The average man believes in salvation by character and life, and he does not believe that a man's salvation is dependent on the opinions he may hold on doubtful theological points. He will agree with the minister that good works cannot save him, but the faith, faith that the pulpit is urging as all-important, seems to him to involve a considerable number of superfluous beliefs on side issues. And he also feels that it would be a good thing for the church if the minister would preach to some of his most affluent supporters the inexorable necessity of a holy and Christlike character if they expect to be saved. Here scientific theology supports completely the average man's contention, and proclaims that a man is saved by what he is and not by what he thinks, or what he says he thinks, or thinks he thinks. "Saving faith," faith in the only Biblical sense, is simply trust in God, confidence in Jesus, and does not, of necessity, involve any intricate speculations as to the inner constitution of the Godhead, or as to the eternal relation of the Man of Nazareth to that Godhead, or as to the precise stipulations and specifications of the "scheme of salvation." These matters are interesting to the religious imagination, but a man can believe and be saved without reference to any of them.

Henry Goodwin Smith.The Outlook.

November 10, 1906

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