We have seen the attempt on the part of modern philosophy to get rid of all dualism, and to bring all things into unity. Regarding this philosophy as the characteristic and most potent antichristian influence of our time, we are here especially concerned with its bearings upon Christianity; but its influence is seen in all spheres of human thought, in Biblical criticism, in Science, in Literature, in Sociology, and in Art. We are now to consider only the two chief modifications of Christianity springing from this attempt to unify God and man; and which are becoming familiar to the Christian ear under the general name of the " New Christianity," though sometimes called the "New Religion," the " New Theology," the " New Reformation," the "New Orthodoxy," and other like terms.
What is this New Christianity? and who are the Neo-Christians? As yet no very clear and positive answers have been given. There is a vagueness of statement, or, perhaps, in some cases, an intentional reserve, which makes it difficult to distinguish between the new and the old. It is said by one of them: "The time has not come for writing the New Theology." But all its advocates affirm that Christianity is in a transition state. Theological knowledge, like all other knowledge, must be progressive. Thus, we are told by a recent writer, (Allen, " Continuity of Christian Thought"), that "the traditional conception of God which has come down to us through the middle ages, through the Latin Church, is undergoing a profound transformation. . . A change so fundamental involves other changes of momentous importance in every department of human thought, and, more especially, in Christian theology. There is no theological doctrine which does not undergo a change in consequence of the change in our thoughts about God." It is said by another: "We need a new theology constructed on a new foundation."
If there is such a change going on, and one so momentous, in Christian Theology, we are bound to give it the most careful consideration. We are not dealing, we are repeatedly assured, with merely verbal distinctions, old wine in new bottles; if this be all, it is not a matter of vital importance. The body is more than raiment. But it is much more than this. As was recently said by one of its representatives: "We cannot keep the new wine in old bottles: this can end only in destroying the bottles, and spilling the wine."
But when we seek to know more accurately the fundamental principles and distinctive features of the New Christianity, we find that, in fact, there are two doctrinal systems, differing widely in their conceptions of God, and in their Christologies, yet reaching substantially the same result — that Divinity and humanity are one. Let us examine tbem successively, and learn what is distinctive in each. We begin with that school which makes distinctive the doctrine of the Divine immanence in man.
I. The Divine immanence in man.
We are told by this school of Neo-Christians that "the idea of God as transcendent, is yielding to the idea of Deity as immanent in His creatures." It is said ( " Progressive Orthodoxy " ): "We add a single remark upon the general philosophical conception of God in His relation to the Universe, which underlies these Essays. It is a modification of the prevailing Latin conception of the Divine transcendence by a fuller and clearer perception of the Divine immanence. Such a doctrine of God, we believe, is more and more commending itself to the best philosophy of our time, and the fact of the Incarnation commends it to the acceptance of the Christian theologians." This Divine immanence is the fundamental fact on which this school of Neo-Christians builds its theology.
As transcendence and immanence are philosophical terms, we must note their meaning in philosophy.
It was the doctrine of the pantheist, Spinoza, that all that exists, exists in God. He is immanent in the universe, and cannot in any act pass out of Himself, or transcend Himself.* God and the universe are one. "All the energy displayed in it is His, and therein consists His immanence." "A being acting out of himself, is a finite being." Creation, being a transcendent act, is impossible.
If we may not charge this school of Neo-Christians with pantheism, we must ask in what other sense we can understand the Divine immanence in nature and man? Is there an immanence, distinct from that indwelling of God in man through the Holy Ghost of which the Bible speaks, which is not pantheistic, but preserves the essential distinction of the Divine and human natures, and of the personalities of God and man?
* Deus at omnium re rum tavm immanent, non vtro transient.
It is here that we meet great vagueness of expression. It has been defined by one as "such immanence that the human mind is one in principle with the Divine mind"; and by another, as "absolute oneness with God "; by another, " that man and God and the universe are fused into one"; by another, that "humanity is consubstantial with God." Are we here taught that God and man are of the same essence or substance? Or, are we to take a distinction between unity and identity? Can we say that we are one with God in kind, and yet not identical with Him?
It may be answered by some that this unity means no more than that communion of man with God of which the Lord and the Apostles speak, such unity that "we dwell in God and God in us"; and that "in Him we live, and move, and have our being." But that this, and like expressions, are not to be taken in a pantheistic sense, is shown by the whole tenor of the Bible. Man made in the image of God, and so capable of communion with Him, is still distinct from Him; not God, but a creature of God. If this unity with God be all, the New Christianity gives us nothing new. Its immanence is only the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in man, and preserves his personality and responsibility.
We have, then, still to ask, what other meaning we are to give to the term immanence that is not pantheistic? Perhaps we may learn this by asking the meaning of other terms, in frequent use, as expressing the relation of men to God, "Divine Sonship," and "Divine Humanity." The word Divine is confessedly ambiguous; it may mean simply likeness, or it may mean identity of essence. That man was made in the image of God, affirms likeness; and on the ground of this likeness, he may be called Divine. So man, as made by God, is His son, and this sonship may be called Divine; and the same term be used of our humanity. But neither term of itself affirms identity of essence. Man may be Godlike and not God; if a creature of God, he cannot be God.
Thus we are still left uncertain in what sense our humanity and our sonship are Divine. But we may obtain light by asking what place these Neo-Christians give the Lord Jesus— the Incarnate Son? What was His Sonship? in what sense was it Divine? We are told by an eminent writer of this school — Pfleiderer — that He does not differ from others "because of an unique metaphysical relation between Him and God." The peculiar and exclusive place given Him in the Creeds, as the one pre-existent and only-begotten Son, does not belong to Him. The relation of sonship is a general one; "all men having the same Divine origin and destination." As immanent in all, all are God's sons, and He is Son of God in the same sense in which all men are. The relation is an ethical one, and, therefore, universal. The Incarnation is, as said by one, "a race fact." His distinction is not one of nature, but simply that He was the first to recognize the common filial relation, and to fulfil the duties it imposes. He thus became the religious Ideal, the perfect Son, whose example others are to follow. Knowing as a Son His union with the Father, He could say: "I and my Father are one." All men, as they stand in the same filial relation, may have the same consciousness of sonship, and affirm the same unity; and this consciousness of our Divine sonship is " the essence of Christianity."
Thus in regard to the Person of the Lord and His Divine Sonship, we reach the result that He differed from other men only so far as He was more conscious of God immanent in Him, and so could reveal Him in word and work; and that all men are in the same sense Divine, for God is immanent in all. If we speak of Deity as especially incarnated in Jesus, it is only as a larger pitcher may hold more water than a smaller, or as one star may be brighter than another.
The question returns: How is this universal immanence of God in humanity to be distinguished from Pantheism? Many attempts have been made to draw a clear line of distinction between them by those who affirm the essential unity of the Divine and human. One of the latest of these attempts, known as " Ethical Theism," is by Professor Upton ( " Bases of Religious Belief " ), who speaks of all rational beings as " so many differentiations of God," or as "those created by Him out of His own substance"; and yet he would preserve man's free will and substantial individuality. But if of "one substance with God," "differentiations of Him," how is it possible to maintain distinct individual existence ? *
*This Professor Upton does by affirming that "the universe, with its centres of energy and personal selves, is caHed into existence by a partial self-surrendering of His own essential being; and God thus creates a cosmos, in one aspect distinct from Himself, in which only rational souls are possessed of freedom of will. . . God is living and immanent in all; and thus a universal Self, which we can distinguish from the finite self. This is the incarnation of the eternal, present in every finite thing." This is a wide application of the doctrine of the Kenosis, or God's self-limitation. All finite things are of one substance with God, but partially sundered from Him by His own act. Man. though a part of God, is free because "God withdraws Himself from identity with his will," and thus gives him some degree of independent reality.
This attempt to make man of the substance of God and yet preserve his personality and freedom, and thus to avoid pantheism, can scarcely be called successful. It is not easy to see how "Ethical Theism," by dividing Deity into perfect and imperfect, unlimited and limited, can escape being called pantheistic.
* Professor J. Seth speaks in the same way: "Professor Caird maintains explicitly the entire immanence of God in man as well as in nature. The immanence of God precludes His transcendence; His unity with man makes impossible that separatcness of being which we are accustomed to call personality."
We must call any system Pantheistic which denies man's free will, and makes the individual self to be swallowed up in the universal Self. It is on this ground, as we have seen, that Professor Upton declares the philosophy of the Absolute Idealists or Neo-Hegelians to be "unmitigated Pantheism." *
It is only when the fact of the creation of nature and of man by an act of the Divine will is clearly held, that Theism can be clearly distinguished from Pantheism. Nothing that God by an act of His will brings into being, can be a part of Himself. The Creator cannot be the created. Any philosophy which makes the universe to be of the Divine Substance, or an eternal or necessary manifestation of God, and any theology based upon it, must be pantheistic. If, as said by Hegel, and repeated by many since, "God without the world would not be God," the world is an integral part of Him, without which He would be imperfect; and, therefore, if we affirm Him to be perfect, it must be co-existent and eternal.
But it is our purpose here only to state beliefs and show their bearings, not to disprove them. We are concerned only to note how the attempts to get rid of all dualism between God, nature, and man, all tend to pantheistic identity. If the orthodox doctrine of the Incarnation be set aside, and that of a universal incarnation under the name of Immanence be substituted for it, the Neo-Christians are right in saying that " our conceptions of God, and of His relations to men, are undergoing a profound transformation." Especially this transformation is seen as regards the Person of the Son. It is said by Dorner: "The characteristic feature of all recent Christologics is the endeavour to point out the essential unity of the Divine and the human." The dualism of the two natures in Christ must be got rid of. We are told by one of this school that "the peculiar power and truth of Christ's humanity will not be reached till this anomalous division and composition of His Person be abolished."
Thus, if we accept the teachings of this new theology, the old distinction of the Divine and the human must be given up. As said by one: "We are passing over from the conception of God as another Self existing over against the human self, to the more spiritual view of God as the Self-immanent, not only in nature, but also in the worshipper's own soul"; and it is this view " which, in the present day, most commends itself to cultivated minds." It is said by another: "This idea of the Immanence of God underlies the Christian conception . . and is an idea involved in all modern philosophy and theology. It may well be called a new Christianity. At any rate it is the only religion that will fully realize the idea of religion, and so meet the wants of the new time."
The relation of this form of the New Christianity to the current pantheistic philosophy is obvious. We have seen that modern philosophical thought has spent its strength on the problem how all things may be brought into unity, and that Hegelianism professes to give it its final solution. Philosophy and theology are at one: the first affirms that God came to selfconsciousness in man; the second bases on this a universal Incarnation. It is said by Professor Seth: "Hegelianism has attempted to find a unity in which God and man shall be comprehended in a more intimate union, or living interpenetration, than any philosophy had succeeded in reaching." This unity it finds by making God and man essentially one. Thus Dorner says of Hegel's Christology: "The unity of God and man is not an isolated fact once accomplished in Jesus; it is eternally and essentially characteristic of God to be, and to become, man. His true existence, or actuality, is in humanity; and man is essentially one with God." As the Divine impersonal Principle or Idea first fully realizes itself in man, man is the real God, the culmination of the Divine development.
It need not be said that between this philosophic Pantheism carried to its last results, and the Christianity of the Creeds, there is a chasm, broad, and deep, and impassable. But as always between the old and the new there are some who attempt to mediate, so is it now. Between those who hold fast to the old historic Christianity and its Creeds, and those who teach the new religion of absolute Pantheism, appears a mediating party, the Neo-Christian. To the pantheistic spirit it will make large concessions. It will not affirm boldly that man is God, but in effect effaces any real distinction between them by its doctrine of a Divine immanence, making humanity Divine; and on thia basis will reconstruct Christian theology.
Let us now briefly sum up the bearings of this new form of Christianity on the relation of men to God, and on the work of Christ as man's Saviour.
1. If God and man are not separated by any real distinction of natures, it is idle to speak of our humanity as fallen and corrupt. The Divinity in us may be obscured, but is indestructible.
Our sin and misery lie only in the unconsciousness of our Divine Sonship, and our redemption is in our awakening to a consciousness of it. It is a process within every man's own spirit, and is effected when he realizes his Sonship. There is no need of any sacrifice for sin, or of any mediator outside of our humanity. "As directly united with God, man possesses his full salvation within himself." Jesus did not redeem us from the law of sin and death by His sacrificial death; but from Him, as from all prophets and religious heroes, goes forth "a redeeming force," only in a far higher degree, because " He, among all the ethical and religious geniuses and heroes of history, occupies the central place. . . As He possessed the new and most exalted ideal of man, so He presented it in His life with impressive and educating power." His work in our salvation was not to bear our sins in His body on the tree, and by resurrection to become the source of a new life; but to furnish an ideal for men, and to educate them by His earthly example. As said by the writer last quoted: "The true redeeming and saving faith of the Christian consists in his adopting this ideal as the conviction of his heart, and the principle of his whole life."
2. As the work of Jesus was completed by giving in His earthly life a moral and religious ideal, His relations to us since His death have no real importance. His life on earth was a historical demonstration that God and man are essentially one, and having taught men their Divine Sonship, His work was done. As to His bodily resurrection, some of the Neo-Christians are silent, but some affirm its belief to have been a hallucination of the early disciples. As an historical fact, it is not important. He is not now fulfilling any priestly functions in Heaven, or any work of mediation between God and man. He is not the second Adam, giving Bis resurrection life to man. The Church does not exist as His body, it has no living Head. It is the community of all the sons of God, in which He has no supreme place. It is the ethical principle of the Divine Sonship perfectly illustrated in Him, which makes church-unity; and as this Sonship embraces all men, so the Church embraces all. It is as large as humanity. We enter it by natural birth, we enter into its full communion when the consciousness of our sonship is fully awakened within us; and this not by the Spirit of Christ sent by Him, and working in any supernatural way, but by the redeeming force of His ideal. As there is no living Head of the Church whose life and grace are conveyed through sacraments and ordinances, these have only such value as a man's own spirit/nay give them.
3. If Christ is not now carrying on any redemptive work in Heaven, will He have any work in the future? Clearly, He Himself believed this, for He continually spoke of His return, and of His work as King and Judge; and this is affirmed in all the Creeds. But we are told that, while He was from one point of view far above His time and surroundings, from another He was the child of His time, and of His people; and, therefore, wc must not be surprised at His belief that He would return to set up His kingdom, and be the King and Judge. In this He shared the mistaken Messianic expectations of the Jews. The Church is now outgrowing this illusion, and sees in the Messianic King descending from heaven to establish His kingdom, only "a carnal conception of that spiritual-ethical kingdom" which will be realized only when all come to a consciousness of their Divine Sonship.
II. A Divine humanity in God.
Before considering this we may be reminded of the orthodox faith, that man was created by God in His own image, but is absolutely distinct in his essence from his Creator. It was this created nature which the Son took when He came into the world and became man; He came under the law of death, but rose from the dead, and in the risen and glorified form of this nature He now abides. As opposed to this faith, this school of Neo-Christians affirms that the Incarnation, as realized in Him, was not a union of two natures, but "the development or determination of the Divine in the form of the human." This has been otherwise expressed as "an eternal determination of the essence of God, by virtue of which God in so far only becomes man as He is man from eternity." Again: "The Incarnation is a revelation of the essential humanity of God, and of the potential Divinity of man."
Thus there is in the Godhead a human element, and, as the Godhead is incapable of change, it must be an eternal element; and, unless we affirm a dualism in the Godhead, this human element is itself "a determination of the Divine in the form of the human." Thus we get an eternal Divine-human element, "an uncreated humanity."
In what relation does this Divine-human element stand to Christ, the Incarnate Son? It was the teaching of F. D. Maurice * (see Haweis, Contemporary Rev., June, 1894): "That Jesus Christ was the coming forth of something that had always existed in God; it was the coming forth of the human side of God, God manifest in the flesh." In general, those of this school agree that before the Incarnation, or before any act of creation, the Divine-human element had in the Son its eternal embodiment. On this ground He is called by one, " the Archetypal man," and His humanity, "the Archetypal humanity "; by another, " the Eternal Prototype of humanity," " the Eternal Pattern of our race." It is because He was the archetypal man that humanity is what it is. "His humanity is more real and true than ours because it is the original from which ours is derived." "The Pattern of man," it is said by Bishop Brooks, " existed in the nature of Him who was to make him." "Before the clay was fashioned, this humanity existed in the Divinity; already was there union of the Divine and the human, and thus already there was the eternal Christ." The word " Christ includes to our thought such a Divinity as involves the human element. . . Of the two words, God and man, one describes pure Deity, the other pure humanity.
*Of Maurice's theology Dr. Martin eau said: "It was an effort to oppose the pantheistic tendency, and is itself reached and touched by that tendency." "It owes its power not less to its indulgence than to its correction of the pantheistic tendency of the age."
Christ is not a word identical with either, but including both." This special Christ-nature, the Divine-human, lias existed forever; and it was because this Christnature existed in the Godhead that an incarnation was possible. Being already man, He could manifest Himself as man; as a Son of man, He could become the Son of Mary.
We thus reach a new conception of the Person of Christ, and a new doctrine of the Incarnation. As regards His Person, we are told that the term Christ includes, to our thought, such a Divinity as involves the human element. Is this eternal Divine-human clement in the Son alone, or is it an integral part of the Godhead? The first is impossible, for then the Father and Spirit would be pure Deity, the Son Deity plus humanity. We must then believe that an eternal Divine-human element has forever existed, which, though common to all the Divine Persons, finds its embodiment in the Son. It was to reveal this humanity, and thus to teach men that it has always existed and is Divine, that the Son came into the world.
Being thus "the pre-incarnate Man," the Incarnation could not be the assumption of a new, created humanity, but merely the revelation of that which the Son already possessed. And this revelation was made by the taking of a mortal body, thus bringing His Divine humanity under certain limitations. Thus we meet the humanity of the Lord under two different conditions; as it eternally pre-existed in Him, and as it was in Him when He was on earth. What was the nature of this change from the higher condition to the lower, and how effected? We are told by one, that "possessing already an essential affinity, he enters into a flesh and blood affinity"; or " changes His condition of being by the assumption of a mere human body." flow vague and superficial this is, need not be said. But it rests upon the assumption everywhere made by this school, that there was no such fall of man, no such corruption of nature, as the Church has held. The Divine humanity cannot be separated from God, and cannot become really evil; and therefore the work of the Son on earth was not to offer Himself a sacrifice for the sins of men, but "to present us with a perfected specimen, the type, the promise, the potency, of the entire race of tempted, suffering humanity." The sacrificial aspects of the Atonement vanish; no element of humiliation enters into the Incarnation. "It was the actual manifestation of God in the human, so that Jesus of Nazareth became the revelation of God in His absolute glory." A future and more glorious revelation of Him is not promised or to be expected. The world is already redeemed, He has made all things new, we are living in the new heaven and earth.
Thus the end of. the Incarnation was not, by the Lord's assumption of our nature and by His death," to condemn sin in the flesh," and to bring in through resurrection a new and immortal form of humanity, as has been always taught by the Church; but to show men that the eternal Divine-humanity possessed by the Son is theirs as their birthright, and that to regain it is the perfect life. As said by Bishop Brooks, the work of Christ was "to build a bridge on which man might walk, fearfully but safely, back into the Divinity where he belonged." As said by
another: "He descended into the race to renew or recreate it after the original Divine image." He established no new Divine relation between God and man, He simply restored the old. He had, as the risen and glorified Man, no new and higher life to impart.
When the Lord left the earth, having finished His work, He regained His place as "the archetypal man," "His pre-incarnate state of fullness and immortality." His mission was ended when He had shown in his own Person the eternal Divinity of human nature, and set before men the heavenly ideal; it was now for them to realize it.
Let us now note some of the bearings of this doctrine of the Divine humanity.
1. The distinction between the Church and the world is effaced. As "the eternal Prototype," He, not Adam, is the Head of humanity. Our humanity is derived from Him, and is the same in all men; therefore, all stand in the relation of sons to God. We are told that when " He came unto His own," He came not to the Jews, or to any elect portion of men, but unto all men; when He uses the figure of the vine and the branches, He speaks of Himself and of the whole human race. In like manner, when St. Paul speaks of the Church as His body, he does not mean a part, more or less, of men, but the totality of men regarded as an organic whole. As said by one: "The Church belongs to all, and all to the Church." "The whole family in heaven and earth is the Church." "The appearance of the Son of God is the sanctification of the human race." We wrongly narrow the meaning of the term Church when we speak of it as composed of the baptized. "Every man by virtue of his birth is called. Humanity is the ecclesia, called out and away from the old animal life from which it sprang." All are, in virtue of the Divine humanity, the sons of God; and we are told that " the belief of the Church that God has only one Son, and that all others, as fallen and sinful, must become His sons by regeneration and adoption, is no longer preachable or credible among thinking men." As all are children of God and partakers of the Divine nature, " every man must belong to the Church, and the Church to him, whether he knows it or not." It was said by Maurice: "The truth is, every man is in Christ," and if so, a sharer in His perfect humanity. than forward. They restore the old, but give nothing new. "Baptism merely tells me that 1 am God's child." It is the acknowledgment on our part that we are already by natural birth, sons of God. (See P. W. Robertson's Sermons on Baptism.) In like manner, all sacraments are but recognitions of preexisting relations. His incarnation reveals to us the fact of our sonship, and the acknowledgment of this fact is regeneration.
2. The distinction between the Church and the world being thus, as to its essence, effaced, we may Qo longer say that the Church is set to save men by gathering them out of the world, but is set " to save the world." This salvation it effects by showing men the Divinity of their nature, and by teaching them that, therefore, all human interests are heavenly and Divine; and that what is needed is their development. Christ, being immanent in the world, His life pervades humanity. Through Him all things are now holy. The kingdom of God, which began at His advent, enlarges with the development of the Divine humanity in all its manifold forms and earthly interests; or, in other words, with the progress of a Christian civilization. How directly this tends to help on, or rather to serve as a foundation for, the present sociological movement, is obvious; and also the place it gives to the Church as the leader in them. If the Church is to save the world by developing and perfecting it, then it must address itself with all its powers to the work of Christian socialism, for, as said by Maurice: "This is the assertion of God's order."
3. It ministers to the pride of man by thus making him the partaker of a Divine humanity by natural birth. As the Divine-human, our nature cannot become really corrupt, or be eternally separated from God. Sin is but the passing obscuration of the sun, the dirt upon the image of the coin: the cloud melts away, and the sun shines bright again; the dirt is washed off, the image reappears distinct. When made fully conscious of our Divine origin, we rise to a true sense of our dignity and power as men. As said by one: "The most glorious and perfect goodness is, in the deepest sense of the word, natural to man." "Christ came to help me to realize myself to be a man." "Whatever man does in his true human nature, is Divinely done." Since the Son came, "no man has a right to say, My race is a sinful, fallen race, . . because he is bound to contemplate his race in the Son of God."
4. While it claims greatly to exalt Christ, in fact it puts Him out of sight as the living, ruling Lord, and Head of the Church. If it does not deny His present Priesthood, it makes little or nothing of it; and ignores, if it does not deny, His return to earth to complete His redemptive work, and to lift up His saints into the glory of the resurrection life. All that is to be expected is the gradual awakening of men to a consciousness of their natural participation in His humanity, and thus lead to a melioration of present evils; and somewhere in the indefinite future, to a universal Church.
As the eternal Christ came to restore humanity to its original goodness, and not to give to it a new higher life through resurrection; all sacraments and ordinances appointed by Him look backward rather
5. The doctrine of a Divine humanity in the Godhead, cannot be distinguished in its bearings upon the relation of God to man from Pantheism. If we have two essential and eternal elements in the Godhead, we have Dualism. But God is absolutely one. His personality excludes all mingling of elements. In the Eternal Word made man, the Divine and the human co-exist, but mingle not —" perfect God and perfect man." This is possible only in Him. His humanity, made immortal in the resurrection, and glorified by the Spirit of glory, is purely human, and of this we are made partakers through regeneration. To speak of humanity "as consubstantial with God," and to say that " God and man are essentially one," is pantheistic. When it is said by one (Rev. Dr. Parks' "Theology of Phillips Brooks"): that there is a sense in which the words of the Nicene Creed of the Incarnate Son, that "He is 'God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father,' may be applied to humanity"; how can the Divinity of man be more distinctly affirmed? The writer adds: "If this be not true, I do not believe that the doctrine of the 1 ncarnation can be justified, or at least can have any vital meaning for us."
In this outline of the New Christianity we must keep in mind that, in both its forms, it attempts to hold a mediating position between the orthodox faith as represented in the great Creeds and the strong pantheistic tendencies of our time; and therefore may be presented under varying aspects as one element or the other may predominate in the mind of the writer. Doubtless, there are many who are quite unaware how far their theology is pervaded by the pantheistic leaven; but any one who reads our more recent theological literature with open eyes, will not fail to see that a doctrine of a Divine humanity, — a humanity eternally existing in God, or of a general Incarnation under the name of immanence, is rapidly supplanting the doctrine of a humanity created by God in His image, but now fallen and sinful and alienated from God, and to be redeemed only by the atoning sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, the Word made flesh. It is plain that the doctrine of the immanence of God in man, and that of a human element in God, each lays a broad basis for the deification of man, and so serves as a preparation for the Antichrist.