Notes: Denies Divinity of Jesus
The Light (Pakistan), 16th March 1923 Issue (Vol. 2, No. 6, pp. 1–2)
The Rev. Dr Samuel Davie McConnell, once rector of Holy Trinity Church, Brooklyn, and for half a century a widely-known clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in a book published recently renounces the faith on which Christian churches are founded, dismisses as incredible the miracles recounted in the New Testament, and denies the Divinity of Christ.
The jacket of the book bears the following:
“I have been for 50 years a minister in the church. I entered the ministry with enthusiasm, believing as I did that the church was the one organization in the world of Divine institution, that it owes its origin to Jesus Christ, and that He was the unique Son of God. I have been reluctantly led to the conclusion that none of these things is true.”
The church, Dr McConnell believes, has in it much more of paganism than of the life of Christ, and asserts that many, if not most of the ceremonies of the church, are far older than Christ, some of them springing, he says, from the time of primitive man.
The known facts of the life of Jesus Christ, Dr McConnell, in a chapter entitled “Jesus of the Gospels,” would fill less than a column of newspaper space, and that far less is known of Him than of several other personages of the time.
In summarising the contents of his book, Dr McConnell says:
“The educated and practical world both alike are steadily drawing away from the church. I have watched this movement for 50 years.
Can anything be done to reverse it?
First of all, the church must open her eyes and look, but she must not look at things as they were in the Fourth Century, the Twelfth, or the Eighteenth. She should no longer rest in a fool’s paradise.”
Dr McConnell’s explanation of his book is brief.
“Far too long, I have been silent,”
“I wanted to be sure of speaking. Fifty years is surely long enough for consideration. Now I openly avow my convictions, and leave it to the church to do with me as it sees fit. But I confess I do so with the hope that, after I have said all I have to say, the church may decide that I, and such as I, have a place in its ministry.”