History and God: Clues to His Purpose

History and God: Clues to His Purpose

History and God: Clues to His Purpose

History and God: Clues to His Purpose

Excerpt

If the majestic succession of phenomena known as nature is the most magnificent of pageants, then that interesting succession of episodes which men call history is certainly the greatest of dramas. The book which follows is the result of many years of reflection on the ultimate significance of this partly comic, partly tragic, but always meaningful human story.

The seven clues constitute the very core of the book. These did not come to the author as sudden, original flashes of insight, but rather through the stimulation given by many minds far superior to his own. The idea that history is the expression of something deeper and ultimate is common to all the outstanding philosophers of history though they differ as to the nature of that ultimate. Likewise, the dualism running through man and history was evident long ago to Zoroaster, Plato and St. Paul. In our own day we have especially been made aware of it by the followers of Darwin, with their emphasis on the struggle for existence, and by the Marxians, with their doctrine of history as class struggle.

The vision of a Superhuman Purpose in history, a Kingdom of God, beginning in the midst of time amid these earthly scenes, has been brought to our attention anew by Toynbee. Yet its roots go back to the past to Augustine, and beyond him to Jesus of Nazareth, to the Prophets of Israel, and even to Zoroaster. The idea of a synoptic view of the whole comes from that master of philosophers of history, Hegel. Similarly, the conception of a limited God . . .

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