because he was a Greek.?? Men often denounce systematic theology, while they extol the sciences of matter. Has God then left only the facts with regard to himself in so unrelated a state that man cannot put them together? All other sciences are valuable only as they contain or promote the knowledge of God. If it is praiseworthy to classify beetles, one science may be allowed to reason concerning Cool and the soul. to speaking of Schelling, Royce, Spirit of Modern Philosophy, 173, satirically exhorts us: ?Trust your genius; follow your noble heart; change your doctrine whenever your heart changes, and change your heart often ? such is the practical creed of the romanticists.? Ritchie, Darwin and Hegel, 3 ? ?Just those persons who disclaim metaphysics are sometimes most apt to be infected with the disease they profess to abhor ? and not know when they have it.? See Shedd, Discourses and Essays, 27-52; Murphy, Scientific Bases of Faith, 195-199.
(b) In the relation of .systematic truth to the development of character. Truth thoroughly digested is essential to the growth of Christian character in the individual and in the church. All knowledge of God has its influence upon character, but most of all the knowledge of spiritual facts in their relations. Theology cannot, as has sometimes been objected, deaden the religious affections, since it only draws out from their sources and puts into rational connection with each other the truths which are best adapted to nourish the religious affections. On the other hand, the strongest Christians are those who have the firmest grasp upon the great doctrines of Christianity; the heroic ages of the church are those which have witnessed most consistently to them; the piety that can be injured by the systematic exhibition of them must be weak, or mystical, or mistaken.
Some knowledge is necessary to conversion ? at least, knowledge of sin and knowledge of a Savior; and the putting together of these two great truths is a beginning of theology. All subsequent growth of character is conditioned upon the increase of this knowledge. <510110>Colossians 1:10. ? aujxano>menoi th—| ejpignw>sei tou~ Qeou~ = increasing by the knowledge of God ? the instrumental dative represents the knowledge of God as the dew or rain which nurtures the growth of the plant; cf. <610318>2 Peter 3:18 ? ?grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? For texts which represent truth as nourishment, see <240315>Jeremiah 3:15 ? ?feed you with knowledge and understanding?; Matthew . 4:4 ? ?Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God?; <460301>1 Corinthians 3:1, 2 ? ?babes in Christ... I fed you with milk, not with meat?; <580514>Hebrews 5:14 ? ?but solid food is for full-
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