knowledge are not phenomenal, the fact that God is not phenomenal cannot prevent us from knowing him.

What substance is, we need not here determine. Whether we are realists or idealists, we are compelled to grant that there cannot be phenomena without noumena, cannot be appearances without something that appears, cannot be qualities without something that is qualified. This something which underlies or stands under appearance or quality we call substance. We are Lotzeans rather than Kantians, in our philosophy. To say that we know, not the self, but only its manifestations in thought, is to confound self with its thinking and to teach psychology without a soul. To say that we know no external world, but only its manifestations in sensations, is to ignore the principle that binds these sensations together?, for without a somewhat in which qualities inhere they can have no ground of unity. In like manner, to say that we know nothing of God but his manifestations is to confound God with the world and practically to deny that there is a God.

Stahlin, in his work on Kant, Lotze and Ritschl, 186-191, 218, 219, says well that ?limitation of knowledge to phenomena involves the elimination from theology of all claim to know the subjects of the Christian faith as they are in themselves..? This criticism justly classes Ritschl with Kant, rather than with Lotze who maintains that knowing phenomena we know also the noumena manifested in them. While Ritschl professes to follow Lotze, the whole drift of his theology is in the direction of the Kantian identification of the world with our sensations, mind with our thoughts, and God with such activities of his as we can perceive. A divine nature apart from its activities, a pre ? existent Christ, an immanent Trinity, is practically denied. Assertions that God is self ? conscious love and fatherhood become judgments of merely subjective value. On Ritschl, see the works of Orr,. of Garvie, and of Swing; also Minton, in Pres. and Ref. Rev., Jan. 1902:162 ? l69, and C. W. Hodge, ibid ., Apl. 1902:321-326; Flint. Agnosticism, 590-597; Everett, Essays Theol. and Llt., 92-99..

We grant that we can know God only so far as his activities reveal him, and so far our minds and hearts are receptive of his revelation. The appropriate faculties must be exercised ? not the mathematical, the logical, or the prudential, but the ethical and the religious. It is the merit of Ritschl that he recognizes the practical in distinction from the speculative reason; his error is in not recognizing that, when we do thus use the proper powers of knowing, we gain not merely subjective but also objective truth, and come in contact not simply with God?s activities but also with God himself. Normal religious judgements, though dependent

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment