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Christianity and Liberalism – Part I2 min read

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Christianity and Liberalism was originally published in 1922, in response to the growing theological liberalism of the early 1900’s.  Not only is this book well written, it’s interesting to see the criticisms of liberalism which still hold true, as well as those that seem a bit dated or alarmist, like the attacks on “experiential psychology” in the schools (then again, maybe that’s still accurate ;).  What is also interesting is how the conservatism of the past has become the liberalism of today, and vice versa – like the author’s attack on laws that demand teaching in English only.

I intend to comment on this entire book as I read it, since the content seems worthy to me.  The entire text is available online, for those who want to read ahead, or check on my selection of isolated quotes ;).  And here’s my first wonderful quote, from the introduction, dedicated to all those who think that logical argumentation on important subjects is somehow not spiritual:

Presenting an issue sharply is indeed by no means a popular business at the present time; there are many who prefer to fight their intellectual battles in what Dr. Francis L. Patton has aptly called a “condition of low visibility.” Clear-cut definition of terms in religious matters, bold facing of the logical implications of religious views, is by many persons regarded as an impious proceeding. May it not discourage contribution to mission boards? May it not hinder the progress of consolidation, and produce a poor showing in columns of Church statistics? But with such persons we cannot possibly bring ourselves to agree. Light may seem at times to be an impertinent intruder, but it is always beneficial in the end. The type of religion which rejoices in the pious sound of traditional phrases, regardless of their meanings, or shrinks from “controversial” matters, will never stand amid the shocks of life. In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.

Part II – Doctrine >>