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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
 
The Foundations of Belief
Arthur James, Earl of Balfour (1848–1930)
 
Foundations of Belief, The, Being Notes Introductory to the Study of Theology, by Arthur James Balfour (1895. New ed. 1900). A work answering to its title, as the author states, in only the narrowest sense of the word “theology”; the writer’s purpose being, not immediate aid to theological study, but attention to certain preliminaries to be settled before coming to that study. “My object,” says Mr. Balfour, “is to recommend a particular way of looking at the world-problems which we are all compelled to face.” He also states that he has designed his work for the general reader. It is a study calculated to assist thoughtful inquirers to adjust the relations of belief to doubt, and to maintain a healthy balance of the mind in presence of general unsettlement of traditional beliefs. Its specific question addressed to the doubter is whether belief in “a living God” is not required even by science, and still more by ethics, æsthetics, and theology. Near the close of his book Mr. Balfour says: “What I have so far tried to establish is this,—that the great body of our beliefs, scientific, ethical, æsthetic, theological, form a more coherent and satisfactory whole if we consider them in a Theistic setting, than if we consider them in a Naturalistic setting.” In a few concluding pages the further question is raised whether this Theistic setting is not found in its best form in Christianity as a Doctrine of Incarnation and Supernatural Revelation.  1
 
 
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