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The Principle of Authority
in Relation to Certainty, Sanctity and Society

Mr. Piffy Comes Home'

'... but the problem of authority is still with us. For what is the Gospel, and what is the source of our certitude as to it? Here we come into sight of positions from which, at least from the year 1905, Forsyth never varied and which belong to the very essence of his theology. On the one hand he had to reckon with the Catholic insistence on the authority of the Church, on the other on the Protestant assertion of the infallibility of the Bible. He rejected both these solutions of the problem. The critical movement had destroyed the doctrine of verbal inerrancy; while greatly as he exalted the idea of the Church, the Church was not for him the extension of the Incarnation, it could not be identified with any one existing society, and the letter of the Creeds was no more final than the letter of Scripture. But he did not, in breaking with what had come to be regarded as Protestant orthodoxy at this point, and in refusing the Catholic alternative, go over to the Liberals with their reduction of the whole authoritarian idea, and constant vagueness as to what the really fundamental thing in Christianity is. Forsyth went behind both Bible and Church to that which was the soul and the creator of them both, to the Gospel of God’s redeeming grace in Christ.’
(J. K. Mozley, The Heart of the Gospel, SPCK London, 1925, pp. 77—8)

Peter Taylor Forsyth (1848—1921) studied at the universities of Aberdeen, Gottingen and New College, London. Principal of Hackney Theological College, Hampstead, a member of the theological faculty of London University, and one-time chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, Forsyth has written over thirty books and many more articles and pamphlets. A wealth of biographical material and theological appreciation is available from such writers as Markus Barth, Philip Hughes, Samuel Mikolaski, and Forsyth’s daughter, Jessie Forsyth Andrews.

The Principle of Authority

P.T. Forsyth

by P.T. Forsyth, M.A. D.D

Subject: authority

Book Code: 397

Pages: 430 pp, Book

Price (A$): $14.00

Purchase from NCTM

Pub. Date: 2004

ISBN: 0 86408 268 1

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