Preface

O MANY have asked for and urged the speedy publication of the sccond volume of Systematic Theology that I am afraid that its actual appearance will he something of an anticlimax. It certainly will be a disappointment for those who expected that the sccond volume would contain the three remaining parts of the system. For some time I shared this expectation myself. But when I started the actual writing, it became obvious that such a project would delay the appearance of the book indefinitely and that the volume itself would grow to an unmanageable size. So I came to an agreement with the publisher that the third part of the system, "Existence and the Christ" should appear as the second volume, and that the fourth and fifth parts, "Life and the Spirit" and "History and the Kingdom of God," should follow—I hope in the not too distant future.

The problems discussed in this volume constitute the heart of every Christian theology—the concept of man's estrangement and the doctrine of the Christ. It is therefore justifiable that they be treated in a special volume in the center of the system. This volume is smaller than the first and the projected third one, but it contains the largest of the five parts of the system.

The content of this book, after many years of class lectures had prepared the way, was presented to the Theological Faculty of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, as the first year's GifTord Lectures. The sccond year of the GifTord Lectures dealt with the fourth part of the system. The preparation of these lectures was a tremendous step toward the final formulation of the problems and their solutions. I want to express—for the first time in print—my deep gratitude for the honor and occasion which the GifTord lectureship presented me. Of course, a book is different from a series of lectures, especially if the book represents a part of a larger whole. The lectures had to be considerably enlarged and partly rewritten in the light of a critical rereading. But the basic ideas are unchanged. The publication of the second year's GifTord Lectures will follow in the third volume.

Here I want to say a word to the prospective critics of this volume.

I hope to receive much valuable criticism of the substance of my thought, as I did with the first volume and my smaller books. Whether or not I am able to agree with it, I gladly accept it as a valuable contribution to the continuous theological discussion between theologians and within each theologian. But I cannot accept criticism as valuable which merely insinuates that I have surrendered the substance of the Christian message because 1 have used a terminology which consciously deviates from the biblical or ecclesiastical language. Without such deviation, I would not have deemed it worthwhile to develop a theological system for our period.

My thanks go again to my friend who is now also my colleague, John Dillcnbcrger, who this time, in collaboration with his wife Hilda, did the hard work of "Englishing" my style and who rephrased statements which otherwise might be obscurc or difficult to understand. My appreciation also goes to Henry D. Brady, Jr., for reading the manuscript and suggesting certain stylistic changes. I also want to thank my secretary, Grace Cali Leonard, who worked indefatigably in typing and partially correcting my handwritten manuscript. Finally, my gratitude is expressed to the publisher who made possible the separate appearance of this volume.

The book is dedicated to the Theological Faculty of the Union Theological Seminary. This is justified not only by the fact that the seminary received me when I came as a German refugee in 1933; not only by rhc occasions which the faculty and administration abundantly gave me for teaching, writing, and, above all, learning; not only by the extremely friendly co-operation throughout more than twenty-two years of academic 3nd personal contacts, but also because the content of this volume was a center of theological discussion with students and faculty during all those years. Those who participated in these discussions will recognize their influence on the formulations of this book.

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