Lange, Joachim a noted German Lutheran theologian, one of the heads of the so-called Pietistic school, was born at Gardelegen, in Saxony, October 26, 1670. He entered the University of Leipzic in 1689 to study theology. Here he became intimate with H. A. Franke, and, besides other subjects, applied himself especially to the study of the Eastern languages. In 1690 he accompanied Franke to Erfurt, and in 1691 to Halle. In 1696 he was made corector of Koslin, rector of the Gymnasium of Friedrichswerder, at Berlin, in 1697, and finally professor of theology at Halle, May 7, 1744. His controversies against the philosopher Christian Wolff, in whose banishment from Halle he was greatly instrumental, and against all philosophical systems, whether atheistical, Jewish, or Mohammedan, prove him to have been fond of controversy, more learned than profound, and greatly wanting in method. The part he played in the Pietistic controversies was not very brilliant. It is not certain, but appears probable, that he was the author of the Orthodoxia vapulans (1701) against the theologians of Wittenberg (see G. Walch, Lehrstreitt. innerhalb d. evang. luth. Kirche, 1:844 sq.). His Antibarbarus orthodoxiae (1709-11), written in answer to Schelwig's Synopsis Controversiarums sub pietatis praetextu motarum, is a good specimen of his system, which generally attached itself to particular points of a subject instead of the whole. G. Walch (see above) gives an extensive list of his other works on this topic. His controversy with Christian Wolff, the distinguished pupil of Leibnitz, is the most important. The school of the latter had produced the Bible of Wertheim, which Lange attacked in his Der philos. Religionsspotter im ersten Theile d. Werthheinischen Bibelwerkes verkappt (1735; 2d edit. 1736). In that work he advanced his favorite theory, which he further developed in his later writings against Wolff and others, that their philosophical system was purely mechanical.
This was followed by his Darstellung d. Grundsatze d. Wolffischen Philosophie (Lpz. 1736, 4to), and the 150 Fragen aus der neuen mechanischen Philosophie (Halle, 1734). He had already given some inklings of his views of this system in his Caussa Dei adversus Atheismnum et Pseudophilosophiam, praesertim Stoicam, Spinoz. ad Wolflanan (2d ed. Halle, 1727, 8vo) (see H. Wuttke, Christian Wolff's eigene Lebenseschreibung, Lpz. 1841, Preface). Some of Lange's exegetical works are yet in use; such are Covem. hist. herm. de vita et epistolis Patuli (Halle, 1718, 4to): — Mosaisches Licht u. Recht (Halle, 1732, fol.), a sort of commentary on all the books of the O.T. Also commentaries on various other books of Scripture, published at different times, and collectively under title Biblia parenthetica (Leipzic, 1743, 2 volumes, fol.). Also Exegesis epp. Petri (Halle, 1712): — Joannis (1713, 4to). Among his historical works we notice Gestalt d. Kreuzreichs Christi in seiner Unschuld. (Halle, 1713, 8vo): — Erlauterung d. neuesten Historie d. evang. Kirche 5:1689 bis 1719 (Halle, 1719, 8vo). Among his doctrinal works the most important is his (Economia salutis evangelicae (2d edition, Halle, 1730, 8vo; German translation 1738, often reprinted), against predestination; which met with great success. Finally he published also a Latin Grammar, which was for a long time very popular, and went through a great many editions; and an Autobiographie, to which is appended a list of his works (Halle and Lpz. 1744). See Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 8:194; Diring, Gelehrte Theol. Deutschlands, 2:251 sq.; Rotermund, Gelehrten Lexikon, s.v.; Dorner, Doctrine and Person of Christ, II, 2:369, 376. (J.H.W.)