Friday, September 23, 2005

The Overthrow of Dogma in Theology - 1929

The following is an excerpt from the article titled “The Overthrow of Dogma in Theology”. The article originally appeared in the November 1929 issue of Methodist Review.

The Bible

“The Bible, as all other sacred writings, is an expression of the religious life of man, for Gad hath not left himself without witness anywhere. This puts God in all the natural order; in the heavens, in the heart of man, and all human history. The divine revelation is not chipped out of the rock by the lightening, nor yet dropped down from the heaven as a phenomenon isolated from the expanding life of humanity. The human element is conspicuous and must always bear the mark of fallibility. The revelation of God had been continuous. Even in the grey dawn of history, reason and experience, on the trial and error method, were rounding religious mandates into form. However much traditionalists may decry reason, there is no revelation without it. The Bible records the spiritual knowledge of spiritual things. A creative mind is necessary to any revelation.”

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I have enjoyed reading through your various quotations from older Methodistica. As I reflected on your comment from earlier this month regarding "conservatives who are longing for a return to the 'good old days'" was interesting. It helped to provide me with a context for reading the other postings.

Two thoughts:
1) I hope that you include some articles on holiness. If I long for "good old days" (and I am not sure if I really do in the ways implied in the Blog), I long for a renewal of Wesley's emphasis on holiness of heart and life;

2)In the good old days, didn't conservatives leave the Methodist Episcopal Church and start other denominations -- Free Methodist, Wesleyan, etc? Today it seems as though there is much more inclination to affirm a "holy catholic church" and work for understanding and renewal within the current system.

Thanks for the conversation.
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