Monday, May 18, 2009

a universal gospel...

James Freeman Clarke not only absolves the Apostle Paul of most of the things his detractors accuse him of, he make of him the champion of the values he is often accused of destroying. Paul, understood anew, is vital to the universal church and the individual soul: JFC on the AP:

"But I believe, on the contrary, that Paul, of all the apostles, best understood the Gospel as it lay in the mind of Jesus, in all its length, breadth, depth and height. He fully understood the principles which are to make of it a universal gospel, which are to break down and utterly destroy dogmatism and sectarianism in the Christian Church, and cause it to be accepted as the religion of mankind. Paul entered deeply into the mind of Christ, and, by developing the ideas of Jesus, unfolded Christianity into a higher form. Peter and the other apostles were the rock on which the Church was built; but Paul was its leader, its chief, and the true Vicar of Christ. James may have been Bishop of Jerusalem, Peter Bishop of Antioch or Rome; but Paul was Universal Bishop, having " the care of all the churches." We have no evidence from the New Testament, that any one but Paul overlooked the whole field of Christianity, and took a living and active interest in the Christians at Jerusalem, the Christians in Asia Minor, the Christians in Greece, and the Christians in Italy.

When Paul contended for "justification by faith, and not by works," he was arguing the cause of Christian liberty for all time ; he was fighting for our liberty here, to-day, to worship God according to our own convictions and our own conscience. When we understand what he meant by justification by faith, then we have the Secret Of Paul."


No comments: