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[Prof. John Reid Shannon, S.T.D., Ph.D., in Zion's Herald]

All the dogmatic beliefs in which men have embodied their religious ideas may burst like soap-bubbles and Christianity itself be no more affected than were the stars by the overthrow of the Ptolemaic system of astronomy. If both the emanation theory of light and the wave theory of light and a thousand other theories of light were blown to the winds, still the sun would shine in the heavens; its solar splendor would remain undimmed. The different theological schemes that have crystallized about the religion of Jesus are no more a part of his religion than are the different theories of light a part of the sun.

Systems of theological thought are subject to perpetual changes. A boy grows, and his trousers and jacket are not large enough for him when he gets to be a man. Such changes are as inevitable in regard to religious beliefs as they are in the matter of clothes; they must always be going on, unless man ceases to advance, for they inhere in the very fact that the human race is finite and is in process of development in an infinite universe. Growing religious thought cannot be kept back; trying to keep it back into old forms of expression is like trying to crowd an oak tree back into the acorn or an eagle back into its shell. Jesus speaks of the uselessness of such an attempt: Do not put your new wine into old wine-skins. If you do, the fermentation will burst them, and the wine will be lost and the wine-skins ruined. Put your new wine into new wine-skins and you will keep both.

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August 14, 1915

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