The Adjustment of a Difference

A Very learned theologian, whose fame is abroad in all the world, has recently declared with emphasis that an imperative need of the present religious situation is a more highly educated ministry, a distinct advance in its scholastic equipment. A less widely known but more pungent metropolitan preacher has recently said that so far as religion is concerned, our greatest trouble, these troublesome times, is that we have "altogether too much intellect in the ministry." "Had it not been," says he, "for a plethora of intellect in the pulpit, the world would long ago have become religious. . . . It was Greek thought, permeating the Roman Empire, working itself into the midst of the chapter houses and council halls of Christendom, which finally changed the simple Gospel of the Son of Man into the ornate creedology we know to-day. Christianity has won no great victories since the basis was changed. Had the plain Gospel of Jesus been permitted to remain as he left it, it would long ago have conquered the world."

This vigorous and definite contradiction of our erudite brother's opinion reveals the utter confusion of thought which still dominates religious convictions, even as it has for centuries past, and which leaves no doubt of the absence to human sense of the one Mind.

Without question these witnesses would agree that the Christian minister could not be over-supplied with the Mind that was in Christ Jesus; that he could have no surfeit of right ideas, but, on the contrary, that the more comprehensive and specific his knowledge of the truth of things, the actualities of being in all their diversities of manifestation and inter-relation, the more assured his fitness for his sacred calling and his success in it. They would also agree, we think, that if the plain gospel of Jesus were still preached in its uncreedal, unritualistic simplicity, it would be to the world's highest advantage. Surely no man can have too much of the wisdom that is from above, and equally true is it that the richest possible accretions of human learning are, in themselves, wholly inadequate.

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The Kingdom Within
August 6, 1904

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