Jesus and the Gospel of Love: Being the Alexander Robertson Lectures Delivered in 1931 in the University of Glasgow

Jesus and the Gospel of Love: Being the Alexander Robertson Lectures Delivered in 1931 in the University of Glasgow

Jesus and the Gospel of Love: Being the Alexander Robertson Lectures Delivered in 1931 in the University of Glasgow

Jesus and the Gospel of Love: Being the Alexander Robertson Lectures Delivered in 1931 in the University of Glasgow

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is simple, though its contents are varied and its sequence complex. It attempts to demonstrate first that religion is essentially an achievement of the whole personality which cannot justly be represented in categories lower than the personal or identified with the doctrinal, ethical and ecclesiastical systems involved in it; secondly that religion, because personal, can only find its supreme expression for mankind in a person, and that Jesus, critically studied, reveals to us the complete religious personality; and thirdly that the quality of His influence as seen, for example, in St. Paul, though misrepresented by later theories of Incarnation and Atonement, vindicates the belief that He embodies for us the truth about God, mankind and the universe. It thus would bring together the results of study in the fields of religious psychology, of New Testament criticism and exegesis, and of the history of Christian doctrine and development.

It is obvious that the conclusions here reached carry with them corollaries which would radically change much of the accepted tradition and practices of Christians. If religion is essentially a relationship of love to God and man, and if all its activities must manifest this love, then there is no room for the primary insistence upon the credal, ceremonial and constitutional niceties which so often engross the attention of Churchmen. It is evident that even so moderate a restatement of fundamental concepts as is contained in Part I of the Lambeth Report of 1930 would, if followed to its logical conclusion, necessitate a complete reform of the findings maintained in Parts III and V; that after the appearance of George Fox and his followers we ought to have learned that the love of a human being for God and his fellows does not depend upon baptism or episcopacy--a conclusion hardly novel to the student of Jesus; and that our emphasis upon orthodoxy and traditions, covenants . . .

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