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contained (the Life, Death, Resurrection of Christ) only becomes representative of the series which contains it (the entire history of the world) in virtue of the influence which by occurring within the latter it is able to exercise upon it. Therefore, though Transcendence and Immanence are fused into one, the Transcendent aspect is always dominant.”
Those two footnotes are a summary of what I have tried to set forth here in some detail.
I am convinced that one reason why comparatively few men of the highest ability and education are at present offering themselves for ordination is that the intellectual atmosphere is dominated by a philosophy which leaves no room for a specific Incarnation. This philosophy is not materialist or atheist; it is both spiritual and theistic; but the idea of God which it reaches is such as to preclude His ever doing anything in particular in
other sense than that in which He does everything in general. I believe that a very slight touch to the intellectual balance may make the scales incline the other way. Part of the trouble is that theologians have left the field of most general enquiry too largely to non-theological philosophers; they have tended to write either history or detailed discussion of particular doctrines. What is needed is the exposition of the Christian idea of God, life and the world, or, in other words, a Christo-centric metaphysics.
The building of such a scheme of thought out of the over-abundant intellectual material available in our generation must be the work of many minds, not of one—especially if that one is primarily occupied with administration, policy, and practical movements. My contribution must be a small one; I hope it may lead, even by the process of its own refutation if need be, to more substantial contributions from better qualified minds.
Most of my reading and a great part of my writing for three years past has been planned with a view to this volume. The first draft of Chapter I. was written as a paper to be read at a meeting of the British Philosophical Societies in Manchester in the summer of 1922, and afterwards appeared in Mind, N.S. 124. Chapter VII. and most of Chapter XIV. were first written as lectures delivered in Manchester Cathedral, and the former was published with others of the same series by Messrs. Palmer & Sons under the title Fundamentals of the Faith. Part of Chapter III. appeared in The Pilgrim for April 1921. To all who are concerned I offer my thanks for permission to republish.
My thanks are also due in a special degree to Mrs. Duff, whose delightful hospitality in the Isle of Wight during successive summer holidays provided the peace of mind and body without which the book could never have been either planned or written; to the Rev. L. W. Grensted, who has read the whole in typescript and made many valuable suggestions; to Canon Raven for searching comments on the first draft of Chapter VIII.; and to Canon Quick, who has read the proofs, and to whom I owe many improvements both in the argument itself and in its expression.
PREFACE TO SECOND IMPRESSION
This is rather a reprint than a second edition, for I have only made a few verbal changes and corrected a few slips. But I am glad to take the opportunity of making some observations on two criticisms which the book has called forth.
(1) The first of these concerns the relationship of Theology to Philosophy which is set forth both in this book and in Mens Creatrix. It is said that this essay is really just as philosophical as the former one, and that what I ought to have attempted is a demonstration that Christianity is the only true philosophy ; it is urged that by treating Theology as different from Philosophy I have confused my own aim, and I am recommended to emulate Aristotle for whom Theology and Philosophy in its primary sense (πρώτη φιλοσοφία) are identical.
Now, of course, I believe that there is only one truth, and that the true theology in its completeness is identical with the true philosophy in its completeness. But I believe that in the limited state of our knowledge there are two methods to be followed, and the ordinary use of words suggests that one of them should be called philosophic and the other theological. Since the first edition of this book appeared, I have read Mr. R. G. Collingwood's fascinating Speculum Mentis. In a letter to me answering some comments which I made to him he uses a phrase which illustrates my point : “ I strongly hold that to be intuited in religion, and described as so intuited in theology, which is conceived in philosophy.”.. As far as it goes, that indicates the distinction which I wish to draw, but I am compelled to go further.
Aristotle had not to deal with a specific Revelation ; indeed such a thing was impossible within his scheme of thought, and if accepted would have burst it. Now the mind can examine the whole field of its experience, including religious experience, without attributing to anything within it that predominance which must be attributed to what is accepted as a specific act of Divine Self-Revelation. This enterprise is what I mean by Philosophy. But some forms of religion, and most conspicuously Christianity, rest on the belief that such a Revelation exists. Those who accept that belief, and examine the whole field of experience in the light of it, are committed to an enterprise which is what I mean by Theology. From this it might appear that Theology is just one form of Philosophy ; but while that conveys part of the truth it obscures another part. For the belief in a specific Revelation, which I take to be the distinctive mark of Theology, is only justified when it has been shown that the Theology in which it is articulated supplies a conception of Reality which is more satisfactory, as a Philosophy, than any other. If the claim made on behalf of any supposed Revelation could be substantiated in isolation, the method of Philosophy and the method of Theology would be identical. But in fact Theology has to accept as a starting-point something which obtains its philosophic justification, if at all, only when the Theology is complete. It therefore adopts a course of argument which is not philosophically justified ; in popular language, religion is an affair of the heart more than of the head ; and the acceptance of its deliverances as decisive for our whole world-view is a leap only justified intellectually by its results. In Mr. Collingwood's language, Theology,
by describing what is intuited in religion, enables us tó conceive what would have remained inconceivable so long as we made no assumption which was not actually probable at the stage when we made it. The contention of this book is that the leap is justified. I cannot prove the existence of God or His Incarnation in Jesus Christ ; Philosophy (in my sense of the word) must not assume these doctrines, nor may it build on them until they have been shown to be at least probable ; Theology accepts them from Religion, and shows them to be probable by exhibiting them as the springs of a conception of Reality which, when reached, commends itself as the most satisfying conception which is in fact available. The method of Theology is thus precarious, and is only justified by the result; in the result it is justified, and that on grounds acceptable to Philosophy. The method of Philosophy is secure, but its result is comparatively barren. One day, perhaps, the two will perfectly coincide ; but that day is not yet ; both philosophers and theologians are concerned to hasten it, but meanwhile the motto of Theology must be Credo, ut intelligam.
(2) The other criticism to which I would refer takes the form of a complaint that in the opening chapters I treat the relation of Fact to Value as that of Symbol to Meaning, whereas in many cases it seems to be that of Means to End. The critic takes the instance of a musical instrument, where the value lies in the music to be drawn from it, while this can hardly be called the meaning of which the instrument is a symbol. I think this is true ; and the relation of the Symbol-Meaning relation to the Means-End relation calls for inquiry. But while I admit a gap in the argument at this point, I do not think it really affects the coherence of the essay as a whole; for I am convinced that, at the level on which the argument seeks to move, no relation so external as that of Means to