This blog is where you can follow Cap'n Salty and his intrepid crew, aka Dave Spotts and his loyal family, on their journey. We are seeking out the treasure of historic, confessional Christianity in this world of shifting sand.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Johann Augustus Wilhelm Neander: Historical Objectivity and the "Religious" Element of Church History and the History of Doctrine
Muller, Richard A. "Johann Augustus Wilhelm Neander: Historical Objectivity and the 'Religious' Element of Church History and the History of Doctrine." AllTheology Is Christology: Essays in Honor of David P. Scaer. Fort Wayne, IN: Concordia Theological Seminary Press. 2000. 291-312.
Muller gives an intriguing introduction to the work and life of Neander. Neander is called "the father of modern church history." What gave him a title like that? His approach to church history managed to combine a treatment of major themes of a particular time in history and a discussion of specific individuals during that time in history. This made for a history which showed the variegations in doctrine and practice in any period of church history, while still tracking major themes and concepts. This approach stood in stark contrast to other church historians of his time and before. Another feature of Neander's work that Muller draws out is his insightful personalization of historical interpretation. He tells why a development in the history of a doctrine has importance to the individual believer in Christ. This also was not the tendency of his age.
The article makes me more interested in reading Neander's works and works about him. Any opinions?