A. A. Hodge on the Importance of Doctrine

Justin Taylor mentioned two books on the importance of theology earlier today—one new and one old: The Trials of Theology: Becoming a “Proven Worker” in a Dangerous Business (Amazon), edited by Andrew Cameron and Brian Rosner, and Helmut Thielicke’s A Little Exercise for Young Theologians (Amazon). Both look good.

There’s also been a lot of buzz recently about Josh Harris’s Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters (Amazon) and Mark Driscoll’s Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe (Amazon).

Finally, two forthcoming volumes caught my eye recently: Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Amazon), due out in October, and Fred Zaspel’s The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary (Amazon), due out in September.

I’m looking forward to checking out all six of these volumes.

They all have at least one thing in common: the conviction that doctrine is very important. On that subject, here’s a quote from A. A. Hodge that I came across yesterday:

Men often mean very little when they say that the Bible, or Christ, is “divine.” As with the old Semi-Arian distinction between θεός and ὁ θεός, they will speak of the abstract “divine” yet deny the concrete God. The controversy at Nicea, on ὁμο- and ὁμοι-, meant a great deal. Gibbon sneers that “the whole world was fighting about a mere iota.” But it was worth while. It is a miserable thing when men get so broad and charitable as never to have any fighting. Rather let us have the Inquisition and a little blood-letting, than a dead apathy about religious doctrine.1 (italics mine)


  1. C. A. Salmond, Princetoniana: Charles and A. A. Hodge; With Class and Table Talk of Hodge the Younger (New York: Scribner & Welford, 1888), 164–65. [AmazonArchive | Google Books | Logos | Open Library]

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3 Responses to A. A. Hodge on the Importance of Doctrine

  1. Samuel Sutter March 25, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    Good reminder – I’ll be looking at these resources!

  2. Rodney Holloman March 25, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    Do you use a tool to produce the footnote with links to Amazon, etc.?

    If so, could you share that with us?

    Thanks for always interesting reading.


    • Phil Gons March 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

      I use WP-Footnotes to create the footnotes, but I create the links to book sellers manually. I wish there were a plugin to do it automatically though!