APOLOGETICS , in
See also:theology, the systematic statement of the grounds which Christians allege for belief in (at least) a super-natural
See also:revelation and a divine redemption (cf. e.g . Heb. i . 1-3) . The majority of apologists in the past have further believed in an infallible Bible; but they admit this position can only be reached at a
See also:late stage in the
See also:argument . We should note, how-ever, that even a liberal orthodoxy, while saying nothing about
See also:infallibility, is pledged to the essential authority of the Bible; it cannot e.g. simply ignore the Old Testament with F . E . D . Schleiermacher . Catholic apologetics must further give a central position to
See also:Church authority, which
See also:Roman Catholics explicitly define as infallible; but this position too is debated in a late section of their
See also:system . On the other
See also:hand, there may be a
See also:Christianity which seeks to extricate the " spiritual " from the" supernatural " (
See also:Toynbee, characterizing T.H.
See also:Green) . It would only lead to confusion, however, if we called this method " apologetic." Any single effort in apologetics may be termed " an
See also:apology." More elaborate contrasts have been proposed between the two words, but are of little
See also:practical importance . 1 .
The Word itself.—InGreek, ItiroXoryia is the
See also:defendant's reply (personally, not through a lawyer) to the speech for the prosecution—uarnyopia . Sometimes defendants' speeches passed into literature, e.g .
See also:Plato's splendid version of the Apology of
See also:Socrates . Thus, in view of persecution or
See also:slander, the Christian church naturally produced
See also:literary " Apologies." The word has never quite lost this
See also:connotation of
See also:standing on the defensive and rebutting
See also:criticism; e.g . Anselm's Apologia contra insipientem Gaunilonem (c. r Too) ; or the Lutheran Apology for the Augsburg Confession (1531); or J . H . Newman's Apologia
See also:pro vita sua (1864); or A . B .
See also:Bruce's Apologetics; or Christianity Defensively Stated (1892) . Of course, defence easily passes into
See also:counter-attack, as when early apologists denounce Greek and Roman phase of
See also:Platonism, however, was much more slowly adopted . The earlier apologists dispute the natural immortality of the soul;
See also:Athanasius himself, in De Incarnatione Dei, §§ 4, 5, tones down the teaching of Wisdom; and the somewhat eccentric writer Arnobius, a layman—from
See also:Martyr downwards apologetics has always been largely in the hands of laymen—stands for what has recently been called " conditional immortality "—eternal
See also:life for the righteous, the
See also:children of
See also:God, alone . Allied with this more empiricist stand-point is the assertion that Greek philosophy borrowed from Moses; but in studying the Fathers we constantly find that groundless assertion uttered in the same breath with the dominant Idealist view, according to which Greek philosophy was due to incomplete revelation from the divine
See also:Logos .
On purely defensive lines, early apologists rebut charges of
See also:cannibalism and sexual promiscuity; the Christians had to meet in secret, and the gossip of a rotten age drew malignant conclusions . They make counter attacks on polytheism as a folly and on the shamefulness of obscene myths . Here they are in
See also:line with non-Christian writers or culture-mockers like Lucian of Samosata; or graver
See also:spirits like Porphyry, who champions Neo-Platonism as a
See also:rival to Christianity, and does
See also:work in criticism by attacks on some of the Old Testament books . Turning to Christian evidence proper, we are struck with the continued prominence of the argument from prophecy . The Old Testament was an immense religious asset to the early church . Their enemies had nothing like it; and—the N.T.
See also:canon being as yet but
See also:half formed—the Old Testament was pushed into
See also:notice by dwelling on this imperfect " argument," which
See also:grew more extravagant as the partial
See also:control exercised by Jewish learning disappeared . An argument from miracles is also urged, though with more reserve . Formally, every one in that age admitted the supernatural . The question was, whose supernatural ? And how far did it carry you ? Miracle could not be to a 3rd century writer what it was to W . Paley—a conclusive and well-nigh solitary
See also:proof .
Other apologies are by
See also:Aristides (recently recovered in
See also:Athenagoras ("elegant "),
See also:Eusebius of Caesarea, Cyril of Alexandria; in Latin by Minucius Felix,
See also:Tertullian (a masculine spirit and phrase-coiner like T . Carlyle, if bitterer still), Lactantius Firmianus, &c., &c.' As Christianity wins the
See also:day, a new objection is raised to it . The age is full of troubles; Christianity is ruining the
See also:empire ! Besides notices elsewhere, we find the
See also:charge specially dealt with by St Augustine and his friends . Paulus
See also:Orosius argues that the
See also:world has always been a vale of tears .
See also:Salvian contends that not the acceptance of Christianity, but the sins of the
See also:people are bringing trouble upon them; and he gives ugly evidence of the continued prevalence of
See also:vice . Most impressive of all was Augustine's own contribution in The City of God .
See also:Powers created by worldliness and sin are crumbling, as they well may; "the city of God remaigeth!" Whether he meant it so or not, the
See also:saint's argument became a
See also:programme and an apologia for the imperializing of the Western Church under the leadership of Rome during the
See also:middle ages . IV . Middle Ages.—From the point of view of apologetics, we may mass together the long stretch of
See also:history which covers the
See also:period between the disappearance and the re-appearance of
See also:free discussion . When emperors became converts, the church, so lately a victim and a pleader for liberty, readily learned to persecute . Under such conditions there is little
See also:scope for apologetics .
Force kills argument and drives doubt below the smooth
See also:surface of a nominal conformity . But there were two influences beyond the
See also:bounds or beyond the power of the christianized empire . The
See also:Jew remained, as always, stubbornly unconvinced, and, as often, fond of slanders . Many of the
See also:medieval attempts in apologetics are directed chiefly against him, e.g. the Pugio Fidei of
See also:Raymond Martini (c . 128o), ' While these writings are of
See also:historical value, they do not, of course, represent the Christian argument as conceived to-day . The Church of Rome prefers medieval or
See also:modern statements of its position; Protestantism can use only modern statements.which became one of Pascal's
See also:sources (see V. below), or
See also:Abelard's Dialogus inter Judaeum Philosophum et Christianum . And the Moslem came on the scenes bringing, as a
See also:gift for Christendom,
See also:fuller knowledge of classical, especially Aristotelian, texts . The Jews, less bitterly opposed to Mahommedanism than the Christians were, caught
See also:fire more rapidly, and in some cases served as an intermediate
See also:link or channel of communication . These two religions anticipated the discussion of the problem of faith and reason in the Christian church . According to the great
See also:Avicenna and
See also:Maimonides, faith and the highest reason are sure to coincide (see ARABIAN PHILOSOPHY) . According to Ghazali, in his Destruction of Philosophers, the various
See also:schools of philosophy
See also:cancel each other; reason is bankrupt; faith is 'everything . (So nearly Jehuda Halevi.) According to Averroes, reason suffices, and faith, with (what he considers) its dreams of immortality and the like, is useful only for the ignorant masses .
Christian theology, how-ever, strikes out a line of its own . Moslems and Jews were applying Aristotelian philosophy to rigorously monotheistic faiths; Christianity had been encouraged by Platonism in teaching a trinity of divine persons, and Platonism of a certain
See also:order long dominated the middle ages as
See also:part of the Augustinian tradition . In sympathy with this Platonism, the medieval church began by assuming the entire mutual harmony of faith and reason . Such is the teaching, along different lines, alike of St Anselm and of Abelard . But, when increased knowledge of Aristotle's texts (and of the commentaries) led to the victory of a supposed Aristotelianism over a supposed Platonism, Albertus
See also:Magnus, and his still more distinguished
See also:Thomas Aquinas, mark certain doctrines as belonging to faith but not to reason . They adhere to the general position with exceptions (in the case of what had been considered Platonic doctrines) . From the point of view of philosophy, this was a compromise . Faith and reason partly agree, partly diverge . The tendency of the later middle ages is to add to the number of the doctrines with which philosophy cannot
See also:deal . Thomas's great rival,
See also:Duns Scotus, does this to a large extent, at times affirming " two truths." The latter position, ascribed by the schoolmen to the Averroists, becomes dominant among the later Nominalists,
See also:William of
See also:Occam and his disciples, who withdraw all doctrines of faith from the sphere of reason . This was a second and a more audacious compromise . It is not exactly an attempt to
See also:base Christian faith on rational scepticism .
It is a consistent policy of harbouring inconsistencies in the same mind . A statement may be true in philosophy and false in theology, or vice versa . To the standpoint of Aquinas, however, the Church of Rome (at least in regard to the basis of
See also:doctrine) has more and more returned . The
See also:councils of Trent and of the Vatican mark the Two Truths hypothesis as heretical, when they affirm that there is a natural knowledge of God and natural certainty of immortality . Along with this affirmation, the Church of Rome (if less decisively) has adopted the limitations of the Thomist theory by the condemnation of " Ontologism "; certain mysterious doctrines are beyond reason . This cautious compromise sanctioned by the Church does not represent the extremes' reaction against
See also:nominalism . Even in the nominalistic epoch we have Raymond of Sabunde's Natural Theology (according to the article in Herzog-Hauck, not the title of the
See also:Paris MS., but found in later
See also:MSS. and almost all the printed
See also:editions) or
See also:Liber Creaturarum (c . 1435) . The
See also:book is not what moderns (schooled unconsciously in
See also:post-Reformation developments of Thomist ideas) expect under the name of natural theology . It is an attempt once more to demonstrate all scholastic dogmas out of the book of creation or on principles of natural reason . At many points it follows Anselm closely, and, of course, very often " makes
See also:light work" of its task . The Thomist compromise—or even the more sceptical view of "two truths "—has the merit of giving filling of a kind to the
See also:formula "supernatural revelation "—mysteries inaccessible to reason, beyond
See also:discovery and beyond comprehension .
According to earlier views—repeatedly revived in Protestantism —revelation is just philosophy over again . Can the choice be fairly stated ? If revelation is thought of as God's
See also:personal word, and redemption as his personal deed, is it reasonable to view them either as open to a sort of scientific prediction or as capricious and unintelligible ? Even in the middle ages there were not wanting those—the St Victors, Bonaventura—who sought to vindicate mystical if not moral redemption as the central thought of Christianity . V . Earlier Modern Period.—It will be seen that apologetics by no means reissued unchanged from the long period of authority . The compromise of Aquinas, though not unchallenged, holds the
See also:field and that even with Protestants . G . W . Leibnitz devotes an
See also:chapter in his Thgodicge, 1710 (as against
See also:Bayle), to faith and reason . He is a
See also:good enough Lutheran to quote as a "mystery" the Eucharist no less than the Trinity, while he insists that truths above are not against reason . Stated thus baldly, has the distinction any meaning ?
The more celebrated and central thesis of the book—this finite universe, the best of all such that are possible—also restates positions of Augustine and Aquinas . Before modern philosophy began its career, there was a great revival of
See also:ancient philosophy at the
See also:Renaissance; sometimes
See also:anti-Christian, sometimes pro-Christian . The latter furnishes apologies by Marsilio
See also:Ficino, Agostino Steuco, J . L .
See also:Vives . Early in the modern period occurs the great name of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) . A staunch Roman Catholic, but belonging to a school of Augustinian enthusiasts (the Jansenists), whom the Church put down as heretics, he stands
See also:pretty much apart from the general currents . His Pensges, published posthumously, seems to have been meant for a systematic
See also:treatise, but it has come to us in fragments . Once again, a
See also:lay apologist ! A layman's work may have the
See also:advantage of originality or the
See also:drawback of imperfect knowledge . Pascal's work exhibits both characters . It has the originality of rare
See also:genius, but it borrows its material (as industrious editors have shown) from very few sources—the Pugio Fidei, M. de
See also:Montaigne, P .
See also:Charron . Ideas as well as learning are largely Montaigne's . The latter's cheerful man-of-the-world scepticism is transfigured in Pascal to a deep distrust of human reason, in part, perhaps, from anti-
See also:Protestant motives . But this attitude, while not without
See also:parallels both earlier (Ghazali, Jehuda Halevi) and later (H . L . Mansel), has peculiarities in Pascal . It is fallen man whom he pursues with his fierce scorn; his view of man's nature—intellect as well as character—is to be read in the light of his unflinching Augustinianism . Again, Pascal, unlike most apologists, belongs to the small
See also:company of saintly souls . This philosophical sceptic is full of humble joy in salvation, of deep love for the Saviour . Another French Roman Catholic apologist, P . D .
See also:Huet (163o–1721)—within the conditions of his age a
See also:prodigy of learning (in apologetics see his Demonstratio Evangelica)—is not uninfluenced by Pascal (Traitg de la faiblesse de l'esprit humaine) .
As we might expect, Protestant lands are more busily occupied with apologetics . Intolerant reliance upon force presents greater difficulties to them; soon it grows quite obsolete .Benedict
See also:Spinoza, the eminent Jewish pantheist (1632-1677), to whom miracle is impossible, revelation a phrase, and who renews pioneer work in Old Testament criticism, finds at least a
See also:fair measure of liberty and comfort in
See also:Holland (his
See also:land) . Bayle, the historical sceptic, lectured and published his learned Dictionnaire (1696) at
See also:Rotterdam . From Holland, earlier, had proceeded an apologetic work by a man of
See also:European fame . Hugo
See also:Grotius's De Veritate Christianae Religionis (1627) is partly the medieval tradition:—Oppose Mahommedans and Jews ! It is partly practical:—Arm Christian sailors against religious danger ! But in its cool spirit it forecasts the coming age, whose
See also:master is
See also:Locke . His Reasonableness of Christianity (1695) is the thesis of " a whole century " of theologians . And his
See also:Essay on the Human Understanding (1690) is almost a Bible to men of
See also:education during the same period; its lightest word treasured . Locke does not break with the compromise of Aquinas . But he transfers
See also:attention from contents to proof .
Reason proves that a revelation has been made—and then submits . Leibnitz has to supplement rather than correct Locke on this point . In such anatmosphere,
See also:deism readily uttered its protest against mysterious revelation . Deism is, in fact, the Thomist natural theology (more clearly distinguished from dogmatic theology than in the middle ages, alike by Protestants and by the post-Tridentine Church of Rome) now dissolving
See also:partnership with dogmatic and starting in business for itself . Or it is the doctrine of unfallen man's " natural state "—a doctrine intensified in Protestantism—separating itself from the theologians'
See also:grave doctrine of sin . If Socinianism had challenged natural theology—Christ, according to it, was the
See also:prophet who first revealed the way to eternal life—it had glorified the natural powers of man; and the learning of the Arminian divines (friends of Grotius and Locke) had helped to modernize Christian apologetics upon rational lines . Deism now taught that reason, or " the light of nature," was all-sufficient . Not to dwell upon earlier
See also:continental " Deists " (mentioned by Viret as quoted first in Bayle's
See also:Dictionary and again in the introduction to
See also:Leland's View of the Deistical Writers),
See also:Herbert of Cherbury (De Veritate, 1624; De Religion Gentilium, 1645?—according to J . G .
See also:Walch's Bibliotheca Theologica (1757) not published
See also:complete until 1663) was universally understood as hinting conclusions hostile to Christianity (cf. also T .
See also:Leviathan, 1651, ch. xxxi.; Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, 167o, ch. xiv.) . Professedly, Herbert's contention merely is that non-Christians feeling after the " supreme God and the
See also:law of righteousness must have a
See also:chance of salvation .
Herbert was also epoch-making for the whole 18th century in teaching that priests had corrupted this
See also:primitive faith . During the 18th century deism spread widely, though its leaders were " irrepressible men like Toland, men of mediocre culture and ability like Anthony
See also:Collins, vulgar men like Chubb, irritated and disagreeable men like
See also:Tindal, who conformed that he might enjoy his
See also:Oxford fellowship and wrote anonymously that he might relieve his
See also:conscience " (A . M . Fairbairn) . More distinguished sympathizers are
See also:Edward Gibbon, who has the deistic spirit, and
See also:David Hume, the historian and philosophical sceptic, who has at least the
See also:letter of the deistic creed (Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion), and who uses Pascal's
See also:appeal to " faith " in a spirit of mockery (Essay on Miracles) . In France the new school found powerful speaking-trumpets, especially Voltaire, the idol of his age—a great denier and scoffer, but always sincerely a believer in the God of reason—and the deeper but wilder spirit of J . J .
See also:Rousseau . Others in France
See also:developed still more startling conclusions from Locke's principles, E . B . Condillac's sensationalism—Locke's philosophy purged of its more ideal if less logical elements—leading on to materialism in J . O. de la Mettrie; and at least one of the Encyclopedists (P .
H. vonHolbach) capped materialism with confessed atheism . In Germany the parallel
See also:movement of "
See also:illumination " (H . S .
See also:Reimarus; J . S .
See also:Semler, pioneer in N.T. criticism; and a layman, the great Lessing) took the
See also:form of " rationalism " within the church—interpreting Bible texts by
See also:main force in a way which the age thought " enlightened " (H . E . G . Paulus, 1761–1851, &c.) . Among the innumerable
See also:English anti-deistic writers (see W . Law, The Case of Reason; R . Bentley, or " Phileleutherus Lipsiensis "; &c., &c.), three are of chief importance .
NathanielLardner (Arian, 1684–1768) stands in the front
See also:rank of the scholarship of his
See also:time, and uses his vast knowledge to maintain the genuineness of all books of the New Testament and the perfect accuracy of its history .
See also:Butler, a very
See also:original, careful and honest thinker, lifts controversy with deists from details to principles in his
See also:Analogy of Religion both Natural and Revealed to the Constitution and Course of Nature (1736) . This title introduces us to a new conception . Deists and orthodox in those days agreed in recognizing not merely natural theology but natural religion—" essential religion," Butler more than once styles it; the expression shows how near he stood intellectually to those he criticized . But morally he stood aloof . In part i.—on Natural Religion—he defends a moral or punishing Deity against the sentimental softness of the age . The God of Nature, whom deists confess, does punish in time, if they will but look at the facts; why not in eternity ? "Morality, as others have confessed, is " the nature of things "t Not the Being of God is discussed—Butler will not waste words on triflers (as he thinks them) who deny that—but God's character . Unfortunately (perhaps) Butler prefers to argue on admitted principles; holds much of his own moral belief in reserve; tries to reduce everything to a question of probable fact . If this hampers him in part i., the situation appears still worse in part ii., which is directly occupied with the defence of Christianity . Butler says nothing about incomprehensible mysteries, and protests that reason is the only ground we have to proceed upon . But by treating the
See also:atonement simply as revealed (and unexplained)
See also:matter of fact—in spite of some partial analogies in human experience, a thing essentially anomalous—Butler repeats, and applies to the moral contents of Christianity, what Aquinas said of its speculative doctrines .
(Whether one calls the unknowable a revealed mystery or an unexplained and in-explicable fact makes little difference.) WilliamPaley (1743--1805) borrows from many writers; he borrows Lardner's learning and Butler's " particular evidence for Christianity," viz. miracles, prophecy and " history "; and he states his points with perfect clearness . No man ever filled a typical position more exactly than Paley . Eighteenth-century ethics—Hedonism, with a theological background . Empiricist Natural Theology—the argument from Design . Christian Evidences—the strong probability of the resurrection of Christ and the consequent authority of his teaching . Horae Paulinae—mutual confirmations of Acts and Epistles; better, though one-sided . When such exclusively "
See also:external " arguments are urged, the contents of Christianity go for next to nothing . VI . Later Modern Period.—Towards the end of the 18th century a new epoch of reconstruction begins in the thought and life of
See also:civilization . The
See also:leader in speculative philosophy is Immanuel
See also:Kant, though he includes many agnostic elements, and draws the inference (which some things in the letter of Butler might seem to
See also:warrant) that the essence of Christianity is an ethical theism . While he thus created a new and more ethical " rational-ism," Kant's many-sided influence, alike in philosophy and in theology, worked to further issues . He (and other Germans, but not G .
W . F .Hegel) was represented in England in a 'fragmentary way by S . T .
See also:Coleridge (1772-1834), probably the most typical figure of his period—another layman . His general thought was that " rationalism " represents an uprising of the
See also:lower reason or " understanding " against the higher or true " reason." The mysteries of theology re its best part—not
See also:alien to reason but of its substance, tie logos." This is to upset the compromise of Aquinas and go back to a Christian platonism . Of course the difficulty revives again: If a philosophy, why supernaturally revealed ? Thomas Arnold, criticizing Edward
See also:Hawkins, appeals rather to the atonement as deeper neglected truth . So in Scotland, Thomas
See also:Erskine and Thomas Chalmers—the latter in contradiction to his earlier position—hold that the doctrine of salvation, when translated into experience, furnishes "
See also:internal evidence "—a somewhat broader use of the phrase than when it applies merely to evidence of date or authorship
See also:drawn from the contents of a book . This gives a new and moral filling to the conception of " supernatural revelation." The attempt to work out either of the reactions against Thomism in new theological systems is pretty much confined to Germany . Hegel's theological followers, of every shade and party, represent the first, and Schleiermacher's the second . Schleiermacher rejects natural religion in favour of the
See also:positive religions, while the school of A .
Ritschl and W . Herrmann reject natural theology outright in favour of revelation—a striking external parallel to early Socinianism .
See also:British and
See also:American divines, on the other hand, are slow to suspect that a new apologetic principle may mean a new system of apologetics, to say nothing of a new dogmatic . Among the evangelicals, for the most part, natural theology, far from being rejected, is not even modified, and certain doctrines continue to be described as incomprehensible mysteries . No Protestant, of course, can agree with Roman Catholic theology that (supernatural) faith is anobedient assent to church authority and the mysteries it dictates . To Protestantism, faith is personal
See also:trust . But the principle is hardly ever carried out to the end . Mysterious doctrines are ascribed by Protestants to scripture; so half of revelation is regarded as matter for
See also:blind assent, if another half is luminous in experience . The movement of German philosophy which led from Kant to Hegel has indeed found powerful British champions (T . H . Green, J. and E . Caird', &c.), but less churchly than Coleridge (or F .
See also:Maurice or B . F .
See also:Westcott), though churchly again in J . R . Illingworth and other contributors to Lux Mundi (1890) . Before this
See also:wave of thought, H . L . Mansel tried (1858) to
See also:play Pascal's
See also:game on Kantian principles, developing the sceptical side of'Kant's many-faceted mind . But as he protested against relying on the human conscience—the one
See also:element of positive conviction spared by Kant—his ingenuity found few admirers except H .
See also:Spencer, who claims him as justifying anti-Christian
See also:agnosticism . Butler's tradition was more directly continued by J .
H . Newman—with modifications on becoming a Roman Catholic in the light of the church's decision in favour of Thomism . A . M . Fairbairn (Catholicism, Roman and
See also:Anglican, ch. v., and elsewhere) and E . A .
See also:Abbott (Philomythus, and elsewhere) suspect Newman of a sceptical
See also:leaven and extend the criticism to Butler's doctrine of " probability." Yet it seems plain that any theology, maintaining redemption as historical fact (and not merely ideal), must attach religious importance to conclusions which are technically probable rather than proven . If we transfer Christian evidence from the " historical " to the `.` philosophical " with H . Rashdall—we surely cut down Christianity to the limits of theism . And the inner mind of Butler has moral anchorage in the Analogy, quite as much as in the Sermons . It is in part ii. more than in part i. of his masterpiece that the light seems to grow dim . Another of the Oxford converts to Rome, W .
See also:Ward, made vigorous contributions to natural theology . 1 . Apologetics and Philosophy.—The main part of this subject is discussed under THEISM . Some notes may be added on
See also:special points . (a) Freewill is generally assumed on the Christian side (R.C . Church; Scottish philosophy; H .
See also:Lotze; J . Martineau; W . G . Ward . Not in a libertarian sense; Leibnitz .
New and obscure issues raised by Kant) . But there is no continuous tradition or steady trend of discussion . (b) Personal immortality is affirmed as philosophically certain by the Church of Rome and many Protestant writers . Othersteach " conditional immortality." Others base the hope on belief in the resurrection of Christ . (c) Theodicy—the tradition of Leibnitz is preserved (on libertarian lines) by Martineau (A Study of Religion, 1883) . See also F . R . Tennant's Origin and
See also:Propagation of Sin (1902)—sin a " bye-product' of a generally good
See also:evolution . Others find in the
See also:gospel of redemption the true theodicy . (d) The problem of Christian apologetic has been simplified in the past by the prevalence of the Christian ethics and
See also:temper even among many non-Christians (e.g . J . S .
See also:Mill) . But hereafter it may not prove possible for the apologist to assume as unchallenged the Christian moral outlook . Germans have suspected an anti-Christian
See also:strain in Goethe; all the world knows of it in E. von . Hartmann or F . Nietzsche . 2 . Apologetics and
See also:Physical Science.—(a) Copernicanism has won its battles and the Church of Rome would fain have its error forgotten . The
See also:admission is now general that the .Bible cannot be expected to use the language of scientific astronomy . Still, it is not certain that the
See also:shock of Copernicanism on supernatural Christianity is exhausted . (b) Geology has also won its battles, and few now try to harmonize it with
See also:Genesis . (c) Evolution came down from the clouds when C . Darwin and A .
See also:Wallace succeeded in displacing the naif conception of special creation by belief in the origin of
See also:species out of other species through a
See also:process of natural law . This gave immense vogue to wider and vaguer theories of evolutionary process, notably to H . Spencer's grandiose cosmic formula in terms of mechanism . Here the apologist has more to say . The special Darwinian hypothesis—natural " selection " —may or may not be true; it was at least a fruitful
See also:suggestion . If true, it need not be exhaustive . Again, evolution itself need not apply everywhere . We are offered a philosophical rather than a scientific
See also:speculation when E . Caird (Evolution of Religion, 1893) tries to vindicate Christianity as the highest working of nature—true just because evolved from lower religions . The Christian apologist indeed may himself seek, following John Fiske, to philosophize evolution as a re-statement of natural theology—" one God, one law, one element and one far-off divine event "--and as at least pointing towards personal immortality . But if evolution is to be the whole truth regarding Christianity, we should have to surrender both super-natural revelation and divine redemption .
And these, it may be strongly urged, contain the magic of Christianity . Losing them it might sink into a lifeless theory . As far as pure science goes, the inference from science in favour of materialism has visibly lost much of its plausibility, and Protestant apologists would probably be prepared to accept in advance all verified discoveries as belonging to' a. different region from that of faith . Roman Catholic apologetic prefers to negotiate in detail . 3 . Apologetics and History . History brings us nearer theheart of the Christian position .. (a) Old Testament criticism won startling victories towards the end of the loth century . It blots out much supposed knowledge, but throws a vivid and interesting light on the reconstrued process of history . Most Protestants accept the general
See also:scheme of criticism; those who hang back make not a few concessions (e.g . J . Orr, Problem of the O.T., 1906) .
The Roman Catholic Church again prefers an attitude of reserve . (b) New Testament criticism raises even more delicate issues . Positively it may be affirmed that the recovered figure of the historical Jesus is the greatest asset in thepossession of modern Christian theology and apologetics . The " Lives " of Christ, Roman Catholic and Protestant; "critical" (D . F . Strauss, A .
See also:Renan, &c.,&c.). and "believing," imply this at least . Negatively, " unchallenged historical certainties " are becoming few in number, or are disappearing altogether, through the
See also:industry of modern minds . True, the
See also:Tubingen criticism of F . C . Baur and his school—important as the first scientific attempt to conceive New Testament conditions and literature as a whole—has been abandoned . (A .
Ritschl's Entstehung der alt-katholischen Kirche, and edition, 1857, was an especially telling reply.) The synoptic gospels are now treated with considerable respect . It is no longer suggested in responsible quarters that they are party documents sacrificing truth to " tendency." But not all quarters are responsible; and in the effort to grasp scientifically, i.e. accurately, the amazing facts of Christ and primitive Christianity, every imaginable hypothesis is canvassed . Even the Roman Catholic Church produced the
See also:Loisy (though he undertakes to play off church certainties against historical uncertainties) . Hitherto at least the
See also:fourth gospel has been the touchstone . The authorship of the epistles is in many cases a matter of subordinate importance; at least for Protestants or for those surrendering Bible infallibility, which Rome can hardly do . (c) New Testament history . II . 7The apologist must maintain (1) that Jesus of
See also:Nazareth is a real historical.figure—a point well-nigh overlooked by Strauss, and denied by some modern
See also:advocates of a mythical theory; (2) that Jesus is knowable (not one " of whom we really know very little "—B .
See also:Jowett) in his teaching, example, character, historical
See also:personality; and that he is full of moral splendour . On the other hand, faith has no special
See also:interest in claiming that we can compose a
See also:biographical study of the development of Jesus . Certainly no early writer thought of providing material for such use . It is a
See also:common opinion in Germany that our material is in fact too scanty or too self-contradictory .
See also:fascination of the subject will always revive the attempt . If it succeeds, there will be a new line of communication along which that great personality will tell on men's minds and
See also:hearts . If it fails—there are other channels; character can be known and trusted even when we are baffled by a thing necessarily so full of mystery as the development of a personality . Notably, the manifest non-consciousness of personal
See also:guilt in Jesus suggests to us his sinlessness . (3) Apologists maintain that Jesus " claimed " Messiahship . There are speculative constructions of gospel history which eliminate that claim; and no doubt apologetics could—with more or less difficulty—restate its position in a changed form if the paradox of to-day became accepted as historical fact to-morrow . The central apologetic thesis is the uniqueness of the "only-begotten"; it is here that " the supernatural " passes into the substance of Christian faith . But most probably the description of Jesus as thus unique will continue to be associated with the allegation—He told us so; he claimed Messiahship and "died for the claim." (See preface to 5th ed. of Ecce Homo.) Nor did so superhuman a claim crush him, or deprive his soul of its
See also:balance . He imparted to the title a grander significance out of the riches of his personality . (4) In the light of this the " argument from prophecy " is reconstructed . It ceases to lay much stress upon coincidences between Old Testament predictions or " types " and events in Christ's career . It becomes the assertion; historic-ally, providentially, the expectation of a unique religious figure arose—" the "
See also:Messiah; and Jesus gave himself to be thought of as that great figure .
(5) It is also claimed as certain that Jesus had marvellous powers of healing . More reserve is being shown towards the other or "nature" miracles . These latter, it may be remarked, are more unambiguously supernatural . But, if Jesus really cured leprosy or really restored the dead to life, we have miracle plainly enough in the region of healing . (6) For Jesus' own resurrection several lines of evidence are alleged . (i.) All who believe that in any sense Christ
See also:rose again insist upon the impression which his personality made during life . It was he whose resurrection seemed credible ! Some practically stop here; the apologist proceeds . (ii.) There is the
See also:report of the empty grave; historically, not easily waved aside . (iii.) We have New Testament reports of appearances of the risen Jesus; subjective? the mere clothing of the impression made by his personality during life? or
See also:objective ? "telegrams" from
See also:heaven (Th .
See also:Keim)—" Veridical Hallucinations" ? or something even more, throwing a ray of light perhaps on the state and powers of the happy dead ?
(iv.) There is the immense influence of Jesus Christ in history, associated with belief in him as the risen Son of God . In view of the claims of Jesus, different possibilities arise . (i.) The evangelists impute to him a higher claim than he made . This may be called the rationalisticsolution; with sympathy in Christ's ethical teaching, there is
See also:relief at minimizing his great claim . So, brilliantly,
See also:Wellhausen's Gospel commentaries and Introduction . (Mark fairly historical; other gospels' fuller account of Christ's teaching and claims unreliable.) (ii.) The claim was fraudulent (Reimarus; Renan, ed . 1; popular anti-Christian agitation) . This is a counsel of despair . (iii.) He was an enthusiastic dreamer, expecting the world's end . This the apologist will recognize as the most plausible hostile alternative . He may feel bound to admit an element of illusion in Christ's vision of the future; but he will contend that the apocalyptic form did not destroy the spiritual Content of Christ's revelations—nay, that it was itself the II vehicle of great truths . So he will argue as the essence of the matter that (iv.) he who has occupied Christ's place in history, and won such reverence from the purest souls, was what he claimed to be, and that his many-sidedness comes to focus and harmony when we recognize him as the Christ of God and the Saviour of the world .
To a less extent, similar problems and alternatives arise in regard to the church:—Catholicism a compromise between Jewish Christianity and Pauline orGentile Christianity (F . C . Baur, &c.); Catholicism the Hellenizing of Christianity (A . Ritschl, A .
See also:Harnack); the Catholic church for good and evil the creation of St Paul (P . Wernle, H . Weinel); the church supernaturally guided (R.C. apologetic; in a modified degree High Church apologetic); essential—not necessarily exclusive—truth of Paulinism, essential error in first principles of Catholicism (Protestant apologetic) . (R .
APOLOGUE (from the Gr. &rroXoyos, a statement or ac...
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