This immediately helps them to realize that what is being discussed is a question about objective fact--not gas about ideals and points of view.Secondly, this scrupulous care to preserve the Christian message as something distinct from one’s own ideas, has one very good effect upon the apologist himself.I want to say emphatically that the second question is far the more important of the two.Our upbringing and the whole atmosphere of the world we live in make it certain that our main temptation will be that of yielding to winds of doctrine, not that of ignoring the.It forces him, again and again, to face up to those elements in original Christianity which he personally finds obscure or repulsive, He is saved from the temptation to skip or slur or ignore what he finds disagreeable.And the man who yields to that temptation will, of course, never progress in Christian knowledge.This is your duty not specifically as Christians or as priests but as honest men.
Even when we have thus ruled out teaching which is in direct contradiction to our profession, we must define our task still further.
For obviously the doctrines which one finds easy are the doctrines which give Christian sanction to truths you already knew.
The new truth which you do not know and which you need must, in the very nature of things, be hidden precisely in the doctrine you least like and least understand. The phenomenon which is troublesome, which doesn’t fit in with the current scientific theories, is the phenomenon which compels reconsideration and thus leads to new knowledge, Science progresses because scientists, instead of running away from such troublesome phenomena or hushing them up, are constantly seeking them out.
We are not at all likely to be hidebound; we are very likely to be the slaves of fashion.
If one has to choose between reading the new books and reading the old, one must chose the old: not because they are necessarily better but because they contain precisely those truths of which our own age is neglectful.