Religion In Germany -- By: J. B. Lyman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 004:14 (May 1847)
Article: Religion In Germany
Author: J. B. Lyman


Religion In Germany

J. B. Lyman

Translations from the recent work of Dr. Tholuck,“Dialogues upon the principal questions of Faith of the present time, principally for the laymen who seek instruction.” Halle, 1846

[The work from which the following extracts have been translated, was written by the author, as the title indicates, to furnish a book suited to afford instruction to inquiring laymen. Hence its style is in many parts colloquial and idiomatic, and thus calculated to bring home his thoughts upon the questions of faith to the hearts of the German people. It consists of six dialogues, with the titles: Reason and Rationalism; Reason and Faith; Faith and the Scriptures; The latest Progress; Progress and Confessions; and the Reawakened Faith. The speakers represent different religious parties of protestant Germany. Emil rep-

resents the friends of evangelical religion; and in him the author has probably intended in a great measure to express his own, opinions and feelings. Charles is the representative of rationalism, but of inquiring rationalism; Julius, of modem unbelieving radicalism; and Gerhard, of those who wish to abide by the old confessional standards. The present work is but the first part of the whole, and the author states in his preface, that, if he should perceive a call to it, a second part will appear in answer to the question, Who was Christ? alluding perhaps to an expression of Ulich, the leader of the “protestant friends,” or “friends of light” as they are sometimes called, in which he says, “who Jesus property was, I do not know, to that the answer is wanting to me.” This question, What think ye of Christ? the author designates as “the question of all questions” at present in Germany.- Tr.]

Emil to Charles.—I see that we stand already at the place of contest, and our first pass is to be made. You ask for the rights of our faith, I for the privileges of your reason. For you the highest appeal, in all questions of religion and morality, is to your reason. Hence you can let no one give you a result; not even him whom Christianity calls its own master. Independence of the word of Christ has become the fundamental article that now forms free churches; only it is strange, that they at the same time wish still to be called Christian or evangelical churches, or churches at all. I presuppose, that you know in all its extent the greatness of the office, which has devolved upon your reason. Your reason has the problem to decide, how much, that the master of the Christian world has spoken upon divine things, cm still be valid and how much not. Let us make it fully clear to ourselves, what is meant...

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