Month: April 2016

Strauss’s Leben Jesu

It is, indeed, pitiable to see the distress of Strauss in dealing with this alarming subject. In the amazement of his perplexity he is even forced (who would suppose it?) to help out his mythic theory with that natural solution of the rationalists, which he elsewhere tramples upon with such contemptuous derision.

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The apologetic religion

Christianity is the apologetic religion. No other religion has ever seriously set itself to the endeavour to subdue a hostile world by apology (from logos, “reason,” or “reason,” ratio vel oratio, 1 Pet. iii. 15), to reason the sinful world out of worldliness into godliness. The aspect of the new religion thus appearing toward the freedom of the human soul, in addressing itself to the reason in order to reach the man in his conscience and his heart, struck intelligent heathens as a presumptive evidence of truth and divinity, since reason is “the door” (John x. 1, etc.)—the lawful way—of seeking to win and to control the manhood.

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The letters of Paul

We may, then, without prejudice, take the evidence of Paul of Tarsus on the historicity of Jesus, and examine it. If we are challenged as to the genuineness of Paul’s epistles, let us tell our questioner to read them. Novels have been written in the form of correspondence; but Paul’s letters do not tell us all that a novelist or a forger would—there are endless gaps, needless references to unknown persons (needless to us, or to anybody apart from the people themselves), constant occupation with questions which we can only dimly discover from Paul’s answers. The letters are genuine letters—written for the occasion to particular people, and not meant for us.

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The possibility of a miracle

In decreeing from all eternity that a dead man should remain without life, that wood should be consumed by fire, God has not deprived Himself of the power of derogating these two laws, of restoring life to a dead man, of preserving a bush in the midst of flames, when He wills thus to awaken the attention of men, to instruct them, or to convey His positive precepts.

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Charles Leslie: How unreasonable to reject these facts

How unreasonable then is it to reject these facts, so sifted, so examined, and so attested, as no other facts in the world ever were; and yet to think it the most highly unreasonable, even to madness, to deny other facts, which have not the thousandth part of their evidence, and are of no consequence to us, whether true or false!

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