Müller’s Christian Doctrine Of Sin -- By: Edward Robie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 005:19 (Aug 1848)
Article: Müller’s Christian Doctrine Of Sin
Author: Edward Robie


Müller’s Christian Doctrine Of Sin

Edward Robie

[Sin and Redemption-these are the two great facts which engage the attention of the student of Christian Theology. Our views of one of these facts will be according to our views of the other. It is impossible truly to understand the nature of redemption without first understanding the nature of sin. The various departments of Christian doctrine may, indeed, be separately treated of, but together they form an organic body, in which the individual members mutually affect and support each other.

Germany has been distinguished not only for the number of her systems of divinity, but also for the number of monographs, or works on particular doctrines. Among these, few have attracted more notice than Prof. Müller’s1 work on Sin. We propose to give a general sketch of the argument contained in this work. It is entitled, The Christian Doctrine of Sin, and is divided into five books. The subject of the first book is, The Reality of Sin, which is subdivided into two parts, (a) The Nature of Sin; (b) Its Guilt. In the second book the author examines several prominent theories which have been given for the explanation of sin. In the third book he gives his own theory, or in other words, his views of the Freedom of the Will. The fourth book is entitled, The Spread of Sin, i.e. its Universality as pertaining to the race, or Original Sin. The subject of the fifth book is, The Increasing Power of Sin in the Development of the Individual.

It is proper in the first place to state briefly the principles which have guided the author in the treatment of his subject. These have been gathered in part from the Introduction and in part from the general method of his argument.

Prof. Müller is decidedly opposed to that school of philosophy which pretends without the aid of premises and empirical observation and by a method of its own to evolve a system of truth. In his view, human thought is never an independent producing, but is a reproducing in relation to what actually exists as an object of perception or subject of consciousness. The doctrines of Christian Theology are not pro-

duced or invented by the activity of the human mind, but are received from a source in which the human mind may be certain of the presence of a Divine power and of eternal truth. Religion is a reality present in the history of the world and in the life of millions. It is a fact as real as the existence of an outward world of nature, and as nature did not wait till a science of nature allowed her to exist, so neither have the facts of religion waited for a philosophy to produce them. In ...

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