16 SEPTEMBER 1871, Page 21


The Theology of the New Testament, By the Rev, J. J. Van Oosterzoo, D.A. Translated from the Detail by Maurice E vans, D.A. (Hodder and Stoughton,)—.Fhough this book certainly does not answer in all points to our conception of "the theology of the Now Testament," we have no hesitation in pronouncing it to be an excellent manual. The scientific method on which it is constructed, the lucidity of its, arrange- ment, the sagacity and abundance of information which is brought to boar in it on the work of interpretation, call for the highest praise. Dr. Van Oosterzeo's theology presents a modified type of Calvinism, and it is only in the expression of these modifications that we find him obscure and unsatisfactory ; in fact, to speak generally, he is in accord with what is commonly called in this country " Evangelical " doctrine; but the treatment which he gives to his subject differs most remarkably from what we should find in a volume proceeding from a kindred source in this country. It shows, in fact, the same genuinely critical and philosophical spirit which charac- terizes the work of Toutonio theologians, and to which our own orthodox divines seem almost Incapable of rising. Lot any one note, for instance, the way in which "texts" are quoted indiscriminately from all New Testament authors in an English manual when the "proof" of some doctrine has to be given ; what a matter of indifference ibis whether they come from St. Paul, St. Peter, or St. James ; how all are made to stand on precisely the same level and have precisely the same force. And then let him see how our Dutch divine takes separately the "Petrine," the "Pauline," and the "Johannino theology," and while strongly contend- ing for their essential harmony, marks distinctly the different stages of Christian thought which they represent. On the whole, the use of this manual cannot fail to advance a liberal study of theology ; and Mr. Evans deserves thanks for introducing it to the English reader.