Forsyth: ‘Christ – King or Genius?’

forsyth-5Just been reading Forsyth’s essay, ‘Christ – King or Genius?’ published in the July 1916 edition of Methodist Review (pp. 433-47). It’s classic Forsyth-style, and picks up a great many of the themes that dominate his christology: Jesus’ self-identify, his difference from us, the soteriological priority given to his obedience, Christ as other than the apotheosis of Nature and the hierophant of humanity, his redeeming achievement as God’s Missionary, etc. Here’s a few Forsyth gems:

‘Hero worship is a precious protest against naturalism and for man; but it ends in Nietzsche and the superman unless it be itself superseded by the Godman’. (p. 438)

‘… the worship of God in Christ does not rest on a scorn of the gifted, but on a leveling grace which uplifts all. Truly it knows how mean man can be amid his very wisdom and greatness, how dark God may remain to us in the midst of culture’s kindliest light, and how weak he may be as a control amidst the men of genius, might, and liberty. But from such a brilliant and ignoble race Christ does not retire to the heights; he goes down to its depths – meaning not that he marches into its slums, but that he contracts himself into his impotence. He does not simply frequent man’s company; he is united with his soul and self-withdrawn into his sickness’. (p. 441)

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