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The authority of Christ,

Author: David W Forrest
Publisher: Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1906.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Forrest, David W. (David William), 1856-1918.
Authority of Christ.
Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1906
(OCoLC)903631941
Named Person: Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ.; Jesus Christ
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: David W Forrest
OCLC Number: 567681
Description: xvii, 437 pages
Contents: I. The recognition of Christ as the incarnate Son --
1. Statement of the questions to be discussed --
Grounds on which a unique authority is ascribed to Christ --
The two qualities that differentiate him from others who in their measure reveal God --
2. What sinlessness means as applied to Christ --
The possibility of a sinless human life denied by many on two grounds --
The one method by which sinlessness can be proved --
Some who accept Christ's sinlessness can be proved --
Inadequacy of this view --
3. His mediatorship : the claims he made for himself --
The contention that these express only his historic consciousness of sonship, not his essential or metaphysical oneness with the father --
4. The place of Christ's resurrection in the argument for his deity. Contrast in this respect between the Apostles' standpoint and ours --
5. Affirming Christ's eternal sonship we speak secundum hominem --
Our categories in construing God's life, only approximative; but none the less indispensable for that --
II. The illegitimate extension of Christ's authority --
1. The gospel records must decide what deity meant in Christ's incarnate experience --
The Chalcedonian definition controlled by abstract conceptions of Godhead and manhood --
The docetic tendency in patristic church --
The distinction between Christ's "divine mind" and his "human mind" unscriptural --
2. The gospels assign to Christ a place in humanity in a definite historic succession: what this involves --
Christ and the Gentile world --
His relation to Israel, unique. Are his allusions to Old Testament characters and incidents authoritative in the historical sphere? Reasons against this view --
3. Christ's predictions and those of prophets and apostles --
His unbroken communion with the Father does not of itself carry with it plenary intellectual vision --
4. The limitations of Christ's thought, involved in the reality of his moral growth --
His miracles wrought by virtue of a power received from the Father --
5. The church discussions regarding the right conceptions of the person of Christ, inevitable --
The divine and the human akin: but the human type of thought discursive, the divine intuitive --
The Gospels leave no doubt as to which of these types ruled in Christ's case: the divine self-restrained within the limits of humanity --
It is no objection to the kenotic view that it does not answer questions lying outside the historical revelation III. Christ's authority on God: The spiritual as the distinctive sphere where Christ's authority rules. Need of defining the kind of authority which belongs to Him --
1. Christ does not seek to verify God by speculative argument --
Why metaphysic cannot yield the results that religion demands --
Thought or reason not identical with the ratiocinative faculty --
The ethical intuition implicitly universal --
2. Christ fixes on the ethical quality in man as the organ for attaining the knowledge of God --
The progressive imperatives of man's moral nature only to be explained by the urgency of an indwelling divine life --
Christ's revelation of God resides not merely in what he taught but in what he was --
He guarantees God as the correlative of duty --
3. If Christ appeals to what is universal in man, why are there many in whom his attestation of God awakes no response? --
In some, this is due to moral disloyalty. In others, who are lovers of truth, to too narrow an idea of what truth is --
The methods of physical science inapplicable to the moral world --
The conditions of verifying ethical and religious truth: the "venture of faith" --
4. Theistic belief and the problem of suffering --
Why individual suffering must largely remain inexplicable --
5. Christ finds God in outward nature, because the first finds him in his own experience --
The "remorseless cruelties" of the natural world: why not fatal to the Christian belief in God IV. Christ's authority on individual duty: Christ's words and acts, diverse expressions of the one filial spirit --
1. His injunction, "resist not him that is evil"; misconceptions of Tolstoy and Steeley --
The saying "Give to him that seeth thee"; what it means for us to-day --
His commands have often to be divested of their particular form, in order that their intention may be fulfilled --
2. His acts not meant to be formally imitated --
The great principle of right conduct: consideration for others' good --
The complexity of its application --
3. Christ's attitude of abstention in relation to the social and political wrongs of his age --
A similar abstention not observed by Christians --
Reasons for this contrast between his conduct and theirs --
a) Difference of political environment --
b) Difference of function: He, the Redeemer; they, the redeemed --
4. Fallacy underlying the idea that we can best discover our duty by asking, what would Jesus do? --
Activities which would not blend with his specific mission as Redeemer may be justifiable and even obligatory for us --
By ruling out these from our conduct we misrepresent (I) Christ's example in His relation to men; (2) The real character of His Gospel --
The apostles not determined in their action by precedents, but by the guidance of a living Lord --
V. Christ's authority on corporate duty; or, Christianity and the state --
1. The methods of the church and of the state, diametrically opposite --
Christ not opposed to compulsory government as represented in an earthly state --
The authority of a political ruler, a trust from God --
St. Peter and St. Paul on the duty of civil obedience --
2. The extent to which Christianity can be expressed in the action of a corporate body, limited by the distinctive character of the corporation --
The limits in the case of a voluntary association easily defined --
Not so in the case of the state, which is a necessary society --
The deepening realization of what belongs to its proper function, due predominantly to Christianity --
Moral obligations incumbent on the individual which do not exist for the state --
3. The relation of the state to Christian doctrine --
Dr. Arnold's theory of the unity of Church and state --
The results that follow from making Christianity "the basis of citizenship" --
The delimitation of the two spheres of Church and state --
Does not mean the extrusion of religion from civil affairs --
4. The recognition of religion by the state --
The civil establishment of the church --
Advocated as helping to extend the church's influence; this view examined --
What constitutes a Christian nation --
The question of religious instruction in the national schools; of a different character from that of the establishment of the church --
Difficulty of the problem; the diverse considerations that have to be taken account of --
No method universally the best --
International policy subject to moral obligations --
Yet not to the same obligations as individual action VI. Christ's authority on human destiny: The kingdom of God: Christ's view of the end to be interpreted by His view of the process that leads up to it --
1. The phrase, Kingdom of God: not originated by Christ; but he gave it a new content --
From the inwardness of the kingdom, as conceived by Him, spring to facts: its reality as a present power, the gradualness of its growth --
Christ did not share the "catastrophic" conceptions of Jewish apocalyptic --
2. The kingdom a process, but a process that is to reach its consummation --
Why the present mundane order presupposes a final judgment --
This judgment to be realized through the completed manifestation of what Christ is --
3. While affirming the consummation, Christ asserts his ignorance of the "day or hour" --
This quite in harmony with the character of his vocation --
How can we account for the sayings attributed to him which foretell the time of the end? --
He spiritualizes current eschatological terms: the Sypnoptics and the fourth Gospel --
His varying references to the end correspond with his statement that he did not know the "day or hour" --
5. Is the final judgment based merely on man's earthly record? Christ does not explicitly say so --
Considerations that seem to point to a probation after death; but Christ's teaching in its main lines does not encourage the idea --
The few truths regarding destiny which carry his authority --
VII. The incarnation and the Holy Spirit --
1. The divine self-limitation involved in the incarnation, temporary: a means to an end --
Christ's death, the culminating point of a sacrifice which began in his assumption of humanity --
The theory that the incarnation would have taken place apart from sin, and according to the absolute purpose of God --
Tends to lesson our sense of the self-surrender which the incarnation implied --
2. Christ's promise of the Spirit as ushering in a fuller revelation --
Why the incarnate period had first to close --
The history of the church shows the conditions necessary for receiving the Spirit's illumination --
The will of Christ gradually revealed to the apostles (a) through the teaching of new facts; and (b) through their own deepening spiritual life --
3. The ethical content of the Christian consciousness: how unfolded --
Moral forces, working in the social and political sphere, have revealed to the Church the fuller meanings of its own ethic and doctrine --
These forces, though often antagonistic to the church, had their origin in Christ's teaching --
4. The operation of the Spirit intertwined with man's intellectual activities --
With the advance of knowledge, religious conviction assumes new intellectual forms: this transition never accomplished without friction --
5. Christ's teaching: reasons for the form He gave it --
Place of the intellect in the apprehension of His message; as e.g. his "sacramental" words --
The idea that He spoke with full prevision of future misconceptions of His teaching: untenable --
6. The church as an organized body; Christ not anti-institutional --
The early church; its affluent spiritual life, leading to diverse methods of organization --
The itinerant supplanted by the local ministry --
The rise of the mono-episcopate --
Church administration, the sphere in which the false conception of Christ's authority has been most disastrous --
How the theory of apostolic succession grew up --
Exaggerated deference paid to the fathers --
In what sense the scriptures are authoritative --
Ecclesiastical polity a branch of applied ethics --
The truth embodied once for all in the incarnate life; but man's apprehension of it imperfect and growing.
Responsibility: by David W. Forrest.

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