The demand for this book has come from the students in the class room who have listened to these lectures on the Great Doctrines of the Bible, and have desired and requested that they be put into permanent form for the purpose of further study and reference. This volume is prepared, therefore, primarily, but not exclusively, for the student, and with his needs in mind.
The doctrines herein treated are dealt with from the standpoint of Biblical rather than Dogmatic theology. This is evident from the plan which is followed in the work, namely, to gather together all the Scripture passages dealing with the subject under consideration, and from them choose a required number that may be called representative; then seek to understand the meaning of these references by the study of the text itself as well as its context and parallel passages; and finally, from the selected proof-texts, formulate the doctrinal teaching, and place such results under appropriate headings.
The doctrines of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are more fully dealt with than the doctrines which follow. This is especially true of the doctrine of God. The reason for this is to set forth the method pursued in these studies, and to give a pattern for the study of the doctrines to follow.
It is intended that the doctrines of this book should be studied side by side with the open Bible. It is for this reason that many of the Scripture references are indicated by chapter and verse only. There must be constant reference to the Scriptures themselves.
This volume is in such form as to be of great service in the instruction given in Bible classes. There is probably no greater need in the Christian church today than that its membership should be made acquainted with the fundamental facts and doctrines of the Christian faith. The Christian layman, therefore, who desires a deeper knowledge of the doctrines of the Christian faith may find all the help he needs in this book. It is hoped that while it is prepared for the student, it is nevertheless not too deep for the average layman.
The special indebtedness of the writer is hereby expressed to the following works: "What the Bible Teaches," by R. A. Torrey, D. D. To this work the writer owes much with regard to the method and plan of this book. "Systematic Theology," by A. H. Strong, D. D., has provided some rich expositions of the sacred text. "Christian Doctrine," by Dr. F. L. Patton, has been found very helpful, especially in connection with the subject of the "Proofs for the Existence of God." Further recognition of indebtedness is also due to the following: "The Problem of the Old Testament," and "The Christian View of God and the World," by Dr. James Orr; "Studies in Christian Doctrine," by George Knapp; "Jesus and the Gospel," and "The Death of Christ," by Prof. James Denny; "The Person and Work of Jesus," by Nathan E. Wood, D. D.
There are doubtless others to whom credit is due of whom the author is not at this time conscious, for, after all, we are "part of all that we have seen, and met, and read." To those unknown authors, therefore, our indebtedness is hereby acknowledged.