Well that was an intetesting read. Right ?
Perhaps a most interesting point is this one which he extracts from 'an excellent paper of Puritan tone' (plus his note..it is hard to say where that ends or begins but it is nevertheless quite revealing)...Right ?
'Christianity when stripped of its armor of dogma (as who should speak of man stripped of his armor of bones) turned out to be nothing but the Quaker doctrine of the Inner Light. Now, if I were to say that Christianity came into the world especially to destroy the doctrine of Inner Light, that would be an exaggeration. But it would be very much nearer the truth....Of all the conceivable forms of enlightenment, the worst is that these people of call the Inner Light. Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of God within. Anyone who knows anybody knows how it would work; anyone who knows anyone from the Higher Thought Centre' knows how it does work. That Jones should worship the God within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats and crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not God within. Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inward, but look outward, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners.'
Perhaps closer to where he is headed with this article is his solitary sentence after talking about Herrmann, Underhill and Law and others.
'This is Christ mysticism; that is to say, it is the mysticism in which the divinity which is in every man by nature is called Christ - rather than, say, Brahm or Allah, or what not.'
It seems he has forgotten his earlier reference to Calvin.
The 'sensus divinitatis implanted in us' -to employ Calvin's phrases - functions inevitably as a semen religionis'
He never really goes on to discuss what John the Divine wrote or the Apostle Paul. My reference to Calvin on another thread Book I Chapter 5, would hold nicely here. It is hard for some to understand though it be true that we are not entirely filled with Christ there is a degree of His light that is there but not enough to bring about Salvation but enough to see and enought to hear, that we are able to be without excuse. God after all does not judge unrighteously. He judges on the basis that some will not come when He calls. Those who do, and receive Christ are then if mind me saying 'fulfilled', 'completed in Christ' or else we are gradually blinded as the Apostle Paul unfolds in Romans 1 (all of it). Until eventually man becomes debased animal idols, (and advance dig at the Evolutionary crowd, huh ?)
All in all, I found BB's article very stimulating, but when leaned over to the idea of Christian Philosopy meeting Philosophy and Schliemacher (I hope I spelled his name right) as so many did attempting to protect the faith by placing it in the realm of feelings to protect it from extinction. Remember secular Philosophy at some point mixed in with Evolution etc, really had many men of the cloth changing sides and entire congregations of believers leaving, (I am probably exaggerating) the point is that to hand of Christianity to idiocy is what was done, in an attempt to save it from the ravages of 'rationalism'. Yet the truth is that this faith we share is not without reason, BUT and a HUGE BUT, it is not then neccesarily without any feeling, for goodnes sake, we all know that there is more to our life with God than simply intellect, or reason, we also have that segment that Dr. Francis Schaeffer calls 'muchmoreness' (I think I am using a new word' --- It is just that so often in our desire to protect our faith from the ravages of secular philosophy and false religion, we can end up having a lot less that we are by God's own hand given to us. It is He who commands us to not only love God with our minds, but also with our hearts, with our feelings, with ALL of our being (that is the point). To lose that is to essentially end up having less that the completeness that is in Christ.
I know I have gone on a bit and I would like to have talked longer, but it is just so sad for me when I cannot actually explain this more clearly. Perhaps when we are at the Lord's table we will not need say a word, for Jesus will have answered all our silly questions in but a few words, perhaps something like....'It's nice to finally all be here' or 'What channel is the cricket on today' --- I am kidding, seriously, the Lord is alive! and that is the only reason I might think that we need to really not shut our eyes to the possiblity of the 'muchmoreness' of our faith, where we have a little more than pure intellectualism. Well maybe a lot more.
I would highly recommend anyone who is perhaps sitting on the fence and thinking as I did, I know there is more here than just what is going on in my mind. I feel things, and I sense things...oh whatever. If you look around on http://www.bethinking.org
you should find Dr. Francis Schaeffer and there are three on Apologetics and another one about Faith and Intellect a pretty good listen indeed. Prepare for a little shaking though...he is a clever un.
Straw.How do thinking and faith fit together
by Dr Francis Schaeffer.