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Jesus and History

Jesus and History

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Published by glennpease
EDITED BY NATHANIEL MICKLEM, M.A.

THE teaching and work o,f Jesus was chiefly
concerned with the nature and coming of the
Kingdom of God, and was therefore based on
the conviction that the history of the world was
in essence a process of religious and ethical
development which had reached its mo,st critical
moment in his day ; to which we may add that
he knew himself called to play the leading part
in this world-crisis.
EDITED BY NATHANIEL MICKLEM, M.A.

THE teaching and work o,f Jesus was chiefly
concerned with the nature and coming of the
Kingdom of God, and was therefore based on
the conviction that the history of the world was
in essence a process of religious and ethical
development which had reached its mo,st critical
moment in his day ; to which we may add that
he knew himself called to play the leading part
in this world-crisis.

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Published by: glennpease on Dec 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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JESUS AND HISTORY EDITED BY NATHANIEL MICKLEM, M.A.THE teaching and work o,f Jesus was chiefly concerned with the nature and coming of the Kingdom of God, and was therefore based on the conviction that the history of the world was in essence a process of religious and ethical development which had reached its mo,st critical moment in his day ; to which we may add that he knew himself called to play the leading part in this world-crisis. So that we can understand neither the work of Jesus nor his conception of himself until we see him in relation to the history of the world. Ultimately the historic significance of Jesus for to-day depends upon what history means to us, so that we must first try to see the spiritual development of the world in its broadest aspect. And for this purpose we may begin with the reaction of man s growing intelligence upon modes of conduct received by heredity, physical or social, from his sub-human ancestors. In the
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long struggle for existence certain habits of conduct had given the groups that possessed them an advantage that enabled them to survive to the extinction of the rest, and to transmit their 106 106 JESUS AND HISTORY habits to posterity. When not purely instinctive, these modes of conduct were followed in un questioning obedience to custom, which was for long, and in the lower levels of civilization is still, blindly accepted as absolute monarch : it was inconceivable and ridiculous to act otherwise than as one s fellow tribesmen acted. But another most important factor in the survival of man in competition with the lower animals and with other men was intelligence . And although intelligence was for long the drudge of unintelligently accepted ends, this could
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not continue for ever. It was so important a factor in survival that it could not but increase, and the time inevitably came when men began to ask themselves why they should observe this or that irksome restraint, or do this or that laborious and dangerous thing when they could not see how it benefited themselves. This was a momentous change. Unquestioning custom was no longer a sufficient guide for human conduct, but must be replaced by recognized and accepted values : a man must see the worth of what he is doing. The significance of this change lay in a condi tion imposed by the intelligence that induced it. If man is to shape his conduct by measuring the worth of his acts or of what he seeks by them, then the various possible objects of his endeavour must be brought into intelligible re lation to each other so that he may have some sort of stability in his preferences, and not be for ever contradicting himself and destroying
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