The Theological Aspect At The German Universities At The Present Time -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 059:235 (Jul 1902)
Article: The Theological Aspect At The German Universities At The Present Time
Author: Anonymous


The Theological Aspect At The German Universities At The Present Time

Recently I came upon an article in the Bibliotheca Sacra, written by Joseph Cook in the year 1875, on the “Decline of Rationalism in the German Universities.” Much of what was then written was undoubtedly true at the time. Still I remember well, that, when I thought of going to Germany at that time, to spend a year studying at some German university, President A. H. Strong, D.D., said to me before going: “I advise you to finish your course here before you go, for the danger of becoming unsettled in the belief is too great.” And if I look upon the results that have been secured for the American Theology I am compelled to affirm, that, in many respects, the suggestion of Dr. Strong was perfectly true. For many young men who came to Germany even then have, besides having acquired some of the scientific habits of German scholars, become unsettled in their religious belief, and imbibed much of that method of criticism which has not unjustly been called “destructive.” Many of these now fill the chairs in the institutions of learning in the United States whose theology is rather doubtful, and scarcely anything more than a reproduction in the States of the teaching received at the German universities years ago. And the seed thus transplanted into the American schools of learning is, as we see from every paper and journal we receive from America, already bearing its doubtful fruit.

One form of Rationalism may at the time Mr. Cook wrote have been on the decline; but another was even then rampant, the seeds of which are now bearing fruit in the professorial chairs and the pulpits, not only in Germany, but elsewhere too. I need only mention such names as Weizsäcker at Tübingen, Schenkel and Hausrath at Heidelberg, Reuss at Strassburg, Mangold at Bonn, A. Ritschl at Göttingen, Riehm at Halle, Dillmann at Berlin, and Wellhausen at that time at Greifswald, now at Gottingen, to show that there was then Rationalism enough at the different seats of learning in Germany. There were such men also, as Luthardt, Delitzsch, Kahnis and Wold-Schmidt at Leipzig, J. T. Beck and Palmer at Tübingen, v. Hofman at Erlangen, Zöckler at Greifswald, Grau at Königsberg, and others no less positive and evangelical in their views. But most of these have since then been gathered to their fathers, having

done a good work through many years, and others have entered upon their work; some as positive as these last named, others if possible more liberal than the former.

Of the positive theologians now in the forefront I mention H. Cremer, v. Nathusius, and Hausleiter at Greifswald; Hashagen, Nösgen, and Walther at Rostock; Althaus at Gö...

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