THE CHRISTIAN RELIGIONIN ITS DOCTRINAL EXPRESSIONBy Edgar Young MullinsCHAPTER IRELIGION AND THEOLOGYI. TWOFOLD AIM aim of this treatise is twofold: first, to set forth thecontents of the Christian religion; and, secondly, to setforth the doctrines of the religion which arise out of itand which are necessary to explain its meaning.The aim implies a necessary connection between religion andtheology. Theology has often been defined as the science whichtreats of God. This definition is based on the derivation of theword from the Greek words meaning God (Theos) and reason(logos). But Christian theology is something more than thescience which treats of God. It also includes in its field of investigation man s relations to God. The reason for this widerdefinition of Christian theology becomes clear when we consider the nature of Christianity. The Christian religion is nota theory or speculation about God. It is more than deductionsfrom objective facts concerning his nature and attributes. Theseare not altogether excluded from Christian theology, but theyare not its foundations nor the chief elements of its content.Primarily religion is man s relations to the divine Being. Itinvolves fellowship and obedience on man s part, and self-revelation on God s part. It is a form of experience and of life. Itis an order of facts. Theology is the systematic and scientificexplanation of this order of facts. Sometimes the term theologyis used in a narrower sense, meaning the doctrine of God asdistinguished from the doctrine of man, or the doctrine of sin,or the doctrine of salvation, or other particular doctrines. This,however, is not in conflict with what has just been said as to thegeneral use of the word. It has come to mean the whole rangeof doctrines regarding God in his relations to man.This meaning appears in the use of the term in the variousdepartments of theology. When we speak of the theology ofthe Old Testament we mean the systematic exposition of thetruths about God and his revelations to man arising out of thelife and experience of God s people in the Old Testament history.New Testament theology means the corresponding truths givenin the life and religion of the actors and writers of the NewTestament. The Pauline or Johannine theology means the truthsfound in the writings of Paul or John. In general, biblical theologyis the scientific exposition of the theology of the Bibleunmixed with speculative or other elements drawn from physicalnature or the human reason. But in every instance mentioned,theology covers all the relations between God and man. It isnot limited to the doctrine of the divine nature or attributes.Systematic theology is the orderly and harmonious presentationof the truths of theology with a view to unity and completeness.Reason may supply certain elements in such presentation whichwould be inappropriate in a rigidly biblical method of treatment.Historical theology traces the stages in the development ofdoctrines through the Christian centuries, with a view to showing their inner connections from age to age.Another method of dealing with the doctrines of the Christianreligion is that which gives prominence to Christian experience.It is the method adopted in this work.In principle the experiential way of dealing with Christiandoctrine has been employed in every vital and living systemwhich has been produced since New Testament times. But inmost cases it has been implicit rather than explicit. Christianexperience has been tacitly assumed. It is the principle whichanimates all the biblical writers of both the Old and New Testaments. It is the source of power in the writings of an Augustine, a Clement, a Schleiermacher. All theology must be vitalizedby experience before it can become a real force for the regeneration of men.But when we speak of making experience explicit in expounding thedoctrines of Christianity, we are by no means adoptingthat as the sole criterion of truth. He would be a very unwiseman who should attempt to deduce all Christian doctrine fromhis own subjective experience. As we shall soon see, Christianity is a historical religion. Jesus Christ is its sole founderand supreme authority as the revealer of God. The Scripturesare our only source of authoritative information about Christand his earthly career. These are fundamental to any correctunderstanding of our religion.When, therefore, we speak of making Christian experienceexplicit as a principle in theological statement, we are simplyseeking to understand Christianity first of all as a religion. Wecertainly cannot know the meaning of the religion until we knowwhat the religion is. There are ways of handling Christian doctrine which lead away from the truth. A theologian may adoptsome abstract logical or philosophical principle and construct asystem having but slight connection with the New Testament. Toavoid this error the best recourse is the religion of the NewTestament itself.It will be noted, then, that the clear recognition in doctrinaldiscussion of the experience of Christians does not render theology less biblical, or less systematic, or less historical. TheBible is the greatest of all books of religious experience. Thetheology of its great writers is all, in a sense, the expression oftheir experience under the guidance of God s Holy Spirit. Paul sconversion was a formative influence in all his doctrinal teachings.Again, our treatment is none the less systematic because it isexperiential. We may be more cautious in drawing logicaland philosophic inferences from doctrines revealed and knownin experience. But this does not at all hinder a systematic arrangement and exposition of doctrine.So also while the limits of space and method of treatment forbid any general review of the history of doctrine, the entire treatment of theology here represented implies the historical background and the whole course of doctrinal development throughthe Christian centuries.We may now sum up in a general way the factors whichmust be taken into account if we are to understand the Christianreligion and the doctrinal teachings which arise out of it.First of all, we must recognize Jesus Christ as the historicalrevelation of God to men. What he is in himself, and whathe means for our faith, are truths which must await developmentat a later stage of this book. But Christianity is bound up indis-solubly with the facts of the historical Jesus.Secondly, we must assign to their proper place the Scripturesof the New Testament as the indispensable source of our knowledge of the historical Jesus and his work for our salvation.In the third place, we must recognize the place and work ofthe Holy Spirit in the hearts of men. He continues the work ofChrist. It is through him that we are led to accept Christ. Itis in and through him that the meaning of the Christian facts isbrought home to us.Fourthly, we must seek to define and understand the spiritualexperiences of Christians as subject to the operation of God sSpirit revealing Christ to them. The history of doctrine will aidin this, but we must make also a direct study of experience itself.Now it is in the combination and union of all these factors,and not in any one or two of them taken by themselves, that wefind what we seek when we undertake a systematic study ofthe Christian religion and its theology. We may specify someof the advantages of this method of study in the followingstatements :i. It enables us to avoid a false intellectualism in theology. Itkeeps theology properly anchored to facts and their meaning.It requires little discernment to see that systematic theologieswhich are chiefly concerned with the logical or philosophicalrelations between truths in a unified order, may easily overlookvital interests of the spiritual life. The Scriptures rarely presenttruth in this way. They never present it apart from the vitalneeds of the soul. The sense of proportion in the emphasis upontruth may be easily lost in our admiration for the harmony andbeauty of a systematic arrangement. A single doctrine or conception, such as the sovereignty of God, or election, or humanfreedom, may be given a dominating position and all other truthsmodified to make them conform. Theological controversy maylead to one-sided systems. Thus Calvinism and Arminianismhave sometimes taken on extreme forms and have led to unfortunate results. Other issues, more common in modern times,produce the same reactions to extreme forms of statement.Now when the interests of life and experience are made explicit,many errors of this kind are avoided. So also a restraintis felt thus which prevents too great license in speculative andmetaphysical deductions from biblical truth. We cannot havetheology without metaphysics, but our metaphysics should ariseout of the data supplied by the Scriptures and understoodthrough our living experience of God in Christ.2. The method also affords the necessary fact basis for thescientific presentation of the truths of Christian theology. Thefinest thing in the modern scientific spirit is its demand forfacts and its painstaking and conscientious interpretation offacts. The desire to know reality as it is in itself and not aswe wish it to be, combined with the patient effort to expressexactly its meaning, is of the essence of the scientific spirit. Nowthis motive and aim are most welcome to those who would studythe Christian religion and who would express its meaning ina system of theology.It is clear, upon reflection, that all the factors named are essential to such a thoroughgoing study of the Christian religion.If we study the historical Jesus apart from the other factorsmentioned, we never get beyond a problem of history. If wedevote ourselves solely to the study of the Scriptures by meansof the most approved critical and scientific methods, we neverrise above the issues involved in literary and historical criticism,or at best in questions of exegesis. In neither case do we riseto the level of religion itself. Again, if we grow weary ofhistorical and exegetical study and devote ourselves to the workof the Holy Spirit in our hearts, to the exclusion of the otherfactors, we do indeed come to the study of religion. But underthese conditions it is not and cannot be the Christian religionin its fulness and power. We cannot dispense with Christ, andwe are indissolubly bound to the Scriptures in any attempt tounderstand that religious experience we call Christian.Two fundamental questions arise at the outset in any adequatestudy of the Christian religion. One relates to Jesus Christ.Who is Jesus, and what is he to men? The other relates toour experience of God s redeeming power in the soul. What isthe relation of Jesus Christ to that experience? Those questionsinevitably lead back to the question of the New Testament, thehistorical source o-f our information about Christ. They alsolead back to the work of God s Spirit in our hearts. Hence weconclude that all four of the factors named are essential to ascientific study of the Christian religion.In the light of these statements we see how defective are someefforts which are called scientific, to express the meaning of Christianity. Numerous attempts have been made to set forth " theessence of Christianity." It is not our purpose here to dwellupon these at length. But usually they are efforts to extractfrom the Gospel records some small remainder of what is heldto be the religion of the New Testament by Christians generally,and cast away the other elements as worthless. Of course it isalways open to any one to raise the question whether the originalgospel has been perverted. But too often efforts of this kindfail to take account of all the elements in the problem. Christianity cannot be reduced to a simple problem of historicalcriticism. The facts involved have a much wider range. Again,Christianity cannot be construed under the guidance of somepreviously formed world-view or philosophy of the universe. Wemust begin with the facts in their totality and reckon with them.This is simply another way of saying that we must adopt thescientific method of dealing with the question.3. Again, the method gives the best apologetic foundation fora system of theology. The term apologetics is perhaps not themost appropriate one for designating the scientific defense of theChristian religion against attack. But it has come into generaluse for this purpose and is well enough understood. Apologeticsis, of course, a distinct department of theology, and calls fordiscussion of some problems which cannot be treated in systematic theology. And yet the latter requires a sound apologeticfoundation in order to maintain itself among other sciences.The method adopted in this work affords the strongest apologeticfoundation for theology because it emphasizes the facts of historyand of experience. A comparison with some of the older apologetic defenses will show this. We name a few of these:(1) The proof of God s existence from the phenomena ofthe universe has long been a favorite method. It possesses, nodoubt, elements of great strength. But along with these thereare elements of weakness. Logical deduction from physicalphenomena lends itself to many theories of the universe. Eachof them claims to be most in accord with the facts. There resultsalways an unstable equilibrium of theories. None of them satisfies fully. Immanuel Kant held that we cannot know what isbehind phenomena. We can only know reality in its manifestations. And so long as we are limited to deductive reasoningfrom data objective to the mind itself there is much truth inhis view. That which arises is a high degree of probabilityrather than knowledge in the strict sense, when we reasondeductively to prove God s existence. But for the Christian whorecognizes the reality and meaning of his experience of God inChrist a new kind of knowledge of God arises. The " proofs "are transferred from the world without to the world within.Thus direct knowledge of God arises.(2) Again, the proof of Christianity from miracles has alwaysbeen questioned by many of the devotees of physical science.Christians have rightly replied that the objections were not wellfounded. But here again the proof resides in the realm of aremote history. Debate continues indefinitely because preferenceor preconception determines the view adopted. It is most probable that Christians themselves are not convinced entirely bythe logical demonstration based on the reliability of the NewTestament witnesses. Unconsciously they have been influencedby their own experience of a supernatural power working inthem and redeeming them. It is easy to believe the New Testament miracles if the same power is known as a personal andvital experience. If then we make clear and explicit what thatexperience is, and combine it with the witness of the well-supported historical records, we have a much more powerful argument from miracles.(3) The deity of Christ has been employed as a means ofestablishing the truth of Christianity. A powerful argument isconstructed from the witness of Jesus to himself, from the impression Ke made on others, from his resurrection, from his placeand power in Christian history, and in other ways. But whento these considerations we add the facts as to Christ s redeemingpower in men, we have greatly increased the strength of theappeal to his divinity.The above will suffice to show the nature of the apologeticfoundation which is laid for theology when the redemptive experience of God in Christ is made explicit and clear as an essential factor in the interpretation of Christianity. This does notby any means imply that we are henceforth done with historyor logical proofs, or any of the ordinary processes by whichthe mind works out its conclusions. It only implies that fromthe center of a well-founded history, as interpreted in the light ofa divinely inwrought experience, we may properly estimate thevalue of all the proofs. The Christian religion as a power in thesoul, redeeming and transforming it, is its own best evidence.4. The method adopted has a further advantage in that itenables us to show the reality, the autonomy, and freedom ofthe Christian religion. These are great demands which themodern world makes upon religion. A scientific age has givenrise to a passionate demand for the real in the study of allsubjects. Make-believes and shams of all kinds are subjectto the most rigid scrutiny and criticism. Nothing can longremain secure which cannot endure the fierce heat and light oruthless investigation. The religion of Christ welcomes this.It is the glory of Christ that he made the spiritual universereal to men. He brought God home to their souls. Those whoknow God in Christ find in him the supreme reality.The religion of Christ is autonomous. This means that it hasits resources in itself. The Christian has the guidance of God sSpirit when in humility he seeks it. He acquires a relation toand knowledge of the Bible which is for him most convincingand conclusive. He has the witness in himself. His faith performs for him a service, secures for him a power, brings to hima blessedness and a peace which he finds in no other way. Theconflict between flesh and spirit, between the visible and invisible,between the temporal and eternal order, is reconciled and overcome in Christ. He does not value other forms of human activityless than he did before, but rather more. But he sees that religionis the supreme value of life, the supreme function of the soul.In it all else, art, science, education, philosophy, are transformedinto new forms of development and of ministry. But he alsosees that they all find their completion and fulfilment in religionitself.The religion of Christ is free. It is not subject to the rule ofany form of human culture alien to itself. It is in conflict withno legitimate activity of man. Each great department of lifehas its special method, its great underlying principle. Physicalscience works with the principle of causality. Philosophy employs that of rationality. Religion deals with personality. Godand man in relations of mutual love and service are the greatrealities with which it deals. There is no conflict between anyof these, as we shall see. It arises only when one of thesespheres undertakes to rule the other.As autonomous and free, and as dealing with the greatest ofall realities, the Christian religion in every age of the world comesto redeem men. They accept it under the conditions of theirown age, confronted by their own difficulties and problems.Hence arises the need for restating its doctrines in terms of theliving experience of each generation. Human creeds are valuableas such expressions. But they do not serve all the ends of doctrine. We must ever return to the Scriptures for new inspiration. We must ever ask anew the questions as to Christ andhis relations to the needs of each generation. He does not change.His religion is the same in all ages. But our difficulties andproblems are shaped anew by the forms of life which ever changeabout us. Hence we must revitalize our faith by deepeningour communion with God and witnessing to his power in us.5. The experiential method of dealing with Christian truthhelps in defining the nature of the authority of the Bible. TheBible, against tradition and against the authority of the papalsystem, was one of the watchwords of the Reformation. Protestantism has from the beginning made the Bible the authoritativesource of the knowledge of the gospel of Christ. Opponentshave urged objections to the biblical authority on various grounds.It has been objected that the Bible is not infallible and hencecannot be an authority. The existence of textual errors, scientific,or historical deviations from exact truth, discrepancies of variouskinds, proves that the Bible cannot be accepted as an infallibleguide in religion, so it was argued. Christian apologists used toexpend great energy and pains in answering all of these charges.Finally they came to see that the objector demanded more thanfaith required. We are not bound to prove in a way which compels assent that the Bible is the supreme authority for Christianfaith. Such proof would not produce faith at all. It couldonly produce intellectual assent. The Christian s acceptance ofthe Bible arises in another way. It comes to him in " demonstration of the Spirit and of power." It is the life in him whichanswers to the life the Scriptures reveal which convinces him.So that the Bible is not for him an authority on all subjects, butin religion it is final and authoritative. At this stage the objectortook a further step and urged that no authority which is externalto the soul can be accepted. Truth must be assimilated andunderstood, not imposed by authority of any kind, whether popeor church or Bible. The Christian then framed his reply onthe basis of his own inner experience. He urged that the veryessence of the redemption he knows in Christ is inwardly assimilated truth and actual knowledge of the great spiritual realities. He proceeded to define and expound the truth thus inwardly known and assimilated. But then the objector gave theargument another turn entirely. He charged that the allegedknowledge of the Christian was merely inward and subjective.It was lacking in objective reality, and hence was unreliable.Of course these objections contradict each other. We shall seethem recurring in other connections in the following pages.Now the Christian rises above and overcomes both forms ofthe objection by insisting that it is in the union and combinationof the objective source and the subjective experience that certainty and assurance are. found. He is no less interested inobjective reality than his opponent. He is no less interestedin inward assimilation of truth. But he finds both in the religionof Christ. He finds Jesus Christ to be for him the supremerevelation of God s redeeming grace. He finds the Scripturesthe authoritative source of his knowledge of that revelation.And then he finds in his own soul that working of God s gracewhich enables him to know Christ and to understand the Scriptures. Thus the objective and subjective elements find a unityand harmony which is entirely satisfying.Now if the opposite method is pursued and either the Bibleor experience is taken alone, no such finality is .possible. Ifthe Bible is considered in an intellectual way merely, apart fromthe experience of God s redeeming grace in Christ, then againwe have a recurrence of the old debate on grounds of historyand criticism. Theories are then framed according to mentalprepossessions, and unity of view is impossible. Again, if experience is taken apart from the history, the old charge of subjectivism at once recurs. Hence for the Christian there is nofinally convincing and satisfying view except in the combinationof the two elements. For the opponent of the Christian viewthis also makes the strongest appeal. There is an inward realitywhich corresponds to objective facts of history. God s approachto man in and through Christ finds its reaction in man s response.Faith completes the union, and the life of God flows into thelife of man and transforms it.II. MODERN WAYS OF REGARDING RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCEIn order to prepare the way for our treatment of the Christianreligion and its theology, we consider some of the modern waysof dealing with the facts of religion and especially those of theChristian religion.i. We consider first the view of Comte and the position ofthe Positive Philosophy. Comte held that religion is a form ofsuperstition. Man is impressed by the powers and mysteries ofnature. On account of his ignorance of natural laws he imaginesa God or gods to account for them. This is the period of thechildhood of the race. But gradually the reason works overthe problems of existence. Metaphysical theories for explainingthe universe arise, and man imagines he has found truth. Butthese metaphysical speculations are nothing more than the returnof the old gods which were previously believed in. They arethe shadows of the gods which are cast as the gods pass away.Finally men learn the truth. There are no gods. Metaphysicsis an illusion. No truth comes through speculation. The onlytruth is that which arises out of the facts of matter, force, andmotion. The most advanced races will therefore drop bothreligion and metaphysics out of consideration and devote themselves to the study of physical science. Of course under thisview all forms of religious experience are regarded as purelyemotional and subjective. There is no valid objective groundfor them which can be found.There is no need to reply to this theory at length here. Allthat follows in this volume is the Christian reply. But brieflythe following may be said. The view does not explain religion ;it merely explains it away. Religion is a universal fact. Itcalls for careful consideration which the theory does not give.The view is contrary to the nature of man as a spiritual being.Physical facts and laws do not satisfy the soul. Man cravesthe infinite. The craving is a part of his spiritual constitution.The theory ignores also the nature of personality and its significance. Man is himself as real as nature. What does personality mean in the interpretation of the universe ? Comte givesno adequate reply. The view ignores history and experience.Men do not and cannot dispense with religion. The theory thusignores half the facts known to us in the interest of the otherhalf. It builds a philosophy on one aspect of being, the physical.It is abstract and unsatisfying in the highest degree.2. Another view closely related to the above regards religionas a useful device or function which men have adopted to aidthem in their struggle for existence. Religious psychology showshow fundamental faith in some form is for men generally. Itis useful. They invent a God or gods to answer their needs.There is real value in religion. It makes men strong to endureand to struggle for victory. But the gods they believe in have noobjective reality. Religion then is simply a " value " which men" conserve." But the time may come when these values will giveplace to higher values. Reason will take the place of faith.The religious value will thus be gathered up in a rational value.Thus religion will pass because men can do without it.It will be seen that this view is just a slightly improved formof the view of Comte. All the objections to the latter holdagainst it. It is false in its estimate of man, of religion, andof the facts of history and experience. It attempts to show thatthe only valid satisfactions of the soul are those of the purereason. Psychology shows clearly that man is a being with otherneeds and satisfactions. There is no such thing as pure reason,or reason apart from feeling and will and conscience. Man snature has more than one dimension. God has set eternity in theheart. We are restless till we rest in God.3. A third view is that of Mysticism. There is a real objectfor the soul in its outreaching for the infinite. We come incontact with it in our religious yearnings and strivings. Butthis is all we can say about it beyond the fact that the feelingsare stirred by our contact with it. We cannot say it is a personalbeing. Personality implies limitation, it is urged. Thoughtcannot frame a definition of God because the infinite One risesabove thought. It is enough if we can find it and rest in it.Some adopt this view to avoid a clash with science or otherforms of human thought. By avoiding assertions it avoids controversy. Others adopt it because for them religion is exclusivelya matter of feeling. Thought does not enter into it. The viewhas had advocates throughout history. But it cannot answer allthe ends of religion. It severs religion from ethics and thepractical life of man because it gives no definite view of God andhis requirements. It tends to inaction because it finds no purposeor plan of God to be carried out by men. The vagueness andindefiniteness of its conception of God impresses upon it a pantheistic stamp. It cannot avoid the evils of pantheism. In theend all pantheistic systems cancel the significance of ethics, oftruth, of personality, of immortality, and of the eternal kingdom of God. Mysticism in this form cannot escape those evils.Mysticism in the sense of communion with the infinite is anessential element in Christian experience. But Christianity assertsat many points where mysticism denies.4. A fourth view estimates the forms of Christian experienceas judgments of value. It is based on a theory of knowledgewhich denies that we can know things in themselves. We knowphenomena. We do not know what is behind phenomena. Weknow Christ in salvation. He has for us the value of God.But we do not know what he is in his essential nature. So alsoother forms of religious experience are estimates or judgmentsof value regarding God and the spiritual universe. The viewasserts that we do not need to know things save as they relateto us. Their worth to us is the only interest we have in them.The view is valuable in its emphasis upon experience. Inreligion it is our personal interest and our personal relation toGod which give vitality and power. Religion is not a speculationor theory about God. It is the experience of God. It is Godknown to us through communion and fellowship. Ritschl, whodeveloped the idea of the value- judgment in religion, helpedto emphasize the need of reality and power in the Christian life.But he went too far in his denials.Here again the denials were intended as a means of avoidingconflict with physical science. It was an effort to escape fromthe old controversies about the person of Christ, the personalityof God and related subjects. But the effort did not succeed.The old issue returned. The human mind will not rest contentin negations about ultimate realities. The view failed to dojustice to the Christian conception of revelation. It did notrecognize the divine side of the religious relationship in a degree which Christianity requires. In religion God speaks aswell as man. Jesus Christ is God s revelation to us in wordand in deed. What Christ works in us is the best evidence ofwhat he is in himself.5. A watchword which has become common in modern timesis based on the underestimate of doctrinal teaching and insistsupon " religion without theology." " Give us the facts," it insists, " never mind about theories." As we may have flowerswithout botanies, so we may have religion without theology.And so with some there is an effort to avoid theological statements except in the smallest possible degree. Sometimes this isa protest against a mere barren orthodoxy of belief and againstthe passion for fruitless theological controversy. As such it issometimes justified. But it often arises from the motive we havementioned, the desire to avoid conflict with other forms ofthought.Now there are a number of strong reasons why it is impossible to dispense with theology and at the same time keep ourreligion. It is not denied that in the earliest stages of religiousexperience there may be little reflection upon it and a bareminimum of doctrinal belief. Some Christians seem never toadvance beyond the childhood of faith in their reflective thoughtabout religion. But for all advanced Christian experience theremust be doctrinal beliefs to express its meaning. The necessityfor theology arises from the following considerations:(1) First, theology is necessary as a means of expressing themeaning of religion because of the nature of man. If man werefeeling alone, we might dispense with doctrinal teaching. Butour nature includes reason as well as feeling. It is impossibleto draw a sharp line between the emotional, or moral, or volitionalpart of our nature on the one side, and our reason on the other.We are constituted with a knowing capacity, and it must besatisfied along with the other elements.(2) The nature of all human experience shows the same truth.It is only by an abstract process of thought that we can separate the " fact " of religion from the " theory." The word" theory " is simply another word for " meaning." The so-calledtheory of religion is simply its meaning. And for an intelligent,thoughtful being, nothing can become a fact for the consciousness apart from some meaning connected with the fact. It isnot a fact for consciousness except as a greater or less degree ofmeaning attends it. In a state of infancy or unconsciousness,facts may exist which have no meaning for us. But the furtherwe are removed from these two states, the greater the necessityfor meaning in all the facts of our conscious lives. Religionespecially, which goes deepest into our consciousness, awakens acraving for the meaning. The doctrines of theology are theanswer to that craving.(3) Theology is necessary, therefore, if we would define ourreligion. We are not obliged to exhaust the meaning of religionin our definitions of it. The objects and experiences involved arebeyond our capacity for knowing in some of their aspects. Butwe may apprehend what we cannot comprehend. We may knowin part if we may not know altogether.(4) Theology is necessary in order to defend religion againstattack. The Christian may decide that he will abandon thoughtabout religion. He will simply enjoy it. But very soon theantichristian thinker advances a theory of the world which wouldcompletely set aside the Christian religion. This has been truethroughout history. The effort to ignore the meaning of religion expressed in the form of doctrine is always rudely disturbed by some new assault upon the faith. At once the necessityarises for clear doctrinal statements to meet objections. We mustdefine religion in order to defend it.(5) Again, theology is necessary to religion in order to propagate it. Christianity is a missionary religion. It is aggressiveand conquering in motive and aim. But no possible success canattend the propagation of a Christianity without doctrine. Experience breeds truth. Then truth is employed to produce experience. Experience then imparts a new appreciation of truth.But always if we would successfully propagate the Christianreligion, we must have a Christian theology.6. Again, the study of religion and theology is sometimesmerged in the study of their history. Historical theology is heldup by way of contrast with systematic or dogmatic theology.The history of religion and the history of doctrine are sufficientfor our needs, it is held.In regard to this method and point of view we may admitat once the very great value of the historical study of any greatsubject. The tendency to go back to beginnings and discoverorigins and causes is a very valuable one. To trace the variations and reactions of any movement through history is necessaryto a comprehensive understanding. So long, therefore, as thehistorical study of theology is valued for its true worth, it is tobe strongly commended. Such study, however, becomes a seriouserror when it is made a substitute for something else having adifferent motive and end. The objective and detached study ofthe history of religion or the history of theology is valuable fromthe point of view of critical research. The scholar and investigator who is this and nothing more finds it a field of fascinating interest. But if the scholar and investigator is also a Christian man, with a profound interest in religion and its spread overthe earth, the historical study of theology is invariably qualifiedby a new motive and interest. For him scientific research is ameans to a higher end. He wishes to discover the truth contained in the history that it may be employed as a means ofadvancing the kingdom of God. Otherwise the study of history is like watching the changing combinations of color in akaleidoscope, or the variations in the appearance of an eveningcloud. For the earnest Christian man, and especially for thepreacher of the gospel, the merely objective study of theologyas a historical movement apart from the deeper interest in truthitself, may become a hindrance rather than a help to efficiency. Itis a fundamental fact of psychology made clear by all Christianhistory, that efficiency in propagating Christianity is based onintense conviction of the truths it contains. The preacher andteacher of the gospel cannot remain neutral to its content oftruth and at the same time retain power in his efforts to leadothers to accept it. This does not mean willingness to believewhat is false. He passionately desires truth because of itssupreme value for man s religious life.We have already observed, and there will be frequent occasionto recur to the fact in the pages which follow, that the Christianreligion has to do with two great groups of facts: the facts ofexperience and the facts of the historical revelation of Godthrough Christ. The place of the Scriptures we consider at alater stage of the discussion. Here it is important to considerthe general relations between these two groups of facts. Whatdo we mean by Christian experience? The answer to this question will lead to the idea of the Christian revelation. The twoare closely related. Neither can be fully understood apart fromthe other.By the Christian experience we mean the totality of the experience which becomes ours through our fellowship with Godin Christ. Reference is not made simply to conversion, muchless to any particular type of conversion. The Christian experi-ence, of course, includes its beginning. But it also includes allthat follows. Regeneration and its results are all included.Christian experience includes also all that properly belongs tothe experience in the community of Christians. It includes thelife of all Christians, of the past as well as of the present. It isnot the experience of any individual alone, or any particular type.It does include certain essential elements of experience, but theseappear in endless variations among Christian men. Again, theChristian experience bears a definite relation to events outside theChristian s personal spiritual life. It is definitely related, in otherwords, to the providence of God. It is an experience which cangrasp intelligently its place and meaning in a life lived underconditions of time and space and in human society. Finally, itis an experience which is capable of being defined in relation toall other forms of human experience and of human culture.While the experience of redemption through Jesus Christ isunique and exceptional among the earthly experiences of men,it is not unrelated to the others. Indeed, it is in part becauseit can be so clearly defined in relation to the natural life of manand to his various ideals and struggles, that for the Christian itbrings such assurance and power. In its relations to science, toart, to ethics, to philosophy, and to the whole range of humaninterests and pursuits, the Christian experience is capable ofclear and convincing exposition. It is the unifying bond of allhuman experience. All things become new under the light whichshines from the heart of the Christian experience itself. Allthis will appear in various ways in the pages which follow.Here once more we meet the ever-recurring objection that theexperience of the Christian is subjective, the imaginings of hisown heart rather than a great reality. The objection assumesthat a subjective experience cannot be true; that God cannotmake himself known to the Christian. No such assumptionis justifiable. It is a question of fact, not of unfounded assumption. And as we have previously stated, the question of factis not merely a question of our subjective experience. It isalso a question of the historic revelation of God in Christ.Theology has often considered the question of the " antecedent probability " of a revelation to mankind. Various arguments were advanced to establish such a probability. But thequestion and answer gain in clearness if it is asked whetherreligion is ever to be completed, or is to remain always a onesided affair. Religion is communion between God and man.It is a reciprocal relationship. Does God ever speak? Is heforever dumb ? Is religion merely a soliloquy on man s part?Now the Christian revelation is God s answer to these questions. He has spoken to men in his Son. He is still speakingto them. There are three phases of that revelation which wemust recognize if it is to become effective for our salvation.These will all receive more extended treatment subsequently.But meantime they need to be presented in outline.1. The historic revelation in Jesus Christ. In that revelation we have the great central fact of the Christian religion outside of our consciousness entirely. He came to earth committedto a definite vocation. His consciousness clearly reflected thesense of divine approval at every stage of his ministry. Heannounced to men that he came to reveal God and to lead sinfulmen to God. He died and rose again. His death was an atonement for human sin. The gift of the Holy Spirit was his meansfor continuing his redemptive activity.2. The result of the inworking of Christ in human souls wasdeliverance from sin and guilt and moral and spiritual transformation. A new movement in human history came as a resultof his inworking spiritually in the hearts of men.3. There were definite spiritual conditions to which men wererequired to conform in order to know the divine redeeming graceand power. Repentance and faith sum up the spiritual attitudeinvolved. Thus the revelation of God in Christ possesses all theelements which are required to establish its truth. It is knownas objective fact. It is then known in its results in subjective experience. It is known in the latter sense through clearly definedand well-understood spiritual conditions. These conditions aredefinitely related to objective facts. It is protected againstmere subjectivism by its objective ground in history. It isprotected against the uncertainties of merely critical and literaryprocesses by its results in our own experience. Professor Haer-ing sums up the work of Jesus in the following language : 1 " Jesusis the personal self -revelation of God ... of the God who inhis kingdom unites sinners with himself and with each other inthe eternal fellowship of his love, judging sin, pardoning guilt,renewing the will, vanquishing death. Jesus is the personal self-revelation of this God, since he evokes such trust as the activelyreal presence of the invisible God in the actual world, in whichthere is otherwise no real assured confidence in this God. Heis the ground of faith, i. e., of trust. This is the truth to whichthe faith of the New Testament testifies in the most variedforms. What is most important, it records the impression whichJesus himself produced, and which he always contrives to produce, as the ages pass."The point which calls for emphasis here is that the basison which the Christian doctrine of revelation rests is a basisof fact in all its aspects. History and experience combine toestablish it upon irrefutable grounds. It is not necessary atthis stage to consider the various means adopted to set asidethis revelation and its fundamental significance for men. Broadlyspeaking, all these efforts have resorted to untenable methodsof dealing with the question. So long as strictly critical andstrictly scientific principles are allowed to control, the outcomeis as we have indicated. It is only when a priori presuppositionsor illegitimate assumptions are adopted that it is possible toarrive at any other result. It may be urged, for example, thatall the elements of the Gospel records, except those which leavea simply human Jesus, are to be rejected. But this cannot bedone on critical grounds. For criticism warrants no such conclusion. Or it may be urged that the early disciples were influenced by the ethnic religions about them to introduce manyfalse elements into the Gospels. But this, as a mere supposition, does not convince. And labored efforts to connect the New1 T. Haering, " The Christian Faith," Vol. I, pp. 208, 209.[ailTestament with such influences have failed up to the present.Or again, objectors may insist upon the " Christ principle " asdistinguished from Jesus the personal revelation of the eternalGod. But this also is the result of a purely arbitrary handlingof the Gospel material, based on a particular type of philosophicopinion. Once more in the interest of a general theory of evolutionism as the key to the meaning of the world, it may beinsisted that no individual man can ever possess absolute andfinal significance for the human race. But here again it is aphilosophic presupposition which yields the conclusion, not regardfor the facts themselves. In a word, every other view exceptthat which recognizes in Jesus God s revelation to men for theirsalvation, leaves out some part of the facts. They omit essential elements of the history, such as Christ s own claims, or theeffects he produced upon his disciples, or the work he has wroughtin and through men in the past and present. Philosophical speculation may set aside Christ, but science and criticism fail to do so.IV. THE NEED FOR A PERSONAL SELF-REVELATION OF GODWe have then, in the Christian religion, a self -revelation ofGod in the domain of human history. Along with this the revelation is made real and vital for men in the realm of personal experience. If now we ask the question, why the self-revelation ofGod took this form, and keep in mind the needs and requirements of religion itself, a satisfactory answer is not far to seek.i. In the first place, a human personality is the only adequatemedium for the self-revelation of a personal God. Only personality can fully reveal and express the meaning of personality.Of course there are many intimations and suggestions of personality to be found in the physical universe. But those are notsufficient in themselves to express all the wealth of meaning in thenature of the infinite personal God. The moral qualities of Godespecially call for a personal, moral life in order that they maybe clearly and fully expressed. The lower stages of nature, aswe shall afterward show, give rise to the expectation of a personalbeing as the crown of nature. And if God is to make himselffully known to men who, in the exercise of their freedom, cameunder the dominion of sin, it is most natural to expect that hewould disclose himself to such personal beings in the form ofa personal life.2. Again, the personal and historical revelation of God wasnecessary to complete and establish firmly the inward revelation through his Spirit. In other words, it was necessary to savereligion from the uncertainties and perils of subjectivism. Solong as religion was without an objective ground, it was alwaysexposed to the danger that it would fail to attain the stabilityand definiteness required by the religious life itself. Man mustreally know God if the idea and power of God are to bear theirhighest moral fruits in human life.3. A third reason for such a self-revelation of God is thatthe deed of love and of righteousness is a far more powerfulrevelation of these qualities in God than the simple declarationof them could ever be. The Scriptures declare that God is love.They show also that he is righteousness. It is clear, therefore,that if God is such a being in his essential nature, a mere declaration of the fact would not constitute a real demonstration ofit. To become love and righteousness in action would be theonly adequate revelation of the fact of love and righteousness inGod s essential nature. The incarnation and atonement of God inChrist thus become the only adequate means for a self-disclosureon his part which would do justice to the claim.4. In the fourth place, such a revelation was required in orderto the production of the necessary results in the moral andspiritual nature of man. This point becomes clear when we consider the insufficiency of any other form of revelation for theend in view. Miracles and outward wonders alone would notmeet the need. They were employed for a time in order toawaken in men a sense of God s presence. But they were alwaysemployed for moral and personal ends. In themselves, however,they were never an adequate means of creating in men the fullreligious response to God. A man might indeed be convinced ofGod s presence and activity in an intellectual way by wonders andsigns, and remain untouched in the depths of his moral nature.But this is not the chief end of the gospel. That end is notunderstood until we perceive that in his self-revelation in ChristGod s intention was to produce the " response of moral qualitiesin man to moral qualities in God." His end was to produce sonsof God worthy in all respects of their Father in heaven. Toaccomplish this he gave his own Son, who revealed the innernature of God as righteous love and became the medium throughwhom the power of God could reach personal beings and reproduce the same qualities in them. Thus the idea and the idealof religion was fulfilled; God spoke to man, and man spoke toGod; the divine love awakened human love. For the first timeman understood clearly and fully the moral nature of God.V. THEOLOGY AND TRUTHAnother matter which needs consideration in this introductorychapter is the relation of theology to truth. In presenting a connected system of theological doctrines, as we have seen, the aimis to set forth the meaning of religion. Christian theology issimply the interpretation of the Christian religion. But in thispursuit are we dealing with truth? Is theology in any propersense a science? Enough has been said on the preceding pagesto indicate very clearly the direction our answer will take. Wedeclare without hesitation that in the Christian religion and inthe theology which expresses its meaning, we are dealing witha form of real knowledge. In another connection we shall givea definition of knowledge and develop the contents of knowledgein Christian experience. Here it is sufficient to indicate in generalterms the reasons for holding that Christian theology is a form ofknowledge.i. The Scriptures, with great uniformity, represent religionas a form of real knowledge. Jesus declared that " this is lifeeternal, that they should know thee, the only true God, and himwhom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ" (John 17 : 3). Infact, it is a fundamental teaching in all the Gospels and Epistlesthat in the experience men have of the grace of God in Christ,there is real knowledge and real truth. This will appear in manyways as we proceed.2. Again, in Christian experience, we are dealing with thegreatest of all realities, the spiritual universe, even with Godhimself. Religion is not an idea simply. It is not a philosophyprimarily. It is a living experience of a very definite kind. Inthis respect it is like every other sphere of experience. It canbe reduced to intelligible and systematic expression for the intellect. Hence it is properly a field in which a scientific expressionof meaning is possible.3. As a science, theology is closely related to many other fieldsof scientific research. All the social sciences differ from exactscience in certain respects; but they are none the less scienceson that account. In them we do not find truth which can be setforth in the same exact formuke as with those which are foundin the realm of physical research. But this is due not to theabsence of reality and of truth about it. It is due rather to thenature of the reality with which we deal. Truth in religionowes its scientific character not to its mathematical quality, butto its use as a means of systematically expressing the meaningof the uniformities which prevail in the religious realm.4. The denial that truth and knowledge are found in religionis based upon a narrow and untenable conception of knowledge.Physical science has tended to narrow the idea of truth to propositions which can be proved in exact mathematical terms. But thisnarrowing of the conception is due to a confusion of truth itselfwith a particular form for expressing it. There are many waysof expressing the meaning of reality. The claim to truth cannotbe based upon any one way to the exclusion of others. The testof the claim to truth is the test as to the reality with which itdeals, at least this is the primary and fundamental test. Spiritualrealities will not yield the same formulae for expressing theirmeaning as those found in the sphere of physics. But they arenone the less real and may find interpretation in terms of truth.5. The truth of the Christian religion takes the form whichreligion requires, and makes the broadest and strongest appeal toour love of truth. As to the form, religion does not need norrequire mathematical demonstration. Such demonstration doesnot and cannot produce faith. It cannot serve as a test for thereality of the contents of faith. Indeed, if it were substitutedfor faith, it would destroy its chief element of value. It follows,therefore, that such demonstration cannot destroy faith.The kind of truth which is required by and found in thelife of the religious man, is that which defines the relations offree moral beings to God and to each other. The relations ofpersons, not of physical forces, are in question. Not physical butfree causation is in action in this sphere. The truths which express the relations of God to man are as comprehensive as lifeitself. Growth, development, progressive attainment of the moraland spiritual ideal, are the conditions which determine the formsof statement for the truths of religion.Again, the appeal of the truths of religion is of the strongestkind. It is an intellectual appeal in the narrower sense of theword. The reason is satisfied because the truths of the Christianreligion may be presented in a coherent system which has unityand self -consistency. The moral nature is satisfied because theresult is the triumph of the moral nature over sin and self andthe world. All the higher personal life is satisfied because inthe Christian experience human personality comes to its own.Self-realization, a consciousness of having found the meaningof life and destiny, is bound up in the Christian experience.In all these and other ways truth comes home to the nature ofman in Christian experience.VI. CONCLUDING TOPICS OF PRELIMINARY SURVEYWe have been giving a preliminary survey and discussion ofcertain fundamental principles which will reappear from time totime in the pages which follow. They will be treated in theconnections which arise in the course of the systematic develop-ment of the truths of the Christian religion. There are severalother topics which call for brief consideration before we closeour preliminary survey. They are as follows: The Sources ofChristian Theology; the Material and Formal Principles of Theology ; the Order and Arrangement of Doctrines ; and the Qualifications for the Study of Theology.i. First, as to the sources of theology, our statement has beenanticipated in our previous exposition. The source of Christiantheology is the Christian religion. By the Christian religion wemean all the factors which enter into that religion, historical,literary, and spiritual. Fundamentally and most important ofall, Jesus Christ, his life and teaching and atoning death andresurrection, is the source of the Christian religion. The HolySpirit as the gift of Christ to men, the leader and guide in theinspired record of Christ s life and work, the ever-present guideto Christians in all ages, is necessary to us if we are to understand Christ and his religion. The Scriptures of the Old and ofthe New Testament are indispensable to Christian theology because they are a product, and at the same time a source of theChristian religion. Through them alone do we understand thegreat causes which operated to produce the Christian religionand make it a power on earth. Our own experience of the redeeming grace of God in Christ is necessary to a full understanding of Christian theology. Apart from that religious experience,theology is an intellectual movement, but lacks the vital elementsrequired by the very nature of the Christian religion. Experience would ever go astray without the ever-present corrective influence of the Scriptures, and the authority of the Scriptureswould never become for us a vital and transforming reality apartfrom the working of God s redeeming grace in us.The above are the primary sources of the knowledge of theChristian religion which is expressed in Christian theology. Theology does not reject such truth as comes through nature,through history and psychology, or from any other source. Butit plants itself firmly on the Christian facts and develops its doctrinal views in the first instance from these facts.2. The meaning of theology has often been expressed in termsof its material and its formal principles. By material principle ismeant its vital and essential content; by formal principle ismeant the form or medium through which the meaning is apprehended. We may say then that as here presented, the materialprinciple of theology is man s fellowship with God as mediatedthrough Jesus Christ. The formal principle is the Scripturesspiritually interpreted. Other ways of expressing these principleshave been adopted. Justification by faith was regarded as thematerial principle of the Reformation. This of course touchesthe heart of the spiritual life and the essential content of Christianity. But as a statement of its inward meaning it is not distinctive enough. It is an Old Testament principle gathered upinto the New Testament religion. But it does not specificallyrecognize Jesus Christ as the chief agent in the New Testamentrevelation. Christ s personal relations to our faith is a necessary element in any statement designed to express the centralmeaning of the gospel. The same objection holds to the kingdomof God as a means of expressing that central meaning. It lacksthe specific reference to Jesus Christ. But when we speak offellowship with God as mediated through Christ, we express thevital truth contained in both the other statements. Justificationby faith is a justification conditioned on faith in him. The kingdom of God is a kingdom in which he is King. Fellowship withGod as mediated through Jesus Christ is a phrase comprehensiveenough to cover all the essential elements. It implies justificationby faith. It implies and necessitates the reign of God in hiseternal kingdom. It carries the thought of a progressive moralattainment, in which the Christian character is gradually transformed into the image of Christ. It involves the social aspectsof the gospel according to which the relations of Christians toeach other are determined by the common fellowship they havewith Christ.The formal principle of Christian theology is the Scripturesspiritually interpreted. This has particular reference to theNew Testament. But the Old Testament is not excluded. It isthe preliminary revelation. The expression " spiritually interpreted " is employed to distinguish the method of a living theology from that of a merely critical or exegetical study of theScriptures. If theology in the correct use of the term is an interpretation of the divine life in the soul, we are bound to expressthe relations between the life and the theology in defining themethod of arriving at the truth. The pipe which conveys thewater from the reservoir cannot be understood unless we keepin mind its relation to the water which it conveys. Biblical studyand interpretation have often been a mere empty pipe with norelation to the true uses in the life of the soul.3. Our next topic is the order and arrangement of doctrine.Sometimes theologies proceed upon the assumption that naturalproperly precedes revealed theology in a doctrinal treatise. Usually the arguments for God s existence drawn from man and natureare set forth in the first division. But the plan involves a doublemethod of dealing with the material of theology which may beconfusing. These arguments, while possessing great force, donot yield a strictly Christian conception of God. And they mayleave the impression that the Christian belief in God is based onthem as its chief foundation. Our own plan is to defer consideration of these proofs until the proof from the inner life of theChristian has been set forth. This is, for the Christian himself,the most convincing and satisfactory of proofs. And a great partof the force of the proofs from man and nature, even when theyare given at the outset, is derived from the facts of Christianexperience which are tacitly assumed. We prefer, therefore, tounify the doctrinal system by bringing all the elements of doctrineinto relation with the central reality, the redemptive grace of Godas manifested first in Jesus Christ himself, and secondly as manifested in the souls of believers.Again, some treatises of theology in recent times have leftthe doctrine of the Trinity to be treated at the end of thedoctrinal system. This is done upon the supposition that thetruth regarding the Trinity lies out on the borderland of knowledge. It is a sort of remnant left over after the main things havebeen set forth. This method, however, overlooks the vital relations of the Trinity to experience itself. God is revealed asFather, Son, and Spirit very early in the regenerate life, as willappear. The practical uses and value of the doctrine of theTrinity are very great. It is true that we need to practise duereserve in the effort to give metaphysical definitions of the Trinity,just as the New Testament does. But the doctrine itself needsto be recognized, if not at the beginning, at least comparativelyearly in the doctrinal development. The order adopted in ourtreatment, then, differs from that of the older method in placingthe consideration of the general proofs of God s existence afterthe exposition of the fundamental truths of Christian experience.It differs from the sequence of doctrine as found in some morerecent treatises in placing the discussion of the doctrine of Godand of the Trinity earlier. This conforms to the requirementsof experience and its relation to doctrine.The point at which the doctrine of the Scripture is expoundedaccords with its nature as a spiritual authority as distinguishedfrom one that is merely legal or ecclesiastical. The New Testament Scriptures were produced to set forth the meaning of therevelation through Christ and the salvation which he brings. Itsauthority is not due to decrees of early church councils. Itspower and fundamental importance for Christians are not basedupon external authority. They are due to its divine and self-evidencing content. It is for us the Book of Life, since it discloses to us the sources of our spiritual life and the great historical and divine causes which produced it. On this accountit is best understood by those in whom the life itself has becomea reality. It will be noted also that in the use of the Scriptures to establish the truth of doctrines the method of biblicaltheology is pursued. Where space does not forbid we trace theScripture teaching in its historical unfolding. This is not alwayspossible or necessary. But it is usually done in the treatmentof the more fundamental doctrines. It has an advantage overthe selection of proof-texts at random from the earlier and laterstages of the Old and New Testament revelation. It servesto indicate the divinely guided process by which God made knownthe truth to his people.We have devoted an extended section to the relations betweenChristian and other forms of knowledge. The aim in view is tomake clear and distinct for the student the reality of the knowledge which accompanies our salvation in Christ, its independenceand value for man s religious life, and its harmony with all otherforms of human knowledge. We consider this aim as vitallyimportant for Christian theology. There has been almost endless confusion in the minds of men at this point. There is a constant tendency to stifle man s religious life, or reduce it to abare minimum of emotion, or of ethics, in the interest of somealien principle which, in its proper application, requires no suchreduction. The provinces of the great kingdom of the humanspirit ought to live side by side in peace. It is only when oneprovince rises in revolt and seeks to reign supreme that confusion and strife arise. One of the chief advantages of considering doctrine as expressing the meaning of the divine life in thesoul, is that it enables us to make clear for the intellect the placeof religious truth in the great universe of truth. And in doingthis we avoid any real conflict with science or other forms ofhuman culture. We discover thus also how all other intellectualpursuits really end in the fundamental necessity for religion inorder to provide for the full development of man s spiritual life.The following is a brief preview of the order in which thematerial of this treatise is presented :In Chapter II we give a definition of knowledge, with specialreference to religion, and indicate the sources of our religiousknowledge. This leads directly to Jesus Christ, the supremerevelation of God to men.In Chapter III we present a preliminary study of Christianexperience itself. Certain objections are pointed out, and thenature of the Christian knowledge and the Christian certainty isindicated. This leads naturally to the consideration of Christianin relation to other forms of knowledge. Chapter IV is devotedto this subject.In Chapter V the record of the Christian revelation, as givenin the Scriptures, is presented ; and in Chapter VI the Person ofJesus Christ, who is himself the revelation of which the Scripturesare the record.In Chapter VII we consider the question of the deity of JesusChrist, and consider various phases of the modern discussion ofhis Person. This is followed in Chapter VIII by a considerationof the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, which, along with the doctrineof Christ s Person, occupies a central place in the Christian system.In Chapter IX we consider the doctrine of God. This order isadopted because it is only after the Christian knows God in redemptive experience through Christ that he is in a position tounderstand God the Father whom Jesus Christ revealed.In the three succeeding chapters, X, XI, and XII, the doctrines of Creation, Providence, and Sin are presented. In Chapter XIII the saving work of Christ is presented, and in ChapterXIV the doctrine of Election, or God s initiative in salvation; inChapter XV, the Beginnings, and in Chapter XVI, the Continuance of the Christian Life, and in Chapter XVII, the doctrineof Last Things. It will be noted that throughout the volumethe fundamental aim has been maintained, viz., to present Christian doctrine as the necessary outcome and expression of theChristian religion. The experiential element in Christian knowledge and Christian certainty has been recognized at all points.4. There are many qualities of mind which may be mentionedas assisting one who becomes a student of theology. But all thesequalities are dependent upon one fundamental attitude of themind and heart. The highest qualification for the study oftheology is the religious attitude. In religion a man approachesGod in a certain way. Through his communion with God certainexperiences arise. Particularly is this true of the Christian religion. If one is to understand Christian theology, therefore, itis essential that the attitude required by the Christian religionbe maintained. Theology is the interpretation of the religion, aswe have seen. The interpretation is impossible apart from thereality itself. We conclude, then, that religion is the fundamentalqualification for the study of theology. In the light of thisgeneral truth we may note the qualifications which come fromscholarship and general culture, from particular intellectual attainments, and from moral and spiritual qualities.(1) All forms of scholarship and general culture aid in theological study when they are employed in the interest of man s religious life. Theology is, like philosophy, a very comprehensivestudy. There is scarcely any branch of learning which may notbe made tributary to it. Especially is this true of every form ofscholarship pertaining to the Bible, such as knowledge of theoriginal languages, skill in exegesis and other departments ofbiblical science. So also is a knowledge of general science andphilosophy valuable to the student of theology. The difficultyand the danger in using all the general results of scholarly research in the study of theology is that some other interest or idealwill displace that which is peculiar to Christian theology, thereligious interest and ideal. The religious life must be seen inits totality of manifestation and in its true inner meaning andvalue. If a student s chief interest is something else besides religion, there is danger that religion be smothered or crucified.Much of the so-called " objective and disinterested " study ofreligion and theology is of this kind. In bringing scientificmethods to the study of religion and theology, the first thingto remember is that religion is necessarily personal and subjectiveto the student who hopes to penetrate to its true inward meaning.Otherwise we never get below the surface of religion, and neverobtain the true material for the construction of theology.(2) So also intellectual endowments of all kinds are valuable in the study of theology. The ability to think clearly andpatiently, the desire for accuracy and thoroughness, the desirefor unity and coherency of view, are very admirable qualities inthe theologian. Especially is the quality which is usually calledintuition helpful in this realm. The word simply means mentaland spiritual insight, the feeling for truth based on broad intellectual sympathies. It is thus distinguished from the logicalprocess of deducing conclusions from premises. No man can everhope to attain great proficiency in theology who is unwilling orincapable in the matter of patient and sustained effort. But therewards of such effort are abundant and of the highest value.(3) The moral and spiritual qualities are the most fundamentalin theological study. We name some of these. A sense of dependence upon God and the guidance of his Spirit is necessary.The more the student penetrates into the great mysteries ofreligion, the more he is impressed with this sense of need fordivine help in understanding them and expressing their meaning.Docility or tractableness, coupled with humility and opennessof mind, is a fundamental requirement. The desire to knowthe truth and a submissive will go with the true theologian.Obedience is indeed in a true sense an " organ of knowledge,"although, of course, not the sole organ. Pride of opinion mustbe laid aside if one is to come into living fellowship with Godin Christ. Jesus upon one occasion thanked God that he hadhid the truths of the gospel from the " wise and understanding "and revealed them unto babes" (Matt. II : 25). This greattruth is slowly coming to recognition in modern psychology andtheories of knowledge. There are great realms of reality, greattides of life and power which flow into man from God uponcondition of a docile and receptive attitude on man s part. Inother words, faith is the bond of union between man and God,which brings not only new life and new power, but new knowledge. Theology is the systematic expression and arrangement ofthat knowledge.