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The Person Of Christ by Philip Schaff


In his latest book, -- The Christ of Faith and the Jesus of History, Berlin, 1865, -- which may be regarded as an Appendix to his second Life of Jesus, Strauss repeats, without proof, the same objection to the universal faith of the Christian Church: viz., that Jesus can not have been both a true man and a perfect superhuman being; in other words, that personality necessarily implies limitation and defect. This work presents no new features, but ably exposes the. fallacies of compromises between truth and error, and so far unwillingly serves the cause of truth. It is a clear and acute analysis of the posthumous Lectures of Schleiermacher on the Life of Jesus, with a sarcastic appendix against Schenkel's Charakter-Bild Jesu. Schleiermacher was a supernaturalist in Christology and a rationalist in exegesis, combining personal faith in Christ as his Saviour with the boldest criticism of the gospel history. Strauss vainly imagines that the failure of this last attempt to reconcile the old faith with modern philosophy and criticism must be disastrous to Christianity; as if this depended on Schleiermacher or any other man, or number of men! The whole issue raised by Strauss in the title of his book is false. The Christ of faith is the Jesus of history, and has stood the test of centuries; but the Jesus of rationalism and pantheism is a modern fiction, which will soon take its place among the exploded errors and follies of the human mind.
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