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God and the World A Survey of Thought   By: (1856-1928)

Book cover

First Page:

This is one of a series of evidential books drawn up at the instance of the Christian Evidence Society .

GOD AND THE WORLD

A SURVEY OF THOUGHT

BY

ARTHUR W. ROBINSON, D.D.,

Warden of the College of Allhallows Barking

With a Prefatory Note by SIR OLIVER LODGE

LONDON:

SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE

NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, W.C., 43 QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C.

BRIGHTON: 129 NORTH STREET

NEW YORK: E. S. GORHAM

1913

CONTENTS

PAGE

PREFATORY NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 I. THE OLDER ORTHODOXY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 II. THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 III. THEOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 IV. THE COUNTER ARGUMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 V. THE COUNTER ARGUMENTS ( continued ) . . . . . . . . 46 VI. THE COUNTER ARGUMENTS ( continued ) . . . . . . . . 53 VII. LATER SCIENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 VIII. LATER SCIENCE ( continued ) . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 IX. LATER SCIENCE ( continued ) . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

{5}

PREFATORY NOTE

I have read what Dr. Arthur Robinson has written, and find it a most interesting, singularly fair, and I may add, within its limits, able and comprehensive survey of the thoughts of the past and passing age. I commend it to the coming generation as a useful means of acquiring some notion of the main puzzles and controversies of the strenuous time through which their fathers have lived. Fossil remains of these occasionally fierce discussions they will find embedded in literature; and although we are emerging from that conflict, it can only be to find fresh opportunities for discovery, fresh fields of interest, in the newer age. Towards a wise reception of these discoveries, as they are gradually arrived at in the future, this little book will give some help.

OLIVER LODGE.

{7}

GOD AND THE WORLD

INTRODUCTION

A man, so it has been said, is distinguished from the creatures beneath him by his power to ask a question. To which we may add that one man is distinguished from another by the kind of question that he asks. A man is to be measured by the size of his question. Small men ask small questions: of here and now; of to day and to morrow and the next day; of how they may quickest fill their pockets, or gain another step upon the social ladder. Great men are concerned with great questions: of life, of man, of history, of God.

So again, the size of an age can be determined by the size of its questions. It has been claimed that the age through which we have passed was a great age, and tried by this test we need not hesitate to admit the claim. It was full of questions, and they were great questions. As never before, the eyes of men strained upwards and backwards into the dim {8} recesses of the past to discover something, if it might be, of the beginnings of things: of matter and life; of the earth and its contents; of the solar system and the universe. We know with what interest inquiries of this sort were regarded, and how ready the people were to read the books that dealt with them; to attend lectures and discussions about them, and to give their money for the purposes of such research. It was a great age that could devote itself so eagerly to questions of this importance and magnitude.

But as men cannot live upon appetite, so neither can they be for ever satisfied with questions. Hence it follows that a period of questioning is ordinarily followed by another, in which the accumulated information is sorted and digested and turned to practical account; a time in which constructive work is attempted, and some understanding is arrived at as to the relation that exists between the old knowledge and the new... Continue reading book >>




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