Perhaps no non-creedal concept of Christian belief so clearly sets Christianity apart from all humanistic or naturalistic philosophies as its conviction that man, without salvation, is a homeless wanderer in an alien waste, or, with salvation, a citizen of another kingdom on pilgrimage through enemy-held territory. The concept cuts fundamentally between two views because it goes to the heart of the question, What is man? Is he a marvelous achievement of self-driven progress from mud to modern society, or is he a tragic and fallen creature, haunted by memories of a Garden at evening and of a Creator who walked with him there? Is he the master of his fate and the captain of his soul, or does he labor, like Samson, “eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves … in bonds under Philistian yoke”? If he is the former, then this life and this planet, no matter how unsatisfactory they may appear, are “home,” and the pressure of much modern education to “adjust” the student to his environment is only common sense. If he is the latter, then “adjustment” becomes folly and the only valid question is the one Christian put to Evangelist: “Whither must I fly?”

Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, Do you see yonder wicket-gate? The man said, No. Then said the other, Do you see yonder shining light? He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto: so shalt thou see the gate; at which when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do.

As Chesterton phrases it:

For men are homesick in their homes

And strangers under the sun,

And they lay their heads in a foreign land

Whenever the day is done.

Whether one is ready to acknowledge the homelessness of man as ...

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