Let us pause here for to-day. And let us take home, as the heart-thought of the morning, an assurance which may comfort us as we stand under the shadow of Christmas. If the dear Christ’s throne stood on any such flimsy basis of prophecy as men have built up beneath it, then, when the underpinnings came tumbling out, as to-day they are doing, we might fear that His authority was dropping in with them; that no longer we were to call Him Master and King; that criticism had pronounced His decheance. But His throne really rests on a nation’s growth of the human Ideal and Divine Image. And, since this nation’s growth was on the same general lines as the religious and ethical progress of other races, His throne rests on no less secure a foundation than humanity’s evolution of the human Ideal and Divine Image. Man’s best and noblest life aspires after an ideal which is the Christly character. Man’s best and noblest thoughts of God fashion a vision which is the God revealed in Christ. He is Humanity’s “Master of Life.”
The wrong use of the Bible
“The Scriptures will be more studied than they have been, and in a different manner—not as a magazine of propositions and mere dialectic entities, but as inspirations and poetic forms of life; requiring, also, divine inbreathings and exaltations in us, that we may ascend into their meaning. No false precision, which the nature and conditions of spiritual truth forbid, will, by cutting up the body of truth into definite and dead morsels, throw us into states of excision and division, equally manifold. We shall receive the truth of God in a more organic and organific manner, as being itself an essentially vital power.”
Horace Bushnell. God in Christ; p. 93.
“But, further, the zealots for the Bible as it is, just because it is, forget that, in their outcry in behalf of every existing book, and paragraph, and sentence, and word in the present edition of it, as ‘God’s Word written,’ they are simply begging the question, What is ‘God’s Word written’? What is, without any doubt, a genuine portion of those writings which contain the message from God? The question is, in no case, ’Will you part with any utterance of God’s voice, whether through apostle or evangelist?’ but only, ’Is this particular word, or sentence, or passage, truly such an utterance? Have we good grounds for accepting it as such? Nay, have we not overwhelming grounds for doubting it to be such?’ We do right to hold fast ’the faith once delivered to the saints,’ but the more we are determined to be faithful to this faith, just the more sedulous and more searching must be our inquiry, Have we here this faith in its integrity?”
Thomas Griffith, late Prebendary
of St. Paul’s, London: The Gospel of
the Divine Life, p. 418.