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Reason and Authority: The Thought of William Chillingworth

Reason and Authority: The Thought of William Chillingworth 64 BOOK REVIEWS the concept of a creative and loving Supreme Being. He asserts that this -concept has an instance" (p. 460). God's existence, he further affirms, is verifiable here and now by religious experience; so that theistic state­ ments are empirically (though non-sensibly) testable. Everyone has a capacity for experiencing God; but in most people it is unactualized. In order to actualize it the agnostic must meditate on, and imaginatively enter into, the attitude of assenting to the theistic claims made in religious literature (especially the Bible). But Price insists that the imaginative entertainment of these claims is not itself belief. "Taking a proposition as a hypothesis is not believing" (p. 484). To "believe that" God exists is to be certain of his existence; and one cannot obtain this certainty until one has experienced him. Moreover, unless we thus "believe that" he exists we have no ground for "believing in" (that is, trusting) him (p. 4 ). I am almost wholly convinced by Price's treatment of his complex theme. Even those who differ substantially from him are bound to admit that his book will remain the standard work on the subject for many years; for he has admirably http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theology SAGE

Reason and Authority: The Thought of William Chillingworth

Theology , Volume 72 (590): 2 – Aug 1, 1969

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0040-571X
eISSN
2044-2696
DOI
10.1177/0040571X6907200811
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

64 BOOK REVIEWS the concept of a creative and loving Supreme Being. He asserts that this -concept has an instance" (p. 460). God's existence, he further affirms, is verifiable here and now by religious experience; so that theistic state­ ments are empirically (though non-sensibly) testable. Everyone has a capacity for experiencing God; but in most people it is unactualized. In order to actualize it the agnostic must meditate on, and imaginatively enter into, the attitude of assenting to the theistic claims made in religious literature (especially the Bible). But Price insists that the imaginative entertainment of these claims is not itself belief. "Taking a proposition as a hypothesis is not believing" (p. 484). To "believe that" God exists is to be certain of his existence; and one cannot obtain this certainty until one has experienced him. Moreover, unless we thus "believe that" he exists we have no ground for "believing in" (that is, trusting) him (p. 4 ). I am almost wholly convinced by Price's treatment of his complex theme. Even those who differ substantially from him are bound to admit that his book will remain the standard work on the subject for many years; for he has admirably

Journal

TheologySAGE

Published: Aug 1, 1969

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