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What is Essential

What is Essential

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jan 11, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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What is Essential?
Prefacewo travelers were one dayoccupying the same seat in arailway train. One of themwas a very youthful student of the "New Theology." Theother was a confirmed RomanCatholic. As the two journeyed they fell intoconversation, and soon from matters incon-sequential they passed to a serious considera-tion of the nature of the Christian religion.The discussion waxed long and eloquent, butit ended precisely where it began. The "NewTheologian" left the car convinced that theCatholic was a hopeless bigot, while the Catho-lic departed in full assurance that the "NewTheologian" was a willful heretic. Yet bothmen were followers of the same Christ. Theinability to understand each other was duesolely to the different view points from whichthey interpreted the religion of Christ.Herein lies the reason for the prevalence of [v]Puiattseemingly contradictory conceptions concern-ing the nature of the Christian religion, — inunsympathetic view points. The view pointsof the traditionalist and of the rationalist, of theCatholic and of the Protestant, of the con-
servative and of the radical, of the conformistand of the independent, of the seer and of thedoer, — these view points are mutually exclu-sive. Therefore the conceptions derived fromthe view points appear at times hopelessly atvariance.And herein lies the reason for an inquiry con-cerning the essentials of our religion, — in theneed, among the variety of changing and con-tradictory conceptions of religion, for the dis-cernment of that which is necessarily involvedin its nature. This is the object of our search,the elemental, the vital, the very essence of thereligion of Christ.This little book is more of an inquiry than ananswer. It is a suggestion and not an assertion.It will be some time before the very bed-rockbottom of the essence of our religion is reachedby the inquiring mind. Perhaps it can never be[vi]Pvtfactreached. Be that as it may, here the attempt isto make but a few soundings, in the hope thatsome human craft, perhaps in danger of re-ligious shipwreck, may be piloted amid thedangers of unsatisfying speculations to a placeof firm anchorage.The author gratefully acknowledges his in-debtedness to those friends who have helpedhim in his work by the criticism of his manu-script. Especially does he wish to thankProfessor William Newton Clarke of ColgateUniversity, for valuable literary and theologicalsuggestions.
[vii]ContentisCHAP, PAGEI. Who is the Essential Christian ?1. The Ascetic Conception 32. The Conformist Conception 73. "Back to Christ" 114. The Imitation of Jesus 15II. What is the Essential Christian Creed?1. A Popular Demand of the Day 232. The Unessential Christian Belief 273. The Creed of Christ 324. The Omissions from Christ's Creed 375. The Essential Creed of the Christian 40III. What is the Essential Christian Experience?1. The Need of Personal Experience 472. A Prevalent Misapprehension 513. The Religious Experience of Jesus 574. The Interference of Sin 66

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