Charles Hodge: Evangelical Mystic
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SubjectHodge, Charles, 1797-1878
Princeton theologian Charles Hodge is the emblematic American Presbyterian. Hodge’s spirituality, however, is not only misunderstood, it is largely ignored as the best example of Presbyterian piety and spirituality. Some traditions term this area of theology “spiritual formation” or “the Christian life.” Hodge called it “Holy Living” in his book The Way of Life. Hodge says that the essence of sanctification is “a participation of the Divine nature, or the conformity of the soul to God.” His theology of sanctification and the Christian life is directly linked to John Calvin and the Westminster Standards and therefore can provide a corrective influence on current Presbyterian misunderstandings of sanctification in the church today. Hodge’s articulation of sanctification as “a participation of the Divine nature, or the conformity of the soul to God” is the purest form of Presbyterian sanctification theology because it is the most immediate and direct line to Westminster and Calvin.