Professor Park As A Theological Preacher -- By: George Nye Boardman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 058:231 (Jul 1901)
Article: Professor Park As A Theological Preacher
Author: George Nye Boardman

Professor Park As A Theological Preacher

Rev. George Nye Boardman

Professor Park has been designated “The great professor.” But his sermons sometimes indicated a range of thought and subtlety of speculation that have not appeared in his other published works, probably not in his lectures. As a teacher of theology, he would not be under obligation to go beyond the creeds of the denomination to which he belonged. Theology is a fairly well-rounded science, and may be taught from a text-book as well as arithmetic or geology. A system of lectures need not necessarily contain private, original speculations of the lecturer. He may encourage his pupils to make excursions into adjacent fields of thought, while he confines his positive instructions to the well-established doctrines of the Christian faith.

Professor Park as a lecturer presented his views with great clearness, discriminated point from point in Christian doctrine with great acuteness, conducted an argument with remarkable logical skill, and left the impression that his conclusions could be avoided only by beginning with new premises. But he was not ambitious to develop a theology of his own: his aim was to establish, with accuracy and definite-ness, his positions on ground already traversed. He was, however, very positive in his views, and might almost be called a partisan theologian. Early in his occupancy of his theological professorship, he avowed himself a high Hopkinsian, and probably would at any time have accepted that designation. His controversy with Dr. Hodge showed that he

was a most determined advocate of the New England view of sin and human ability. He accepted, also, the Hopkinsian doctrines concerning the means of grace and “unregenerate doings.” Of the composite scheme which is now called the new theology, he did not, so far as I know, publicly express an opinion. That part of it which is really new has come into notice since he retired from official labor. That part of it which consists of the doctrines rejected by Edwards and Hopkins met with his opposition from first to last. The rejection of the authority of the Bible, the rejection of the doctrine of divine revelations evidenced by accompanying supernatural interpositions, the adoption of a rationalistic view of inspiration, the acceptance of the doctrine that human nature is a development from brute nature, the acceptance of the doctrine that the human species has existed for countless ages on the earth, must inevitably modify the traditional orthodox theology. Professor Park never adjusted his scheme of teaching to these views. A scheme of theology, often called by its adherents new, now somewhat widely adopted under the name of liberalism, which, perhaps, vaguely admi...

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