An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant.
apart from us, or, if one may so say, some alteration of ourselves upon other than moral and spiritual terms.  The conception of the person Christ shows the same uncertainty.  Or rather, with a given view of the nature of religion and salvation, the corresponding view of Christ is certain.  In the age-long and world-wide contest over the trinitarian formula, with all that is saddening in the struggle and all that was misleading in the issue, it is because we see men struggling to come into the clear as to these two meanings of religion, that the contest has such absorbing interest.  Men have been right in declining to call that religion in which a man saves himself.  They have been wrong in esteeming that they were then only saved of God or Christ when they were saved by an obviously external process.  Even this antinomy is softened when one no longer holds that God and men are mutually exclusive conceptions.  It is God working within us who saves, the God who in Jesus worked such a wonder of righteousness and love as else the world has never seen.



By the middle of the nineteenth century the empirical sciences had undergone vast expansion in the study of detail and in the discovery of principles.  Men felt the necessity of some adequate discussion of the relation of these sciences one to another and of their unity.  There was need of the organisation of the mass of knowledge, largely new and ever increasing, which the sciences furnished.  It lay in the logic of the case that some of these attempts should advance the bold claim to deal with all knowledge whatsoever and to offer a theory of the universe as a whole.  Religion, both in its mythological and in its theological stages, had offered a theory of the universe as a whole.  The great metaphysical systems had offered theories of the universe as a whole.  Both had professed to include all facts.  Notoriously both theology and metaphysics had dealt in most inadequate fashion with the material world, in the study of which the sciences were now achieving great results.  Indeed, the methods current and authoritative with theologians and metaphysicians had actually prevented study of the physical universe.  Both of these had invaded areas of fact to which their methods had no application and uttered dicta which had no relation to truth.  The very life of the sciences depended upon deliverance from this bondage.  The record of that deliverance is one of the most dramatic chapters in the history of thought.  Could one be surprised if, in the resentment which long oppression had engendered and in the joy which overwhelming victory had brought, scientific men now invaded the fields of their opponents?  They repaid their enemies in their own coin.  There was with some a disposition to deny that there exists an area of knowledge to which the methods of metaphysicians

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An Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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