[Rev. Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr., in Outlook.]

No theologian of high standing claims that the historical person Jesus of Nazareth was himself the second "person" of the Trinity. That would mean at least two Gods, which is unthinkable. He is rather the perfect embodiment in place and time of the active principle, the Logos of God. That eternal Word is striving today to embody himself in your life and in mine as he did completely in the life of Jesus, but our selfishness prevents the completion of the process.

And so it is with the doctrine of the divinity. This is not necessarily bound up with any theory of Jesus' birth, or with any inherited dogma regarding his person. When I speak of the divinity, I mean that Jesus completely revealed the Father's spirit; that he perfectly showed the world the truth of man's kinship with God. In a word, that he is the incarnation. Athanasius was right in insisting that Jesus Christ is of one substance with the Father, but there is to adequate New Testament reason for doubting that this is also true of the spirit of man. We have not so much thought of our Master in too exalted terms as we have thought of humanity as too limited in its possibilities. The difference between the "man of Galilee" of the first century, and the men of England and America in the nineteenth century, if I understand my gospels aright, is not in inherent capacity to draw near God, but in the relative degree of realization of a latent power common to humanity. It is this that has created the uniqueness of Jesus.

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June 3, 1911

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