might not arise; and theologians in general regard the sin of man as such a contingent event. Incarnation almost demands to be speculatively interpreted as the necessary last stage in the self-manifestation and self-imparting of God. Yet interest in man's moral necessities threatens to be lost amid this cosmological wisdom. Theology pushed too far may overleap itself. Those who shrink from the old confident assertion, " Christ would not have become incarnate but for man's sin," might claim to say, from reverence and not from evasiveness, ignoramus. On the other hand, the type of thought which would perfect Christianity in the form of a philosophy, and subordinates Atonement to Incarnation, is pledged to this doctrine that Incarnation was a rational necessity. Such speculative views are associated with the revival of another traditional piece of mysticism - the Holy Spirit the Copula or bond of union in the Godhead. There is no such assertion anywhere in the New Testament.
For modern German theories of Kenosis among Lutheran and Reformed, see A. B. Bruce's Humiliation of Christ. Basing on the language of Phil. ii. 7, they teach, in different forms, that the Son of God became a man under human limitations at conception or birth, and resumed divine predicates at His exaltation. It might be put in this way - a really Divine personality, a really human experience. Strong as are the terms of Phil. ii. 7, we can hardly suppose that St Paul had a metaphysical theory of Christ's person in view. In Great Britain and America many have adopted this theory. It is often taught, e.g. that Christ's statements on Old Testament literature are to be interpreted in the light of the Kenosis. The enemies of the theory insist that, while it safeguards the unity of Christ's personal experience at any one point, it breaks up by absolute gulfs the continuity of experience and destroys the identity of the person. Indeed, those forms of the theory, which give us a Logos in heaven (John iii. 13) along with the humbled or Incarnate Christ on earth, seem to fail of unifying experience even at the single point. Other suggestions in explanation of the mystery have been: a gradual Incarnation, the process not being complete until Christ's exaltation (I. A. Dorner's earlier view); impersonal pre-existence of the Logos, who became personal - compare and contrast Marcellus of Ancyra - at the Incarnation (W. Beyschlag's earlier view, prac tically adopted by Dorner in his later days); Jesus the man who was absolutely filled with the consciousness of God (Schleiermacher) Jesus not to be defined in terms of " nature," either human or divine, but as the perfect fulfiller of God's absolute purpose (A. Ritschl's view, practically adopted in later days by Beyschlag). The orthodoxy which refuses all new theories may look for help to the pathological dissociation of personality, or at least (e.g. J. O. Dykes in Expository Times, Jan. 1906; Sanday Christologies Ancient and Modern) to the mystery of the subconscious.
We have now to look at Protestant theology in its dealing with questions in which it is more immediately or more fully interested. In the early period known as the Protestant scholasticism there was no desire for progress in doctrine.
Challenged by Arminianism in Holland, the Calvinistic theology replied in the Confession of Dort; at which Synod English delegates were present. This creed may almost rank with the Lutheran Formula of Concord as summing up post-Reformation Protestant orthodoxy. But the direct fate of Arminian teachers or churches was no measure of their influence. One proof of the latter is found in Archbishop Laud and the English High Churchmen of his school, who throw off the Augustinian or Calvinistic yoke in favour of an Arminian theology. Lutheranism had set the example of this change. Later editions of Melanchthon's Loci Communes, generously protected by Luther, drop out or tone down Luther's favourite doctrine of predestination. The Augustinian clock was running down, as usual. In the 18th century " Illumination " - an age which piqued itself upon its " enlightenment, " and " Ilium!- which did a good deal to drive away obscurity, though at the cost of losing depth - Deism outside the churches is matched by a spirit of cool common-sense within them, a spirit which is not confined to professed Rationalists. Civil wars and theological wranglings had wearied men. Supposed universal truths and natural certainties were in fashion. The plainest legacy of the 18th century to later times has been a humaner spirit in theology. Christian teachers during the 19th century grew more reticent in regard to future punishment. The doctrine when taught is frequently softened; sometimes universalism is taught. A movement towards Arianism and then towards Socinianism (Joseph Priestley, Nath. Lardner, W. E. Channing) among English Presbyterians and American Congregationalists left permanent results in the shape of new non-subscribing churches and a diffusion of Unitarian theology (J. Martineau). The 18th century is very differently interpreted in different quarters. Orthodox evangelicalism is tempted to view it as an apostasy or an aberration. On the other hand, not merely agnostics like Leslie Stephen but Christian theologians of the Left like Ernst Troeltsch regard it as the time when supernaturalism began decisively to go to pieces, and the " modern " spirit to assert its authority even over religion. A. Ritschl, again, claims that neglected elements of Christianity were striving for utterance, particularly a serious belief in God as Father and in His providential care. It was not, says Ritschl, a turning away from Christian motives, but a turning towards neglected Christian motives. This view seems logically to involve Ritschl's belief, that it is not the light of reason but the revelation of Christ which warrants the assertion of God's fatherly providential goodness.
Whether temporary or permanent, a great reaction from the 18th-century spirit set in. It was partly on Augustinian lines, partly on the lines of what the Germans call Pietism. Under John and Charles Wesley, a system known as Evangelical Arminianism was worked out in 18th-century England, strongly Augustinian in its doctrines of sin and atonement, modern Augustinian in its doctrine of conversion, strongly anti-Augustinian in its rejection of absolute predestination. Within the Anglican Church, however, the new revival was Augustinian and Calvinistic, till it gave place to a Church revival, the echo or the sister of the Ultramontane movement in the Church of Rome. The vigorous practical life of the modern school of High Church Anglicanism, initiated by John Keble, W. Hurrell Froude, J. H. Newman, E. B. Pusey, is associated with a theological appeal to the tradition of the early centuries, and with a strongly medieval emphasis upon sacramental grace. In Germany, dislike of the Prussian policy of " Union" - the legal fusion of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches - gave life to a High Lutheran reaction to which has shown some vigour in thought and some `Union." asperity in judgment (E. W. Hengstenberg; H. A. C. Haevernick; dogmatic in G. Thomasius and F. A. Philippi; more liberal type in C. F. A. Kahnis; history of doctrine in G. Thomasius). The most distinguished of the theologians classed as " mediating " are C. Ullmann, C. I. Nitzsch and Julius Muller. Later evangelicalism in the English-speaking lands gives up belief in predestination, or at least, with very few exceptions, holds it less strongly. That change is clearly a characteristic feature of 19th-century theology.
Many of the movements just mentioned are, at least in design, pure reactions involving no new thoughts. Apart from apologetics or single doctrines like that of the Atonement, the task of rethinking Christian theology upon the great scale has been left chiefly to German science, philosophical and historical. If the task is to be accomplished, then, whatever merit in detail belongs to wise and learned writers already referred to, it would seem that some one central principle must become dominant. This consideration, as far as an outsider can judge, excludes any formal Roman Catholic co-operation in the suggested task. So long as theological truth is divided into the two compartments of natural or rational theology and incomprehensible revealed mysteries, there is no possibility of carrying through a unity of principle. Again, many Protestants rule themselves out of participation in the search for unified doctrine. It is a modern commonplace - Loofs dates the formula from about 1825 - that Protestantism has two principles: a " formal principle," the authority of Scripture, and a " material principle," the doctrine of justification by faith. We have already indicated that some such pair of principles was prominent when historic Protestantism pulled itself together for defence during its scholastic age. But surely serious thought cannot acquiesce in a dual control. While the double authority continues or is believed to continue in power, there seems no hope of making theology a living unity, which will claim respect from the modern age.
One great attempt at unifying Christian theology came from the side of philosophy. Kant's scheme, which in religious theory as well as in chronology may be regarded as a link between the 18th and 19th centuries, led on to the very different scheme of Hegel; and the latter system began almost at once to influence Church doctrine. D. F. Strauss (q.v.) applied it with explosive effect to the study of the life of Jesus. F. C. Baur, assisted by able colleagues, if hardly less revolutionary, was much more in touch;with theology than Strauss had been. The Hegelian threefold rhythm was to run through all history, especially for Baur through the history of the Christian Church and of its doctrine. Baur maintained a thorough-going evolutionary optimism. " The real was the rational " from first to last. However biassed, this a priori study had its merits. It unified history with a mighty sweep, and revealed through all the ages one evolving process. But we have still to ask whether the doctrines it made prominent are really those which are vital to the Christian Church. And we have to look into Baur's esoteric interpretation of the doctrinal development. For him, as for Strauss, the unity of God and man is the central truth, of which Christ's atoning death is a sort of pictorial symbol. This implies that the whole of Western theology has been an aberration or an exoteric veiling of the truth.' In Dogmatic the school is represented by A. E. Biedermann, and with variations by O. Pfleiderer. A more orthodox reading of Hegel's thought, which brings: it into line with some Christological developments already described, is found in J. E. Erdmann and the theologians P. K. Marheineke and Karl Daub. Influences from Hegel are also to be traced in Richard Rothe, I. A. Dorner, A. M. Fairbairn; and through the mediation of British philosophers Hegelianism has widely affected British theology. The orthodox wing of idealists take as their watchword Incarnation; Christianity is " the religion of the Incarnation " (sub-title of Lux Mundi; see B. F. Westcott, passim). The rationalist wing resolve Incarnation and still more Atonement into symbols of philosophical truth. Of the two parties, the latter appears the more successful in accomplishing the task of unifying theology, although at the cost of subordinating both theology and religion to philosophy. The strength of all the idealists consists in their appeal to reason.
Schleiermacher set himself to explain what is distinctive in religion. He distinguishes religion from philosophy as feeling in Schreier- contrast with thought; but when he has done that (Reden fiber die Religion, 1799) he has little to add.
Any type of highly wrought feeling may make a man religious, whether it be theistic or pantheistic; indeed, as a child of Romanticism, Schleiermacher puts a peculiarly high estimate upon the pantheistic type. What else can we expect from a thinker who is interested simply in feeling as feeling? When he wrote his Glaubenslehre (1821) Schleiermacher had become much more of a Christian churchman. " Christianity is one of the teleological pieties," and has as its peculiarity that " in it everything is referred to the redemption accomplished through Jesus of Nazareth." But it is doubtful whether the elements of his final synthesis really interpenetrate. He tells us (Kurze Darstellung des theologischen Studiums, 1811) that the theologian, while himself loyal to his Church, must expound, as a historian, the beliefs actually held in the branch of the Church which he represents. Oil and water do not mix. Do the unchecked individual enthusiasm of the Reden, and the loyalty to established beliefs required in the later writings, combine to form a living theology? It is little wonder if Schleiermacher attains a compromise rather than a unity. He has been one of the great ferments in modern Protestant doctrine both of the Right and of the Left. Alex. Schweizer 2 maintained his general positions more nearly than any other. But there is no Schleiermacher school. W. Herrmann, from his own point of view, has quoted J. C. K. Hofmann and F. R. Frank as making important modifications and sometimes corrections of the lines laid down by Schleiermacher, while J. S. Candlish, representing a moderate Scottish Calvinism, was half inclined to welcome the reduced form of Schleiermacher's basis found in H. L. Martensen (a Dane), J. T. Beck, and the Dutchman, J. J. van Oosterzee, i.e. Scripture the true source of doctrine, but the religious consciousness its ordering principle.
1 Hence R. B. Haldane, in the Scottish Church lawsuit of 1904, is found telling the House of Lords that Justin Martyr had a grasp of speculative truth which was impossible to St Augustine.
Or the Dutchman, J. H. Scholten.
A bolder and more original attempt to restate Protestantism as a systematic unity is found in the work of A. Ritschl, with H. Schultz and W. Herrmann as independent allies and Ritschl. colleagues, and with J. Kaftan, A. Harnack and many others as younger representatives on divergent lines. Reaction against the philosophy of Hegel and the criticism of Baur is common to all the school, though Ritschl went further back than the younger men towards critical tradition and further in some points towards orthodox dogma. Positively, the school build upon foundations laid in ethics by Kant and in philosophy of religion by Schleiermacher; so also R. A. Lipsius, and yet his dogmatic results coincide more nearly with Biedermann's or Pfleiderer's than with the " intermediate though not mediating " position taken up by the Ritschlians. Not even the acceptance of forgiveness as the central religious blessing is exclusively Ritschlian; still, it is a challenge alike to the 18th century, to the Church of Rome and to the modern mind. Ritschl and his friends forfeit that unifying of life and duty which is gained by making the moral or perhaps rather legal point of view supreme. As they deny the natural religion of the 18th century - the religion which works its way into harmony with God by virtue - so, still more emphatically, they refuse to bid the sinner merit forgiveness. Thus they constitute one more revival of Paulinism or Augustinianism, though with qualifications.
Their effort is to expound Christianity, not from the point of view of philosophy like the Hegelians, nor from that of an abstract conception of religion, tempered by regard for historical precedents, like Schleiermacher, but from its own, from the Christian point of view. Ritschl has several dogmatic peculiarities, intenser in him than in his fellow-workers and followers. A notable instance is his doctrine of the Church - the community (Gemeinde); the sole object of God's electing love, according to Ritschl's interpretation of St Paul. Hence theology is not to be the utterance of individual Christianity merely, but of the Church's faith, embodied in its classical literature, the New Testament, and (subordinately) in the Old. The finality of the New Testament is partly due to its being the work of minds - including St Paul - who knew the Old Testament from the inside, and did not misconstrue its religious terminology as Greek converts almost inevitably did (cf. Harnack or E. Hatch). Upon the Church, Ritschl, who very much disliked and distrusted mysticism, poured out the same wealth of emotion which the Christian mystic pours out upon his dimly visualized God or Christ. Again, Ritschl divides all theology into two compartments, morality and religion; service of men in the Kingdom of God, direct relation to God in the Church by faith. Though he later declared that " Kingdom of God " was the paramount category of Christian thought, it does not appear that he substantially recast his theology. Here then his strong desire for unity is cut across by his own action. There may well be room for relative distinctions in any system of thought, however coherent; but it looks as if Ritschl's distinction hardened into absolute dualism.
Again Ritschl modifies the doctrine of sin. Like Schleiermacher he substitutes collective guilt for original sin; and he attaches great dogmatic value to the assertion that sin has two stages - ignorance, in which it is pardonable, and obduracy, when it is ripe for final sentence (probably annihilation). Here then Ritschl swerves from Paulinism; it is in other Scriptures ' that he finds his guarantees for the position just stated. The result is to eliminate everything remedial from the Christian gospel. Yet Ritschl claims that his doctrine of Christ as Head of the Church combines the lines of thought found separately in Anselm and Abelard, while Schleiermacher is said to have been one-sidedly Abelardian. Ritschl denies natural theology 4 as well as natural religion, denies dogma outright in its Greek forms - Trinitarian and Christological; and seeks to transpose the doctrine of Atonement - Christ's Person " or " Works as he puts it - from the legal to the ethical. The Pauline touch shows itself plainly here. Justification by faith is a " synthetic " judgment - the sinner is righteous; it is not an " analytic " judgment - the believer is righteous. God " justifietla the ungodly." Sacraments are a republication of the " Word " of the Gospel; we have to content ourselves with this rather evasive formula, so often employed by the Reformers.
The highly academic Ritschlian movement has had wide practical influence in many lands. Here English and American thought strikes in sympathetically, offering moral theories of Atonement, though not looking so exclusively towards forgiveness. Horace Bushnell's last theory declared that in forgiving sin God " bore cost," as even a good man must do. John M`Leod Campbell - with a strong desire for unity in thought, " the simplicity that is in Christ " - caught most attention by the suggestion of a vicarious repentance in Jesus Christ. With R. C. Moberly this becomes an assertion that Christ has initiated a redemptive process of selfhumiliation, which we can prolong in ourselves by the help of sacraments if we choose; while W. Porcher du Bose (like E. Irving early in the 19th century) holds the Adoptianist theory styled by A. B. Bruce " redemption by sample " - the divine Christ has Unless 1 Tim. i. 13; but is that epistle Paul's?
k The doctrine of " value judgments " which he substitutes for Schleiermacher's appeal to feeling, belongs to philosophy of religion and is thus analogous to natural theology.
assumed a tainted human nature and washed it clean, thus making it a promise and potency of the world's redemption.
Even if we accept the programme of reconstructing theology from a single point of view, we may desire to criticize not merely Ritschl's execution of the scheme, but his selection of the ruling principle. Is it enough to extricate the spirit of Protestantism from the imperfect letter of its early creeds? One set of difficulties is raised by the progress of science. No Protestant can deny that it is a duty for Science. Christianity to come to terms with scientific discoveries, and few Catholics will care to deny it. Anxious negotiations thus arise, which colour all modern schemes of theology. But with a certain school they become central and dominant. We distinguish this position from the new emphasis on Christology, whether churchly or radical. Those who find a gospel in philosophy are ready to dictate terms to outsiders; but those who wait upon science for its verdicts supplicate terms of peace. Just as much of Christianity is to survive as science will spare. Often the theologians in question look to psychology as the permanent basis of religion; who is to deny that religion is a psychological fact, and the natural expression of something in man's constitution? This strain may be recognized, mingled with others, in Schleiermacher; it has found interesting expression in the contributions of H. J. Holtzmann and Ernst Troeltsch to the volume dealing with Christianity in Die Kultur der Gegenwart. Christ is confessed as the greatest figure of the past, and as one of no small importance still for the present and future. But, with entire decision, Christianity is called to the bar of modern culture. From that tribunal there is to be no appeal, whether to a higher revelation or to a deeper experience. This view stands in connexion with the study of comparative religion. Out of that very Ritschl school, which began by despising all religions except those of the Bible; has developed the religionsgeschichtliclz movement, which dissolves Christianity in the wider stream. Such a policy is at the opposite pole to Ritschl's; he desired to interpret Christianity in the light of its own central thought. If Christians can find in their faith new resources to meet the new needs, they may hope to command the future. Theology if it is to live must be henceforth at once more Christian and more scientific than it has ever yet been.
A less threatening yet important possibility of modification arises out of the scientific study of the New Testament. Augustine, Luther, the evangelical revival, went back acting the former. He does not claim to have regained the inspiration of a Paul; but he holds that Augustine was more Christian than the sub-apostolic age, and Luther more Christian than Augustine. That is the hopeful feature in the past. The task for the present, with its unequalled scientific resources, is to get nearer than ever to the heart of the Gospel. Must Pauline categories always be supreme? The Ritschl school, and others too, have made an earnest effort to incorporate Christ's words in Dogmatic and no longer shunt them into systems of " Christian Ethics." They have not idolized Paulinism; but have they not idolized Luther? They seem to take for granted that the spirit - though not the letter - of that great man was a definitive statement of the Christian principle. To interpret Christianity out of itself is one thing; to interpret it out of Luther, even out of a distillate of Luther, is possibly a lower thing. The theology of the future may draw more equally from several New Testament types of doctrines. The scheme that includes most may be the successful scheme. Unity may be safeguarded in the confession of Christ, and theology indeed prove " Christocentric." 1 Above all, the social message of Jesus may well prove a gospel to our materially prosperous 1 Thomasius and H. B. Smith are quoted as holding the " Christocentric " ideal. A. M. Fairbairn, mindful of the vast importance of the conception of God, amends the programme. Theology is to be formally Christocentric, materially Theocentric (Fatherhood of God).
but inwardly sorrowful age. Any school of thought which despises that hope has small right to call itself Christian.
Casting a backward glance once more over the evolution of Christian theology, we may say very roughly that at first it recognized as natural or rational truth the being of the Logos, and as special fact of revelation the Incarnation of the Word in Jesus Christ. In medieval times the basis was altered. What had been rational truth now claimed acceptance as supernatural mystery.
Modern idealists, ill at ease with this inheritance, try to show that Christ's Incarnation no less than His eternal divine being is a natural and rational truth. But, when this programme is carried out, there is no small danger lest the relations traced out between God and men should collapse into dust, the facts of Christ transform themselves into symbols, and the idealistic theology of the right wheel to the left.
Again, Western theology, very roughly summarized, while accepting the earlier doctrinal tradition, has broken new ground for itself, in affirming as rational necessity that God must punish sin (this is at least latent in Aquinas's - doctrine of natural law), but as contingent fact of revelation that God has in Christ combined the punishment of sin with the salvation of sinners; this is the Reformation or postReformation thought. Here again the desire makes itself felt to impute more to God's nature. Is His mercy not as inherent as His justice? If so, must He not redeem? For, if He merely may redeem but must punish, then His greatest deeds on our behalf wear an aspect of caprice, or suggest unknown if not unknowable motives. The doctrine of penal substitution in the Atonement, as usually conceived, seems to point in the same direction as predestinarianism. Behind superficial manifestations of grace there is a dark background, almost like the Greek Fate. The ultimate source of God's actions is something either unintelligible or unrevealed. Christian theology cannot acquiesce in this. In our day especially it must seek to light up every doctrine with the genuine Christian belief in God's Fatherhood. And yet here again incautious advance may seem to overleap itself. If it should come to be held that with so kind a God no redemption at all is necessary, the significance of Christ is immensely curtailed if not blotted out. Even if He should still be taken as the prophet of the divine goodwill, yet the loss of any serious estimate of sin makes good nature on God's part a matter of course. Christianity of such a type is likely to be feeble and precarious. Perhaps we may find a third and better possibility by ceasing to aim at a scientific gnosis of God, either limited or unlimited. Perhaps what concerns the Christian is rather the assured revelation that God is acting in character, like Himself, and yet acting wonderfully by methods which we could not predict but must adore. The free life of personal beings is no more to be mastered by a formula than it is to be assigned to caprice. A God who is love will act neither from wilfulness nor from what is called rational but might more correctly be called physical necessity. He will act in and from character. Always wise, always holy, always unsearchable, the Christian's God is that heavenly Father who has His full image and revelation in Jesus Christ.
While the greatest of all theological systems, the Summae of the middle ages, include everything in the one treatise, it has been the business of post-Reformation learning to effect a. formal improvement by distributing theological studies among a definite number of headings. The new theory lived and grew throughout the 18thcentury Age of Enlightenment (e.g. J. S. Semler), linking Protestant scholasticism with modern thought, and exhibiting the continuity of science in spite of great revolutionary changes and great reactions. The beginning is ascribed to A. Hyperius (Gerhard of Ypres), a professor at Marburg, and, it seems, a conciliatory Lutheran, not, as sometimes said, a Reformed (1511-64). He published Four Books on the Study of Theology (1556). Book iv. is said to be the first appearance of Practical Theology - Liturgics, Pastoral Theology, &c. In virtue of another work (De Formandis Concionibus, 1553), Theology to St Paul; can Christianity not dig deeper by going back to Jesus? A Protestant has to view the past history of doctrine very much as a succession of de clensions and revivals, the latter more than counter - Hyperius has been further termed the father of Homiletics. L. Danaeus (Daneau), a French Protestant, has the merit of publishing for the first time on Christian Ethics (1577). It has been supposed that the Reformed divinity here set itself to remedy the dogmatic dryness of Protestant scholasticism, fifty years before the Lutheran G. Calixtus moved in the matter (Theol. Moralis, 1634). Too much has been made of this. Danaeus hardly represents at all what moderns mean by Christian ethics. He does not contrast the Christian outlook upon ethics with all others, but dwells chiefly upon the supereminence of the Ten Commandments as a summary of duty. Other distinctions are named after an interval of two centuries. J. T. Gabler, for the first time " with clearness " (R. Flint), wrote in 1787 De Justo Discrimine Theologiae Biblicae et Dogmaticae. Biblical Theology is a historical statement of the different Bible teachings, not a dogmatic statement of what the writer holds for truth, qua truth. Again, P. K. Marheineke is named as the first writer (1810) on Symbolics, the comparative study of creeds and confessions of faith. In 1764 the introductory study of theology as a whole, which Hyperius invented, had been given by S. Mursinna the name it has since usually borne - " Theological Encyclopaedia., " Most of such Encyclopaedias have been " material, " i.e. connected treatises, giving a brief outline of theology as a whole; not, of course, alphabetic indexes or dictionaries. The most famous of all, however - Schleiermacher's Kurze Darstellung des theologischen Studiums (1st ed. 1811) - belongs to the class of " formal " encyclopaedias. It states how theology should be divided, but does not profess to give a bird's-eye view of results.
Schleiermacher's treatise is highly individual. Theology is viewed as essentially a branch of church administration. True, in the theologian properly so called the scientific interest is strong; where the religious or practical interest is stronger, you get church rulers or administrators in a narrower sense. Still, even to the theologian the practical interest in church welfare is vital. Theology loses its savour when studied in a spirit of merely scientific curiosity; and it does not concern the lay Christian.
In spite of what may be deemed eccentric in this standpoint, Schleiermacher's summary is full of interest. He divides as follows: - I. Philosophical Theology: A. Apologetics; B. Polemics. II. Historical Theology: A. Exegetical - including the determination of the canon; B. Church History proper; C. The depicting of the present state of the Church; (I) its faith - Dogmatics; the belief of one branch of the Church; (2) its outward condition - Statistics; these should be universal. Symbolics is to be a branch of statistics. Biblical " Dogmatics " also is said to be nearer this than it is to Dogmatics proper. III. Practical Theology: A. the service of the (local) church; Homiletics, Liturgics, &c.; B. the Government of the (national or international) Church; questions of relation to the State, &c. The reader will note Schleiermacher's peculiar way of dealing with Dogmatic as the belief of the Church - an unprecedented view, according to A. Ritschl - and his requiring that belief to be reported qua historical fact.
It is singular that Schleiermacher on the whole sums up in the Kurze Darstellung against the separation of Christian Ethics from Dogmatics. But he grants that much may be said on both sides of that question, and in his own Glaubenslehre he follows ordinary usage and as far as possible banishes Ethics to a Christliche Sittenlehre, a book which has caused him to be regarded by Protestants as the founder of modern Christian Ethics. There are therefore three parallel studies, on all of which Schleiermacher published - Dogmatic or Glaubenslehre, Christian Ethics, Philosophical Ethics.
Curiously enough, it is from Schleiermacher's philosophical ethics that a threefold division - the Chief Good, Virtues, and Duty or the Law - passed into almost all text-books of Christian Ethics, till recently a rebellion rose against it on the ground of redundancy and overlapping. Books on Christian Ethics have also found room for a quasi Synoptic doctrine of the Kingdom of God, which Paulinized dogmatic systems were slow to admit. It should also be noted that Schleiermacher's place for Apologetics is by no means undisputed. Many dislike the subject; some would thrust it into practical theology. Again, the new study of the religions of the world is seeking its place in the curriculum of Christian theology, just as it is seeking - in some way - to modify Christian thought. The recognized place, the assured results, have not yet been attained Further details must be sought in text-books. But it may be affirmed that Dogmatic must remain the vital centre; and so far we may soften Flint's censure of the British thoughtlessness which has called that study by the name " systematic theology." Systems of ethics and sions. apologetics. are welcome to the theologian; " encyclopaedia " is a new and broader-based " systematic theology " in itself; but none of these is central as Dogmatic is. One may also venture to declare that Dogmatic rests upon philosophical and historical studies, and exists for practical uses. Thus a triple or fourfold division of theological sciences seems natural. Lastly, it must be confessed that at the beginning of the 20th century there is more life or health in history than in philosophy, and much more in either than in dogmatic theology. Sub-divisions of Dogmatic, whether well chosen or ill, throw light upon theology as developed in the past. The six usual Protestant headings are as follows: Theology proper, Anthropology, Christology (C. Hodge here inserts Hamartiology), Soteriology, Ecclesiology (omitted by C. Hodge), Eschatology. The Lombard's Sentences deal in bk. i. with God; bk. ii. the creatures; bk. iii. Incarnation, Redemption, Virtues; bk. iv. Sacraments and Last Things. Aquinas's Summa has no such clear lines of division.
The Church carried forward from the middle ages a tradition of " Moral Theology " 1 answering to Christian Ethics, alongside of Dogmatics or of all-inclusive Summae. Casuistry (with parallels in early Protestantism like Jeremy Taylor's Ductor Dubitantium), growing out of the Confessional, is characteristic of this Roman Catholic Ethic; yet the study is not restricted to the technical equipment of confessors. The Roman Catholic contributors to the volume on Christianity in Die Kultur der Gegenwart write on: - I. Dogmatic: A. Apologetic or General Dogmatic; B. Special Dogmatic or Dogmatic proper. II. Moral Theology. III. Practical Theology. The Protestant. contributors, representing somewhat varied standpoints in-. German religion, follow much the same plan. Apologetic has no separate place with them; but the system of theology (in a sense midway between the dogmatists and the encyclopedists), is allotted between Dogmatics, Christian Ethics and Practical Theology.
Literature. - A bibliography of theology cannot name every important book. The effort is made here (I) to mention writers of great originality and distinction, (2) writers of special importance to some one Christian confession, (3) without needless repetition of what has already been said, (4) dogmatic treatises being preferred but not to the exclusion of everything else.
Origen is great in scholarship as well as in system. Athanasius's On the Incarnation of the Eternal Word represents his central thoughts not less interestingly because it is earlier than the Arian controversy. Cyril of Jerusalem's Catechetical Lectures are a statement of doctrine for popular use, but arranged as a complete system. Gregory of Nyssa's Great Catechesis is an instruction to catechists how they should proceed - though of course stating the writer's theology and apologetic, with his belief in universal salvation. Theodoret has an outline of theology in the last book (v.) of his treatise Against Heresies. Theodore of Mopsuestia is a more suspected representative of the same scholarship - that of Antioch; John Chrysostom is the orator of the school. Cyril of Alexandria represents the later Alexandrian theology. With John of Damascus the progress of Greek divinity ends. A good modern statement is in Chr. Androntsos's Aoyµarudi. In the West, Augustine is the chief agent in breaking new ground for theology. The Enchiridion ad Laurentium is a slight but interesting sketch of a system, while the De Doctrina Christiana is another lesson in the imparting of Christian instruction, as is also, naturally, the De Catechizandis Rudibus. The City of God and the Confessions are of unmatched importance in their several ways; and nothing of Augustine's was without influence. Gregory the Great's Magna Moralia should also be named.
In the middle ages Isidore (at its gateway), then Peter Lombard,. then Aquinas (and his rivals), are pre-eminent for system, Anselm and Abelard for originality, Bernard of Clairvaux as the theologian who represents medieval piety at its purest and in its most characteristic forms, while Thomas a Kempis's devotional masterpiece, On the Imitation of Christ, with Tauler's Sermons and the Theologia Germanica, belong to the world's classics. All the Protestant re - formers are of theological importance - Luther, Melanchthon and 1 " Mystical Theology " is described in Addis and Arnold's Catholic Dictionary as a " branch " of Moral Theology.
Calvin, then Zwingli, then John Knox and others. The reply to Protestantism is represented by Cardinal Bellarmine, Petavius (less directly), Moehler.
Speculative theology was represented in the Roman Catholic Church of the 19th century by the Italian writers A. Rosmini, V. Gioberti, T. Mamiani della Rovere. Roman Catholic learning has always taken a high place (the Bollandists; the Benedictines; the huge collections of Migne). Of the Church's ample devotional literature St Francis of Sales and F. W. Faber are favourable specimens. A modern Dogmatic is by Syl. T. Hunter, S.J.
Anglican theology is little inclined to dogmatics. We have such unsystematic systems as Bishop Pe, -,cn's Exposition of the Apostles' Creed - a book of the golden age of great writers - or we have average 19th-century Church orthodoxy in Bishop H. Browne, On the XXXIX. Articles. Anglicanism prefers to philosophize institutions (R. Hooker, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity), or states ancient learning (R. Cudworth; the Cambridge Platonists), or else polemical learning--Bishop Bull (against Petavius's innovating views of history), D. Waterland (against S. Clarke), S. Horsley (against J. Priestley), J. B. Lightfoot (very strong as an apologist in scholarship; not strong in pure thinking); the polemic becomes altogether conciliatory in those other glories of 19th-century Cambridge, B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort. Or Anglican theology deals with historical points of detail, such as fill the Journal of Theol. Studies. In devotional literature Anglicanism has always been rich (e.g. Jeremy Taylor, Archbishop R. Leighton, L. Andrewes, W. Law, J. H. Newman). Bishop Butler stands by himself in lonely greatness.
English Puritanism lives in the affections of modern readers more than the Protestant schoolmen of the Continent do - Richard Baxter, John Owen, John Howe, Thos. Goodwin, John Goodwin (an early Arminian); for learning, John Lightfoot; for genius, John Milton; for literary and devotional power, John Bunyanalways admirable except when he talks Puritan dogma. Essential Puritanism is prolonged in the 19th century by R. W. Dale (The Atonement; Christian Doctrine). The Scottish leader, T. Chalmers (Lectures on Divinity), is more important as an orator or as a man than as a thinker. The somewhat earlier lectures of G. Hill are dry.
Arminianism is less fully worked out by Arminius than by later Dutch divines, of whom the " conciliatory " Litnborch is sometimes used as a Methodist text-book. The theologian of English Methodism, apart from John Wesley himself, is Richard Watson.
W. B. Pope's Compendium is a somewhat more modern version.
Jonathan Edwards, a ver y stern Calvinist, is one of the few first-rate geniuses America has to boast in theology. C. Hodge, A A. Hodge, W. G. T. Shedd, published Calvinistic systems. Horace Bushnell had great influence.
While the production of systems of Dogmatic (and of Christian Ethics) never ceases in Germany, A. Ritschl was content to rely on his treatise upon Justification and Reconciliation (vol. i. History of the Doctrine; ii. Biblical material; iii. Positive construction - but much intermingled with history; good English translations of i. and iii.). His Unterricht in der Christlichen Religion is poor as a school-book but useful for reference. Something is to be learned regarding Ritschl himself from his very hostile Hist. of Pietism. The earlier Entstehung der altkatholischen Kirche (2nd ed. 1857) is a landmark in Apologetics and Church history. J. Kaftan's Dogmatic should be named, also the Modern Positive Theology of Th. Kaftan and others.
H L. Martensen's Dogmatics restates substantial orthodoxy with fine literary taste. His Christian Ethics, though diffuse, is perhaps the finest piece of Protestant theology under that title. His friend, I. A. Dorner, had a powerful mind but an inferior gift of style.
The student of theology will do well to seek in the best histories of doctrine more detached treatment than Dogmatic can give.
F. Loofs mentions W. Miinscher, J. A. W. Neander, F. C. Baur, G. Thomasius, F. Nitzsch, A. Harnack, as showing steady advance. Add Loofs himself and R. Seeberg. Works in English by W. G. T. Shedd, G. P. Fisher, J. F. Bethune Baker. Church formularies in Winer (Confessions of Christendom), Schaff (Creeds of Christendom), F. Loofs (Symbolik). The Symbolik of J. A. Moehler is a very able anti-Protestant polemic.
A German reviewer has .associated as English contributions to Dogmatics, A. M. Fairbairn's Christ in Modern Theology, A. B. Bruce's Apologetics, and the present writer's Essay towards a New Theology. Two American books represent modern evangelicalism - W. N. Clarke's very successful Outline of Theology, and W. A. Brown's Christian Theology in Outline. The High Church position is given in the Manual of T. B. Strong, Evangelical Anglicanism in H. G. C. Moule's Outline. Encyclopaedia may be studied in J. F. Rabiger, translated with additions by J. Macpherson. J. Drummond (Unitarian) and A. Cave (Congregationalist) have written Introductions to Theology; Cave's bibliographies are not free from errors. American contributions in P. Schaff's Propaedeutic and J. F. Hurst's Literature of Theology; a Classified Bibliography. Recent German work by C. F. G. Heinrici; for older treatment see C. R. Hagenbach.
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