Strong’s Systematic Theology -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 044:174 (Apr 1887)
Article: Strong’s Systematic Theology
Author: Anonymous


Strong’s Systematic Theology1

I. Introduction

This is one of the most important contributions made in recent years to the subject of systematic theology. The book is rendered specially valuable by its methodical arrangement, its clear and condensed statements of the theological positions controverted or maintained, its judicious quotations from acknowledged authorities, and its abundant references to contemporary and standard literature. It thus well fills the place in one’s library not only of a doctrinal statement, but of an outline of the history of doctrine as well. The value of the volume is greatly enhanced by an index well-nigh unexampled in fulness, occupying no less than 156 pages. Throughout the volume the author defends, with great clearness and vigor, the main positions of evangelical theology, especially as held among the Baptist churches, though it is doubtful if the majority of his brethren will go with him in his advocacy of the traducian hypothesis respecting the origin of the human soul.

After clearly presenting, in an introductory chapter, his views upon the definition, aims, possibilities, and necessity of theological science, and its relation to religion, the author devotes brief chapters to the Material of Theology and its Method. Having wisely chosen the synthetic method, the topics are treated in the following logical order:

“1st. The existence of God.
2d. The Scriptures a revelation from God.
3d. The nature, decrees and works of God.

4th. Man, in his original likeness to God and subsequent apostasy.
5th. Redemption, through the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
6th. The nature and laws of the Christian church.
7th. The end of the present system of things.”

II. Natural Theology

In regard to the existence of God the author holds that it “is a first truth;” that “logically” man’s knowledge of God precedes and conditions all his observations and reasoning. A “first truth” he defines to be “a knowledge which, though developed upon occasion of observation and reflection, is not derived from observation and reflection” (p. 30). Such truths are characterized by their universality, their necessity, and their logical independence and priority. This position leads the author to say, “We cannot prove that God is, but we can show that, in order to the existence of any knowledge, thought, reason, in man, man must assume that God is” (p. 34). It may seem ungracious to begin the review of a book which is, on the whole, so admirable, with a criticism; but where there is so much to praise, we are permitted to speak with greater freedom of ...

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