Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 130:520 (Oct 1973)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

The Christian Faith, Personally Given in a System of Doctrine. By Olin Alfred Curtis. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1971. Reprint of 1905 ed. xi + 541 pp. $7.95.

That Curtis has written a different work on systematic theology cannot be denied. It was considered unique when first published in 1905 and it still is. In its anthropological orientation of the development of theology Curtis’ work is paralleled only by Mullins’ The Christian Religion in Its Doctrinal Expression.

For almost 20 years Professor of Systematic Theology at Drew Theological Seminary (1896–1914), Curtis has produced a strange combination of viewpoints. He states himself that he trusts he has produced “a fair mediation between Arminianism and Calivinism,” (p. ix). He is generally conservative and orthodox in his doctrinal positions, and yet he accepts an evolutionary view of man that harmonizes with liberalism.

Curtis repudiates the inerrancy of the Bible, even in matters not scientific or historical (p. 175). He presents what he himself calls “the endorsement theory” of biblical inspiration (pp. 177-80). He expounds John Wesley’s doctrine of personal holiness and Christian perfection. He has many individual doctrines and individualistic ways of expressing commonly held positions.

Unquestionably a theologian of creativity, Curtis states his views simply and interestingly. His work is easy and enjoyable reading. Kregel has performed a service in making it available again.

J. A. Witmer

Lectures in Systematic Theology. By Robert L. Dabney. Grand Rapids:Zondervan Publishing House, 1972. Reprint of 1878 ed. 903 pp.$12.95.

Dabney was to Presbyterian theology in the South what Hodge was in the North. First published by his students with his permission in 1878, this work was the textbook in systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, where he taught from 1853 to 1883 (except briefly during the Civil War), until 1930. It was also used in all the Southern Presbyterian seminaries and elsewhere.

Although his theology is not an exposition of and commentary on The Westminster Confession, it is thoroughly Presbyterian in character, Dabney is a covenant theologian. developing the covenant of works and the covenant of grace in detail. He is amillennial in eschatology, presenting a general resurrection and a general judgment. He deals with what he calls pre-Adventism, which is essentially William Miller’s views. Apparently Dabney knew nothing of premillennialism.

The values of Dabney’s theology are (1) it is biblical, (2) it is detailed a...

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