The Philosophy of Faith

The Philosophy of Faith : An Enquiry

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Under the titles of Truth, Virtue, Freedom, Optimism, Beauty and Highest Good, Mr. Brewster discusses in pleasing style and from a spiritualistic standpoint some of the vital problems of religion and ethics. His book is a series of sketches on philosophical themes rather than an attempt to develop a philosophical system. He emphasizes the voluntary element in knowledge, and holds that for some opinions at any rate, such as those with which religion is concerned, "there is a practical and momentous alternative for everyone."
While Mr. Brewster's voluntarism and his philosophy of faith would seem more congenial with indeterminism, it is interesting to notice that in his discussion of freedom he defends the deterministic position. The old analogy of the composition of forces is resorted to, and thus "the encumbrance of an incredible and compromising dogma," that of indeterminism, is removed. Some reservations are made at the end of the chapter; in fact, the doctrine that volition is determined by the strongest motive seems to be given up when it is said that "the weaker motive may often in this way, by being taken at the flood, become the stronger one at the critical moment. ... If the wish be present, even though relatively feeble, means may be found to make it prevail." David can still slay the giant with his sling, before the latter closes upon him. If Mr. Brewster is chargeable with inconsistency in his treatment of freedom, he is at least not the only writer on this subject against whom the accusation may be made.
Especially interesting is the chapter on Beauty, in which the author contends that no naturalistic explanation of beauty can be adequate. Beauty is "an effluence we know not whence unless it comes from the soul of the universe." Beauty is "the promise of God impressed upon his works," and for the man of faith "the universe exists mainly for beauty and for love."
-The Princeton Theological Review, Volume 14 [1916]
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 11.94mm | 376.48g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514662191
  • 9781514662199