by James Denney
THE CUNNINGHAM LECTURES FOR 1917
DR. DENNEY'S illness prevented him from delivering these lectures in the spring of the present year. Fortunately, however, he had prepared them not only for delivery but for publication, and on his death the MS. was found practically completed among his papers. One or two passages, especially in the notes, to which he had merely pencilled a reference in the margin, have been filled in from his note-books.
RECONCILIATION is a term of wide scope and various application, and it is hardly possible to conceive a life or a religion which should dispense with it. There is always some kind of strain or tension between man and his environment, and man has always an interest in overcoming the strain, in resolving the discord in his situation into a harmony, in getting the environment to be his ally rather than his adversary. The process by which his end is attained may be described as one of reconciliation, but whether the reconciliation is adequate depends on whether his conception of the environment is equal to the truth. Men may be very dimly and imperfectly conscious of the nature of the strain which disquiets their life, and may seek to overcome it in blind and insufficient ways. They may interpret it as physical in its origin when it is really ethical, or as the misapprehension of a moral order when it is really antagonism to a personal God, and in either case the reconciliation they seek will fail to give the peace of which they are in quest. Nevertheless, reconciliation and nothing else is what they want, and its place in religion is central and vital.
It may be said that in the widest sense what men crave to be reconciled to is life, the conditions of existence in their sternness and transiency. Life is short and it is hard, and ever since men have thought and felt, they have been exercised with the problem of how to adjust themselves to its laws and to find peace. They have a deep sense that life is lost when this adjustment is not made, and men live and die unreconciled to the very conditions of life.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I: THE EXPERIMENTAL BASIS OF THE DOCTRINE
CHAPTER II: RECONCILIATION IN THE CHRISTIAN THOUGHT OF THE PAST
CHAPTER III: THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCTRINE OF RECONCILIATION
CHAPTER IV: THE NEED OF RECONCILIATION
CHAPTER V: RECONCILIATION AS ACHIEVED BY CHRIST
CHAPTER VI: RECONCILIATION AS REALISED IN HUMAN LIFE