The Things Which Remain by Daniel A. Goodsell


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Page 1

It will be understood that concessions made for the sake of the argument
by no means represent my own views of that which must be ultimately
yielded to the critical spirit.

Already some opinions which threatened the authority of Gospels and
Epistles, and which have had wide acceptance, have been modified or
withdrawn. My aim in this address was not to scout criticism, from which
much of the highest value to faith is to come, but to steady the
wavering young minister; to sustain his preaching power by helping him
to a definite message, and to encourage him to a slow and guarded
acceptance of critical opinions destructive of "the faith once delivered
to the saints."

CHATTANOOGA, TENN., December, 1903.

The Things Which Remain

The followers of Him who said "I am the Truth" can never afford to hold
or propagate that which is false. No man can preach with power unless he
strongly believes. Teaching force depends on Faith.

[Sidenote: Doing and Knowing.]

[Sidenote: The Divine Call.]

[Sidenote: Conditions of the Call.]

Thus far our ministry has had teaching power because it has been founded
on and inspired by a Christian experience. Our Church has always
emphasized that essential Christian statement, "If ye do ye shall know."
At every ordination we have demanded of every candidate a declaration of
his persuasion that he was "called according to the will of our Lord
Jesus Christ" to the particular office to which he was then to be
advanced. By this we do not mean a mediate call through the order of the
Church or the judgment of the Bishop, but an immediate call by the Holy
Spirit from Christ Himself. This call is antedated by that personal
surrender to Jesus Christ; that blessed acceptance by Him of the
self-surrendered; that witnessing Spirit as to sonship which brings the
consciousness of pardon, renewal, and justification known as "a
religious experience."

[Sidenote: Evidence of the Call.]

Those who possess this know something. Whereas they were "once blind,
now they see." They know they have "passed from darkness to light"
through the changed love which now controls. However the persuasion
reached them, it is a persuasion; not merely a hope. It is a conclusion
borne in upon them by satisfactory evidence, and is a lasting certainty
while the faith which brought it abides in its original measure.

Thus to-day we have a pulpit substantially in doctrine and force what
our pulpit always has been. Even in some cases where doubt has entered,
it would appear that this Christian experience has steadied the wavering
head by the full and regular impulses of the believing heart.

[Sidenote: New Problems in Theology.]

[Sidenote: The Modern Skeptical Temper.]

It is, however, to be admitted that the years to which we have come
bring with them problems which our fathers did not have to solve. Doubts
of which they knew nothing throng our atmosphere and crowd upon our
consciousness. The attacks on Christianity are no longer the ribald
jeers of the unlovely and the vile. They come in the name of honest
investigation, historical veracity, and scientific accuracy; and are
projected by characters apparently truth-loving, reverent, and candid.

[Sidenote: The Sources of Advanced Criticism.]

This may be said for most of them, but on occasion it is hard to believe
that all the German critics are wholly and exclusively truth-loving and
candid. So extreme are the positions of some, so evidently tinctured
with overreadiness for criticism and unbelief, that they must be
excluded from the "most" above described.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Sat 18th Jan 2020, 17:12