The Lord of History: Reflections on the Inner Meaning of History

The Lord of History: Reflections on the Inner Meaning of History

The Lord of History: Reflections on the Inner Meaning of History

The Lord of History: Reflections on the Inner Meaning of History

Excerpt

The Bible is a record of the evidence for certain events, certain historical works of God: as, the covenant with Abraham, the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Pentecost. Consequently the Christian outlook is primarily determined by a series of divine operations, tracing a distinct line of development: each of these events marks a new stage in the actualization of God's design, and a mutation of human life. Two aspects of the whole process are of especial importance: first the nature of the event itself, and of the divine decision transforming reality; and secondly the succession of events, exhibiting at once a certain continuity and a certain discontinuity, i.e. by definition, progress.

If we now examine the forms of thought and philosophical systems current at the time when Christianity first made its appearance in the world, it is clear that they were by no means ready to assimilate this Christian conception: on the contrary, they were wholly antagonistic thereto.

In the first place, there was the influence of Greek thought: here, that which is divine consists in the unmoved eternal order of Ideas. Immutable law, whether of nature or of society, represents to the senses the changeless eternity of the intelligible world. The phenomenon of movement itself is an imitation of immobility, being conceived as cyclical, both in the regular motions of the heavenly bodies and in the eternal recurrence which governs the course of history, so that the same events will be everlastingly repeated. By going round in a circle, even change thus conforms to the . . .

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