Introduction to Historical Theology by John Stoughton

John Stoughton [1807-1897], An Introduction to Historical Theology Being a Sketch of Doctrinal Progress From the Apostolic Era to the Reformation.John Stoughton’s Historical Theology covers the development of Christian doctrine from the early church to 1560. This title is in the public domain.

John Stoughton [1807-1897], An Introduction to Historical Theology Being a Sketch of Doctrinal Progress From the Apostolic Era to the Reformation. London: The Religious Tract Society, n.d. Hbk. pp.464. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  • Introduction
  • Part I. From the Apostolic to the Nicene Period. A.D. 100-325.
    1. Distinguished Church Teachers
    2. Heretical Dogmas
    3. Lines of Generally Acknowledged Christian Doctrine
  • Part II. From the Council of Nicaea to the Development of Systematoic Theology. A.D. 325-730.
    1. Formative Influences
    2. Theological Results
    3. Theological Results (continued)
  • Part III. From the Development of Systematic Theology to the Full Development of Scholasticism. A.D. 730-1600.
    1. Eastern Divines
    2. Western Divines
  • Part IV. From the Full Development of Scholasticism to the Reformation. A.D. 1060-1518.
    1. Scholastic Divinity. 1060-1224.
    2. Scholastic Divinity (continued). 1060-1224.
    3. Scholastic Divinity (continued). 1060-1224.
    4. Scholastic Divinity (continued). 1224-1436.
    5. Popular Theology. 600-1500.
    6. Mysticism. 1097-1500.
    7. Preparation for Reform. 1350-1500.
    8. General Review. 200-1500.
  • Part V. From the Commencement of the Reformation in Germany under Luther to the Conclusion of it imn England under the Reign of Elizabeth. A.D. 1518-1560.
    1. Reformed Theology in Germany
    2. Reformed Theology in Switzerland
    3. Reformed Theology in France and Scotland
    4. Reformed Theology in Italy
    5. Reformed Theology in England
  • Conclusion


In the present volume an attempt is made to trace the development of Dogmatic Theology.

Let me state what is meant by Dogmatic Theology. I distinguish it from Revelation on the one hand, and from Religion on the other. This distinction is of prime importance.

Theology is drawn from Revelation, and the human mind is a factor in the process. That from which a science is derived cannot be identical with the science itself; and, as it will appear that the process of forming theological conclusions is complicated, we shall find that the possibilities and probabilities of mistake are numerous. Even were the logical manipulation faultless, a distinction ought to be recognized between the Divine material and the result of its human handling; but the logical manipulation never has been faultless, and never will be. [Continue reading]

Girdlestone’s Old Testament Theology

Robert Baker Girdlestone [1836-1923], Old Testament Theology and Modern IdeasRobert Baker Girdlestone [1836-1923] sets out in this volume to provide a brief survey of Old Testament Theology and apply this to questions of his day. This title is in the public domain.

Robert Baker Girdlestone [1836-1923], Old Testament Theology and Modern Ideas. London: Longman, Green & Co., 1909. Hbk. pp.129. [Click to download complete book in PDF]

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Method of Treatment
  2. Revelation and Inspiration
  3. Theology in the Prophetic Writings
  4. Theology in the Psalms
  5. Theology in the Historical Books
  6. Theology in the Mosaic Books (Exodus to Deuteronomy)
  7. Theology in Genesis
  8. Names and Titles of God in the Old Testament
  9. Theistic Monism the Basis of Old Testament Theology
  10. Man the Link Between God and the World
  11. Primary Attributes of God
  12. Moral Attributes of God
  13. God’s Righteous Administration
  14. God and Evil
  15. God’s Counsel Not to Be Frustrated
  16. Providence and Chance
  17. Providence and Prayer

Method of Treatment [page 8]

The course which will be adopted in this manual is, first, to take a brief general survey of the theology of the Books, beginning with the Prophets and Psalms and working back gradually to the dawn of sacred history; secondly, to examine the names, titles and attributes of God as presented in the volume as a whole; thirdly, to investigate the teaching of the Old Testament in what may perhaps be called a scientific method, bringing it as far as possible into touch with the questions of the day. For this last purpose all parts of the Hebrew Scriptures will be freely quoted without reference to speculative questions as to authorship and composition, the unity of the Scriptures being recognised throughout, and the Books being taken on their own profession as bona-fide and authoritative documents received by the Jewish Church and accepted by the Christian. [Continue reading]

Klaas Runia on the Importance of Creeds

I Believe in God... Klaas Runia - A study of the importance of creeds

Thanks to the kind permission of the copyright holder, Dr. David T. Runia, the following monograph on the importance of creeds is now available on-line in PDF.

Klaas Runia, I Believe in God…, 2nd edn. London: The Tyndale Press, 1968. Pbk. pp.71.

Table of Contents

I. Creeds and Confessions Compared
II. The Origin of the Creeds
III. The Faith of the Creeds
IV. The Trinitarian Framework
V. The Creeds and the Reformation
VI. Deism, Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy
VII. The New Liberalism
Epilogue: the Relevance of the Creeds Today


This book had its origin in a series of lectures given to a group of university students. During question time one of them asked: Isn’t it rather silly for Christians to recite the Creeds so often in their worship services? Are Church people really so stupid that they need such repetitions every week? And if there is a God, must He not get sick of all these mechanical recitations?
These questions reveal something of the depths of misunderstanding that surround the Church in our day. Many people clearly find it almost impossible to enter into the spiritual atmosphere of the Church. When they hear the word ‘ Creed ‘,they immediately think of intellectual narrowness of closed minds, of lack of scientific liberty, etc. That a Creed may have quite a different function, that it may be a confession of love on the side of the Church, a song of praise and dedication offered to God, simply does not enter into their mind. And yet such it is. In the Creeds Christian believers openly confess that they love God, because of what He is in Himself and because of what He has done in His works of creation and redemption.
On the other hand there are those within the Church who, although they may accept the Creeds as venerable documents, reserve for themselves the right to reinterpret them. Such will still maintain that they can subscribe quite sincerely to the Creeds and Confessions of their own denomination. But the theology which underlies their writing and their preaching seems far removed from what has come to be regarded as Christian orthodoxy. They read back into the old formulas their own mid twentieth-century theological ideas.
All this suggests that some brief study of the history and faith of the Creeds is called for, together with some assessment of recent theological trends. In attempting this latter task special attention has been paid to what has been called the New Liberalism represented by the writings of Rudolf Bultmann and Paul Tillich and by those, such as J. A. T. Robinson, who have done much to popularize their views.

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