THE ERRORS OF THE MODERNISTS
THE RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY OF THE MODERNISTS
II. VITAL IMMANENCE
III. ORIGIN OF RELIGION IN GENERAL
IV. NOTION OF REVELATION
V. TRANSFIGURATION AND DISFIGURATION OF PHENOMENA THROUGH FAITH
Q. What more is necessary in order to give a complete idea of the origin of faith and revelation, as these are understood by the Modernists?
A. ‘In all this process, from which, according to the Modernists, faith and revelation spring, one point is to be particularly noted, for it is of capital importance, on account of the historico-critical corollaries which they deduce from it.’
Q. How does the Unknowable of the Modernist philosophy, as this has been above explained, present itself to faith?
A. ‘The Unknowable they speak of does not present itself to faith as something solitary and isolated; but, on the contrary, in close conjunction with some phenomenon, which, though it belongs to the realms of science or history, yet to some extent exceeds their limits.’
Q. What phenomenon do you mean?
A. ‘Such a phenomenon may be a fact of nature containing within itself something mysterious; or it may be a man, whose character, actions and words
cannot, apparently, be reconciled with the ordinary laws of history.’
Q. From the fact of this connexion between the Unknowable and some phenomenon, what happens to faith?
A. ‘Faith, attracted by the Unknowable which is united with the phenomenon, seizes upon the whole phenomenon, and, as it were, permeates it with its own
Q. What follows from this extension of faith to the phenomenon and this penetrating it with life?
A. ‘From this two things follow.’
Q. What is the first consequence?
A. The first is a sort of transfiguration of the phenomenon, by its elevation above its own true conditions an elevation by which it becomes more adapted to clothe itself with the form of the divine character which faith will bestow upon it.’
Q. What is the second consequence?
A. ‘The second consequence is a certain disfiguration so it may be called of the same phenomenon, arising from the fact that faith attributes to it, when stripped of the circumstances of place and time, characteristics which it does not really possess.’
Q. In the case of what phenomena, particularly, according to the Modernists, does this double operation of transfiguration and disfiguration take place?
A. ‘This takes place especially in the case of the phenomena of the past, and the more fully in the measure of their antiquity.’
Q. And, what laws do the Modernists deduce from this double operation?
A. ‘From these two principles the Modernists deduce two laws, which, when united with a third which they have already derived from Agnosticism, constitute the foundation of historical criticism.’
Q. Can you explain to us these three laws by an example?
A. ‘An example may be sought in the Person of Christ. In the Person of Christ, they say, science and history encounter nothing that is not human. There fore, in virtue of the first canon deduced from Agnosticism, whatever there is in His history suggestive of the divine must be rejected. Then, according to the second canon, the historical Person of Christ was transfigured by faith; therefore everything that raises it above historical conditions must be removed. Lastly, the third canon, which lays down that the Person of Christ has been disfigured by faith, requires that everything should be excluded, deeds and words and all else, that is not in strict keeping with His character, condition, and education, and with the place and time in which He lived.’
Q. What kind of reasoning is that?
A. ‘A method of reasoning which is passing strange, but in it we have the Modernist criticism.’