Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 10 June 8, 1938
What Is This Mission?
What Is This Mission?
Much of the discussion by students about Christianity Is irrelevant because of fundamental misunderstanding as to the real nature of the Christian Faith. Most of us think that we are quite capable of discussing Intelligently the relevance of Jesus Christ for the modern world, yet how many of us could give in clear, succinct terms those things which form the essence of the Christian Faith and make It what it is?
Now If, us is possible, most of us are really ignorant of the essential nature of Christianity, then at least one important thing follows, viz., that the said Christian Faith may have something to do with us, and we have been blind to that fact, because we have not understood Christianity. If we would be intellectually honest we must investigate that possibility.
The Rev. H. J. Ryburn. M.A., B.D., who is to give the series of addresses in the Mission of the Church to the University this week, is well qualified to present the Christian Faith to the student community. A Rhodes Scholar from Otago University, he studied in Oxford and in New York, and has been practically all his life In touch with the student - world. Last year he gave a series of addresses on, the Christian Faith to Otago University, which even the most intellectual found food for thought. His addresses at Victoria will be on:—
"The Church and the Would."
An effort to state, in honest terms, the relation between the Church and the wider community, just what the Church is doing or not doing in the world, and to distinguish between Christianity and the Church as we see it.
"God or Man?"
Who Was Jesus Christ?
God or Man? On the answer to this question rests the whole system of Christian truth. And it can't be solved easily. At least we have to listen carefully to those who knew Him in the flesh, i.e. the writers of the New Testament. And their conclusion was? Were they right? If not, why not?
"Six and Repentance."
We don't like the word "sin." And we don't know the meaning of the word "repentance"? Well, a review of the world situation might lead one to think that something Is radically wrong with human nature. Can human nature be changed? That is the question. There doesn't seem to be much hope for the world if it can't. Social and economic systems for the controlling of perverted human nature must always prove useless. Perhaps the first step towards real change may be the recognition of some fundamental twist in our natures, which could be called "sin." It is something like that, that the Christian is talking about when he mentions "sin."
"Reconciliation with God."
This twist in man's nature Is the result of his separation from God, by Whom and for Whom he was made. Man is in enmity against God, and God has done something about reconciliation at terrible cost to Himself, in Jesus Christ. Is this true? Have you really thought it out?
"God in Action."
Of course all this depends upon whether there is a God. But can you say for certain whether there Is? The philosophers and scientists can go no further than to say "It looks as If . . ."But "God in Action." If we think of God we are inclined to think of Him as passive, as having created, and left it at that. But God In action now—changing men and women. Possible? Well, it's happening.
All this seems so very removed from living, from the real Issues. But let us face these questions:—Is there any way out of the world chaos, except by dealing with and changing human nature? Does that mean changing my nature? Can I change my own nature? Has God done something about that very need in Jesus Christ?
If we as students, are to be what we claim to be realists, let us also be honest about ourselves. Let us also be In deadly earnest and leave no possibility untried, for the solving of the problem we are all concerned with that of living together.
J. A. Linton.