In the same way, there will be progress in Christian knowledge only as long as we accept the challenge of the difficult or repellent doctrines.A “liberal” Christianity which considers itself free to alter the faith whenever the faith looks perplexing or repellent must be completely stagnant, Progress is made only into a resisting material.
We are to defend Christianity itself--the faith preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, embodied in the Creeds, expounded by the Fathers.
This must be clearly distinguished from the whole of what any one of us may think about God and man.
It seems to the layman that in the Church of England we often hear from our priests doctrine which is not Anglican Christianity.
It may depart from Anglican Christianity in either of two ways: (1) It may be so “broad” or “liberal” or “modern” that it in fact excludes any real supernaturalism and thus ceases to be Christian at all. It is not, of course, for me to define to you what Anglican Christianity is--I am your pupil, not your teacher.
This immediately helps them to realize that what is being discussed is a question about objective fact--not gas about ideals and points of view.
Secondly, this scrupulous care to preserve the Christian message as something distinct from one’s own ideas, has one very good effect upon the apologist himself.I want to say emphatically that the second question is far the more important of the two.Our upbringing and the whole atmosphere of the world we live in make it certain that our main temptation will be that of yielding to winds of doctrine, not that of ignoring the.It forces him, again and again, to face up to those elements in original Christianity which he personally finds obscure or repulsive, He is saved from the temptation to skip or slur or ignore what he finds disagreeable.And the man who yields to that temptation will, of course, never progress in Christian knowledge.Each of us has his individual emphasis: each holds, in addition to the faith, many opinions which seem to him to be consistent with it and true and important. But as apologists it is not our business to defend them. 25: on a certain point the has “no commandment of the Lord” but gives “his judgment.” No one is left in doubt as to the difference in status implied.We are defending Christianity; not “my religion.” When we mention our personal opinions we must always make quite clear the difference between them and the faith itself. This distinction, which is demanded by honesty, also gives the apologist a great tactical advantage.This is your duty not specifically as Christians or as priests but as honest men.There is a danger here of the clergy developing a special professional conscience which obscures the very plain moral issue.We are not at all likely to be hidebound; we are very likely to be the slaves of fashion.If one has to choose between reading the new books and reading the old, one must chose the old: not because they are necessarily better but because they contain precisely those truths of which our own age is neglectful.