With this issue, our series on the great Christian verities turns to James Orr, noted Scots theologian and apologist who was editor-in-chief of the “International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia.” This and subsequent essays are excerpted from his volume “The Faith of a Modern Christian.”—ED.
One thing which the late Prof. G. J. Romanes tells us specially impressed him in his return from unbelief to faith was that, in contrast with the words of other great teachers, even such as Plato, the words of Jesus do not become obsolete with lapse of time—do not grow old. He did not know of any part of Christ’s teaching which the subsequent growth of human knowledge has had to discount (Thoughts on Religion, p. 157). This is what must be true if Jesus is indeed the supreme and final revelation of the Father.
To set the teaching of Jesus in its right connection with his total revelation, it ought to be remembered, first, that, all-important as the teaching is, it is not the whole of the Revelation, or perhaps even the most fundamental part of it. Behind the word of Jesus stands ever the Person, and the whole impression of God which the Personality makes. To this everything about Christ—character, acts, works of mercy, equally with words—contributes. The miracles of Jesus, for example, are as rich in revelation as the parables. This is but to say that Jesus was more than teacher—more even than prophet. He did not come merely as the bearer of a verbal message from God to men, but was himself the embodied revelation—“the Word made flesh” (John 1:14). He did not simply utter truths, but was himself “the Truth” (John 14:6). His revelation was as unique as ...1
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