In bringing together the conflicting opinions of the fathers on all the chief points of Christian dogmatics, it may be admitted that Abelard's aim was simply to make these contradictions the starting point of an inquiry which should determine in each case the true position and via media of Christian theology.
In the literature as it survives many different branches of writing are represented - homilies in prose and verse, hymns, exposition and commentary, liturgy, apocryphal legends, historical romance, hagiography and martyrology, monastic history and biography, general history, dogmatics, philosophy and science, ecclesiastical law, &c. But the whole is dominated by the theological and ecclesiastical interest.
His contributions to theological literature included treatises on Christian ethics and dogmatics, on moral philosophy, on baptism, and a sketch of the life of Jakob Boehme, who exercised so marked an influence on the mind of the great English theologian of the 18th century, William Law.
1613), a mild divine, who had written a treatise on persuasion in religion, urging that as to it "men could be led, not driven"; Lambert Danaeus, who deserves remembrance as the first to discuss Christian ethics scientifically, apart from dogmatics; Johannes Drusius, the Orientalist, one of the most enlightened and advanced scholars of his day, settled later at Franeker; Johann Kolmann the younger, best known by his saying that high Calvinism made God "both a tyrant and an executioner."
In his work on philosophical dogmatics (Philosophische Dogmatik oder Philosophie des Christentums, 3 vols.