Systematic Theology: The Complete Three Volumes

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Systematic Theology: The Complete Three Volumes

Systematic Theology: The Complete Three Volumes

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By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. Broken into eight sections, one for every decade of Hodge’s life, Gutjahr manages to synthesize large and often weighty subjects into short chapters. So the Bible contains the truths which the theologian has to collect, authenticate, arrange and exhibit in their internal relation to each other.

At two places in the seventeen pages Hodge notes that the Bible contains not only doctrines, or theories, or principles, or truths, but also states 'what are the effects of the truth on the heart and conscience, when applied with saving power by the Holy Ghost. Since their day, and particularly in the present day, numerous theological critics have understood (or rather misunderstood) Hodge by interpreting him through a Kuyperian lense, and accepting the criticism in a thoroughly uncritical fashion. He understands Hodge as applying to Scripture the Baconian experimental method of (1) collecting the facts, (2) framing an explanatory hypothesis for them, and testing the hypothesis experimentally, though actually he does not take these points from Hodge himself but from Robert McCheyne Edgar. In making these observations (so it seems to me) Hodge is far from being the fuddy-duddy that he is nowadays reckoned to be, but instead has his finger firmly on the pulse of things.

A stout Calvinist with a deep love for the Reformed confessions, his literary labours often involved a polemical thrust, as he sought to defend and expound the Reformed theology of the Protestant Reformation, and the teachings of the Westminster Confession and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, as received and adopted by the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. This monumental work, now a standard for theological students, was written while Hodge served as a professor at Princeton, where he permanently influenced American Christianity as a teacher, preacher, and exegete. Vanhoozer's three charges Professor Vanhoozer first alleges that Hodge presupposes a subject-object dichotomy in which the mind observes mind-independent facts in which the situation of the interpreter is irrelevant. Perhaps the taproot of this criticism lies in the brief discussion that the Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck has of Hodge, though this is not likely, since the Reformed Dogmatics (1895-1901) has only recently been translated.

Vanhoozer, 'On the Very Idea of a Theological System: An Essay in Aid of Triangulating Scripture, Church and World'. Whether in these ways Hodge succeeds in avoiding a 'subject-object dichotomy' is not clear, because the term itself is not clear.We are all tempted to do this because of the importance of the issues at stake, to pervert or overlook the teaching of Scripture, to 'press the facts of the Scriptures into accordance with our preconceived theories', as he puts it. Incidentally, an amusing piece of evidence that Professor Vanhoozer may be carrying his anti-Hodge protest to excess can be found on p.

Theory-ladenness is, I think, the idea that all factual statements, but particularly those that enter into scientific reasoning, imply some theory or other.Gutjahr blames Hodge’s extensive study of Paul and his patriarchal mentors for his own view that men are superior to women. the mighty creation of the Word of God furnishes the material for Theology in this scientific sense, but is no Theology. But in the last century his legacy has been reduced to mixed reviews of his three-volume Systematic Theology. And in the second place, we must remember that the revealing acts of God never appear separated from His verbal communications of truth. Without this explanation we would not understand the facts at all and would give them a totally wrong interpretation.

This four-volume work deserves more attention than it normally receives, for it combines the mature fruit of Protestant Scholasticism with the rich piety of the Dutch Second Reformation. As Professor of Oriental and Biblical Literature, Hodge’s primary responsibility was instruction in biblical languages, hermeneutics, biblical criticism, and study of Old Testament texts.

Web icon An illustration of a computer application window Wayback Machine Texts icon An illustration of an open book. Hodge focused his studies on theology and biblical interpretation, with additional concentration in Semitic and cognate languages. So long, however, as the binding authority of Scripture is acknowledged, the temptation is very strong, to press the facts of the Bible into accordance with our preconceived theories. Even scientific men are sometimes led to suppress or pervert facts which militate against their favorite theories; but the temptation to this form of dishonesty is far less in their case, than in that of the theologian. So of course, as is made obvious by a cursory reading of the material, Hodge insists on the importance of taking into account the situation of the interpreter.

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