A.A. Hodge, son of Charles Hodge, first issued this, his best-known work, in 1860- following three years’ missionary work in India and eleven in American pastorates. Enlarged and revised, it was reprinted in its final form in 1878 when the younger Hodge had reached his full maturity and entered upon his eight memorable years’ teaching at Princeton. As a masterful condensation, not only of what had been taught at Princeton Seminary for more than sixty years but of the doctrinal positions of historic Christianity itself, the Outlinesearned for the author the description given him by Dr. Shedd, ‘the populariser of scientific theology’. ‘It will be difficult’, wrote another contemporary, ‘to find a work of the same size where so much theology is so clearly presented, and at once so briefly and so interestingly discussed’. Yet A.A. Hodge was more than an able condenser, he was himself one of the great theologians of the world, possessed- as W.M. Paxton declared at his death-of some of the sublimities of genius, ‘the mighty elements of great thinking’.
Speaking of his aim as a teacher of theology, the author once wrote, ‘I would pray and labour that in gaining breadth we may not lose height, and in gaining peace and love we may not lose purity and truth’.