Hofstede De Groot, Peter

Hofstede de Groot, Peter a distinguished Dutch theologian, was born at Rotterdam in 1720, and educated at Groningen. Soon after the completion of his university course he was called to Rotterdam as professor of theology. Here he became a leader of a theological school of "mediation," known as the Groningen School, founded by the Platonist Van Heusde (17781839), who was also a professor in the Rotterdam University at that time. Hofstede, assisted by Pareau, published a dogmatic theology, containing a complete exposition of the doctrines of this school, which are nothing more or less than a spiritual Arianism. They held that there is in human nature a divine element which needs development in order to enable humanity to reach its destination. This destination is conformity to God. All religions have aimed and worked at the same problem, but Christianity has solved it in the highest and purest manner. Still there is only a difference in degree between that and other religions. God has fulfilled the desire of man, whom he had prepared for salvation by sending perfection embodied in Christ. To know Christ we need the exegetical study of that preparation of man for Christ which is furnished by the Old Testament. The New Testament is the fulfillment. The latter contains the sayings of Jesus and the conclusions of the apostles. The writers of the Scriptures were not infallible, though they did not often err. Sin is regarded as a mere inconvenience, since all sinners will eventually be holy and happy. In stating the influences of the Groningen school in Dutch theology, Hurst (Rationalism, p. 366,367) says that it is similar to the position occupied by Channing with regard to the orthodoxy of the American Church. Hofstede was a violent opponent of the Lutheran Church; and when, in 1779, a Lutheran church was about to be established at the Cape of Good Hope, he protested loudly, and wrote Oost-indiansche Kerkzaaken., or Ecclesiastical Affairs of India (Hague, 1779-1780, 2 vols. 8vo). Against Marmontel's celebrated novel Belisaire he also wrote a work exposing the vices of distinguished heathens, and showing their utter unfitness for a claim to salvation, to which Marmontel believed those entitled who had lived before Christ's coming. He died Nov. 27, 1803. See Schröckh, Kirchen q. 8, 735; Hurst, Hist. of Rationalism, p. 364-367; Farrar, Hist. of Free Thought, p. 445 sq.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Genesis 24,903 sq. (J.H.W.)

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.