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2.02.2020

As soon as the Church moved out into the Greek world, a process of assimilation began which left little of the real Jesus in sight. The......

As soon as the Church moved out into the Greek world, a process of assimilation began which left little of the real Jesus in sight. The......
historical research of the last forty years has written a new chapter about the sufferings of Jesus. Imagine him coming into a Gnostic
conventicle in a. d. 150, or into the Church of Cyprian in a. d. 250, or into high mass at the Church of the Lateran in a. d. 1250, and trying to discover what it was all about. And yet he survived. He has come through to this day with his thought and his personality still vital, sui generis, and far ahead of our day. Whenever his spirit has been embodied again in a striking degree in some individual, people have gathered around that man, hungry for salvation. Any man in whom the Jesus-strain reappears clearly is felt to be a kind of superman. If Tolstoi, for instance, had never begun to follow Christ INITIATOR OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD 165 in his life, he would be simply one of a group of brilliant Russian novelists. Since he received something of the mind of Jesus into his mind, he became one of the prophetic figures of our age and no one can tell how much he contributed, through others, to enable Russia, newly free, to make the one sincere and penetrating utterance made on behalf of democracy and peace in the Spring and Summer of 191 7. In the same way those religious movements in which the distinctive ideas and spirit of Jesus have broken forth again, have been the fruitful and prophetic movements in religion. Their power of attack can best be measured by the ferocity with which the Kingdom of Evil has trampled on them. The Kingdom of God is not a concept nor an ideal merely, but an historical force. It is a vital and organizing energy now at work in humanity. Its capacity to save the social order depends on its pervasive presence within the social organism. Every institutional foothold gained gives a purchase for attacking the next vantage-point. Where a really Christian type of religious life is created, the intellect and its education are set free, and this in turn aids religion to emancipate itself from superstition and dogmatism. Where religion and intellect combine, the foundation is laid for political democracy. Where the people have the outfit and the spirit of democracy, they can curb economic exploitation. Where predatory gain a

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