Tholuck girds himself with the Catholic maxim of Vincent of Lerins: “Teneanmus quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditum est.”
|November 20, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter nine||
Franz Baader, of Munich, ornaments his work with the reflection: “Il faut que les hommes soient bien loin de toi, ô Vérité! puisque tu supporte (sic!) leur ignorance, leurs erreurs, et leurs crimes.” (Men must indeed be far from thee, 0 Truth, since thou art able to bear with their ignorance, their errors, and their crimes!)
Tholuck girds himself with the Catholic maxim of Vincent of Lerins: “Teneanmus quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditum est.” (Let us hold that which has been believed always, everywhere, by all.)
The fear of Strauss had, indeed, a tendency to inspire Protestant theologians with catholicising ideas. One of the most competent reviewers of his book, Dr. Ullmann in the Studien und Kritiken, had expressed the wish that it had been written in Latin to prevent its doing harm among the people. An anonymous dialogue of the period shows us the schoolmaster coming in distress to the clergyman. He has allowed himself to be persuaded into reading the book by his acquaintance the Major, and he is now anxious to get rid of the doubts which it has aroused in him. When his cure has been safely accomplished, the reverend gentleman dismisses him with the following exhortation: “Now I hope that after the experience which you have had you will for the future refrain from reading books of this kind, which are not written for you, and of which there is no necessity for you to take any notice; and for the refutation of which, should that be needful, you have no equipment. You may be quite sure that anything useful or profitable for you which such books may contain will reach you in due course through the proper channel and in the right way, and, that being so, you are under no necessity to jeopardise any part of your peace of mind.”
Tholuck’s work professedly aims only at presenting a “historical argument for the credibility of the miracle stories of the Gospels.” “Even if we admit,” he says in one place, “the scientific position that no act can have proceeded from Christ which transcends the laws of nature, there is still room for the mediating view of Christ’s miracle-working activity. This leads us to think of mysterious powers of nature as operating in the history of Christ—powers such as we have some partial knowledge of, as, for example, those magnetic powers which have survived down to our own time, like ghosts lingering on after the coming of day.” From the standpoint of this spurious rationalism he proceeds to take Strauss to task for rejecting the miracles. “Had this latest critic been able to approach the Gospel miracles without prejudice, in the Spirit of Augustine’s declaration, ‘dandum est deo, eum aliquid facere posse quod nos investigare non possumus,’ he would certainly—since he is a man who in addition to the acumen of the scholar possesses sound common sense—have come to a different conclusion in regard to these difficulties. As it is, however, he has approached the Gospels with the conviction that miracles are impossible; and on that assumption, it was certain before the argument began that the Evangelists were either deceivers or deceived.”
 Über das Leben-Jesu van Strauss, von Franz Baader, 1836. Here may be mentioned also the lectures which Krabbe (subsequently Professor at Rostock) delivered against Strauss: Vorlesungen über das Leben-Jesu für Theologen und Nicht-Theologen (Lectures on the Life of Jesus for Theologians and non-Theologians), Hamburg, 1839. They are more tolerable to non-theologians than to theologians. The author at a later period distinguished himself by the fanatical zeal with which he urged on the deposition of his colleague, Michael Baumgarten, whose Geschichte Jesu, published in 1859, though fully accepting the miracles, was weighed in the balance by Krabbe and found light-weight by the Rostock standard.
 For the title, see head of chapter. Tholuck was born in 1799 at Breslau, and became in 1826 Professor at Halle, where he worked until his death in 1877. With the possible exception of Neander, he was the most distinguished representative of the mediating theology. His piety was deep and his learning was wide, but his judgment went astray in the effort to steer his freight of pietism safely between the rocks of rationalism and the shoals of orthodoxy.
 Stud. u. Krit., 1836, p. 777. In his “Open letter to Dr. Ullmann,” Strauss examines this suggestion in a serious and dignified fashion, and shows that nothing would be gained by such expedients.—Streitschriften, 3rd pt., p. 129 ff.
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