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The Scientific Belief in Christianity.

The Scientific Belief in Christianity.

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Published by glennpease
BY HOWARD AGNEW JOHNSTON


It is not intended to argue in this chapter that
Christianity is the only true religion. The facts
heretofore considered leave no doubt as to that. Yet
the scientific belief in Christianity involves not only
an examination into its source in Jesus Christ, not
only its character in view of the claims it makes to
be the only religion which adequately meets the
world's needs ; but also an examination into its actual
history in order to discover how far it has realized its
mission in the world, and what has been its real power
in human history. How far has Christianity proved
its right to its claim by showing its
power to bring greater blessings to men Questions
than any other religion has brought?
BY HOWARD AGNEW JOHNSTON


It is not intended to argue in this chapter that
Christianity is the only true religion. The facts
heretofore considered leave no doubt as to that. Yet
the scientific belief in Christianity involves not only
an examination into its source in Jesus Christ, not
only its character in view of the claims it makes to
be the only religion which adequately meets the
world's needs ; but also an examination into its actual
history in order to discover how far it has realized its
mission in the world, and what has been its real power
in human history. How far has Christianity proved
its right to its claim by showing its
power to bring greater blessings to men Questions
than any other religion has brought?

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Published by: glennpease on May 06, 2014
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THE SCIETIFIC BELIEF I CHRISTIAITY. BY HOWARD AGEW JOHSTO It is not intended to argue in this chapter that Christianity is the only true religion. The facts heretofore considered leave no doubt as to that. Yet the scientific belief in Christianity involves not only an examination into its source in Jesus Christ, not only its character in view of the claims it makes to be the only religion which adequately meets the world's needs ; but also an examination into its actual history in order to discover how far it has realized its mission in the world, and what has been its real power in human history. How far has Christianity proved its right to its claim by showing its power to bring greater blessings to men Questions than any other religion has brought? Christian- How far has it vindicated its claim to answer. superiority by its persistence as a mis- sionary force among men and nations ? Has it held its own wherever it has been planted ? Has it realized the sonship of God among men with increasing fidel- ity ? Has it accomplished in nineteen centuries what we have a right to expect it to have accomplished in that time ? These are the questions which give us, 231 2S2 SCIETIFIC FAITH. even as Christians, occasion to pause. To many of them we are compelled to answer with sorrow, and confess that the centuries of Christian history have revealed no such victories for Christianity as a reader of the ew Testament would be justified in ex- pecting. What then ? Are there facts to be presented
 
which compel the conviction that Christianity is the only true religion, notwithstanding the failures of Christians to realize its purest life and its victorious spread over the earth? Yes, we believe there are such facts. It is to these that we are to give atten- tion in this chapter. In our study of the Bible, and the people of Bible times, we saw clearly the fact that man's education into the light of spiritual truth has been very slow. All through the Old Testament that progress con- tinued, if slow, yet steadily onward, until one like the aged Simeon was ready for the coming of the Saviour. But there were few like him. Most men were slow to accept Jesus Christ and His high ideals of life, of which they had never dreamed before. Yet there were some who believed in Him, and who saw a vision of God, who caught something of the meaning of the kingdom of heaven, as it is to be un- folded in the human heart. It was a "little flock" who thus began to follow the Shepherd. gross of At times they were greatly discouraged lt^a* 811 " because so few joined their number ; but been very the Master saw into the future years, and, with sublime assurance en- THE SCIETIFIC BELIEF I CHRISTIAITY. 233 couraged them to believe that no doubt could- exist as to the ultimate triumph of His kingdom in the earth. (Luke 12:32,) Christ knew the material with which He had to deal. He told them of the long struggle before the consummation. He knew the years would drag out wearily before the end should come, when the Gospel should be preached
 
to all nations. (Matt. 24:4-14.) But that day would come. ow the reason for believing in Christianity is that the study of the ew Testament makes it clear that the difficulty has been, not with the teaching of Christ, but with the unreadiness of men to receive and obey it. All the way He shines out in the glory of His life and truth. Christ alone continues to give us the only solution of the problem of character, and to reveal to us the sonship of God which is the goal for human lives. othing has ever dimned His glory. ay that glory has steadily increased through the years, even though His followers have fallen so far short of fidelity as His witnesses among men. Therefore He is still the only hope of the race, and therefore the religious system which still gives Him to men must be our most important object of faith and devotion. If it should be urged that God might, or ought to have proved His and His power to win men, in spite of human the^JniV unreadiness to accept His love, we must nope of  _ _ • • • uio iraoe* at once see that such a position is un- tenable, since the whole problem of human character 434 SCIETIFIC FAITH. is the problem of dealing with free moral agents, who cannot be forced to serve, but must be won by love. It is vital that we face this fact honestly just here. The place to study it is in our own hearts. The man who knows the truth, but does not live it, is reproducing the history of the race. Were we to urge that God should compel us to be unselfish, to

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