THE saying of a recent Christian writer, that "the only theology which is likely to last is one that admits a large degree of Christian agnosticism," may prove rather startling to some, since it seems to link faith and unbelief in a way which is altogether incongruous. All earnest truth-seekers, however, will agree in saying that as their apprehension of spiritual things has increased arithmetically, the field of unexplored and more or less indistinct vision has increased geometrically. They have consequently grown more reserved in the use of "I know," and less dogmatic respecting the facts of faith which they have not yet demonstrated. With increased thoughtfulness and receptivity they feel more keenly the sense of mystery, the vastness of Truth, and their mental attitude becomes more scientific.

St. Paul affirmed the inspiring fact, not that we know all, out that "we know in part," and Mrs. Eddy repeats the thought when she writes, "Christian Science must be accepted at this period by induction. We admit the whole, because a part is proved" (Science and Health, p. 461). The habit of speaking in a final decisive fashion concerning matters of which he really knows very little, if anything, is disastrous to one's own spiritual growth and to a helpful influence over others, and that Christian teachers should have become noted as representatives of this type of unrealiability is unfortunate beyond words.

Positiveness should characterize Christian instruction, both because there is scientific ground for it and because naught else can satisfy the demands of inquiring thought, but the positiveness which has no foundation other than the traditions of human belief, is sure to experience a fall that will prove disturbing to the faith both of the teacher and the taught. Time was when the great majority accepted the dictum of ecclesiastical authority without question, and the thinking of many is still thus dominated, but the scientific spirit has gone out into all the earth, and the rule of superstition and fear is becoming more and more circumscribed. Hard-headed, unscientific dogmatism is losing its sway in Christian councils, and a fairer field for faith is being opened up.

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November 2, 1912

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