Christology

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CHRISTIANITY

I. BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

1. The gospel is: the fact of the fatherhood of God, coupled with the truth of the sonship-brotherhood of men. (2059.4) 194:0.4

2. Unintentionally, some facts associated with the gospel were substituted for the gospel message. (2059.3) 194:0.3

3. Only baptism was required for admission to the Jesus brotherhood. (2067.4) 194:4.9

4. The Lord’s Supper was celebrated at the end of a fellowship meal. (2067.3) 194:4.8

5. At Pentecost, Peter really founded the Christian church. (2069.1) 195:0.1

6. Paul’s adaptations of Jesus’ gospel were superior to all other religions. (1337.9) 121:5.13

7. Philo’s teachings had considerable influence on Paul. (1339.1) 121:6.5

8. It was the second century before Greco-Roman culture turned to Christianity. (2069.4) 195:0.4

9. The Christians made shrewd bargains with the pagans, but did not do so well with the Mithraics. (2070.7) 195:0.11

10. The early plan of Christian worship followed the synagogue and Mithraic rituals. (2074.1) 195:3.6

II. CONTENT OF THE CHRISTIAN MESSAGE

1. The Christian concept of God combines three ideas.

  1. Hebrew concept—God a vindicator of moral values—a righteous God.
  2. Greek concept—God as a unifier—a God of wisdom.
  3. Jesus’ concept—God as a living friend, a loving Father. (67.8) 5:4.10

2. Christianity is a religion about Jesus, modified by much theology. (1011.16) 92:6.18

3. Early Christianity and Mithraism had many things in common. (1083.3) 98:6.3

4. Paul’s theology was based on Jesus’ life, but was also influenced by the Greeks and the Stoics. (1340.5) 121:7.7

5. Christ becomes the creed of the new fellowship. (2067.1) 194:4.6

6. Abner’s more authentic version of the gospel made little progress. (2072.4) 195:1.11

III. INFLUENCE OF THE GREEKS AND ROMANS

1. The Greek Stephen’s death led to the organization of the first church at Jerusalem. (2068.2) 194:4.12

2. Greek culture was quick to embrace Christianity as a new and better religion. (2071.5) 195:1.5

3. Christians accepted the Roman Empire; the empire adopted Christianity. (2073.5) 195:3.1

4. Conditions at Rome were favorable for the adoption of a new religion. (2073.6) 195:3.2

5. The church, becoming an adjunct of society and an ally of politics, was doomed to suffer during the “dark ages.” (2074.7) 195:4.1

IV. THE MODERN PROBLEM

1. Viewing what Christianity has endured indicates great inherent vitality. (2075.2) 195:4.4

2. Christianity now faces the gigantic struggle between the secular and the spiritual. (2075.3) 195:4.5

3. Religion needs new leaders—men who will depend solely on the incomparable teachings of Jesus. (2082.9) 195:9.4

4. The hour is striking for the rediscovery of the original foundations of Christianity. (2083.1) 195:9.5

5. Christianity has become a social and cultural movement as well as a religion. (2083.7) 195:9.11

6. Christianity is handicapped because it sponsors a society which staggers under a tremendous overload of materialism. (2086.6) 195:10.20

7. Christianity is threatened by the doom of one of its own slogans: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (2085.3) 195:10.11

8. But Christianity contains enough of the teachings of Jesus to immortalize it. (2086.4) 195:10.18

9. The hope of Christianity is that it shall learn anew the greatest of all truths—the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. (2086.7) 195:10.21

V. MATERIALISM

1. If man were only a machine, he could not formulate his materialistic concepts. (2078.6) 195:7.3

2. Machines do not struggle to find God nor strive to be like him. (2079.9) 195:7.14

3. Man exhibits the control attributes of mind and the creative qualities of spirit. (2079.4) 195:7.9

4. Religion is not so much concerned with science, morality, and philosophy—as it is with the scientist, the moralist, and the philosopher. (2080.3) 195:7.18

VI. SECULAR TOTALITARIANISM

1. Secularism broke the bonds of church control, and now threatens to establish a new and godless control of men. (2081.1) 195:8.1

2. World wars are the result of overdoing the secularistic revolt. (2081.1) 195:8.13

3. Secularism discards ethics and religion for politics and power. (2082.3) 195:8.11

4. Materialism denies God, secularism simply ignores him. (2081.5) 195:8.5

5. The majority of Christians are unwittingly secularists. (2081.3) 195:8.3

VII. THE RELIGION OF JESUS

1. Jesus is the new and living way whereby man comes into his divine inheritance. (1113.6) 101:6.17

2. Men evade the religion of Jesus for fear of what it will do to them and with them. (2083.2) 195:9.6

3. The apostles were demoralized by the Master’s death. (2066.1) 194:4.1

4. Comes the resurrection—God is no longer a doctrine in their minds; he has become a living presence in their souls. (2066.2) 194:4.2

5. Paul’s Christianity made sure of the divine Christ, but almost wholly lost sight of the human Jesus. (2092.2) 196:2.4

6. Jesus founded a religion of personal experience in doing the will of God; Paul founded a religion for the worship of the glorified and risen Christ. (2092.3) 196:2.5

7. Jesus did not found the Christian church, but he has fostered it. (2085.1) 195:10.9

8. The Oriental peoples do not know that there is a religion of Jesus as well as a religion about Jesus. (2086.1) 195:10.15

9. The time is ripe for the figurative resurrection of the human Jesus from the burial tomb of theologic traditions and religious dogmas. (2090.3) 196:1.2

10. You can preach a religion about Jesus, but you must live the religion of Jesus. (2091.10) 196:2.1

11. The New Testament is a superb Christian document, but it is only meagerly Jesusonian. (2091.10) 196:2.1

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