Charles Hodge: The Way of Life

Charles Hodge: The Way of Life

Charles Hodge: The Way of Life

Charles Hodge: The Way of Life

Excerpt

The first time I heard of Charles Hodge he was the brunt of the wry humor of one of the great historians of our time, Sydney Ahlstrom. Leaning over the podium, his outlandish tie dangling down below his waist, he recounted with an impish grin on his face the boast of Charles Hodge that "a new idea never originated in the (Princeton) Seminary." In that Yale lecture hall that was all that had to be said to stir up great waves of laughter.

But as funny as that statement sounds to our ears and as playful as Ahlstrom was in opening his lecture on the Princeton Theology with it, it should not blind us to the importance of its author Charles Hodge.

In every age religion responds to the cultural environment in which it exists. As Michael de Certeau has reminded us, the language of a spirituality is, by necessity, the language of culture, since the experience of God can only be expressed using the tools of language, myth, and symbol that are products of human social life. The nineteenth century in America was a time when the ways in which people earned a living, obtained their food, sheltered themselves and grouped themselves in corporate states were changing rapidly and significantly. What is more, those changes were of such a magnitude as to be very much a part of the consciousness of the times. Movement away from the ways of the past toward a better future was not only a reality of American life but a pervasive myth that motivated poor and rich alike and gave them a way of understanding the chaotic activity with which the continent teemed.

Although the myth of progress had its eloquent voices like . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.