Saturday, June 02, 2012

The 'Anglican Summa' on the Trinity

The ten volume series Dogmatic Theology, by Dr. Francis Hall has been called the Anglican version of Aquinas' Summa Theologica, and rightly so. While it does not follow the same format, it is exhaustive in scope and is scholarly in content, yet fully accessible to the layman.

It was written by a priest and professor of the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. The project was conceived by Francis Hall in the late 1800s, and the ten volumes were published between 1907 and 1922. The content is thoroughly orthodox and Anglican. It was hailed as a monumental achievement in the life of the American church.

In the fourth volume on the Trinity, Father Hall notes the profound importance of the subject matter by explaining that "the doctrine of the Trinity is the interpretive principle of all Christian doctrine, the ultimate basis for of Christian ideals and hopes, and the most vital and inspiring of all the truths which human minds can contemplate" (vol. IV, pg 2).

He goes on to say, "The doctrine of the Trinity must occupy the central place in any sound or adequate conception of spiritual realities. It constitutes the postulate of the doctrines of the Incarnation, of the Atonement, of the Church, of justification and salvation, and of the coming kingdom of God. If it were shown to be false, these doctrines would have to be modified beyond recognition, and Christianity would become something quite other than it actually is" (vol. IV, pg 2-3).


Tom Hightower said...

And General went down hill from there.
I have kept those books close by.

Fr Timothy Matkin said...

I can't put them down.