Christianity, an Inquiry into Its Nature and Truth

Christianity, an Inquiry into Its Nature and Truth

Christianity, an Inquiry into Its Nature and Truth

Christianity, an Inquiry into Its Nature and Truth

Excerpt

Religion is the supreme concern of the individual because here the ultimate questions of his mind and the ultimate needs of his life seek for answer. Religion is the supreme need of society in a world that is disintegrating before our very eyes for lack of an authority that shall be something more than force, for lack of a spirit that shall be stronger than its fears and hates and selfishness, and for lack of a faith that will give meaning to life and courage to live. Yet alike the validity of religion and its significance are disputed today. For one group it is impossible because its foundations have been destroyed, for another it is irrelevant to humanity's real problems. At the same time, great areas of human habitation are coming under the sway of movements which, beginning as revolutions in national governments, have become, in effect, religions, claiming the rule over all life, demanding absolute obedience, offering themselves as the saviors of their people, and avowedly or implicitly denying this place to Christianity.

Within the Christian tradition, in the meantime, we note two opposed tendencies. To the left are some who, giving up the traditional faith, seek to salvage the moral idealism of Christianity and join it to social devotion; in so doing, however, they not only lose the distinctive element of the religious life but the dynamic which this life supplies, and so become impotent even in the field of their special interest, that of social change. To the right are others who realize that the crucial matter in religion is faith in God, but in their defence of that faith tend to fall back upon traditional supernaturalism and authoritarianism.

The task that is set for us in such a situation is plain. We . . .

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