King's Business - 1915-04



thought that not the whole of the Biblical tradition about Jesus is un­ doubtedly historical” !! In the name of the historical science he evaporates the so-called orthodox view of the Trinity, and the two na­ tures in the One Person of Christ, and declares that “all learned Protes­ tant theologians of Germany admit unanimously that the orthodox doc­ trine of the two natures in Christ cannot be retained in its traditional form” ; and says, “all our systematic theologians . . . are seeking new paths in their Christology.” I thought as I read this of the words of the inspired one: “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your soul. But they said, We will not walk therein.” RATIONALIST MEDLEY. But to turn from Loofs and his characteristically Teutonic medley of the baldest rationalism with seeming Christian faith, let us take the case of certain Oxford scholars who in the work entitled “Foundations” have en­ deavored to restate Christian belief in the terms of modern thought, and: more especially of Professor Sanday and his famous -letter to the Bishop of Oxford. The same curious phe­ nomenon of mind greets us. State­ ments apparently orthodox; affirma­ tions of the necessity of safeguarding the central truths, repudiations of any desire or attempt to undermine in any way the essentials of the faith, are combined with the freest admission of the imaginative or imaginary nature of some of our Lord’s miracles (that is, that they are not historically true), and the repudiation in the frankest terms .of the Virgin Birth; ( “I believe most emphatically His super-natural Birth: but I cannot scarcely bring my­ self to believe that His birth was un-

growth of myths and legends and clever explainings away of prophe­ cies and miracles, the possibility of which they denied, they did it as the open foes of Christ and the Bible. FALSE FRIENDS. But what has shocked the Chris­ tian world of late more than anything else has been the fact that the work of undermining and denying the fun­ damentals of the faith of Christen­ dom is now carried on, not by avowed foes, but by avowed friends. Suppose we take two examples: the one a lead­ ing German, the other a leading Eng­ lish Churchman. Perhaps the latest word in continental Christology is Professor Loofs’ “What is the Truth about Jesus Christ?” the Haskell Lec­ tures of 1911 (Scribner’s 1913). From the German viewpoint it is really a most moderate and acceptable presen­ tation of the question, and he evident­ ly claims no little credit for separat­ ing himself from the extreme ration­ alists who have carried on what is termed the “liberal Jesus-research,” such as Paulus, Strauss, Baur, Keim, Renan, Volkner, Schweitzer and Wellhausen. Sanday pats him on the back as one of the best and most cau­ tious of the Germans. He professes to approach the gospel story in the spirit of scientific investigation, and lays •down in his theorem nothing shall be “considered to be true by faith that historical science through the means at its disposal is forced to recognize as unhistorical.” He then goes on to say that the three sentences in the so-called apostolic creed “born of the Virgin Mary” ; “the third day He rose again from the dead” ; “He ascended into heaven,” are examples of Biblical tradition that is material, unhistorical, and continues: “It is, therefore,-in my opinion, the duty of all honest friends of the truth among the leading Christians to ac­ custom their congregations to the

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker