Dr. Newbigin Disputes Viewpoint Of Toynbee, Hocking, Hinduism
In his second William Belden Noble Lecture, Reverend Newbigin disputed three solutions to the problem of finding a modern world faith.
The first solution considered was that of the modern Hindu mystics, represented by the Indian philosopher Radhakrishnan, who seeks to reduce all religious concepts to a common denominator of mystical truth. But in retracting his mind from all contact wtih his senses, the Hindu fails to extract the essence of all religion, and instead attempts to find the way to essential truth through his mystical vision. Newbigin declared that men are too much caught in the concentration of life to avoid its problems by inward contemplation.
His second argument was with Toynbee, who classifies religions into higher and lower categories. Toynbee stands above faith and accuses Christianity and Christians of pride because they will not admit that their religion's major ideas, even the concept of divine self-sacrifice, are to be found in other world religions. Newbigin asked what Toynbee's criterion of judgment could be; how by setting himself above all religions he can have standards by which to criticize them.
Newbigin's third opponent was the philosopher Hocking, who seeks to reduce the living Christian faith to a set of academic ideas. In his concept of the confluence of all religions into one main stream, Hocking submerges the factual basis of Christian belief. "Christianity isn't views, it's news," stated Newbigin.
In Monday's issue Rev. Newbigin was mistakenly reported to have called for a return to a cyclical historical concept. It was the opposite idea, that of purposive change, which he declared based in the Christian faith and grounded in Western culture. The CRIMSON regrets the error.