psychology. With this accomplished, Christianity will resume its ancient place. Consciously and of purpose the attempt is made to do once more what has been done repeatedly before, to restate Christianity in the terms of current science.
From all these efforts to reconstruct systematic theology with its appropriations of philosophy and science, groups of Christians turn to the inner life and seek in its realities to find the confirmation of their faith. They also claim oneness with a long line of Christians, for in every age there have been men who have ignored the dogma and the ritual of the Church, and in contemplation and retirement have sought to know God immediately in their own experience. To them at best theology with its cosmology and its logic is only a shadow of shadows, for God reveals himself to the pure in heart, and it matters not what science may say of the material and fleeting world. This spirit manifests itself in wide circles in our day. The Gordian knot is cut, for philosophy and religion no longer touch each other but abide in separate realms.
In quite a different way a still more influential school seeks essential Christianity in the sphere of the ethical life. It also would disentangle religion from cosmology and formal philosophy. It studies the historic development of the Church, noting how element after element has been introduced into the simplicity of the gospel, and from all these it would turn back to the Bible itself. In a thorough-going fashion it would accomplish what Luther and the Reformation attempted. It regards even the earliest creeds as only more or less satisfactory attempts to translate the Christian facts into the current language of the heathen world. But the process does not stop with this rejection of the ancient and the scholastic theology. It recognizes the scientific results attained in the study of the Bible itself, and therefore it does not seek the entire Bible as its rule of truth. To it Jesus Christ, and he alone, is supreme, but this supremacy does not carry with it infallibility in the realm of cosmology or of history. In these too Jesus participated in the views of his own time; even his teaching of God and of the future life is not lacking in Jewish elements, yet none the less he is the essential element in Christianity, and to his life-purpose must all that claims to be Christianity be brought to be judged. To this school Christianity is the culmination of the ethical monotheism of the Old Testament, which finds its highest ideal in self-sacrificing love. Jesus Christ is the complete embodiment of this ideal, in life and in death. This ideal he sets before men under the traditional forms of the kingdom of God as the object to be attained, a kingdom which takes upon itself the forms of the family, and realizes itself in a new relationship of universal brotherhood. Such a religion appeals for its self-verification not to its agreement with cosmological conceptions, either ancient or modern, or with theories of philosophy, however true these may be, but to the moral sense of man. On the one hand, in its ethical development, it is nothing less than the outworking of that principle of Jesus Christ which led him not only to self-sacrificing labour but to the death upon the cross. On the other hand, it finds its religious solution in the trust in a power not ourselves which makes for the same righteousness which was incarnate in Jesus Christ.
Thus Christianity, as religion, is on the one hand the adoration of God, that is, of the highest and noblest, and this highest and noblest as conceived not under forms of power or knowledge but in the form of ethical self-devotion as embodied in Jesus Christ, and on the other hand it meets the requirements of all religion in its dependence, not indeed upon some absolute idea or omnipotent power, but in the belief that that which appeals to the soul as worthy of supreme worship is also that in which the soul may trust, and which shall deliver it from sin and fear and death. Such a conception of Christianity can recognize many embodiments in ritual, organization and dogma, but its test in all ages and in all lands is conformity to the purpose of the life of Christ. The Lord’s Prayer in its oldest and simplest form is the expression of its faith, and Christ’s separation of mankind on the right hand and on the left in accordance with their service or refusal of service to their fellow-men is its own judgment of the right of any age or church to the name Christian. This school also represents historic Christianity, and maintains the continuity of its life through all the ages past with Christ himself. But this continuity is not then in theological systems or creeds, nor in sacraments and cult, nor in organization, but in the noble company of all who have lived in simple trust in God and love to humanity. It is this true Church of the spirit and purpose of Jesus which has been the supreme force for the uplifting of humanity.
Christianity has passed through too many changes, and it has found too many interpretations possible, to fear the time to come. Thoroughgoing reconstruction in every item of theology and in every detail of polity there may be, yet shall the Christian life go on—the life which finds its deepest utterance in the words of Christ, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy neighbour as thyself”; the life which expresses its profoundest faith in the words Christ taught it to pray, “Our Father”; the life which finds its highest rule of conduct in the words of its first and greatest interpreter, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Bibliography.—Detailed bibliographies accompany the separate articles on subjects connected with the Christian religion and Church. In the following list a selection is given of books on the wider and general subject:—
Extent and Growth.—D. Dorchester, The Problem of Religious Progress (revised ed., 1894); S. Gulick, The Growth of the Kingdom of God (1895); James S. Dennis, Christian Missions and Social Progress (1906).
Prophets of Israel.—Rudolf Smend, Lehrbuch der alttestamentlichen Religionsgeschichte (2nd ed., 1899); A. B. Davidson, Old Testament Prophecy (1903); Karl Budde, Religion of Israel to the Exile (1899); W. Robertson Smith, The Prophets of Israel and their Place in History (1899); A. F. Kirkpatrick, Doctrine of the Prophets (3rd ed., 1901); Beruk Duhm, Die Theologie der Propheten (1875).
Judaism.—Emil Schürer, History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (Eng. trans., Edinburgh, 1890); C. G. Montefiore, Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as illustrated by the Religion of the Ancient Hebrews (2nd ed., 1893); W. Bousset, Die Religion des Judentums im neutestamentlichen Zeitalter (2nd ed., 1906).
The Life and Teaching of Jesus.—Hans Heinrich Wendt, The Teaching of Jesus (1892), 2 vols.; Oskar Holtzmann, The Life of Jesus (Eng. trans., 1904); Paul Wernle, Beginnings of Christianity, 2 vols. (1903–1904); T. Crawford Burkitt, The Gospel History and its Transmission (1906).
The Beginnings of Christianity.—Ernst von Dobschütz, Christian Life in the Primitive Church (Eng. trans., 1904); A. C. McGiffert, The Apostolic Age (1900); Carl Weizsäcker, The Apostolic Age (Eng. trans., 1897); Otto Pfleiderer, Das Urchristentum (1902).
The Expansion of Christianity.—Edwin Hatch, “The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church,” the Hibbert Lectures, 1888 (1890); Adolf Harnack, The Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries (Eng. trans., 1904); Sir W. M. Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire (1893).
The History of Church and of Dogma.—Adolf Harnack, History of Dogma (Eng. trans., 1895); Reinhold Seeberg, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte (1895, 2 vols.); Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (3 vols., 1881, 3rd ed.).
The Roman Church.—Joseph Wilhelm and Thomas B. Scannell, Manual of Catholic Theology (1906); J. A. Moehler, Symbolism (trans. 1844); Thomas Aquinas, The Summa (Eng. trans., 1907); William Ward, The Ideal of a Christian Church (1844).
The Greek Church.—“The Creeds of the Greek and Russian Churches,” in Schaff, Creeds, vol. ii. pp. 275-542; and J. Michalcesu, Die Bekenntnisse und die wichtigsten Glaubenszeugnisse der griechisch-orientalischen Kirche (Leipzig, 1904).
Protestantism.—John Calvin, Institutio Religionis Christianae, (1536; Eng. trans., 1816); Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology (3 vols., 1872); Ernst Troeltsch, Die Absolutheit des Christentums und die Religionsgeschichte (1902); First Principles of the Reformation, or the Ninety-five Theses and the Three Primary Works, trans. by Henry Wace and C. A. Buchheinz (1883).
Christianity in the Modern World.—Andrew D. White, Conflict of Science with Theology (2 vols., 1896); D. F. Strauss, Der alte und der neue Glaube (1872; Eng. trans., 1873); A. J. Balfour, The Foundations of Belief (1897); J. Ward, Naturalism and Agnosticism (1899).Modern Adaptations of Christianity.—William Adams Brown, Christian Theology in Outline (1906); Augustus Sabatier, Religions of Authority and the Religion of the Spirit (1904); J. A. Zahm, Evolution and Dogma (1896); John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845); Edward Caird, The Evolution of Religion (1893); Otto Pfleiderer, Philosophy of Religion (Eng. trans., 1888, especially volumes 3 and 4); Newman Smyth, Old Faiths in New Lights (1879), Through Science to Faith (1902); Henry Drummond, The Ascent of Man (1894); William Ralph Inge, Christian Mysticism (Bampton Lectures, 1894); Wilhelm Herrmann, The Communion of the Christian with God (1895); George William