This collection on systematic theology consists of lectures by Thomas Summers on the 25 Articles of Religion and an introduction and commentary by John Tigert. It is a complete system of Wesleyan Arminian divinity and an exhaustive commentary on the 25 Articles, which embody the doctrinal views of American Methodists. It is presented as a full, authoritative exposition of Evangelical Arminianism as developed within the limits of Southern Methodism and also as a standard text and reference book for ministers of religion and students of divinity.
Learn more about the Wesleyan tradition with the John Wesley Collection (29 vols.).
“Systematic theology may here be compendiously defined as the scientific form of the truths of revelation.” (Volume 1, Page 19)
“For conservatism, orthodoxy, broad theological scholarship, and, particularly, for careful, conscientious, and patient study of all the elements of the Arminian system of theology—the system which gave such complete satisfaction to his head and heart—Dr. Summers was confessedly without a superior in the ranks of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. From the separate organization of the Church until his death, he stood over Hymnbook and Discipline and theological publications, as the guardian of orthodoxy, saving the Church from the taint of many an incipient heresy. For seven consecutive years (1875–1882) the material collected in this work was read as a series of lectures before the theological students of Vanderbilt University.” (Volume 1, Page 3)
“Schleiermacher divides theology generally into (1) philosophical, (2) historical, and (3) practical” (Volume 1, Page 20)
“‘is the knowledge of God carried to the highest degree of perfection in respect to correctness, clearness, and evidence of which it is susceptible in this world; and a theologian or divine is one who not only understands himself the doctrines of religion, but is able to explain, prove, and defend them, and teach them to others.” (Volume 1, Page 22)
“It is thought by some that the knowledge of God is innate to man. By the innate knowledge of God, we suppose, is meant an idea, or notion, of the Supreme Being, impressed on the mind from the beginning of any one’s existence. Now, we know nothing of innate ideas of any kind.” (Volume 1, Page 48)
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Thomas Osmond Summers (1812–1882), born in England, emigrated to America and was admitted to the Baltimore, Maryland, Conference in 1835. He soon became one of the leading Methodist theologians in the nineteenth century. He worked as editor for the Christian Advocate, Methodist Quarterly Review, and the Sunday School Visitor, and served as an editor for the Methodist Episcopal Publishing House. In 1875, he became professor of systematic theology at Vanderbilt University. Summers was chairman of the Hymn Book Committee of the Methodist Episcopal Church and edited the Songs of Zion and the Wesleyan Psalter. He is the author of Baptism, Commentary on the Gospels, Commentary on the Ritual of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and Systematic Theology: A Complete Body of Wesleyan-Arminian Divinity.
John James Tigert (1882–1965) was a native of Tennessee and the son and grandson of Methodist bishops. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he earned his master’s degree as a Rhodes Scholar.
After completing his education, Tigert taught at Central College; served as the president of Kentucky Wesleyan College; and worked as a professor, sports coach, and administrator at the University of Kentucky. Tigert gained his greatest national prominence as the U.S. Commissioner of Education from 1921 to 1928, and the third president of the University of Florida from 1928 to 1947. He is remembered as a forceful advocate for American public education, intercollegiate sports, and university curriculum reform.