Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
In 1976, at Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, Lewis Benson gave a series of lectures entitled A New Foundation to Build On. The first of these lectures considers The Problem of Being Human. This topic is of paramount importance: if we don't have an understanding of the problem, we can only apply false "cures". For example, in the middle ages people were convinced that man's problem was woman. Therefore to be accepted by God it was necessary to take vows of celibacy and join some holy order. But Monastic-man was no better than Married-man. The reformation has preached that man's problem is one of guilt. For five centuries we have had sermons and theology showing Christ's ability to remove guilt. But Protestant-man carries as heavy a load of guilt as Catholic-man and is in constant need of assurance.
In this lecture, Benson points out several problem areas: human-environment relationship, human-human relationships, human-self relationship, and human-Creator relationship. In all these areas, humanity's predicament is growing worse. Down through the ages, the Church, whether Catholic or Protestant, has espoused a theology that does not touch the root of the problem. Therefore, the Church cannot offer any solution.
Benson explains that the overarching problem facing humanity is lack of taking counsel of the Creator. This taking counsel was the revolutionary foundation of the early Quaker message -- "Christ is come to teach His people Himself". To those heavily invested in the Christian Religion, it was and still is, a revolting idea. To those who hunger and thirst for deliverance from the power of evil, it was and still is an unshakable foundation to build on.
You can follow the link above to read the lecture or hover on the "Resources" tab above and click on Lewis Benson Writings. This will open a page of offerings from Lewis Benson. The Problem of Being Human is the first offering under "A New Foundation To Build On."
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