§ 93. Part of an Organism
By the organism of theology we mean what is commonly called "the division of the theological departments." Since, however, theology as an organic whole is itself an organic member of the all-embracing organism of science, for the sake of clearness, a short resume is here necessary of what was treated in our first chapter. Notwithstanding our position that science shows itself in a twofold form, viz. science as prosecuted in the circle outside of palingenesis, and science as studied in the circle ruled over by palingenesis, this antithesis is nevertheless merely empirical. According to its idea there is but one science, and they who do not reckon with palingenesis naturally refuse to see anything but the result of imagination and obscurantism in what is science to us. And we, in turn, refuse to acknowledge as science the science which is studied outside of palingenesis. As said before, both these sciences have a very broad field in common, which includes all those objects which are not affected by the differentiation of palingenesis, in so far as the investigation of these objects employs no other functions of our mind than those which have remained uninjured by the darkening brought upon us by sin. This embraces, in the first place, everything that is commonly called sciences by the English, and sciences exactes by the French; at least so far as the exponents of these sciences hold themselves to their task, and do not make cosmological inferences or construct philosophical hypotheses. But in the second place, the subordinate labor of the spiritual sciences also belongs to this, so far as it tends exclusively to collect and determine external, observable data. Hence a very large part of philological study, in the narrower sense, and of historical detail goes on outside of the afore-mentioned differentiation. The fact that a person compares a few codices constitutes him by no means a philologist, nor because he studies a certain part of positive law is he made a jurist, and much less does he become a theologian because he inquires into the history of a monastery. But in doing this, such scholars may readily furnish contributions which are of lasting value to their several departments. So far as the sciences exactes rest simply on counting, weighing and measuring, they do not stand very high; neither does this subordinate detail-study of the spiritual sciences bear an ideal scientific character; but they have this in their favor, that universal validity attaches to their results, and for this reason, though unjustly, they are largely credited as being the only strictly scientific studies. But this is only self-deception. These studies derive their peculiar character simply from the fact that they do not touch the higher functions of the subject, and are affected by the subject only in so far as, standing outside the influence of sin, it is one and the same in all investigators. Science in the higher sense begins only where these higher functions operate, and then, of course, these two streams must separate, because the working of these higher functions, with and without palingenesis, differs. From this it follows, at the same time, that universal validity cannot be attained except in so far as, potentially at least, these higher functions work identically. The students of science in whom these functions are unenlightened can advance no farther than the recognition of their results in their own circle. And on the other hand, the students of science to whom the enlightening has come can never promise themselves anything more than the recognition of their results in the circle of those who have been enlightened. From the nature of the case this is intended simply in the potential sense. Neither one of these sciences expects an immediate recognition of their results and from all; they simply assume that every one who reaches a logical and complete development within one of these two circles will find the results to be thus and not otherwise. Hence the position is this, that that science which arises from natural data only, subjective as well as objective, asserts, and is bound to assert itself, to be the science which originates of necessity from the reflection of the cosmos in the subjective consciousness of humanity. And, on the other hand, that science which reckons with the fact of re-creation, objective as well as subjective, asserts that real science is born only from the human consciousness that has been restored again to its normal self, and therefore cannot recognize as such the fruit of the working of the still abnormal human consciousness. The rule that he who is not born again of water and spirit cannot see the kingdom of God, applies not merely to the domain of theology. Without enlightening, the jurist is not able to open his eyes to see the Justice of God, neither can the philologist observe the course of God in history and in the conscious life of the nations.
But whatever view-point one occupies, science, as it develops itself in each of these two circles, is in either case organically one, because the object forms an organic whole, and the subject in the consciousness of humanity is itself organic, and lives organically in connection with the object. Of course theology falls of itself out of that science which has no other machinery than human data; and since by sin and curse, both objectively and subjectively, a disturbance has been created in the organism, its organic character is bound to exhibit defects, and frequently lead to a non liquet, or even to radical agnosticism. But neither the one nor the other renders science, thus interpreted, either mechanical or atomistic. The characteristic of the organism remains recognizable and dominant. And from the nature of the case this applies in a much higher sense to that science which is under the power of re-creation, since it includes theology and possesses the missing links. From this organic character of science follows, at the same time, its unity. From our standpoint we do not assert that the subject of theology is those who have been enlightened, and that the subject of all other science is those of the natural mind ^vxuck), but we claim that the only subject of all science is the consciousness of regenerated or re-created humanity; and that so large a part of scientific study can be furnished equally well by those who stand outside of this, is simply because this building also admits a vast amount of hod-carrier service which is entirely different from the higher architecture.
§ 94. In the Organism of Science Theology is an Independent Organ
When Schleiermacher described theology as an agglomerate of a few departments of knowledge, which found their unity in the "guidance and direction of the Church," he actually abrogated theology and her organic existence in the organism of the sciences. An agglomerate is never organic, it is the opposite of organic, and is never made organic by any unity in the purpose of your studies. The organic character of a science carries also in itself a teleological element, but the end alone can never make an organism of that which differs in object and principle. The later effort, therefore, was entirely rational, to regain the unity of object by making religion the object of investigation. We do not deny that the science of religion finds an equally organic place in the organism of science, as for instance the science of the aesthetic, moral, or intellectual life of man. It is our conviction that this science got into the wrong track, when by the aid of religious evolution it repealed the antithesis between true and false religion. But even so, this science is formally an organic part of the organism of science. We simply deny that in this organism the science of religion can ever constitute an independent organ. By leading motives the organism of science is divided into a few great complexes, which form as it were special provinces in the republic of the sciences. Each of these complexes divides itself into smaller complexes, and these smaller complexes subdivide into smaller groups; but for this very reason the distinction between the coordinate and the subordinate must not be lost from sight. In our body the nervous system forms a complex of its own; hence everything that is radically governed by the nerves must be subsumed by science under this head. The Veluwe along the Zuyder Zee is indeed a particular region of land, but it should not for this reason be coordinated with the Dutch provinces. Nothing arbitrary therefore can be tolerated in the distribution of the organism of science. There must be a principium of division, and only those parts of the organism are independent which by virtue of this principium are governed immediately by this general, and not by a lower, principium of division. Pathology cannot be an independent science, because it is not formed immediately by the principium of division of science, but is governed by the general conception of the medical science. And this is the case here. As a psychological-historical phenomenon, religion is but one of many psychological phenomena. It is granted that it is the most important, but it is always one of many. It is no genus, but a species under a genus. Hence the science of religion can never claim for itself an independent place. It belongs to the philological faculty, and in this faculty it occurs as a subordinated science, partly under psychology, partly under ethnology, and partly under philosophy.
But it becomes a different matter when, passing by the "Science of Religion," we speak of Theology in the sense indicated above. Then we deal with a science which has a single common object (objectum univocum), arises from a single common principle (principium univocum), and develops itself after a method of its own. This cannot be subordinated, either under the natural, juridical, philological, or medical sciences, hence it must be coordinated. In scientific research human consciousness pursues the five principally differentiated parts of its total object. It directs itself to man, to nature about man, and to God as man's creator, preserver, and end; while with man, as far as he himself is concerned, logical distinction must be made between his psychic, somatic and his social existence. These are the five primordial lines which spring immediately from the principium of division, i.e. from the human consciousness in relation to its total object; and this agrees entirely with the division of the faculties, which is the outcome of the increated law of life itself and of its practical needs. And since theology directs itself to the "knowledge of God," it cannot be subordinated, but must be coordinated, and because of its independent object, its independent principium, and its independent method, it claims our homage as an independent organ in the organism of science.
§ 95. The Boundary of Theology in the Organism of Science
Theology is not isolated in the organism of science. It is united with it in an organic way. From this it follows that communication between it and the other four great scientific complexes is not prevented from any one side. Communication, avenues of approach, and points of union extend to all sides. This, however, does not imply that there are no boundaries between theology and the other four coordinates; but as in every other non-mechanical domain, these boundaries here must be measured from the centrum, and not in the periphery. When a centre and the length of a ray are given, the boundary is fixed for the entire surrounding, even though this is not entirely marked out and thus is not discernible outwardly.
This centre here is the revealed ectypal self-knowledge of God. Since, however, it is the revealed and ectypal selfknowledge of God, it is not limited to abstract knowledge of God, taken as an isolated object of thought. The fact that it is ectypal expresses, indeed, a relation of this self-knowledge to man, and that it is revealed assumes logically a dealing with the data, condition and means in which and by which this revelation takes place. The knowledge which God has of Himself includes also the knowledge of His counsel, work and will, and the relation in which He has placed man to Himself, outside of as well as under sin. Since this ectypal knowledge of God is revealed, not in the abstract sense to satisfy our desire for knowledge, but very concretely, as one of the means by which this all-excelling work of re-creation is accomplished, a process is effected by this ectypal knowledge of God, namely the Christian Church, by which, even as a tree by its fruit, this knowledge of God is more particularly known. And so far as in this way the light of this ectypal knowledge of God shines out, and its working is observable, the boundaries of theology extend, or what was called its "compass," including, of course, what we must do in order, in our time also, to let the working of the knowledge of God have free course. As soon, however, as the influence which has been exerted by this knowledge of God outside the sphere created by itself is considered, theology provides contributions (Lehnsatze) for other sciences, but operates itself no longer. Then it concerns the application of its results to other objects, and no longer the product of what is to be applied. As the theologian applies results furnished by logic, but is thereby no creator of logic himself, so the jurist, philologist, medicus and naturalist must deal with the results of theology without themselves being thereby theologians.
So far, on the other hand, as the jurist, the medicus, etc., finds data in revelation which bear not on the way of the knowledge of God, but immediately on his department, he must determine for himself what influence one and another shall exert upon his own investigation. Now we speak of course of the jurist, the philologist, etc., as he should be, i.e. as standing within the pale of palingenesis, and as a Christian bending his knee before the majesty of the Lord and of His Revelation; not being limited by Revelation, but enriched and enlarged by it, seeing what otherwise he would not see, knowing what otherwise would be hidden from him. We do not advocate, therefore, a certain subserviency of the other sciences to theology as the queen of sciences. There can never be a question of such a relation of mistress and servant, in a scientific sense, among the sciences. He who investigates may render no obedience to any but the irresistible impulse of his own conviction. Even where material (Lehnsatze) is borrowed by other sciences from theology, it occurs by no other authority than that by which theology in turn borrows material from other sciences, i.e. under the conviction that by similar investigations one would reach like results. The conflicts which arise from this are therefore no conflicts between theology and the other sciences, but conflicts which the jurist, the physicist, medicus, and philologist faces, each in his own domain, in the same way in which the theologian faces these in his. All these conflicts arise from the fact that re-creation has begun, indeed, potentially, but can be completed with the parousia alone. If re-creation were completed now, every conflict of this nature would be inconceivable. Since now it is not finished, either in ourselves or in the cosmos, of necessity we have to deal with natural and supernatural data. Both these reflect themselves in our consciousness, and this gives rise to the conflict in our consciousness; which conflict is ended only in so far as we succeed in tracing the real connection between these two series of data. And this is by no means accomplished by ignoring any data that present themselves to us, from both series, or from either of the two. This might give us an ostrich wisdom but no human science. In no particular should the naturalist, for instance, be impeded. With the aid of all possible means at his command, he must prosecute his observations, and formulate what he has observed. If, on the other hand, he undertakes to construct a system from his discoveries, or commits himself to hypotheses by which to interpret his observations, the leaving out of account of the factor of Revelation is equivalent to the work of one who, in the biography of his hero, ignores his correspondence or autobiography. Whatever applies, therefore, to the origin and end of things cannot be determined by the laws he has discovered, since every law, when carried logically to its extreme in this matter of origin and end, leads ad absurdum, and involves us in antinomies that cannot be solved. If a law is to apply to a kingdom, it is assumed that this kingdom has being. Neither is he able, with his discovered law, to react against the possibility of re-creation. Since he knows, while he himself is affected by palingenesis, that (in order to realize the re-creation) a higher law in God is bound to modify the operation of the law which dominates the natural life. If he does not acknowledge this, he denies in principle the very possibility of re-creation, is without the photismos, and is unable to draw any conclusion. If, on the other hand, standing himself at the view-point of palingenesis, he prosecutes his studies, nothing binds him but his own conviction, and he must try to overcome, if possible, the conflicts that are sure to present themselves. In this, however, he will not always succeed, because the want of the necessary data renders this impossible. And neither can the claim be made that the solution found by him shall be at once accepted by every one else. Even in the scientific circles of Law, History and Philosophy, which do not reckon with palingenesis, differences of tendency and insight prevail, from which definite schools form themselves, which arise only presently to go down again. All this is but owing to the limitation of our power to know, to the paucity of data at our command, and to the usual impossibility of verification. The slow progress made in tins direction is chiefly to be attributed to the fact that theologians have studied the above-mentioned conflicts almost exclusively, and that the Christians who have devoted themselves to these studies have for the most part been dualistically constituted, being heathen with the head and Christian at heart. And real advances will be made only when men who are themselves heart and soul alive to the efficacy of regeneration, at the same time devote all their powers of thought to these natural and historical studies, and so face these very conflicts.
The theologian also is familiar with these conflicts in his domain, occasioned by the incongruity which so often appears between natural and revealed theology. The theologian also is concerned with re-creation, and in the very idea of re-creation lies the antithesis between that which is to undergo the re-creative act and that which is established as outcome of that act. Hence there is always a duality: (1) the old data, which are present in what shall be regenerated, and (2) the new data, which shall constitute the regeneration. The Scripture, therefore, does not hesitate to speak of the "old man" and of the "new man" (Col. iii. 10), by which to indicate what present data must lie removed (aireKBvaaadai), and what data, brought in from without. must appear (ivBvaaadai). By that which must be removed, we are by no means to understand the structure of our human personality; this, indeed, must remain, since otherwise there would be a new creation and no regeneration. What is meant is simply that which in that structure has been deformed by sin and has become a sinful habit. Consequently, revealed theology distinguishes in man between what is his human structure, in order that it may attach itself to this, and all sinful deformity, in order to exclude it. And since natural theology does not belong to what constitutes the "old man," but on the contrary to the psychical structure of our human essence, revealed theology does by no means exclude this natural theology, but rather postulates it, assumes it, and joins itself to it. For this reason it was so absurd in the last century to place this natural theology as a second principium of Divine knowledge by the side of the Holy Scripture, and so really to furnish two theologies: first, a brief and vague knowledge of God from natural theology, and after that a broad and sharply outlined knowledge of God from Revelation. For sinful man, as he is able in his psychical structure from himself, in connection with his observation of the cosmos, to obtain this natural theology (Rom. i. 19, 20), is the person in all dogma toward whom Revelation directs itself, to whom it is disposed, and whom it takes thus and not otherwise. Hence our older theologians were much nearer the truth when they applied the clear distinctions between man in his original creation, fallen, and restored, to almost every dogma, provided it is carefully kept in view that they did not delineate fallen man to whom the revelation was made after life, but took their copy from the image offered of him by the Scripture. Neither did they do this in order to lose themselves in abstraction, which has nothing in common with life, but to obtain certainty that they did not fall into error in their view of fallen man. If they had gone to work empirically, and had sought from life itself to estimate what sort of a person fallen man might be, all certainty of starting-point would have been wanting; which is seen sufficiently clearly from the several sorts of theories that have been framed concerning it. On the contrary, they allowed the Word of God itself to furnish them this image, and now they knew that they had solid ground under their feet. Sinful man was devoid of an adequate self-knowledge, and by the light of the Word of God alone does he recognize his true appearance. Not as if henceforth he was to take no further account of his essential existence, but because in this way only did he come to know what his essential existence is. Natural Theology, therefore, is not added to the Scripture as a second something, but is taken up in the Scripture itself, and by the light of the Scripture alone appears in connection with the reality of our life. Hence natural theology cannot be explained in dogmatics, except under the category of man in his original righteousness and man in his fall. Every other mode of treatment leads either to rationalism, by placing reason alongside of the Scripture as a second principium, or to mysticism, by assigning the same place to the life of the emotions, in order presently, by logical sequence, to push the Scriptural principium to one side and to destroy it. But if this ends the conflict for the theologian, both formally and with respect to principle, the fact is not taken away that the antithesis is bound to reappear between fallen man, who is to be recreated, and restored man, who is to be looked upon as the fruit of this re-creation. This would not be so if this re-creation were completed in one moment. But it is unavoidable, since it requires sometimes a very long process by which to bring out potential re-creation to actual completion. Hence in the doctrines of the Covenant, of Baptism, of the Church, of Sanctification and in Ethics this conflict reappears again and again, and to this day theology struggles to overcome the conflict, theoretically in her formulation of the things to be believed (credenda), and practically in her teaching of the things to be done (agenda).
This conflict, therefore, exists not merely between theology and natural science, etc., but extends across the entire domain of human knowledge and presents itself to the Christian thinker in every department. The reason is plain. Since sin denaturalized the entire cosmic life in and about man, re-creation comes in to restore the entire cosmos, as far as it stands related to man. It is one of the demands of truth, therefore, that both factors of this conflict shall be exhibited as they are. By placing a board covered with flowers across an abyss, the abyss is not filled in. There is no need, however, that the conflict shall be overestimated. If, for instance, the naturalist observes that the deposit of the Nile increases annually so many millimetres, and that it is so many metres high, his conclusion is indisputable, that, if this deposit has been constant, the height of 12.47 metres now reached would have required a much longer period of time than is known to our era. But he is not able to prove that the deposit has been constant. The required observation lies outside the empiric domain to which he must limit his judgment. This is not cited for the sake of proving the fact that our earth has not existed longer than six thousand years. With reference to this fact Scriptural teaching is by no means exegetically sure. But for the sake of showing in a concrete instance what we understand by an unlawful extension of the conflict.
Meanwhile, the relation between Theology and Philosophy deserves separate mention, since the boundary which separates these two sciences is frequently crossed from both sides. This requires a closer analysis of the idea of philosophy. Philosophy embraces two things: on the one hand, the investigation into man's psychical existence, and, on the other hand, the effort to put together concentrically the entire content of the scientific consciousness in organic connection, and to explain it. Man's psychic existence leads, in turn, to a separate investigation (1) into his psyche tyvxfi) as such (psychology), and (2) into the ethical, aesthetical and logical qualities of this psyche (ethics, aesthetics and logic). And finally, Logic, in a broader sense, includes the investigation into the consciousness as such, into the laws which govern our thought, and into the ways which lead to knowledge (Principienlehre, Logica und Erkenntnisstheorie). The second task of Philosophy is of an entirely different kind; it is not directed to the conscious and thinking man, but it is the effort of the thinking man himself to reflect the cosmos, which presents itself to him as existing organically, as an organic whole in the mirror of his consciousness. Actually, therefore, two sciences are embraced in Philosophy which evermore separate. Efforts have even been made to give an independent position to the study of thinking man, under the name of " Logic" (taken in a broader sense than now). This plan will probably produce the farther effect of having Psychology appear on a ground of its own, with its quality-doctrine in ethics and aesthetics. This will make Logic consist of the science of thinking man, or, if you please, it will make the Logos in man to be the object of investigation, and Philosophy, in the narrower sense, will be the science which collects the results of all the other sciences concentrically under a higher unity. Thus we may have Logic as the science of thinking (cogitare), and Philosophy as the science of being (esse). Meanwhile, no objection can be raised against classing, as yet, this entire complex of sciences under the common name of the philosophical sciences, provided in the discussion of the relations between theology and these sciences, the indicated distinction is kept in view, and we no longer speak of the philosophy. As for Logic, the saying that it is an auxiliary to the theologian reduces it by no means to the rank of a handmaid of theology. It renders this service equally to all the other sciences. As far as Logic is concerned, this entire representation of the handmaid (ancilla) was simply a matter of custom. It is, indeed, a patent fact, that in every science man is the thinking agent, and if he shall undertake intellectual pursuits in an accurate and prepared way, and in the full consciousness of self, the knowledge and practice of the faculty of thought are indispensable to him. A theologian who undervalues Logic, as being little necessary to him, simply disarms himself. This was by no means the practice of our older theologians. They always emphasized most strongly the study of formal logic, together with its related arts (rexyaf). By saying this, we do not imply that in this field, also, no conflicts may present themselves. These are excluded so long as one confines himself to logic in the narrower sense, but are bound to come up as soon as "die Principien der Erkenntniss," together with the method by which to attain to knowledge, or included under Logic. This appears all too painfully, indeed, from the serious effort of naturalism to apply its method to the spiritual sciences. No doubt, this conflict is least of all a conflict between theology and philosophy, but one born from the differing dispositions of the thinker. If his ideal life is high, he cannot reach the same conclusions as another person, whose mind and tendency confine themselves entirely to the things seen (Spara). In the same way, if by regeneration thinking man stands in vital communion with the kingdom of God, he must see differently, and consequently judge differently, from the one who stands outside of it. The same applies to psychology and ethics. A Christian philosopher knows his own soul (^vX^) an0- views tfle ethical life differently from the philosopher who stands outside of regeneration. The antithesis, therefore, does not consist in the fact that theology offers a Christian ethics and philosophy a neutral one. The Christian philosopher cannot do otherwise than live Christian ethics, and what theology gives is not a Christian, but a theological ethics, which will be more fully explained in the discussion of the separate departments.
The real conflict, however, between theology and philosophy begins, when philosophy is taken in the narrower sense, as the science that investigates the principles of being, and in virtue of these principles seeks to furnish, from all the results of the other sciences, a concentric-organic life- and world-view. Then we should be on our guard, lest theology degenerate into philosophy, and philosophy capture for itself the place of theology. This has already happened; which fact explains itself from the circumstance, that philosophers for the most part have not reckoned with regeneration, and that theologians frequently have deemed themselves able to get along without philosophy. From the first it followed, that besides a psychology, an ethics, an aesthetics and a logic, philosophers also tried to furnish a doctrine of God, and from the imperfectly interpreted data of the inborn and the acquired knowledge of God, sought to construct a theology, independently of the revealed knowledge of God. Thus they set themselves in hostile array against theology, and in selfdefence were bent to oppose real theology, suppress it, and in the end banish it from the arena. On the other hand, this made theologians tend to view philosophy in the narrower sense as a hostile phenomenon, and, since they had no real Christian philosophy of their own, to make war against all philosophy. Since, however, it is impossible to live even in the Christian world without certain cosmological conceptions, they attempted to supply this want in their dogmatics, and thus it happened that they furnished not a simple theology but a theology with a philosophical seasoning. To bring this perverted relation to an end, it is necessary, on the one hand, to recognize that philosophy has an entirely different task to accomplish than theology, and, on the other hand, to distinguish sharply between Christian and non-Christian philosophy.
Philosophy has an entirely different task. Theology has no other calling than to take up the ectypal knowledge of God, as it is known from its source the Holy Scripture, into the consciousness of re-created humanity and to reproduce it. Philosophy (now always taken in the narrower sense), on the other hand, is called to construct the human knowledge, which has been brought to light by all the other sciences, into one architectonic whole, and to show how this building arises from one basis. From this it follows, that the need of philosophy is a necessity (afay/e7;) which arises out of the impulse of the human consciousness for unity, and is therefore of equal importance to those who stand outside, as to those who are in the regeneration. To say that a Christian is less in need of philosophy is only the exhibition of spiritual sloth and lack of understanding. The more the enlightening restores harmony in our consciousness, the stronger must be the awakening of the impulse after an unitous (einheitlich) organic knowledge. While, on the other hand, the richer the data at our service, the better the hope of success in this. Philosophy which reckons only with natural data will always vibrate between a pantheistic, deistic and materialistic interpretation, and will never do more than form schools, while Christian philosophy, whose theistic point of departure is fixed, is able to lead to unity of interpretation within the circle of regeneration. But for this very reason theology will be able to go hand in hand with a Christian philosophy. It is the task of philosophy to arrange concentrically the results of all the other sciences, and if non-Christian philosophy ignores the results of theology, as though it were no science, theology is in duty bound to enter her protest against this. If, on the other hand, the philosopher himself is regenerate, and is historically and ecclesiastically in union with the life of palingenesis, then of course in his studies he includes the results of theology, together with the results of all the other sciences; and it is his care, architectonically to raise such a cosmological building that of themselves the results of theology also find their place in it.
§ 96. Self-determination of the Organism of Theology
Theological Encyclopedia includes generally the question of the relation of theology to the University. As the matter actually stands in Europe, however, this question concerns the relation of theology to the Government. If the universities were free corporations, as formerly they were intended to be, and as they are sometimes now (in Belgium, in the Netherlands, America, England and in Switzerland), and as they ought to be everywhere, this question would entirely fall away; for then this relation would merely be an item of history. But this question is important because to this day in most countries the most influential universities are state institutions, founded, supported and governed by state authorities. Thus the Government determines not merely the number, rank and quality of the faculties; but directs also the organism of theology, as being on a par with the other sciences, by its conditions for every chair, and by its choice of departments, which it unites as a group under one and the same chair. Even in former times this was not right, since it can never be derived from the attributes of the Government, that it shall determine the organism of theology. But this raised no preponderating difficulty, inasmuch as in those times the Government made free-will abdication of every discretionary right, and simply followed custom. Such, however, is not the case now. In Holland indeed it has reached such a point that the Law for Higher Education (of April 28, 1876, Stbl. n. 102), Art. 42, prescribes a tenfold division of the theological departments, which is entirely antagonistic to the nature and character of theology; even to such an extent that dogmatics, which is the heart of all theology, is simply cut out from the body of theology.i It can scarcely be denied that this is a violent attack upon the organism of theology. In view of facts such as these, we maintain the right of theology to determine its own organism. No Government can do this, since this is not its province; neither does it possess the data for it. Neither is it authorized to do this, since playing the r81e of dilettante and abusing its power it creates confusion in theology. It is evident that the division of departments and of chairs of itself exerts an influence upon the entire course of studies, upon the association of studies even in the case of the ablest theologians, and darkens insight into the true essence of Theology. Such an interference on the part of the Government is an attack upon the liberty of science, while in Theology, moreover, it amounts to the choice of a confessional party; in cam of the modern interpretation of Theology as "the science of religion" instead of "the science of the revealed knowledge of God," which it has always been, in keeping with its origin and principle.
A measure of influence can more properly be accorded to the Church, in so far as the Church may dictate what studies are indispensable to the expression of her life, both with reference to the education of her ministers and to the defence of her faith; in fact, this influence is exerted by the Church in the conditions assigned by her for ecclesiastical examinations.
i These departments are: (a) encyclopedia, (6) history of the doctrine of Ood, (c) history of religions, (d) history of Israel's religion, (e) history of Christendom, (/) Israelitish and old Christian literature. (<y) Old and New Testament exegesis, (ft) history of Christian dogma, (f) philosophy of religion, (fc) ethics.
No university can permanently neglect in its theological faculty the departments needed for these examinations. But so far as Theology stands in vital connection with the Church this tie is a natural one; beyond this it ceases to exist. Hence even ecclesiastical influence should extend no further. The Church states her need, but the question in what way, in what order, and in what connection this need must be met is encyclopedic and pedagogic. That which exists mechanically can be taken apart and reconstructed differently at will, but this is not possible with organic life. That which lives organically obeys, in its organic development, an inner law of life. It is as it is because it sprang from its germ thus and not otherwise, and because it can assume no proportions except those which it possesses by nature. By violently attacking the life of an organism, you can occasion anaesthesia or hyperaesthesia, atrophy or hypertrophy, of one of the organs, but this does not modify the nature of the organism. That remains the same as before. Concerning the organism of theology, therefore, we cannot but think that all interference on the part of the Government should be most firmly resisted; that the Church both may and must exert an influence by the appointment of those studies which she deems necessary for the maintenance of her life, provided she does not presume to determine in what way her requirement shall be met; and that therefore the construction of the body of theology can be determined by itself alone as it unfolds its organic existence. This does not deny that this organic articulation (Gliederung) is formulated by our thinking. But if this task is properly performed, it consists of the simple statement of what kind of organic life we have discovered in the organism of theology.
§ 97. Organic Articulation of Propedeutics
The discussion of propaedeutics, as such, is really in place in a ratio studiorum, and not in Encyclopedia proper. And yet Encyclopedia cannot afford to pass the propaedeutic studies by in silence. For these studies are not accidental, neither are they chosen arbitrarily, but are indicated of themselves in the organic ties that bind theology to the other parts of the organism of science. Being itself a department of ideal science, theology naturally demands such a general development as is indispensable to all ideal sciences. In the conflict waged as to the precedence of humanistic and naturalistic studies in preparatory schools, the humanistic must be preferred for theological propaedeutics. But it is a mistake to make it appear that the humanistic training, indicated as such historically, is sufficient for the theologian. In the main, if not exclusively, humanistic propaedeutics directed themselves to the beautiful form, and were but little impressed with the importance of philosophy and history. Ancient philosophy was taught, and Greek and Roman history, together with their proper antiquities, but rather as a means for the understanding of the classics than as a proper factor for the forming of the mind. And this is not tolerated by the position of theology in the organism of science. To be sure, theology does not allow neglect of beauty of form. The finer form alone lends to the mind that sensitive discernment which is indispensable to all ideal science, and which in its reproduction is not to be discarded. But with this formal scholarship theology is not satisfied. The too excessive admiration of the world of old Hellas is rather an impediment in the way to the deeper study of her principles. To her the old classic world is simply a link in that great process of development that extends to the present time. Hence she demands a propaedeutic which embraces the entire course of philosophy and history down to our times, and which from first to last is subject to the criticism of Christian principles. For which reason this propaedeutic cannot be ended in the preparatory school, but must reach its completion in academic propaedeutics. Even in itself the limitation of propaedeutics to the gymnasia cannot be approved, since for every truly scientific study a scientific introduction into the scientific treatment of it is indispensable; and this the gymnasium can never give. Theology, moreover, must be able to make use of a critical knowledge of human thought and act (philosophy and history) as its background, such as cannot be taught in the preparatory school. This implies at the same time that propaedeutics cannot stand on any other foundation than the study of theology itself. Propaedeutica in the pagan sense, standing outside of palingenesis, denies the organic connection between theology and other studies, and does not prepare for, but leads one away from, theology. Hence the character of preparatory as well as of academic propaedeutics ought to be distinctively Christian; which demand is not met by the addition of religious instruction (a Religionsstunde) to pagan propaedeutics. It demands that the entire preparation itself, both formal and material, shall keep close reckoning with the principles of a Christian lifeand world-view. He who is himself a partaker of palingenesis, and who consequently pays homage to the Cross of Golgotha as the centre of the development of human history, has an entirely different outlook upon the propaedeutic departments from him who as a humanist boasts of a credat Iudaeus Appella. And the demand for a proper propaedeutics of theology is only met when the organic relation between the propaedeutical studies and the study of theology in the narrower sense is given full scope to assert itself. Indeed, if closely considered, the name of propaedeutics is not very happily chosen. The theologian does not pass on to theological studies, in order henceforth to ignore all other sciences, but, proportionately to the rate of his progress, he finds himself constantly bound to trace the organic connection between his own and still other studies. Such as, for instance, in the historic and ethnologic studies of the religious differences of non-Christian nations. His own studies are not isolated at a single point, and it only weakens the position of theology to prosecute her studies as though she stood alone. Moreover, later study must be continued with a definite end in view, in those departments which at first seemed as propaedeutics only. Every student of Church History is aware of this with reference to the knowledge of history; the same applies to Philosophy, even Psychology, Philosophical Ethics, and Esthetics.
Of course this applies to the scientific theologian only, and not to every Minister of the Word. Other demands apply to his education, which are made not by the position of theology in the organism of the sciences, but by the conditions with which his office brings him in touch, and which therefore cannot be mentioned here. Only think of what is advocated from many sides about the knowledge of medicine, of agriculture, of common law, of social conditions, of the school question, etc., as being of service to the local pastor. Questions with which, from the nature of the case, Encyclopedia cannot be concerned, since they have nothing to do with the nature of theology and its organic relations. But the more formal propaedeutics deserve, certainly, a brief mention, especially the study of the languages, a matter which is not ended with the study of the two fundamental languages of the Scripture, the Hebrew and the Greek. For then even Latin might safely be omitted. It should rather be insisted upon that the languages be first studied from the general linguistic point of view, and then the question is in order, what are the special languages the knowledge of which is indispensable to the study of theology. Without a clear, general linguistic conception of language, one cannot truly enter into the knowledge of any one language. The phenomenon of language as such is organically connected with theology in its principium, and therefore all sound theology presupposes an historic and critical insight into linguistics, graphistics and the philosophy of grammar. Not, of course, as though we should begin with this. It is indeed the claim of pedagogics to supply the copia doctrinae during those years in which the memory is most plastic; but in this review, which does not consider the course of studies, but the organic position of theology in the organism of science, the knowledge of language in general comes first. With respect to individual languages in particular, the mother-tongue follows organically first upon linguistics, because in this alone our immediate consciousness feels the pulse-beat of the life of language; and the other modern languages have little connection with theology, except in so far as they give us access to the products of theologic toil in other lands. Strictly taken, translation might do away with this necessity; since, however, the indiscriminate translation of all detail-study is impossible, theological study is simply inconceivable without the knowledge of modern languages.
The question arises next, whether Latin must be maintained under this title only in theologic propaedeutics. There is certainly no difference of opinion about the necessity to the theologian of the knowledge of Latin. For more than twelve centuries the Christian Church documented her life of thought in almost no language but the Latin. He who is no ready reader of Latin finds himself cut off from the historical life of the Church. It is a different matter, however, whether theology as such is interested in the study of Latin as a means to general training; something which is continually being contested, but which, it appears to us, cannot be abandoned. For this we state two reasons. First, because Latin as a language is classic in its clearness, conciseness and beauty, by which it puts a stamp upon our thinking, such as no other language can do, not even Greek excepted, however much richer it may be. In "common grace" the Latin language occupies a place of its own, and he who neglects her claim impoverishes the forming of the mind. And in the second place, the development of Western thought has acquired a characteristic of its own, first under the influence of ecclesiastical, and after that of humanistic Latin, which is plainly apparent in the formation of many words and in syntax. Entirely apart from the question whether this characteristic should be preserved or abandoned, it follows from this, that a real grasp upon the world of our Western thought is simply impossible without the knowledge of Latin. Upon this ground we desire to see the study of Latin upheld, while we urge, at the same time, that this study shall not be limited to classical Latin. Latin is also the language of the Western Fathers, the Scholastics, Reformers, and later theologians; but their Latin bears another character, uses other words, follows a different construction, and speaks in new terms. He who understands Cicero cannot for that reason understand Augustine. Virgil's Aeneid is no help to understand Thomas's Summa. Horace is of little help in the reading of Calvin or Voetius. Hence the organic connection demands that the study of Latin shall not limit itself to the golden age of the classics, but that it shall follow the historical process in the language which, though nationally dead, is still alive in use. The importance of this does not appear to those to whom theology is a mere Science of Religion; but he who would study theology in the real sense of the word, and thus continue the task begun by our older theologians, must begin by understanding them.
A like observation applies in part to Greek, which is organically related to theology in three ways: First, as the language of old Hellas; secondly, as the language of the LXX, of Flavius Josephus, etc., and New Testament; and thirdly, as the language of the Eastern Fathers, taken in their widest sense. As a starting-point, therefore, the knowledge of classic Greek is a necessity; then comes the knowledge of later Greek (/eoti^), and more especially of the Syrian and Alexandrian, which come nearest to the language of the New Testament. Then follows the language of the New Testament itself, and finally that peculiar development attained by Greek in the Byzantine Christian world. They who pass on from Demosthenes to the New Testament, as is the case with many in our times, without ever having a glimpse of one of the Eastern Fathers in the original, fall short in historic knowledge of Greek. Since the gymnasium is intended for young men of other faculties as well, and is, therefore, not able to give a sufficiently broad introduction into this historical knowledge of the Greek language, academic propaedeutics ought to be directed to this with an eye to theology, more than it has thus far been.
Hebrew and Chaldee occupy a somewhat different position. As a language, the Arabic is linguistically rightly esteemed much more highly than Hebrew; both because of its riches of forms and of the mighty world of thought to which it affords an entrance. Hebrew lies altogether outside the circle of higher culture. If it is of great importance to every literator to be familiar with at least one language of the Semitic trunk, and though Hebrew offers special advantages for this, by the simplicity of its forms as well as on account of its significance to the most potent monument of our higher civilization, it will, nevertheless, probably be the rule, that theologians almost exclusively will apply themselves to Hebrew, not as a linguistic phenomenon, but as an auxiliary to the right understanding of the Old Testament. At the gymnasium it is generally a secondary matter, falling outside the lines of a general training; and at the academy few are willing to train the memory to any great extent. Yet it is an imperative necessity that an improvement shall be made in this direction. In our pulpits the fundamental texts of the Old Testament are spoken of by men who are not able to translate the simplest passage at sight, much less to retranslate into Hebrew. And in this condition of things the study of Hebrew is but a waste of time.
In this connection, however, this question cannot be treated more fully. Only under the heads of general training and of special studies can Encyclopedia indicate to what other studies and languages theology stands organically related. And it is clearly seen that especially in the study of languages, entirely different claims are made, both by the schedule of the general scientific training and by custom, from what theology must demand of these languages within her pale. The very propaedeutics for Theology demand such natural talents and persevering application to study, that the false notion must be abandoned that all those who are educated for the practical ministry of the Word, can be theologians in the real sense of the word. With the majority, the needed requirements for this are altogether lacking. The effort to have so high an aim realized by all would not develop, but stultify, many persons. Hence the old difference between pastors and doctors must be maintained. Pastors should be sufficiently advanced to be able to take their stand intelligently at the scientific view-point, and to follow scientific development; but apart from the study of theology as a side issue or as a favorite recreation, the profounder study of theology as a science will ever of necessity be the task of the few, who have extraordinary powers of mind at their disposal, as well as the necessary time and means.
§ 98. Organic Articulation to Spiritual Reality
Science is no abstraction. It is the reflection of life in our consciousness, and therefore it sustains the same organic relation to reality as the shadow to the body by which it is cast. A single word, therefore, is needed to show the organic articulation of theology to spiritual reality. Thus far this has been suggested in a subjective sense, by the assertion that the mysticism of the Spirit is indispensable to the theologian. But from the nature of the case it is evident that for this subjective necessity there must be an objective ground. If the treatment of the subjective demands required at the hand of the theologian belongs to Hodegetics rather than to Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia nevertheless is bound to indicate the relation of this science to its own reality, from which the necessity of these demands is born. If in real life there were no antithesis between the domain of palingenesis and what lies outside, there would be no special Revelation, and in simple consequence there would be no question of theology other than in the style of Cicero. In like manner, if there were no operative grace, which effects enlightenment, articulation of the science to this spiritual reality would be altogether wanting. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God." Now, however, the influence of this reality operates upon theology in a threefold way: First, materially, by the provision of matter which it brings to theology; secondly, by the influence of the Church, so far as that Church propels its confession as a living witness; and thirdly, in the theologian personally, inasmuch as his own spiritual experience must enable him to perceive and understand what treasures are here at stake. Coordinated under one head, one might say that the Holy Spirit guarantees this organic articulation through the agencies of the Holy Scripture, the Church, and the personal enlightenment of the theologian. Hence piety of motive is not enough. Piety is often present with the Buddhist also and the Parsee. But the piety referred to here must bear a stamp of its own, and cannot be identical with that pious impulse which operates also in fallen man, either poetically, heroically, or sentimentally. But it is very definitely that piety worked by God, which is possible only when a new life has been implanted in the sinner, and in which new life has dawned a higher light. In the second place, this piety should not remain isolated, but must manifest itself in the communion of saints; not merely arbitrarily, but organically, hence in union with the Church, which affords a bed to the stream of the ages. And finally, in the third place, in its rise from the root of regeneration and in its union with the Church, this piety should not remain a mere mystical sentiment, but, for the sake of affecting theology, it must interpret being into thought, in order presently from thought to return to being by the ethical deed.
Where this articulation, in the sense mentioned, is organically present, so far as it concerns the articulation to reality, the position of theology in the organism of science is what it should be. Without this connection the theologian becomes as one who looks out upon nature through eyes half blind, as one almost deaf who studies acoustics, or as one devoid of all finer taste who devotes himself to aesthetics; the simple result of which is that neither nature, acoustics, nor aesthetics receive their dues. History indeed teaches that where this articulation to spiritual reality is wanting, rationalism at once lifts up its head to attack theology in its very heart; or, where this articulation is imperfect, sentiment is bound to prevail, and theology disappears in mysticism or pietism. For this reason the theologians of the best period of the Reformation ever insisted strenuously and convincingly upon the linking together of theology to the Word, to the Church, and to personal enlightenment; for in these three factors together is found the guidance of the Holy Spirit, without which no theology can flourish. The proper relation of these three factors has been considered at sufficient length above. Here it is merely observed that our theologians of the Reformation period were embarrassed by the removal of theology from the seminary to the university. It was apparent in Paris, Louvain, and elsewhere, that the university life brought with it far more diversion and temptation than the secluded life at the seminaries. Now the Reformation in principle abandoned the seminary, and from principle gave theology its place in the university, and it became necessary to insist more strenuously upon piety and asceticism of life in the future theologians. The piety at the seminary was too much like a hot-house atmosphere, and results showed how little these hot-house plants amounted to the moment they became exposed to the less favorable atmosphere of common life. In view of this also they gave their preference to the freer university life. A piety, which there maintained itself and kept its virtue, was much better acclimatized to life in the world. At times they expressed the desire that the academy life should be succeeded by at least one year of seclusion from the world in a more quiet seminary. But this was merely a corrective and a palliative, and their chief strength lay in exhortation, in moral pressure, in the power of the Word, to exhibit ever more clearly the folly and the contradiction of the study of theology without the corresponding fear of the Lord, trembling at His word, and communion with God in Christ. This implied at the same time that these demands of Scriptural, ecclesiastical and personal piety were not exacted from the student only, but from every theologian after graduation from academy life. Because it involved the articulation of theology to the spiritual reality, this claim could not be abandoned at a single point of the whole way. Godliness alone is able to foster, feed and maintain that holy sympathy for the object of theology which is indispensable for success.
There is a difference here also between the studies which touch the centrum of theology and those which lie on its periphery. A point of detail in Church history touches the spiritual reality at almost no single point, so that such a study by itself is not able to stamp a man as a theologian. But when theology is taken as an organic whole, and all its subdivisions are viewed from this central interpretation, the demand made by our fathers may not for a moment be abandoned. "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."
§ 99. The Organism of Theology in its Parts
If theology lies organically wrought into the organism of science, it must also have an organic existence of its own; which is simply according to the law that the organizing principle governs the entire organism in its parts. This brings us to the so-called division of the theological departments ; an expression which is rightly subject to criticism, since one does not divide an organism, but finds its organic parts there and only needs to exhibit them. Hence there can be no question of drawing up a catalogue of departments, and of dividing these departments into certain classes, arbitrarily or after a rule derived from practice. Whatever is a corpus, and exists as a a<ofia, brings its own division with it. In the second place, it must be carefully ascertained that one has the real corpus in hand. If, with Schleiermacher, theology is made to consist of a conglomerate of learned departments which find their unity in "the guidance and direction of the Church," the organism is lost, and there can be no more question of an organic division. In fact, Schleiermacher has really no division. In his opinion, theology as a whole has become an historic phenomenon, which he classifies in the historic group; that which precedes it is no theology, but philosophy, and that which follows, as practical parts, and which Schleiermacher takes to be the chief end and aim, is too poor and meagre to save the name of theology. Neither can there be any question of theology with those who, though they still call themselves theologians, actually furnish nothing but a science of religions, and from their point of view are bound to follow more or less the division of Noack, who placed phenomenology as first in order, then ideology, and finally the pragmatology of religion. But Encyclopedia of Theology can have nothing in common either with Schleiermacher's conglomerate or with the science of religion. Its object of investigation is the body of Theology (corpus theologiae), taken as an organic subdivision of the organism of science; and this alone we are to consider.
Taken in this sense, there is no essential difference of opinion concerning the division of the theological departments. It is held, almost universally, that a first group centres itself about the Holy Scripture, a second group has Church history for its centre, a third group has Christian doctrine for its object, and Homiletics, together with what belongs to it, forms the fourth group. This fourth group may be called one thing by some, another by others; some may differ concerning the order to be observed; the classification of certain departments belonging to each of these four groups may vary; but this does not cancel the fact that a certain common opinion indicates ever more definitely these four groups, as proceeding of themselves from the organic disposition of theology. The only divergence from this of any importance that presents itself is, that a division into three groups still appeals to a few, which end is reached by uniting with Francke the so-called practical theology with systematic, or like Bertholdt the historic with the dogmatic, or like Kienlen the exegetical with the historical departments. But this difference need not detain us, since it merely involves a question of coordination or subordination. They who follow the division of three always accept a division of one of the three into two parts, so that actually they also acknowledge the existence of four groups. In itself it cannot well be denied that in the Holy Scripture, the Church, Christian doctrine, and in the functions of office, four separate objects are given, which compel a division into four principal groups. And the reduction of these four into three groups is serious only when, with Gottechick and others, the Bibliological group is denied a place of its own from principle. For then the principium of theology is assailed in its independence, and theology itself undermined.
But by itself the assumption that there are four organic groups in the body of Divinity (corpus theologiae) is not enough. To be scientifically established, these four groups must of necessity proceed from a common principium of division. Thus far, however, this principium of division has not been allowed sufficiently to assert itself. This is to be attributed to the fact that each of these four groups has been viewed almost exclusively from the view-point of the subject, and no notice has been taken of how they lie in the object and how they are taken from the object itself. Hence the custom has become almost universal to distinguish these four groups as exegetical, historical, systematic and practical. But this custom is not logical. Distinction can be made between the exegetical, historical and systematic labors of the human mind, but it will not do to add to these three the practical departments as coordinate. The name of practical departments is not derived from the labor of the human mind, but from the purpose or object of these departments. For the sake of consistency, therefore, we should speak of the exegetical, historical, systematic and technical departments. Even with this method of distinguishing the groups, Encyclopedia cannot be satisfied. For this also locates the principium of division in the subject. It is the human mind that lends itself to the fourfold function of exegesis, of the study of history, of constructing certain data systematically, and of technically deriving from these certain theories. But just because the human mind is the subject of all science, there is no proper division of theology obtained thus at all, but simply a passport which, mutatis mutandis, is applicable to every science; and it is well known how a similar scheme has been applied to almost all the other faculties. But what is applicable to all sciences can never disclose to us the proper organic character of theology; and he who derives his principium of division exclusively from the subject, has no information to give concerning the organic existence of the organism of theology. Better progress would have been made if the example of Hyperius had been followed, which points to the Word, the Church and dogmatics as being the constituent elements. These, at least, are elements taken from the object and not from the subject, and therefore dissect the organism of theology itself.
Even this, however, does not indicate the principium of division which operates from the object. In the subjective division the principium operates out of the human mind, which lends itself to the four above-named functions. If, on the other hand, the organic division is to arise from the analysis of the object itself, then the principium of division must be derived from the object. This objective principium of division must be found in the principium of theology itself. In the development of its germ the plant of itself brings the organic spread of branches and stem. If the Holy Scripture is this principium of theology, it is plain that those departments should first be taken in hand which deal with the Holy Scripture as such; then as a second group those departments which trace the working of the Word of God in the life of the Church; then in a third group the departments should be combined which reflect the content of the Scripture in our consciousness; and finally a fourth group should arise from those departments which answer the question, how the working of the Word of God, subject to His ordinances, must be maintained. Thus the division into four groups is the same, but now it is taken from the object, after a principium of division which lies in the object itself. The Word of God, first as such, then in its working, after that according to its content, and finally in its propaganda. This is most accurately repeated when one speaks, first, of a Bibliological, then of an Ecclesiological, after that of a Dogmatological, and finally of a Diaconiological group. In the Bible you have the Word in itself; in the Church (JEcclesia~), you see the Word in operation, objectified in the reality; in Dogma the content of this Word reflects itself in the sanctified human consciousness; and in the Diaconia, i.e. the office, the service of the ministry is indicated, which must be fulfilled for the sake of that Word.
It is not by accident that these groups thus indicated correspond to the common division of Exegetical, Historical, Systematic and Practical Theology; but is accounted for by the fact that each of these four organic members of the body of Divinity emphasizes a peculiar function of the human mind. In the investigation of the Bible as such exegesis stands first and always will. In the investigation into the Church the historiological activity of the mind is most fully exercised. With Dogma, a systematizing function of the human mind is a first requisite. And with the Diaconia you enter upon the practical domain, and an insight is required into technique. If meanwhile it is the organic plan of the object which successively calls into action these several functions of the human mind, the real dividing virtue does not go out from your subject, but from the object; hence the division must be taken so as to correspond to the elements of the object. The subjective division corresponds to this, but must not be put in its place. Moreover, the correspondence is only partial. All labor bestowed upon the Bible as such is by no means exegetical. The historic-critical study of the several books as such is not exegetical. Neither is archaeology exegetical, etc. While, on the other hand, it must be remarked that all exegetical labor is by no means confined to the first group. The exegetical function of our mind is equally engaged in the investigation of Symbolics, of the Fathers, and in consultation with the sources of Church history. From this subjective point of view it was entirely logical on the part of Professor Doedes of Utrecht when he classified Symbolics under this first group. With the more precise analysis of the subdivisions of each group, as given in another volume, it will appear that the objective division leads in more than one particular to a modified division of the special departments. These, however, will not detain us now, since this would occasion a needless repetition. Here we simply inquire after the four principal branches as they appear upon the tree of theology, and we think that we have indicated them in the Bibliological, Ecclesiological, Dogmatological and Diaconiological groups; just by these names and in this order.
The symmetry of these designations is justified by the fact that it is the human logos each time which seeks an entrance into each of the four elements of the object. With each of the four groups it is ever the action of our logos which makes the knowledge of the object to appear from the object. Then coordination of Bible, Church, Dogma and Diaconia — the last taken in the sense of office — is warranted by the fact that each of these four bears a supernatural character: the Bible, because it is the fruit of inspiration; the Church, because it is the fruit of regeneration; Dogma, because it presents to us the result of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the consciousness of the Church; and the Diaconia, because the offices are appointed by Christ, and as organs of the churchly organism each office derives its authority exclusively from Christ, the King of the Church. Another name than that of Diaconia for office would be preferable, because "Diaconia" makes one think almost exclusively of the Diaconate. But we have no choice. Diaconia is the official name for office in the Christian Church, clearly defined for us in the New Testament. For office the Greeks used the expressions To epyov, ff iirifieXeia, r j hpXHi r j X«roupy/a, and for the office of judge To BiKaarrjpiov. But no one of these expressions could here be used. 'Apxv could not be used, because the churchly office differs in principle from the magistratic office as a ministerial service; and it would not do, since the expression archeological departments would have occasioned a still greater misunderstanding. Aeirovpyia of itself would have been no undesirable term, but the name of Liturgy is differently employed, and would have caused more difficulty than "Diaconia." Because of their indefiniteness the other terms could not be considered at all. And thus it seemed by far the safest way to maintain the constant use of Scripture and to adopt again the New Testament expression for the churchly office, viz. Diaconia, notwithstanding the confusion a superficial view of it may occasion. It must indeed be conceded that in 1 Tim. iii. 8,12 and elsewhere, along with eVto-«o7ro?, the word BidKovo<; appears as also indicative of a definite office; but when the question is raised as to what word the New Testament uses to indicate office without distinction of function, there is no doubt but that BiaKovia is the expressly indicated term. In Phil. ii. 17, 30 the word Xeirovpyia occurs, but not in an official sense. In verse 17 Paul speaks of the sacrifice and service of your faith (Jdvaia Kal Xeirovpyia rr}< ; 7riorea>? vfia>v), which he was to accomplish by his martyrdom, a saying in which it appears, from the additional word "sacrifice," that he by no means refers to his apostolic office. And in the 30th verse he mentions a service (Xenovpyia), which he was not to administer in his office to the Philippians, but which, on the contrary, they were to administer to him. But wherever on the other hand the administration of a definite office is mentioned in a technical sense, the word "diaconia" is used and not Xeirovpyia. In 1 Tim. i. 12 Paul declares that he is put into the ministry, i.e. into the diaconia, viz. into his apostolic office. In 1 Cor. xii. 5 it is expressly stated that there are diversities of ministrations (Stat/jeVew BiaKovt&v). In Eph. iv. 2 we are told that Christ "gave some. apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers"; and all these together are called unto the work of ministering (e« epyov BiaKovia<;). In this sense Paul speaks of himself constantly as a diaconos of Jesus Christ. Hence we must dismiss the objection that the name of diaconate is now indicative of but one of the offices. The use of it by the New Testament is conclusive. Neither was there an escape from the dilemma by the use of the terms "oeconomical" or "technical" departments. For one reason the symmetry would then be lost from the names of the four coordinates. And, moreover, the word technical would have brought us back again to the subjective division, and the word ceconomic would refer to the Church organization. Office alone stands coordinate with Bible, Church and Dogma as a supernatural element, and this word office cannot be applied to any other but to the Diaconiological departments.
Nothing need be said in justification of the name of Bibliological departments, and the question of what is or is not to be classed under this rubric must be reserved for later discussion. But we must briefly vindicate the name of Ecclesiological departments in the sense indicated above. At first sight it appears that the twofold assertion is contradictory, that the Church in this connection is a supernatural fruit of regeneration, and that in another sense she is the product of the operation of the Word. This contradiction, however, is in appearance only. Even here thought may not be divorced from being. Without the constant activity of the Holy Spirit the Scripture itself is inoperative, and only when this activity of the Holy Spirit causes the Scripture to be illumined does this fruitful virtue go out from it. Suppose, therefore, that the Holy Scripture were to be carried into the world, without the regenerating and illumining activity of the Holy Spirit to precede, accompany, and to follow it, no church would ever be seen among the nations. But on the other hand also, if the action of the Holy Spirit had remained a pure mystery, and had not been unveiled to the consciousness by the Word, there would have been a hidden life-power in the souls of many people, but that power would never have become operative, would not have led one believer to join himself to another, and thus would never have revealed the Church as an observable phenomenon. In its hidden quality the Church therefore is the product of the regenerating action of the Holy Spirit, but theology cannot observe that action; this remains hidden in mysticism; and theology begins to reckon with it only when it makes itself outwardly manifest in word and practice. In this the Word of God is the leading power, and the touchstone as well, by which it becomes known whether we have to do with an action of the Holy Ghost, or with a fanatic fantasy or imagination. Hence both are true: in its spiritual essence the Church is a product of the action of the Holy Ghost, and the Church, as an object observable by theology, exhibits the operation of the Word.
The name of Dogmatological departments can only be fully explained in connection with the treatment of the group. Here, however, let it be said that it does not mean a group of departments, in which, independently of the history of doctrine, the investigator is to build up for himself a system of truth from the Holy Scripture. Actually this is never done. Every dogmatist who is a real theologian, voluntarily takes the history of doctrine into account. Care, then, should be taken not to appear to do what in reality one does not do. Independent formulation of faith is nothing but the criticism of an individual mind, which cuts itself loose from the communion of saints, takes its stand proudly over against the power of history, and cherishes faith in its own leading by the Holy Ghost but not in the guidance of the Holy Ghost in the Church of Christ. As a protest against this the name of Dogmatological group demands that Dogma, as a result of history, shall be taken as one's starting-point, and that in its central interpretation and in each of its subdivisions this Dogma shall be examined critically and ever again be tested by the Holy Scripture, in order that in this way at the same time its further development may be promoted.
And finally, with reference to the order of succession, opinion can scarcely vary as to which group ought to begin and which group close the series. Of themselves the Bibliological departments take the precedence, because the Holy Scripture is the very principium of theology. And in the same way it is but natural for the official departments to come last, since they assume the completion of the Dogmatological departments. But a difference of opinion may arise as to the question, whether the Ecclesiological departments ought to follow or to precede the Dogmatological. Planck, Staudlin, and Harless put Systematic Theology first, and Historic Theology after it; but without doubt Hagenbach owes the great success of his encyclopedic manual largely to his accuracy of judgment in assigning the first place to the historical departments. Raebiger likewise took the same course, and to us also it is no question for doubt but that logical order demands the Bibliological group to be followed immediately, not by the Dogmatological, but by the Ecclesiological group. Our division admits of no other. Dogma has no existence at first, but it originates only by degrees, and it is unthinkable without the Church that formulates it. If thus we would avoid the mistake of formulating our dogmatics unhistorically directly from the Scripture, but rather seek to derive it from the Scripture at the hand of the Church,. then the Church as a middle-link between Bible and Dogma is absolutely indispensable. To which, of course, it must ba added, that there is an "interaction" between each of the four groups. What man is able to bring any Bibliological department to a satisfactory close without taking the Church into account? How would you be able to understand more than a part of Church history, without keeping account with Dogma and the Office? And how would Dogma be intelligible without the official function, which in councils and synods made their construction a possibility? This, however, applies to any division of any science whatever. In the process of history the fibres of all groups twine themselves about and around each other. To this, however, the organic division cannot adapt itself. The only question to be solved is this: how, in the idea of the organism, the several elements are to be originally distinguished. And so taken, the idea of the organism of theology points out to us four principal branches which divide themselves from her trunk: First, that group which engages itself with the Bible as such; secondly, the group in which the Church appears as the revelation of the operation of the Word; in the third place, the group which ranges itself about Dogma as the reflection of the Word in the consciousness of regenerated humanity; and finally, a fourth group, which has the office for its centre, as the means ordained of God to cause His Word continuously to assert itself.