Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 091:362 (Apr 1934)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Department of Book Reviews

The Doctrine of Redemption. By Albert C. Knudson. Abingdon Press. 512 pp. $3.50.

This, together with Dr. Knudson’s former work on the “Doctrine of God,” covers the field of systemic theology. In this volume the subjects of anthropology, hamartiology, Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology are considered. Two major divisions into which the book is divided direct our attention in the first place to “the world, man, and sin”; and in the second place to “Christ and redemption.” It is the hope of the author that the arguments of these sections will save theology from the neglect it has received in recent times. The preface suggests two things which characterize the book. “One is the frank facing of the metaphysical problems involved in theology.” This is done thoroughly and consistently from the modern personalistic viewpoint. “The other characteristic is the amount of attention devoted to the history of Christian thought.”

The views of this work are based on a philosophical presupposition. They are an a priori argument from the standpoint of personalism. Theology is treated subjectively and is made to conform to the philosophical system of a personalist. The book does not lack in consistency and coherence; but in order to maintain these virtues in the light of his philosophy Dr. Knudson has dogmatically stated the fallability of the Bible, and has maligned the importance of material that would complicate his view. In other words he knows no authority but personalism. This is good philosophy, but whether such an approach to theology is adequate can be soundly questioned. The weakness is that the philosophy becomes both subject and object. This position is untenable.

There are also numerous errors in the statements of

the book. On p. 260 is a description of the psychology of original sin. An example is given of the element of ignorance and self-deception in the sentence, “Ye shall not surely die.” Ignorance was not an element in man’s psychology because God had said, “thou shalt surely die.” Self-deception was not present because the statement came from the serpent, not self.

On p. 289 he asserts the following in regard to the incarnation. “Over against humanitarianism and adoptionism the church held firmly to the idea of a divine incarnation. This was the teaching of the profoundest writers in the New Testament: Paul, John and the author of Hebrews. These men accounted for the uniqueness of Christ by the theory of his preëxistence. A divine Being was regarded as incarnated in him.” The last sentence is a misstatement of the “teaching...

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